© rangizzz dreamstime.com Business | August 31, 2015
Supply chain protection is imperative
Counterfeited components are a major issue for the electronics industry. Not just limited to certain regions or sectors, the issue is a truly global one.
Supply chains that involve independent distributors are the most 'famous' for being contaminated with counterfeited products. But independent distributors do provide a service in the market space; despite their infamous reputation. Distributor Velocity Electronics is one of those 'Independents' and has a number of high-reliability customers within Military & Aerospace, Medical and Oil & Gas industries. A safe assumption would be that any of those companies would not do business with independent distributors if their requirements on a secure supply chain would not be met. Counterfeit products are indeed a huge problem, which – to everyone's dismay – does not seem to get smaller. Reports of counterfeit components have quadrupled since 2009. But the fact remains that any component can be counterfeited. Everything that can be mounted on a board, will come with that risk attached.
Jason Jowers © Velocity“The independent distributor industry has had a bad reputation when it comes to counterfeited products, but we have seen authorised channels shipping counterfeited components too. You can find counterfeit components throughout the entire supply chain”, states Jason Jowers, Director of Quality & Operations for Velocity. As mentioned above, reports on counterfeit components have skyrocket over the past few years. Whether companies have become more vigilant and rigorous in their reporting, or the problem has indeed taken on rampant qualities remains to be seen. An interesting question, that – despite serving on IDEA's Board of Trustees since 2009 – Jason cannot answer. He likes to believe that testing capabilities have improved and companies are paying more attention when it comes to counterfeit components as Velocity has done by investing heavily in the capabilities of its three testing facilities, located in Singapore, Austin (Texas) and Amsterdam (The Netherlands). And I have to agree with him; if the amount of counterfeit products is continuously rising – despite all efforts – that would be a rather frustrating thought. But he also says that a different development can be seen at Velocity. Here, the number of false components found in the shipments from suppliers has actually fallen. He attributes this to the fact that Velocity has set up a sophisticated system of supplier selection. The criteria for each supplier are strict, and have become even more stringent over the past few years. The thought behind it is clear: the more careful you select your suppliers the fewer counterfeit components you will find in the products being shipped to you. Simple maths and common knowledge throughout the industry, I believe.
Johan DahlThe key is how to set up the selection process for the suppliers you work with. Johan Dahl, Director EMEA at Velocity, explains: “our selection process as well as testing routine is so well established and known throughout the market that suppliers with dodgy products do not actually attempt to sell us their products.” “We inspect every single shipment that comes in, regardless of what supplier it is from.” Before Johan joined Velocity he attended one of the many presentations that Jason holds on the subject and he stumbled over exactly that line. He thought there was no way Velocity would do that / could do that since inspecting every order is such a time and money consuming exercise. Now he has to admit that it was the truth. “Why we do it? Simple, our reputation is on the line. We cannot control certain market conditions, true. But reputation – as well as honesty – you do have control over”, Jason explains. “We do not want a single product that could harm a person or another company to leave one of our Inspection and Distribution Centres (IDC). The way we do it is that we select our suppliers very carefully and test every single order very thoroughly.” The sentiment is not surprising when you remember the kind of customers Velocity serves. All three of its IDCs utilize sophisticated inspection equipment and highly trained and certified Inspectors. Its IDC in Austin is tailored to the specific needs of high-reliability customers from the US, which require special testing such as Scanning Electron Microscopy, heated solvents testing, and solderability testing. As the customer portfolio in Europe is similar, Velocity is in the process of upgrading its IDC in Amsterdam (which was opened in January 2015) to mirror the capabilities of its IDC in Austin. The company has been expanding enormously, with the latest addition being an office in Stockholm (Sweden) that will serve the Scandinavian market. It will cooperate closely with the British sales office and the testing hub in Amsterdam. As a hint for future things to come, Johan Dahl also tells me that they are looking to open an office in Germany before the year is out. Despite all changes, one thing will remain the same. Both men are certain that the stringent supplier selection and the comprehensive testing will never be done away with. Those are here to stay.
Jenoptik supplies infrared optics to Rheinmetall The photonics group Jenoptik will supply infrared optical components to Rheinmetall between 2020 and 2025.
