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JEDEC tackles counterfeiters with new standard

International standards body JEDEC has published JESD243, which addresses manufacturers’ responsibilities in the fight against counterfeit electronic parts.

According to the body, JESD243 – which applies to monolithic microcircuits, hybrid microcircuits and discrete semiconductors – identifies the best commercial practices that should be adopted by all manufacturers of electronic parts to avoid counterfeit products entering the supply chain.

In a wide ranging definition, JEDEC says a manufacturer of parts is an original component manufacturer, an authorised aftermarket manufacturer or any other company that manufactures products under its own logo name or trademark.

JESD243 is forthright in its ambition, noting ‘the organisation’s management shall define and document its policy intended to prevent counterfeit electronic parts from entering the supply chain’. Companies are also required to have a policy regarding the disposition and reporting of parts determined or suspected to be a counterfeit part and to promote the procurement of parts by customers through its authorised supply chain, also known as its chain of custody.

‘The manufacturing organisation’s management shall ensure that the policy is communicated, understood, implemented and maintained at all levels of the manufacturing organisation’.

JEDEC defines a counterfeit product as ‘an unlawful or unauthorised reproduction, substitution or alteration that has been knowingly mismarked, misidentified or otherwise misrepresented to be an authentic, unmodified electronic part from the original manufacturer or a source with the express written authority of the original manufacturer or current design activity, including an authorised aftermarket manufacturer’.

Unlawful or unauthorised substitution includes used electronic parts represented as new or the false identification of grade, serial number, lot number, date code or performance characteristics. It also notes that counterfeits can be parts bearing the manufacturing organisation’s trademark which that organisation did not put on the market for sale or use.

Looking to avoid rejects entering the supply chain, JESD243 says manufacturing organisations shall have a policy in place and a methodology to control nonconforming products, scrap materials and the disposition of excess materials and products to keep these materials and products from re-entering the supply chain through unauthorised sources.

Addressing returned products, JESD243 mandates companies to perform return verification on all parts they intend to take back into inventory or to resell. This process must verify that parts being returned were purchased directly from the authorised chain of custody and not through another source. Part of this process includes matching traceability records, including date/lot codes. If these don’t match, the manufacturing organisation shall treat them as suspect and not restock them. Other tests include inspection for evidence of alteration, mishandling, improper packaging or repackaging.

If the manufacturing organisation chooses not to verify returned parts, those parts must be scrapped.

Graham Pitcher

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