The US Department of Defense has concerns about counterfeit parts in its supply chain and is now taking additional steps to ensure that its equipment and parts are authentic.
According to the American Forces Press Service, the DOD has implemented a quality assurance process to identify material that doesn’t conform to standards and determine which ones are counterfeit.
For the DOD, most of the problem appears to center on previously used parts sold as new. As Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) explains in a statement:
In some industries, the term “counterfeit” suggests an unauthorized fake, a knock-off of an original product. The definition of counterfeit, as it relates to electronic parts, which has been endorsed by the Department of Defense and defense contractors alike includes both fakes and previously used parts that are made to look new, and are sold as new. Previously used parts sold as new parts present a significant risk because, while they may pass initial screening, they are far more likely than new parts to exhibit reliability and performance problems later on when deployed in the field.
Sen. Levin chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) which this year began an investigation of counterfeit electronic parts in the DOD supply chain. In his statement, made at a SASC hearing last week, he goes on to describe how e-waste is shipped into Chinese cities like Shantou in Guangdong Province where the electronics are disassembled by hand. Then, they undergo a sophisticated unsecured counterfeiting process. Again, from Sen. Levin: (more…)