Unveiling AS6081: An Essential Standard in the Fight Against Counterfeit Electronics

Supply chains are complex, multi-layered entities, especially those involved in electronics. An unfortunate reality in our industry is the influx of counterfeit and substandard electronic components, a situation that escalates when buyers procure parts from sources other than Original Component Manufacturers (OCMs) or their authorized dealers. The impact of counterfeit electronics in aerospace supply chains is particularly concerning, as they pose significant risks to performance and safety.


Enter SAE International, formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers. Founded in 1905, this organization is recognized as one of the world's leading automotive engineering institutions, boasting over 145,000 members in the aerospace, automotive, and commercial vehicle industries.


Over the past century, SAE has contributed countless standards that have become central to the functioning of the automotive and aerospace sectors. Their standards, authoritative and comprehensive, are widely implemented across various industries, with many adopted as national standards in the United States.


Specifically, SAE Aerospace Standards focus on ensuring safety and reliability in all areas of aviation, from aircraft design and battle control to aviation fuel and communication sectors. One such standard is AS6081, a quality management system standard for the aerospace industry developed by SAE. This standard aims to safeguard the reliability, traceability, and authenticity of electronic components.


AS6081 is a robust standard that defines stringent practices to prevent counterfeit components from entering the global supply chain. It demands suppliers to establish and implement quality and supply chain management systems that meet standard requirements. This approach helps in detecting, reducing, and dealing with counterfeit components, thereby shielding the global electronics market from their adverse effects.


Given the diverse market conditions and the urgent issue of counterfeit components, AS6081 provides clear definitions for three distinct scenarios: suspect parts, fraudulent parts, and counterfeit parts.


AS6081 Part Classification



The AS6081 standard offers a comprehensive methodology to prevent the acquisition of counterfeit electronic components and mitigate supply chain risks. From general visual inspections to complex X-ray and XRF analyses, the standard defines acceptable and unacceptable results for each testing process.


The standard doesn't stop at testing; it also offers advice to buyers to decrease the likelihood of procuring counterfeit components. This includes policy-level measures such as establishing organizational strategies to prevent the purchase and sale of counterfeit components, as well as supply chain best practices, such as buying directly from OCMs or authorized suppliers.


While the wealth of detail in AS6081 might seem overwhelming, its relevance and application are crucial for maintaining integrity in the electronics supply chain.


At White Horse Laboratories, we understand the AS6081 standard in depth and see its implementation as an integral part of our commitment to quality. For more detailed insights into AS6081 or to find out more about how White Horse Labs can assist you in navigating the electronics supply chain, get in touch with our expert team today.

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