Managing components at risk of going EOL requires proactive planning. If this vital step is not implemented, critical systems run into increased risk of exposure to counterfeits. Two topics that program managers never want to hear about are counterfeit components, and end-of-life (EOL). While it is possible to come across counterfeit components on active products, this risk can generally be mitigated by implementing smart buying practices, such as purchasing from a franchised distribution line or directly from the original component manufacturer (OCM). Unfortunately, as components go EOL, yet are still needed in critical systems, they become difficult to find and increasingly more expensive. These facts combined with often careless buying practices, leave the embedded supply chain exposed to counterfeit components. These risks only increase as systems age.
During my time with GDCA, I’ve had the pleasure of attending many conferences and discussions that involved counterfeit avoidance. Each time I come away with a deeper understanding of how real the risk of counterfeit components really is, and how personal the impact can be. As someone with family members who have been in the military, I can vividly imagine what could happen if counterfeit or “tainted” parts made their way into fighter jets – putting critical flight systems in jeopardy, or even giving away critical flight paths and positions. Likewise, having also worked with the medical industry, I shudder to think what would happen if bad parts made their way into diagnostic equipment and life support system.
We had a great turnout at this year’s ERAI in Orlando, Florida, despite sequestration challenges. On behalf of all the members on the panel, I appreciate the discussions and expert information exchange. This kind of networking confirms ongoing commitment to keep the momentum going in the fight against counterfeits.
I look forward to next year.
Kaye & the GDCA Team