October 17, 2012

A Short Guide to Electronic Component Quality Assurance

Over the past couple of years, we have written a great deal on the Converge blog about our electronic component testing and counterfeit detection capabilities. As an independent distributor, we are extremely proud of our rigorous 76-point inspection process and our ongoing commitment to quality control. We are proud of our industry certifications, our trained inspectors and component engineers, and our role in helping to define the quality standards that all independents should live by. More than anything else, we are proud of our record of keeping substandard electronic components out of the supply chain.

So how exactly do we do that? We have put together a short guide to Converge’s electronic component quality assurance services for your easy reference. These are the primary techniques that we use to ensure every order is exactly as it was represented to the customer. Some services are done as part of the 76-point inspection required for every single order; others, like decapsulation, are advanced testing techniques that are done only when parts need additional verification. Either way, Converge has invested in the necessary equipment so that our trained in-house experts can utilize these services whenever they are needed. If you would like to know more about any of the capabilities listed below, click through to read the original blog posts.

Baking Oven for Moisture-Sensitive Devices

  • Converge follows the baking guidelines and procedures recommended by J-STD-033B 
  • Parts are baked in our calibrated ovens for the specified time and dry-packed immediately upon removal in a moisture-barrier antistatic bag 
  • Parts are also packed with a new humidity indicator card and the recommended amount of desiccant
XRF Analysis
  • Used to verify RoHS compliance 
  • Verifies elemental breakdown of a scanned component’s content and detects substances of concern 
  • Nondestructive process
CPU Testing and Inspection
  • Processor identification tool used to verify the authenticity of all incoming CPUs 
  • Tool verifies that the CPU type, family, model, stepping, revision, and frequency are consistent with the manufacturer’s specifications 
  • 2D data matrix bar code scanner enables inspectors to quickly capture serial numbers
X-ray Imaging
  • Designed to look inside components (e.g., ICs, capacitors, diodes, resistors, and hybrids) to help detect hidden flaws 
  • Can reveal differences in die size, die frame, wire bond patterns, and internal lead characteristics 
  • Can identify shorts or bridges, detect cracks in the epoxy, and recognize tampering attempts 
  • Nondestructive process
  • Used to properly expose the die architecture of an integrated circuit for full visual inspection and further verification 
  • Verifies die size and manufacturer logo; confirms part numbers
  • Destructive process; used as a last, but necessary, resort 
While these are some of Converge’s investments in testing equipment, there are plenty more – such as the high-powered optical microscopes that our engineers use to detect signs of counterfeiting techniques such as blacktopping, sanding, or retinning. And every year we reevaluate our testing equipment needs based on the marketplace trends and invest in additional upgrades in order to strengthen our counterfeit-avoidance program. 

What parts of the component quality assurance process would you like to know more about?

Contact us to let us know or leave us a comment below!

October 3, 2012

Meet Converge at Electronica 2012

Have you registered yet for electronica 2012?

Excitement is building for the biannual event, which takes place from November 13-16 in Munich, Germany. It has been called the world’s most important trade fair for electronics, covering the entire industry from components and systems to applications and services.

Converge would not miss out on the opportunity to learn from and exchange ideas with so many of our dynamic suppliers and customers. Please stop by and say hello to representatives from our international and European headquarters! You will find us in Hall A5 Booth 239. As always, we will be available to discuss ways that we can help your company solve surplus inventory, market intelligence, and hard-to-find component needs. And while counterfeit detection is such an important topic, we’d love to talk about best practices for quality assurance and how we incorporate those into our 76-point inspection program.

If you’re still on the fence about going to electronica, here are some impressive stats we thought we’d share from their website:

  • In November 2010, electronica boasted more than 72,000 trade visitors, 2,500 international exhibitors, and 540 journalists to help share their stories of innovation.* 
  • Ninety percent of all electronica visitors are decision-makers, and 57 percent hold management positions.* 
  • There is a large share of visitors who primarily deal with the development (39 percent), design (14 percent), and engineering (8 percent) of electronic components and applications.* 
  • A 47 percent share of foreign visitors representing 76 countries proves that the most important markets now and in the future look to electronica for orientation.* 
If you would like to arrange a specific time to meet with Converge representatives at electronica, please check out our events page on our website and let us know. We look forward to seeing you in Munich this November!

*Source: http://www.electronica.de/en/home/exhibitor/reasons-participation