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SigNature DNA Marking: The authentication platform DLA has selected as part of their counterfeit prevention effort for electronics
Keywords: counterfeit prevention, supply chain, authenticity
BACKGROUND ABOUT NDAA AND SECTION 818: On December 31, 2011 the President signed into law a mandate for the electronics industry which will affect the business and personal lives of all of us. That mandate is embodied in Section 818 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal 2012, which aims to eliminate counterfeit electronics from the military supply chain. Although focused on the Department of Defense (DOD), commercial product will be impacted since the commercial manufacturers also supply the military. Section 818 states that defense contractors must establish policies and procedures to eliminate counterfeit electronics from their parts lists destined for the military. Contractors must "monitor and detect" counterfeits, or face rework and replacement charges, or legal remedies including suspension and debarment. INTRODUCTION: SigNature DNA (1) is an engineered mark or taggant derived from botanical DNA, the aim of which is to authenticate the originality or the immediate source of a component at any point in its supply chain. The taggant is used as a tool to mitigate risk of infiltration of misrepresented parts into the supply chain as part of a holistic program to monitor logistical systems. SigNature DNA is associated with an optical array for rapid detection of its presence. The optical array allows for distinction of 'supply chain node' based on the color the invisible mark fluoresces when under UV light. There are currently three appearances (under UV light) of the SigNature DNA mark within the electronics industry defined as: 1. Authenticity Mark -- applied by the manufacturer to ensure originality 2. Legally Authorized Distributor Mark -- applied by the authorized distributor to be identifiable as sourced from the authorized channel 3. Provenance Mark -- applied by DLA's QSLD / QTSL trusted supplier based on full trace documentation or successful completion of SAE AS6081 testing Since the requirement was put in place by DLA, over 1,000 awards have been let by DLA via the DIBBS system, over 500,000 DNA-marked microelectronics are in circulation throughout the industry and 28 Companies have contracted to DNA mark their components. These entities range from small QSLD / QTSL distributors to large defense contractors. In addition, three of DLA's Industrial Product Support Vehicles (Lockheed Martin, SAIC and Herndon) are complying with the requirement and procuring only SigNature DNA marked FSC 5962 components. In a comprehensive counterfeit prevention program, marking is one side of the equation with authentication being the other equally important side. The supply chain is often complex with many layers and/or decades separating original component manufacturers (OCMs) from end users. The benefit of absolute originality is tremendous with value rising with time. For example, if two components are compared decades after manufacture, ensuring originality allows for efficient functionality testing.
Janice Meraglia, VP, Govt & Military Programs
Applied DNA Sciences
Stony Brook, NY
USA


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