[rescue] Slightly OT: Bad Cap Saga

Curious George jorge234q at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 17 17:05:55 CDT 2008


--- On Sun, 8/17/08, Phil Stracchino <alaric at metrocast.net> wrote:

> Curious George wrote:
> > Perhaps I was not clear.  I am seeing *capacitors* with
> > 10 (or more) different "brands" -- the number of different
> > "equipment manufacturers is far more than that!
> > 
> > So, my comment is:
> > 
> > "Did capacitor manufacturer A 'steal' a formulation, *share* that
> > stolen secret with 9+ of *their* competitors -- capacitor manufacturers
> > B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I and J -- who, in sum, sold those 10 different
> > *brands* of capacitors (Susumi, Luxon, Hermei, Samxon, Su'scon, etc.)
> > to M different board houses working for N different 'consumer
> > equipment manufacturers' producing P different affected products..."
> > 
> > I'd be far more likely to buy the story if all of the "bad" caps
> > were from "Company A" (regardless of how many different OEM's
> > ended up *using* them)...
> As previously pointed out, it is common practice for component OEMs to
> sell unmarked components to a dozen or more different resellers, who
> then put their own brand markings on them.  All the bad caps WERE from
> "Company A", Lien Yan Electronics in Taichung,

If you read the industry coverage of the issue, you'll note that
this is still unclear.  It is equally likely that LienYan sold
bulk electrolyte to different vendors who, in turn, made caps
with the same "defect".

Of course, you have to be careful as many of the references out there
cite each other, etc.  (i.e., are not independant -- just the same
"unidentified reference" restated)

> Taiwan.  It's just that
> by the time the consumer market got to see them, they were
> branded Susumi, Hankyo, Lelon, Luxon, Tayeh, JPCON, and a dozen
> other brands - all of whom bought them unmarked from Lien Yan and put
> their own brands on them before reselling them to electronics and
> computer manufacturers.
> But then, as has also been previously pointed out, it's well documented
> and all the facts are out there on public record.  If you want to ignore
> that and disbelieve because it seems too much of a vast conspiracy to
> you, well, that's your choice.  But it happened.  It's not just an
> Internet myth.

It doesn't matter to me *what* the "cause" -- for all I care, some
extraterrestrial visitors flew over the factory and discharged their
"biological waste container" :> into the electrolyte processing
facility when no one was looking!  :>

But, if you read my original post, I'm concerned there aren't *other*
issues at work here that are hiding behind this "convenient" story
(true or otherwise!).

I.e., the problem has been around for almost 10 years.  Are folks
*really* still shipping bad product in spite of this knowledge?
I could understand products from "Phly-Buy-Nyte Elektronigs"...
but, hard to believe the folks at Dell, IBM, etc. are just turning
a blind eye on their suppliers after taking such a $$$ hit dealing
with this problem.

So, I wonder if, instead, some of these problems are due to changes
in operating conditions (e.g., do "sleep modes" stress devices in
ways that "always on" operation did not)?  Circuit topologies (e.g.,
switching power supplies introduced issues that had never faced
linear designs)?  Manufacturing quality (i.e., moving production
to different countries/facilites in a race to the bottom)?
Manufacturing procedures (e.g., bad washes)?  Manufacturing
technologies (e.g., RoHS)?

When do we consider this "issue" over with and start opening
our minds to *other* possible causes of "new problems"?

I use Panny caps in all of my designs and, SO FAR, have never had
a problem.  But, I derate *heavily*.  OTOH, if the problem is
*not* related to a "component manufacturer" (see above), then
I should, perhaps, not sleep as well...  :-/

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