Buying Obsolete Electronic Components for an AS9100D Business? posted on September 10, 2018

You need Princeps ASSURE+

The latest revision of AS9100 is now in place, and anyone buying obsolete electronic components in the aerospace supply chain needs to focus on the risk of counterfeit parts stated in clause 8.1.5 of the AS9100D standard:

“The organisation shall plan, implement, and control processes, appropriate to the organisation and the product, for the prevention of counterfeit or suspect counterfeit part use and their inclusion in product(s) delivered to the customer.”

What are the Options for Obsolete Electronic Components?
The primary methods of mitigating the risk of counterfeit electronic components is to purchase direct from the Original Component Manufacturer (OCM) or their authorised distribution network – sensible advice, but what happens if the parts are not available from this channel, even on a lead time? How can you safely procure obsolete electronic components?

Options are limited, official guidance (ARP6328) suggests finding and approving an alternative component, re-design and re-approval of the end-product, or take a dip into the surplus/open market. Alternative parts may not always be available, their approval can take time and even then, they may not be readily available, any redesign or re-approval for the end-product will be a lengthy and expensive route to take, so you are left with the open market.

Find a Trusted Supplier
Referring to our official guidance again, if the only option is to use an independent distributor then risk mitigation needs to be applied, the first stage of this is to select a distributor using a supplier assessment pyramid – the more of the pyramid that can be filled the safer the source. Princeps have been addressed the requirements of this assessment and we have filled in the levels that we comply with, if you want to complete the pyramid let us know and you can come in and audit us!


Bespoke Your Test Plan
Stage two is to identify a level of inspection and test commensurate with the risk associated with the part and source of supply. Potential buyers can achieve this in a number of ways, such as

Creating a test and acceptance plan internally
Specifying an AS6081 level call out on your orders
Using a tool such as SAE’s Counterfeit Defect Coverage (CDC) Tool in combination with AS6171 to generate a reliable test plan

Test and Release
Parts are procured and tested after the plan has been agreed an approved. Our Princeps ASSURE+ process uses a combination of internal and Audited ISO 17025 external laboratories. Defined test methods are followed before a consolidated acceptance report is produced. Once the report has been reviewed and agreed with the buyer, parts are approved for release. Use them with confidence that your counterfeit mitigation planning has been as robust as it possibly can.

Refined Counterfeit Mitigation
Princeps can solve your obsolete electronic component headaches. In the light of our experience creating and managing acceptance plans for some of the largest organisations in the industry we refine and continually improve our Princeps ASSURE+ Process so that we can bring surety to an unsure world. Find out more about our AS6081 Certification and our Princeps ASSURE+ Service here.

Need an AS6081 Release? Princeps ASSURE+ is just what you’re after, call Neil Taylor on 01279 641 641 to find out more.