FAQ’s

We’re happy to speak with our clients and answer any questions you may have about us, our process, and our company.  We have listed here some of the most common questions in an attempt to save our visitors a little extra time.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the cost for electrical testing?
    1. It varies from part-to-part, but the average price for electrical testing is USD0.30/pc.  Set-up charges usually range from USD150 to USD650.  Testing takes approximately two weeks for new parts and less than one week for part numbers that have been tested before.
  2. We had parts before that didn’t look remarked but were the wrong package.  Does inspection find this?
    1. The inspection procedure includes measuring the physical dimensions of the component using digital calipers and comparing the datasheet.  The package-style (DIP-16, PLCC-44, TQFP-48, BGA-256) is also compared against the datasheet to make sure it matches manufacturer specifications.
  3. Are parts inspected in tape and reel inspected through the packaging?
    1. Parts are removed from the packaging individually inspected under magnification.  An appropriate sample size, determined by ANSI AQL standards, is selected at random.
  4. What does visual inspection do?
    1. Visual inspection verifies the condition and package of the components and their packaging.  The procedure identifies parts as new, unused, used, refurbished, remarked, and the condition of the packaging original, factory-sealed, bulk, etc.  If the Buyer is outside of China, you can verify if the parts being purchased are what you are expecting without having to incur shipping costs and lost time in shipment.
  5. Are other levels of inspection available?
    1. Yes, there are two levels.  Level 1, or visual, Inspection examines the parts externally with up to 200x magnification.  The terminals, packaging, marking, and body of the device is inspected to determine the actual condition of the parts.
    2. Level 2, or physical, Inspection adds Decapsulation, solderability, and radiography (X-ray) to the Level 1 inspection process.  Decapsulation and X-ray are internal inspection processes that help to determine if there are major problems with the hardware of the component and whether the parts are using the original OEM wafers and dies (counterfeit detection).  Solderability (both for leaded and lead-free solder) determines if the parts will solder to the end-users PCB with good electrical connection.
  6. Do the parts, when complete, ship directly from Shenzhen to my location?
    1. This is determined between the buyer and the seller, we will follow directions accordingly.  China has a Customs regulation that IC’s with a declared value of over USD200.00 are subject to an export tax, so they are frequently shipped out at less than declared value.  Both the buyer and seller must agree to this.
    2. There have been reports that customs in the importing country (country of the buyer) are auditing buyers and incoming shipments for less-than-declared value shipments.  This can be avoided by transshipping through Hong Kong (ship from Shenzhen to Hong Kong, and from Hong Kong to end location).  As Hong Kong is a free trade port, there are no export restrictions.
    3. The international couriers will not allow you to insure the shipment for more than declared value, so the buyer is assuming risk on values over USD200.00 that are declared at USD200.00 or less.  If the courier losses or damages the shipment, buyer is only entitled to recover the declared value if the shipment was insured.
  7. What is the difference between new, unused, and remark?
    1. We use the industry definitions for condition of parts.  New parts are, of course, in the same condition as when they left the factory.  All of the same country of origin, date and lot code per reel, tube, or tray.  They may vary between carriers, but all of the parts in that carrier must be of the same date and lot codes and country of origin.  New parts should also be in the original factory packaging, but it does not need to be factory-sealed.
    2. Unused parts may be of varying date and lot codes and country of origin but are otherwise unused.  Packaging can be from a third-party, original packaging materials are not required in unused parts.
    3. Remarked parts have had the original marking removed and replaced.  “Remark” does not mean that the parts are bad, it simply means that more risk is involved and further evaluation is recommended.  They could be original, they could be downgrades, counterfeit – they point is with the original marking gone, we don’t know what’s inside without further evaluation.
  8. Do you inspect all of the parts?
    1. We follow the ANSI standards for AQL, or “acceptable quality level”.  We use an AQL of 1% failure and inspect a randomly selected sample, the quantity of which is found on the AQL chart (below).  The lot is either accepted or rejected per this standard.
  9. Do you source parts?
  10. How does this work?
  11. Can you tell me who the good suppliers are?
  12. If you can’t prove it, why report it?
  13. What is the right level of testing?
  14. Why is your lab separate from your office?
  15. Are your engineers qualified?
  16. Where should we send the parts?
    1. If the parts are outside of China and the real value is below USD100, ship directly to our Hong Kong facility with a completed and printed Packing List – Hong Kong.
    2. A lot of companies are very close to our Sales & Admin office and find it more convenient to just drop them off. If that is the case, please use this Packing List.
    3. If the parts are in China, it is best to send them directly to the lab so we can begin processing sooner, please use this Packing List.