Shaft power components


The unforeseen costs of counterfeit bearings

Second Quarter 2021 Shaft power components

Downtime, consequential damage, reduced lifespan, poor performance and safety are just some of the dangers of using counterfeit bearings, which are increasingly prevalent across South African industry, warns Andrew Altree, product manager at Bearings International (BI). Major bearing brands distributed by BI include FAG and INA.

Customers sometimes think they can nab genuine parts in a closing sale, without realising that they might just have acquired counterfeits in the search for a quick bargain. Another factor is availability, which is normally subject to lead times due to the complex processes involved in bearing manufacturing.

Altree stresses that while counterfeit bearings seem to originate mainly from China, they are not limited to this source. “We know that counterfeits are brought to market using many ways to veil the real origin of the goods. These counterfeits are normally readily available and actively marketed by the counterfeiters. As far as we know, the production standards in most cases are far lower than the original products,” he adds.

He warns that counterfeits are not covered by any warranty offered by the brand owner. This negatively impacts service contracts. In addition, there are severe negative health and safety implications when installing counterfeit bearings. Installers and suppliers of these counterfeit products could face legal action and be held liable criminally and financially. BI works closely with brand owners with regard to authentication services and providing accurate information.




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