World Micro Adds to Specialized Counterfeit Detection Equipment
ATLANTA, Jan. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — World Micro, Inc., announced today that it has purchased and installed additional specialized equipment to test electronic components headed for commercial and military applications. World Micro already has a world-class quality lab fitted with state-of-the-art equipment capable of performing X-Ray, X-RF analysis, and component solderability testing to identify parts suspected of being counterfeit or simply out-of-spec.
In addition to its other procedures used to help spot counterfeit components, the company added “heated solvent” testing to its quality assurance process. World Micro now also uses a specialized heating unit, which through the addition of a special solvent can reveal parts which have been “blacktopped” – a technique used by many counterfeiters to obscure a part’s true marking and allow it to be remarked, often to indicate a higher grade or more expensive component. To date, only a small number of independent distributors are known to use this advanced technique in the U.S.
In practice, World Micro uses at least three tests to identify components that have been resurfaced. 1. A marker permanency test that uses alcohol to wash the part’s surface, 2. An acetone test that uses a more chemically aggressive way of testing the part, and 3. A scrape test that as its name implies, is performed with a bladed instrument to determine whether or not a part has been blacktopped. As counterfeiters of electronic components continue to evolve their methods to avoid detection, many parts now have coatings of cured urethanes, silicones, or special epoxies, which in many cases will withstand the already rigorous resurfacing tests.
“We are now able to penetrate blacktopped surfaces that may be thought impervious to testing and detection,” said Gary Beckstedt, global director of quality for World Micro. “But now, by completely immersing a suspect part for 45 minutes in a heated solvent specifically formulated to penetrate the latest urethane-type coatings, we’re confident that no resurfaced component can escape our inspection process and find its way into the supply chain. I think we continue to stay several steps ahead of even the most ‘diligent’ counterfeiters,” added Beckstedt.
The new equipment acquisition and testing process comes at a critical time for the electronics industry and the U.S. Department of Defense. Counterfeiting of electronic parts has become an issue and subject of intense government scrutiny. The US Senate Armed Services Committee, led by Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), the Chairman and Ranking Member, has conducted an ongoing investigation of the mounting threat of counterfeit parts entering the military supply chain. The committee recently held a hearing in Washington, D.C. to receive testimony from industry executives and government expert. And, World Micro has previously provided intelligence to the committee and recently submitted an anti-counterfeit amendment proposal for the National Defense Authorization Act. The company ranks as one of the world’s leading companies in counterfeit detection and abatement and was featured in the last few months in a number of investigate television reports on Atlanta’s television station, WSB-TV, Channel 2. World Micro’s Beckstedt has been instrumental in many aspects of World Micro’s efforts to halt the supply chain infiltration of counterfeit and substandard parts.
About World Micro Components, Inc.
World Micro, Inc., is a global, aerospace, military, commercial, and medical electronic component and products distributor focused on quality systems. The company also leads the industry in detection of counterfeit components and anti-counterfeit education and training. Since 1996, World Micro has helped its customers solve difficult supply chain issues through innovative research, design, sourcing, stocking, procurement, inventory, and management solutions. World Micro, Inc. is privately held with headquarters in Roswell, Georgia, and an Asian distribution hub in Penang, Malaysia. The company’s website is www.worldmicro.com and can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/worldmicro.
SOURCE World Micro, Inc.