Finding the right test plan

ES Aug15 Pg39 North Shore 1Obsolete electronic components are an issue for most aerospace and defence contractors, so when it comes to purchasing, one has to consider counterfeit mitigation.

Describing itself as a leader in the fight against sub-standard material, North Shore Components is certified to AS6081, which covers fraudulent/counterfeit electronic parts: avoidance, detection, mitigation, and disposition as well as distributors counterfeit electronic parts; avoidance protocol. It is approved by global certification body, NQA, under approval of the AINSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB.)

North Shore’s process for counterfeit mitigation begins with vendor evaluation, selection and market research of the product through companies such as the government-industry data exchange program (GIDEP) and ERAI.

When it comes to testing each company, project and component has its own plan, but in general there are two types of testing: physical and electrical.

Physical testing includes procedures such as x-ray, x-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF), de-capsulation, surface testing using solvents, scrape and chemical swipe. Visual inspection includes the evaluation of part markings, surface and lead conditions and part dimension verification. It’s estimated that 90 per cent of sub-standard or suspect counterfeit material is discovered at the visual stage.

Electrical tests are performed to parameters on the datasheet directed by the customer. They can be basic and fairly inexpensive or specific and quite costly, particularly for mission critical applications. Naturally, the level of testing depends on the risk evaluation of the application.

Whatever your needs, it pays to have a counterfeit mitigation company that will work to protect your interests by finding a test plan that fits.