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Essential Tools to Combat the Ingress of Counterfeit Materials
Essential Tools to Combat the Ingress of Counterfeit Materials
The tools to ensure that counterfeits are not polluting any given supply chain have not kept pace with the changing needs.
Materials Tech

Materials Tech programs cover topics including:
Adhesives, Chemicals, Cleaning Solutions, Coatings, Components, Design, Embedded Technology, Fasteners, Finishes, Flex Circuits, Flip Chip, Fluxes, PC Fab, Solders, Solder Masks, Solder Paste and more.
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Authored By:
Cameron E. Shearon, Jr.
Shearon-Consulting
NC, USA

Summary
As the pace of innovation and globalization has increased dramatically over time, the tools to ensure that counterfeits are not inadvertently polluting any given supply chain have not kept pace with the changing needs. Complicating this dynamic is that counterfeiters are accumulating more resources and becoming more sophisticated to avoid detection. In addition to individuals and private groups participating in this practice, the risk increases that governments can leverage undetected back doors to further their own global ambitions. Limiting the number of suppliers can provide short term protections but does not fully protect the supply chain due to the indirect security practices that have been utilized. Limiting the number of suppliers also has the additional added cost of limiting innovation over time, as well as, the competitive advantage of any organization artificially limiting the number of their supply base. Because the impacts to an individual, company, industry, and country can potentially be very harmful along with the increased probability of counterfeits being injected insidiously into any given supply chain, it is imperative to proactively implement economically sustainable anticounterfeit tools that are scalable, create productivity gains, and are “future proof.”

Fortunately, the available tools developed for a variety of other needs can be easily applied to counterfeit materials and driving significant productivity gains at the same time. This is true regardless of the industry or the economics.

Coupling IPC-1782, Blockchain, Cloud, existing SMT & identification tools, simple in situ risk decisions, Industry 4.0, IPC CFX (connected factory), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Big Data Tools will proactively mitigate the risk of counterfeits, increase the trust & thus the speed of business, increase the productivity of businesses, and enable faster, easier, & better allocation of resources of every part of an organization. This approach will increase yields, quality, and reliability, as well as, provide the basis for more effective product innovation that matches customers needs better and enable the pushing of the envelope of design rules given the current tools. These tools can also be applied to software solutions, as well as, hardware solutions.

Conclusions
By combining IPC-1782, Blockchain, Cloud, existing SMT & identification tools, simple in situ risk decisions, Industry 4.0, IPC CFX (connected factory), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Big Data Tools, an organization will be able to quickly and easily capture all of the relevant data, based on risk, convert that into information, and then convert that information into knowledge that would be needed to manage the resources to meet or exceed their customers’ expectations. This would also enable better decisions to be made regarding which features to supply to an organization’s customers. This would be done by finding patterns in this data. Given the advancements in AI, this can enable machines to do what they do best and people to do what they do best.

Initially Published in the SMTA Proceedings

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