The electronic s supply chain has been struggling to find a way to flag counterfeit parts for decades. One anti-counterfeiting effort currently underway is marking components with a plant-based DNA taggant developed by Applied DNA Sciences. The taggent will allow component buyers to verify the component is authentic.
There are still a few bugs in the system: very few original component manufacturers (OCMs) are using DNA at their factories. However, supply chain consultancy LMI and Applied DNA Sciences are forming an alliance to help work out some of the bugs. This collaborative relationship seeks to educate the public and private sectors on the increasing risk posed by counterfeits, and encourage the development and fielding of preventive measures, the companies say in a release.
"Supply chains critical for commerce and security are under attack. In the electronics arena, remarking, cloning, and manufacture from salvaged die are creating increasingly sophisticated counterfeits. Industry and public sector users alike are struggling to ensure authentic components in this flood of fakes," said Joe Doyle, senior consultant for LMI. A cutting edge technology company in this space working with a leading supply chain consultancy is just the sort of collaboration that can make a difference, Doyle added.
Counterfeit electronic items pose significant dependability, quality, and safety risks to private and public sector supply chains. “Detection and Avoidance of Counterfeit Electronic Parts” (Section 818 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012) began to address responsibilities for Department of Defense (DoD) contractors to detect and avoid using or including counterfeit electronic parts or suspect counterfeit electronic parts. Commercial and government experts alike recognize that these risks extend well beyond counterfeit electronics. As a result, federal entities such as DoD, the General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are initiating action to broaden the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) to cover other high-risk commodities.
In the electronics supply chain, components change hands a lot. It is important that end-users be able to verify that a component they are buying came from an OCM factory. Moving forward, OCMs may standardize such a process as DNA marking. In the meantime, vendors can license the DNA technology; mark components and then sell them. Critics of the program point out that in theory at least, counterfeiters can license the technology. Applied DNA Sciences has a vetting program for licensees but the supply chain is still divided over the DNA-marking solution.
LMI might be able to address such issues. LMI is a leading consultancy committed to helping government leaders and managers reach decisions that make a difference. As a private not-for-profit organization, LMI is a trusted advisor that provides management consulting, research, and analysis to governments, other nonprofit organizations and select commercial enterprises.
APDN is a provider of botanical-DNA based security and authentication solutions that can help protect products, brands and intellectual property of companies, governments and consumers from theft, counterfeiting, fraud and diversion. SigNature DNA and DNANet are product authentication solutions that essentially cannot be copied and can provide a forensic chain of evidence and can be used to prosecute perpetrators.