Retronix was contacted by a broker based in Germany who had bought some scarce ICs from China that were needed for a client. The client did not want to buy from China but did not have any other options.
When the ICs arrived in Germany, they knew there was an issue:
- They were not packed properly or vacuum sealed and
- There were obvious signs of damage and flux residue
Unsure of what to do, they contacted Retronix and sent us the ICs for review.
There were 942 pieces in total. We confirmed there was no attempt to counterfeit the ICs by blacktopping, but there was some damage evident. We immediately removed 121 pieces from the stock for severe body damage and popcorning.
The remaining ICs were checked for the correct alloy, and had the solder on their terminations refreshed, then cleaned.
The ICs were then electrically tested, and 739 passed, and were deemed ok for assembly.
They were returned to the client and subsequently placed on PCBs. Three PCBs failed due to the IC Retronix refurbished, but when replaced the PCBs still failed, so it’s debatable whether the fault was that IC.
The remaining PCBs had no issue with the part.
However if the customer had just placed the ICs without sending them to Retronix, then 203 PCBs would have immediately failed, or worse, failed soon in the field.