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Counterfeit or Nonconforming?: A Characterization of the Errors We Make in Characterization Today

June 29, 2016.

Kevin Sink


Kevin Sink is the VP, Total Quality at TTI, Inc., the global authorized distributor of electronic components based in Fort Worth, Texas. Kevin participates in three SAE committees developing standards for counterfeit mitigation, as a member of the SAE G-19D for Independent Distribution, G-19T for terms and definitions and is the Co-Chair of SAE's G-19AD for Authorized Distribution. He has spoken at several industry and OEM symposia on the topic. Hi most recent paper on the topic was presented at the SMTA Pan Pacific Conference, entitled "THE IMPACT OF RECENT COUNTERFEIT MITIGATION STANDARDS AND US DFAR'S ON THE SUPPLY CHAIN"

Kevin holds a BBA and MBA from Texas A&M University and has served in capacities within TTI from Sales to Product Management to Sales Operations before assuming responsibility for Quality. Prior to joining TTI, Kevin worked in Purchasing with General Dynamics. Coupling his experience in the mil/aero and electronics industries since 1988 with his interests in the issue, Kevin brings the perspective of authorized distribution to bear on best practices in counterfeit risk mitigation.


Different events in the recent years have provided additional impetus for companies to more formally address counterfeit electronics. As a result, companies formerly on the fringe of the issue are moving from basic awareness to codification of their systems. Unfortunately, this also leads to over-reaction whereby parts are claimed to be counterfeit whereby they are merely nonconforming or, in some cases, conforming but fail in the company’s design. Similarly, companies are learning more about their own variation in production of their components and learning that what might have been characterized as suspect counterfeit are actually valid, conforming components with marking that is unfamiliar across the company. This paper will present several “false fails” in the characterization of components as suspect counterfeit in order to increase awareness of the potential pitfalls and reason for caution across the industry.

About TTI Inc

TTI, Inc. is known as the world's leading authorized, speciality distributor of interconnect, passive and electromechanical (IP&E) components and the distributor of choice for industrial and consumer electronics manufacturers worldwide.