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Counterfeit Mitigation by In-line Deep Visual Inspection

January 2022

Counterfeit Mitigation by In-line Deep Visual Inspection

Counterfeit Mitigation by In-line Deep Visual Inspection – The COVID-19 pandemic has caused supply chain disruptions and component shortages. The pandemic shut down many avenues for raw materials and bulk electronic components, leaving manufacturers with half-finished products and idle capacity. Allocations are forcing manufacturers to purchase components on the free market. This is increasing the risk of counterfeit, out-of-date1 , mixed lots, poorly handled, recycled, and defective components, from the typical 0.5–1.5% . Hence, purchases from trusted sources, to 5–10% of purchasing is in the free market. While this risk is conventionally mitigated by performing sample lab tests on components purchased in the free market according to SAE AS6081. Sampling only a small fraction of the components carry many risks. Out-of-date, or defective components, which may be randomly scattered, are not addressed by lab testing.


In this work we show that the evidence needed to deem components suitable for use. The packaging of components has subtle intrinsic features imprinted during the packaging process that serves as a “fingerprint” of the component manufacturer. Recycled components may undergo black topping, remarking, and repacking— all leaving visible evidence on the component’s exterior. A different source packages cloned, overproduced, and defective components, resulting in a different package. Observing the poor state of the leads allows for the external detection of the re-dating of old components.


These subtle features may be used to authenticate components.

Moreover, we present a novel method to estimate the apparent age, and the solderability of the component based on the optical surface of the soldering leads1 .The solder leads, made of a metallic compound, corrode and decay due to intermetallic interaction, making them the fastest aging part of the component. Thus, leading to a condition is an excellent indicator of a component’s apparent age, storage conditions, and handling conditions.


Counterfeit Mitigation by In-line Deep Visual Inspection



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