Kyoto Semiconductor names new president and CEO As of April 1, 2020, the company has announced that a new management system will begin, with Tsuneo Takahashi set to become its new President and CEO.
Smoltek signs evaluation license agreement with capacitor manufacturer Swedish technology company, Smoltek, says that it has signed an evaluation agreement with an unnamed manufacturer of capacitors.
Pervasive Displays increasing manufacturing capacity e-paper display manufacturer, Pervasive Displays (PDi), says it has made a major advancements in product reliability and manufacturing capacity to improve the automated production of electronic paper displays (EPDs).
Analog Devices prioritises the medical field during pandemic Analog Devices, Inc. has taken a series of actions to support the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic by expediting production of its healthcare technologies that can help fight the outbreak.
Autec Power Systems & New Yorker Electronics inks agreement Autec Power Systems, a provider of custom power supplies, high-efficiency LED Drivers, switching power supplies and power management products, has signed accredited distributor New Yorker Electronics to a new distribution pact.
MagnaChip Semiconductor to sell its foundry business and Fab 4 MagnaChip Semiconductor says that certain of its wholly-owned subsidiaries have entered into a definitive agreement to sell the company's Foundry Services Group and the factory in Cheongju (Fab 4), the larger of the company's two 8" manufacturing facilities.
Singulus Technologies temporarily reduces business operation Against the backdrop of the current situation related to the spread of COVID-19 and the resulting restrictions in private and business lives, Singulus Technologies is implementing short-time work at two of its German sites.
Kyocera to acquire Japan-based Showa Optronics Kyocera Corporation has entered into a share transfer agreement with NEC Corporation on March 25, 2020 to acquire all of NEC’s shares in Showa Optronics Co., Ltd., an optical components manufacturer.
Analog Devices withdraws second quarter outlook The economic and social effects caused by COVID-19 are currently creating supply chain disruption and uncertainty around future demand.
Movement control order restricts production for Renesas in Malaysia Due to a Movement Control Order announced by the Malaysian government, Renesas three production sites located in the country temporarily halted productions from March 18, 2020.
TTI remains operational during COVID-19 pandemic TTI, Inc. says it remains open following the guidelines mandated by local and federal governments during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, with precautions in place to safeguard employees’ health.
Nokia completes acquisition of Elenion Technologies Nokia says it has completed its acquisition of U.S.-based supplier of silicon photonics technology, Elenion Technologies.
Nexperia CEO Frans Scheper retiring On March 24, 2020, Nexperia announced that CEO Frans Scheper has decided to take early retirement and will step down as Nexperia CEO and Management Board Member per March 25, 2020.
Intellitronix seeing interest from Ford Ohio-based Intellitronix Corporation, a subsidiary of US Lighting Group, has been invited by the Ford Motor Company to submit a proposal to design and manufacture an automotive electronics component for one of the automaker’s upcoming vehicles.
NEXT Biometrics receives additional order from government program in India NEXT Biometrics has received an additional order for UIDAI and STQC certified fingerprint biometric readers in India valued at USD 360,000. The customer has provided a 20% upfront payment and the readers have been delivered to the customer.
Elmos is planning short-time work Because of the global corona pandemic, Elmos Semiconductor AG is planning to introduce short-time work of up to 50%.
paragon reacts to production stoppages by carmakers paragon is set to take immediate action in response to moves by automotive manufacturers closing down their plants. The company is now reducing production at its automotive manufacturing sites in Germany to a minimum for the time being.
STMicro to temporarily cut 50% of French production The semiconductor company has reportedly agreed to temporarily reduce its production in France by up to 50% as the company works to stymie the spread of COVID-19.
The Infineon site in Villach is growing Infineon’s investment in a new automated chip factory and a research building at its site in Villach is making progress.
Panasonic eyes multi-use potential for PanaCIM Panasonic, in their push more deeply into smart manufacturing solutions, has partnered with MiR and Inovaxe to develop a handy helper: the PanaCIM Solutions Ecosystem.
Rutronik & Gowin inks distribution agreement for EMEA and NA Rutronik Elektronische Bauelemente GmbH is expanding its portfolio to include the Gowin Semiconductor Corp. product range.Load more news