To: Apex Microtechnology Customers

Date: April 13, 2015

Subject: Date Code Policy

Apex receives inquiries regarding our date code policy and or request for quote/orders with limitations as to the age of the devices for sale. Apex’s position is to discourage date code restrictions when ordering devices from Apex or our authorized distributors. In general date code restrictions unnecessarily delay order entry and order fulfillment processes, with no reliability or quality rationale to the typical one-year request.

Over the years, and throughout the industry, process improvements by component suppliers and manufacturers have eliminated the causes of failure mechanisms relating to component aging concerns through advances made in the engineering, design, qualification, manufacturing, packaging, and handling and storage of the devices. Apex Microtechnology is a DLA certified and qualified QML-MIL-PRF-38534 facility since 1989, and a QML listing as of May 31, 1990. Prior to 1995 the military standard, MIL-PRF-38535 required military products be retested if not used within a three year period, these requirement have since been revised to remove date code restrictions all together.

Apex’s position:

  • Aged devices would not be available for sale if they did not meet product data sheet specifications or manufacturing standards.
  • Device warranties are not affected by the age of components at the time of sale.
  • Apex and its authorized distributors will assure:
    • Packaging, packaging shelf life, and/or storage requirements are understood and in compliance
    • Product warranties will be supported.
    • Product change notices (PCN) are distributed and complied with. The major change requirement of MIL-PRF-38534 including product and process changes, material changes, quality alerts, product recalls, and packaging changes will be supported.
    • Supplier change notification is a requirement of doing business with Apex to include notification of suspect stock appropriately quarantined and customer’s notification is required
    • Industry standard with respect to packaging, handling, and moisture management are followed, e.g. J-STD-020 Standard for Moisture/Reflow Sensitivity Classification for Non-Hermetic Surface-Mount Devices, MIL-STD-2073-1-Standard Practice for Military Packaging

In summary, Apex’s position is that there’s no reliability or quality rationale for date code limitations e.g., < 18 months, < 2 years, < 5 years, etc. We anticipate a small volume of shipments aged 2 – 5 years, there is no change in the Apex warranty, and we are able to offer a greater supply available for sale, without seeing any downside in quality and or reliability. All product shipped by Apex is guaranteed to meet published datasheet specifications and solderability requirements. In conclusion, it is Apex’s position and intent to service our customers with the best possible quality, reliability, and product availability in the industry.