• Implement an Effective Counterfeit Parts Prevention Program


Implement an Effective Counterfeit Parts Prevention Program


Roger Ritterbeck, Aerospace Product Manager, Bureau Veritas Certification, Cuyahoga Falls, OH, USA


Counterfeit, Hardware, Electonics





Counterfeit parts present a significant risk to aviation, space and defense product. Counterfeit parts can impact product performance and can even be catastrophic. Counterfeit product comes in the form of electronic and hardware. Examples of counterfeit components include semiconductors, circuit boards, resistors, capacitors, diodes, chips, etc. Counterfeit hardware can include fasteners, o-rings, seals, material, etc. Often times, counterfeit material is not visually apparent and in some cases looks better than the original components, markings, stamping, labeling, etc.

As the methods of counterfeiting product has become more and more sophisticated, organizations must ensure that their counterfeit parts prevention programs become more sophisticated to ensure their effectiveness. The latest revision of AS9100 incorporated requirements for suppliers to have a counterfeit parts prevention program. AS9100 sets requirements for users of the standard, but it is not prescriptive in nature.

The requirement in AS9100 reads as follows: “The organization shall plan, implement and control processes, appropriate to the organization and the product, for the prevention of counterfeit or suspect part use and their inclusion in product(s) delivered to the customer”

A key phrase in this requirement is “appropriate to the organization and the product” An organization building complex assemblies and subassemblies incorporating electronic components and hardware, would require far more robust counterfeit parts prevention program than an organization building less complex product or build to print organizations. In either case, any organization certified to AS9100 must have a counterfeit parts prevention program, as an organization cannot claim non-applicability to the requirement.

Operational Risk Management (another AS9100 Revision D requirement) must be factored into an organizations counterfeit parts prevention program. The level of planning, implementation and control of process must be commensurate with the identified risk. The planning of a counterfeit parts prevention must consider the following aspects: training, parts obsolescence, procurement and supply chain controls to ensure product is purchased from Original Component Manufactures or authorized manufacturers or distributors, traceability of parts and components, verification and test methodologies to detect counterfeit parts, monitoring of counterfeit parts reporting from external sources and the quarantine and reporting of suspected or detected counterfeit parts.

In today’s complex and costly aerospace environment, organizations cannot afford the risk of not having an effective and robust counterfeit parts prevention program. This presentation will provide the participant the necessary aspects needed to plan, implement and control the processes for an effective counterfeit parts prevention program. The presentation will also highlight some industry activity, including subcommittees and standards to address counterfeit parts.