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Counterfeit parts can ruin the integrity of your supply chain

April 2, 2018

What’s the situation?

Counterfeit parts have been entering supply chains at an alarming rate over the past 10 years. Fasteners and electronic components are amongst the most counterfeited products in the U.S. With tight deadlines and stock shortages, it can be easy to push product straight through to production lines. Extremely low prices and quick availability on scarce products are indicators that there can be unauthorized activity taking place. Counterfeit products could not only be detrimental to the integrity of a supply chain but could also become a safety concern.
In the military and aerospace industries, is it especially crucial to look for counterfeit identifiers in order to ensure the safety and efficiency of production.
The DOD (Department of Defense) and FAA (Federal Aviation Agency) have put guidelines in place, and have selected authorized distributors to uphold and be compliant with AS 9120 and ISO 9001 standards.

What to look for?

Counterfeit material often times closely resembles authorized products or acts as a substitution. Many counterfeit parts possess identification marks, or has been altered by an unauthorized source. Parts that have wear marks or scratches can be indicators that these parts might be counterfeits. Castings can be ground off and re-stamped in other locations.

What can I do?

Receiving counterfeit parts can be unpredictable, so it is critical to have a quality process in place to identify and quarantine counterfeit parts. Quality control prevents cost losses as well as interruptions to production. Implementing procurement policies and standards will provide consistency and maintain work efficiency.

When components for your assembly, it is important to have traceability back to the manufacturer to ensure authenticity. Also, testing the reliability of these products will measure adequate stress levels as well as tension restraints.

ASW Counterfeit Mitigation Strategies

At Aero-Space Southwest, the process of avoiding counterfeit products being accepted into our supply is taken very seriously. ASW will only procure products directly from the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) or authorized distributors. Acceptance guidelines are in place ensure consistency throughout the procurement process. Ownership from the manufacturer through the distribution channel, is known as the chain of custody. It is very important that the products received into our system at no time compromise this avoidance strategy.