Being on the pirate’s trail

As part of the Electronic Forum the FBDI (Fachverband der Bauelemente Distribution e.V.) issues an open invitation for Thursday, November 13 to the Electronic Forum (Hall A2.) Two fascinating discussions have been arranged with experts from manufacturers, distribution, customer and the associaton. From 10 to 11 oclock attendees will find themselves involved with the tracing of components. ‘Trace’ is no longer a word confined to the search for missing persons. The term ‘traceability’is increasingly being used by the electronics industry. To date there is no internationally accepted standard as a target. Particularly when distributors act as an interface between manufacturers and customers, traceability is made more difficult by missing data or information from the manufacturer and / or the customer. Starting with a lack of basic technical equipment for recording and transmitting data, such as 2D barcode infrastructure, to vague, inconsistent demands from customers regarding the desired data to misunderstandings about technical feasibility. As a result, the labeling on the smallest packaged unit is sometimes not even possible. Generally there is still little or no understanding of the distinction between internal and external traceability. So far, traceability is regarded as part of production without taking into account commercial and logistical aspects. Requirements, uniform rules and technical feasibility are to be examined in the center.

Piracy is the theme of the second hour. Piracy and forgery are directly related to the traceability of products. It is not only manufacturers of luxury consumer goods who are victims of fakes. Even electronic components are increasingly targetted by pirates. Piracy threatens more and more European companies in the industry involving all associated industries with damage estimated in the billions. Reasons include outsourcing and off shoring of production to Asia without adequate quality control or traceability. According to an OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) study, Asia is the leader by far in the production of counterfeit products. Counterfeits can not always be clearly identified at first glance. Fakes, inadvertently installed in appliances can cause enormous harm to a company’s reputation and in safety or critical situations may be dangerous. Often there are ‘only’ minimal but crucial differences between the original and a forgery. These can not always be identified from the outside nor at first sight. Elaborate and costly tests are needed to provide evidence of a forgery.
This debate is about our customers’ requirements, guarantees from distributors and solution proposals for the supply chain.