Counterfeit components are defined as; substitutes or unauthorised copies of a product, a product used in which the materials used or the performance of the product has changed without notice, or a substandard component misrepresented by the supplier. The detection of counterfeits has become increasingly difficult because the majority of parts have the same or similar markings as their qualified counterfeit.
The only way to determine genuine components from a counterfeit version is to X-ray them. X-ray inspection can reveal different sized die (indication of different components, different specifications), different bond wire layout and missing bond wire, different heat sink sizes (effects thermal characteristics of components) and absence of die.
The primary function of the system is to accept printed circuit board components supplied via taped reels, trays, and sticks without removing them from their feeding mechanisms and to determine if each component supplied is genuine or counterfeit. Since the number of components on a reel or tube can range from 1 thousand to 20 thousand, it is a requirement that the inspection throughput is as high as possible. Placed at "goods inwards" the system is required to give a 100% assurance that a counterfeit component has not entered into either the component distributor or original equipment manufacturer's supply chain. The secondary function of the system is to provide real time inspection of single printed circuit board components with a manual manipulator. Providing these two functions and a low cost helps small to medium enterprises to justify acquisition and utilization of this inspection technology.