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Relabeling is the process of altering the markings on a part to make it appear as a different part. A typical part marking includes part number, lot number, and the manufacturer’s logo. In some cases, part marking also includes the country of origin mark. The relabeling process includes erasing the original marking by methods such as blacktopping, or sandblasting and applying a new marking to create a counterfeit part. Sandblasting is the process of smoothing, shaping, or cleaning a hard surface by forcing solid particles across that surface at high speeds. Blacktopping is a process in which a layer of material is applied to the top surface of a part to cover over old marking. Blacktopping may also be carried out after the part has been subjected to sandblasting. Relabeling may be carried out according to the needs of the customer to have higher grade parts (e.g., changing processor speed), different parts with the same pin count and packaging type, different vintage parts (e.g., changing date code), or different military specifications. Some cases of relabeling also include dual part marking, i.e., the presence of part marking at two different places on the part.
Source: “Screening for Counterfeit Electronic Parts” by Bhanu Sood and Diganta Das – Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering.