Too many questions


In this month’s counterfeit investigation, Princeps shows why it’s not just imitation parts manufacturers must be aware of: old parts might be masquerading as new parts too

One counterfeiting technique to look out for is old or used parts presented as new. Too many questions about such components’ history make it essential to be vigilant.

Figures 1 to 3 show a general purpose digital isolator. When examined in Princeps’  testing and verification lab, it was clear these parts had been attached to PCBs in their past. The leads show solder paste, a tacky mixture of solder powder and flux.

Although it doesn’t seem these parts have been through reflow, witness marks from the original manufacturing process (Figures 2 and 3) show they have been on a board and subsequently removed. 

Why, by whom and under what conditions? Too many questions about these parts’ history mean they must be considered fraudulent and rejected as used parts represented as new. Such parts must be treated like counterfeit parts, so they were reported to ERAI and removed from the supply chain.