Q1. Definition of Counterfeit Machine Components
Counterfeit machine components refer to parts in a machine which are misrepresented and are an infringement of the original manufacturer's copyright (Guin et al., 2014). Counterfeit products are characterized by inferior qualities and specifications and can result in a dangerous situation when integrated to a machine system such as spaceships, aircraft, and military equipment. Counterfeit machine components are regarded as unauthorized forms of the manufacturer`s original product and do not conform to the model and design of the real manufacturer. The distribution of counterfeit parts has been boosted by some factors such as globalization. For instance, through the increased investment in Internet use, the counterfeiters have a large pool of potential unsuspecting counterfeit product manufacturers. Furthermore, the vice has been facilitated but the introduction of China into the World Trade Organization (WTO) which allowed non-governmental business actors to freely export products leading to a high influx of counterfeit products around the world. Counterfeit parts influence every aspect of the society. This includes consumer goods, aerospace, military and medical automotive.
Q2. Effects of Counterfeit Parts on Electrical Preventative Maintenance (EPM) Program
Counterfeit products are not genuine and standardized. Therefore their inclusion in the Electrical Preventive maintenance program (EPM) posts a high risk in the functioning of the system (Abdelhadi, Alwan, & Yue, 2015). Electrical distribution failure is majorly caused by two factors; loose connections in the program and exposure to moisture. Counterfeit parts are not manufactured to the expected standards and therefore do not have the required remedies to unsecured connections and moisture exposure. Therefore, the integration of counterfeit components in the program can backfire. Besides, the EPM has a clear schedule regarding the maintenance, therefore, using counterfeit products can alter the schedule leading to unexpected losses in resources. Furthermore, counterfeit components can lead to failure of the whole program or even result in injuries or death. Finally, using counterfeit parts in the EPM reduces the efficiency of the program because the system will not work as per the expected standards. Using undetected fake parts in a program result to field failures and periodical rework.
Q3. Incidences of Counterfeit Parts and Consequences
Use of counterfeit components in a system has got many detrimental consequences to both the consumer and the business. For the user, the failure of the machine fitted with counterfeit products can result in death and injuries (Chen & Li, 2011). Besides, business has incurred more losses as a result of counterfeit products. The loss can be that of sales or customer trust. For instance, the Toyota Company generated a counterfeit alert to its dealers warning them of the distribution of fake airbag parts which were packed in genuine Toyota packages. In a statement, the company noted that the airbag spiral cables could result in malfunctions when the vehicles crush. Furthermore, the company said that the fitting of the counterfeit parts risks the business as a result of losing customer trust in the genuine parts.
Furthermore, the Partnair flight 394 which crashed on the coast of Denmark in 1989 was also reported to have been counterfeit. The plane crashed killing 55 passengers and five crew members. This happened to be the fatal aviation accident which cost the lives of the staff in a shipping company who were to attend the launch of a shipping carrier in Germany. The plane crashed because the parts used in its maintenance and repair were unapproved. Tail empennage of the flight was tightened using inferior bolts which were counterfeit. The bolts had only 60% strength compared to the approved bolts recommended by the manufacturer (Shirley & Kumar, 2014). This confirms that using counterfeit parts in a system can be hazardous to the life of the consumer.
Finally, the air force aircraft C-130J which crashed at Gwalior while flying to the United States in 2012 also had counterfeit components. According to the Senate committee in the United States, the probe indicated that counterfeit components such as the memory chips which were imported from a Chinese company resulted in the crash (Necula & Zaharia, 2015). The crash resulted in the death of five people. The Senate also noted that suspicious parts were also found in computers operating special missiles and military helicopters and aircraft.
Q4. Importance of Knowing the Source and Origin of Manufacture of Items
It is important for consumers to know the source and origin of manufacture of the products they consume. To start with, knowing the source of the product means that the consumer can verify if the manufacturer is real or counterfeiter. Besides, knowing the source of manufacture helps the consumer verify if the item is genuine. Furthermore, knowing the source of manufacture enables the consumer to claim warranties whenever the system fails (Sood, Das, & Pecht, 2011). Sometimes some genuine parts can have a hitch, and the manufacturer will only compensate for genuine parts which the manufacturer can detect. Finally, the consumer is required to know the origin of the manufacture so that they can verify whether the product is genuine or not. This is because some regions are associated with the manufacture of counterfeit products. Countries like United States, England and Canada are linked to genuine parts while others such as China and Korea are perceived as hubs for counterfeit goods in the world.
Abdelhadi, A., Alwan, L., & Yue, X. (2015). Managing storeroom operations using cluster-based preventative maintenance. Journal Of Quality In Maintenance Engineering, 21(2), 154-170. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/jqme-10-2013-0066
Chen, G. & Li, J. (2011). Influence of Different Airbag Fabrics on Airbag Performance. Advanced Materials Research, 332-334, 1053-1057. http://dx.doi.org/10.4028/www.scientific.net/amr.332-334.1053
Guin, U., Huang, K., DiMase, D., Carulli, J., Tehranipoor, M., & Makris, Y. (2014). Counterfeit Integrated Circuits: A Rising Threat in the Global Semiconductor Supply Chain. Proceedings Of The IEEE, 102(8), 1207-1228. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/jproc.2014.2332291
Necula, F. & Zaharia, S. (2015). Capturing hazards and eradicating human errors in aircraft maintenance. Review Of The Air Force Academy, 13(3), 155-160. http://dx.doi.org/10.19062/1842-9238.2015.13.3.27
Shirley, Y. & Kumar, N. (2014). Structural Design and Analysis of Mounting Structure for Flight Vehicle. International Journal Of Engineering Trends And Technology, 8(7), 372-394. http://dx.doi.org/10.14445/22315381/ijett-v8p267
Sood, B., Das, D., & Pecht, M. (2011). Screening for counterfeit electronic parts. Journal Of Materials Science: Materials In Electronics, 22(10), 1511-1522. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10854-011-0500-0
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