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In August 2011, a prime contractor warned the United States Navy that there were suspect, reworked parts that should never have been placed on one of their aircraft and that should be replaced immediately.
How is it possible a trusted, world-renowned manufacturer detected that it had installed a suspect or fraudulent part in its aircraft? The prime had subcontracted with another sub-prime contractor, who was retained to produce ice detection systems for the aircraft.
In a message to the U.S. Navy marked “Priority: Critical,” the company blamed the part, a Xilinx field programmable gate array, for the failure. This critical component was not bought from Xilinx direct or from one of their authorized distributors. Rather, this suspect part was traced upstream within the supply chain and had made its way through independent distributors in California, Florida, Japan, and China.
If you are thinking that perhaps this is an anomaly, consider this. The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee investigation revealed that more than 1 million counterfeit components likely exist within the U.S. military supply chain. If the supply chain of the finest military in the world can be infiltrated by 1 million counterfeit components, it’s more than likely it can happen to your supply chain.
Read the full column here.
Editor's Note: This column originally appeared in the February 2014 issue of SMT Magazine.
Randy Cherry, IPC
If you work for a U.S. defense prime contractor, do you have concerns that the controlled unclassified information (CUI) for your printed circuit boards, your printed circuit board assemblies, and your cable and wire harnesses is safe? What about the design and the development process for your products? Is the controlled technical information (CTI) safe and protected? Are the suppliers that your company selected maintaining a quality system, a supply chain risk management process, a security system to protect products and services from unauthorized access, and a Chain of Custody policy for electronic and physical materials?
I-Connect007 Editorial Team
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