Counterfeit Parts and Quality Management Systems

Counterfeit Parts

Counterfeit Parts and Quality Management Systems (QMS)

AS9100 and AS5553, provide a Quality Management System (QMS) approach to the problem of counterfeit parts for the aviation, space, and defense industries.  Unfortunately, counterfeit parts threaten equipment manufactured in every sector, most especially the electronics industry.

Counterfeit Parts Pose a Threat to OEMs

The best product design is only as good as its implementation.  Counterfeit parts can cause failures of mission critical products causing injury and even death.  This creates huge levels of liabilities for manufacturers.  Industries that have witnessed an increase in counterfeit products in their supply chains include manufacturers of electronics and pharmaceuticals.

While much has been accomplished by distributors of components to control the problem, the danger is still very present and costs industries billions of dollars each year.  Shortages induced the Covid pandemic have made electronic components especially vulnerable to this threat.

New Technologies Provide Solutions

New technologies are enhancing the detection and avoidance of suspect parts.  Blockchain for example is being employed to provide proof of origin for materials and components throughout the supply chain life cycle.  This highly secure encryption is utilized in smart tags.  This encoded information can provide a higher degree of confidence in an item’s authenticity.  Tagging mechanisms include RFID and 2D matrix codes.

Applicable Quality Management Industry Standards

AS9100 is the overall QMS system for the aerospace and defense sector.  It defines a QMS model that while compatible with ISO 9001 adds requirements relevant to the industry such as Counterfeit Parts, Human Factors and Product Safety.

AS5553 – Counterfeit Electronics Parts; Avoidance, Detection, Mitigation and Disposition was created in 2009.  It provides for OEMs, methods, requirements, and practices for parts management, supplier management, procurement, inspection, test/evaluation, and response strategies.

AS6081 – Counterfeit Electronics Parts Avoidance standard was created in response to requirements of the aerospace supply chain where posing significant performance, reliability, and safety risks.  This standard places emphasis on inspection.

These standards builds upon current AS9100 certification and provide additional requirements to make your management system more robust.

Counterfeit Part QMS Solutions for Commercial OEMs

For OEMs outside of the purview of these standards there is an answer.  Because ISO 9001:2015 provides flexibility in implementation for the specific requirements of a company, it allows for creation of stricter traceability requirements in the procurement process.   This means a variety of standards can be implemented to the unique requirements of any OEM.

In conclusion the risk of counterfeit parts poses a threat to manufacturers in all sectors.  A well designed Quality Management System can identify such risks and mitigate counterfeit components from your products.

CVG Strategy

Our Exemplar Global Lead Auditor Consultants can help you with implementing a Quality Management System (QMS) to prevent counterfeit parts from compromising your products.  CVG Strategy has prepared, trained and implemented quality management systems for manufacturing companies in the past 10 years.

CVG Strategy is a consultancy offering coaching, mentoring, training and program development focused on areas including Business Process Improvement, ITAR and Export Compliance, Cyber Security and Quality Management Systems.

Jamie Hamilton

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