One of the problems with developing a standard is they only work when everybody is using them. The electronics supply chain has tackled a number of standards over the years including RosettaNet – a protocol for conducting electronic commerce.
Counterfeit prevention is another supply chain issue that could benefit from a standard. Counterfeit parts may be found at a distributor, an EMS, an OEM and even in finished equipment. The goal of any anti-counterfeiting measure is to flag suspect parts before they get too far down the supply chain.
One of the methods being used right now is marking components with a unique DNA-based taggant. The technology, developed by Applied DNA Sciences, allows all supply chain partners to “read” the DNA to verify a device came from the original component manufacturer (OCM). Most counterfeit components entering the electronics supply chain are parts that have been used, rejected, re-marked or recycled. If a device doesn’t match up to its manufacturers’ DNA, it can be flagged as a counterfeit.
Applied DNA Sciences has signed its eighth supplier as part of an effort by the US Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the company said in a release. The DLA has required the use of Applied DNA’s counterfeit prevention product SigNature DNA on certain electronic parts provided to the agency.
The company, Modular Devices, is the eighth original component manufacturer (OCM) to comply with the DLA requirement to use SigNature DNA marking. Modular Devices Inc. provides space grade hybrid microcircuits to agencies such as NASA, as used in the Mars Pathfinder Mission, and is suppliers to many prime contractors to the US Department of Defense. As a manufacturer, the company will be provided with a unique DNA-based authenticity mark, absolutely assuring originality, wherever that part travels in the supply chain.
"As increasing numbers of electronics manufacturers adopt SigNature DNA marking, the platform takes on an even more powerful role in the military supply-chain. The authenticity marks provide the highest value for supply-chain as a whole," said Janice Meraglia, vice president of government and military programs at Applied DNA Sciences.
Modular Devices, Inc. is committed to implementing the US Defense Logistics Agency DNA marking requirement, said Steve Summer, President of Modular Devices, Inc. “We appreciate the support of ADPN, a local Long Island biotech firm, who is firmly committed to supporting the Long Island defense community, and enhancing our desire to explore new business opportunities through the use of DNA marking.”
Component-tagging is far from standard in the electronic supply chain. Currently, most electronics companies using SigNature DNA are part of the Defense Department’s network. Since commercial components are also used in defense equipment, use of the method may be spotty.
RFID has also been considered as a component-marking technique in the electronics industry.
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 cannot be copied and provide a forensic chain of evidence that can be used to prosecute perpetrators.