Military Supply Chains have a problem. Counterfeit parts are infiltrating their operations. In fact, the US military estimates that up to 15 percent of all spare and replacement parts for its weapons, vehicles and other equipment are counterfeit.

These counterfeit parts and devices can compromise performance and reliability, risk national security, and endanger the safety of personnel by leaving them vulnerable to dangerous malfunctions. Solving issues related to counterfeit parts require costly rework, corrective actions, and full legal liability. Manufacturers also suffer from erosion of brand confidence which leads to brand damage, loss of sales, and remedial compensation costs.

Counterfeiting military devices and parts is a profitable business. Source material is inexpensive. Often production scraps, or reclaimed or obsolete components are used in the place of expensive quality parts. Counterfeiters are proliferating because detection is difficult.

The Department of Defense defines a counterfeit as a “Material whose identity or characteristics have been deliberately misrepresented, falsified, or altered without the legal right to do so.” This includes:

  • Improper internal construction (dies, mounting, wire bonds, etc.)
  • Used, refurbished, or reclaimed but misrepresented as new
  • Different package style, surface plating or finish
  • Did not successfully complete OCM process and test
  • Up-screened parts (MIL, Hi-Rel, etc.) but not fully tested
  • Modified labeling or marking (manufacturer, country of origin, form, fit, function, grade, or date of manufacture)

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FeaturePrint Demonstration using Aircraft Fasteners

FeaturePrint will authenticate the identity of a fastener without any custom markings or additive identifiers. This demonstrates the Alitheon cloud service that extracts, stores, and compares FeaturePrints.