What is the problem with counterfeit bearings?

The reason counterfeit items are made is that they are a cheap imitation, yet they appear as if they are a well-known brand. In fact, some of the counterfeits look more like the real item than the actual item itself.
By David Manney May 27, 2016

The reason counterfeit items are made is that they are a cheap imitation, yet they appear as if they are a well-known brand. In fact, some of the counterfeits look more like the real item than the actual item itself. Courtesy: L&S ElectricCounterfeiting is a problem that affects many manufacturers around the world. Typically, any counterfeit item is going to be of lower quality because it is made of lower quality components and manufactured to lower standards. The reason counterfeit items are made is that they are a cheap imitation, yet they appear as if they are a well-known brand. In fact, some of the counterfeits look more like the real item than the actual item itself.

Although counterfeiting may be a problem that affects many items, something that engineers should be concerned about is counterfeit bearings. This is becoming an increasing problem, and if anyone pays for counterfeit bearings, he or she is getting cheated. Quite simply, you are not getting what you pay for when you choose to purchase counterfeit.

According to some reports, the majority of counterfeit bearings are manufactured in China. There is a rise of this type of counterfeiting due to companies being in a globalized market. Advances in technology also make it easier to make counterfeits, although it does not keep them up to the standards of the original.

What’s the issue with counterfeit bearings?

There are many issues associated with using counterfeit bearings. The bottom line, however, is you are not getting what you are paying for[WL1] . If you are purchasing something you think is manufactured by one company, but it comes from somewhere else, it is likely you are getting a lower quality item.

Motor failures can be one of the largest issues associated with using counterfeit bearings. It is more likely for them to wear, resulting in motor failure and perhaps other difficulties as well as likely costing consumers more money in the long run.

Of course, not every business that buys counterfeit bearings recognizes that it is making such a purchase. They may buy from a vendor, thinking that they are getting bearings from the real source when in fact, they are getting them from a third-party distributor. How can this issue be combated to ensure that it is not a problem for you?

It is tough to tell if you are using genuine bearings from the manufacturer or if you are using counterfeit bearings by simply looking at them. Many of the counterfeit bearings are made to appear legitimate, and they may even be more genuine looking than the real bearings. It comes down to buying from a trustworthy source.

Before purchasing any machine parts, make sure the distributor is authorized and if you have any doubt as to whether the bearings are genuine or not, have them checked out by a bearing manufacturer. Purchasing counterfeit bearings is far too costly in the long run for a business. Always ensure that you are using genuine parts by purchasing them from someone you can trust.

The Fight Against Counterfeit Bearings: Stop Fake Bearings

There is a significant effort to stop the distribution of counterfeit bearings in their tracks. The World Bearing Association (WBA) is a:

nonprofit industrial organization founded 10 years ago by three major, regional bearing associations: the American Bearing Manufacturers’ Association (ABMA), the Federation of European Bearing Manufacturers’ Associations (FEBMA), and the Japan Bearing Industrial Association (JBIA).

WBA promotes the common, lawful interests of the world bearing industry, such as open economic engagement, sustainable development, and the protection of legal rights of companies.

The list of bearing manufacturers who’ve joined the fight is impressive: FAG, Koyo, Nachi, NSK, NTN, SKF, and Timken.

I recommend visiting their sites to learn more about the impact counterfeit bearings have on businesses and the fight against them. The WBA provides numbers that illustrate the impact fakes have.

        —  David Manney is a marketing administrator at L&S Electric. This article originally appeared on L&S Electric Watts New Blog. L&S Electric Inc. is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Erin Dunne, production coordinator, CFE Media, edunne@cfemedia.com.