Although the global COVID-19 pandemic has caused many disruptions in 2020, JTEKT continued its focus on identifying and seizing counterfeit goods throughout the world.
Counterfeit bearings are a risk for all parties in the supply chain, like manufacturers (brand owners), distributors and end-users. There are several possibilities to fight against this risk. The most successful still is – and probably always will be – to prevent customers from buying counterfeit products.
NSK Ltd. (Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan) works closely with the WBA (World Bearing Association), JBIA (Japan Bearing Industry Association), and authorities around the world to enforce law and order on counterfeiters and eliminate fake bearings. NSK cooperated with WBA to develop a new app to combat fake bearings and announced with a press release on September 2019.
Trade in counterfeit bearings is a serious and urgent problem also encountered in Thailand. To protect customers in Thailand, WBA met in 2019 with officials of the competent law-enforcement authorities: Department of Special Investigation, Customs and the Department of Intellectual Property. There has been intense and fruitful exchange of views and experience on what the bearing industry can do to support authorities in their fight against counterfeit bearings.
Since its launch two years ago, the app SKF Authenticate has helped to identify fake bearings. 50 percent of all requests were determined counterfeits.
Recently a huge 26” OD spherical roller bearing weighing massively 1,259 lbs was about to be shipped from China to Brazil – but luckily the fake bearing was seized by the US authorities.
In November 2019, Schaeffler destroyed 8.5 tons of counterfeit bearings from a successful raid in the Iberian Peninsula. This is another important step in the fight against piracy of products and brands for Schaeffler Iberia as well as for the entire Schaeffler Group.
EUROPE – An oil and gas customer in Europe recently experienced the downside of inadvertently purchasing counterfeit bearings. When a fake “Timken” thrust tapered roller bearing failed shortly after installation in the top drive position of one of its drilling rigs, the customer sent it to Timken for evaluation, believing it was genuine.
Bearings are not the only products that may be counterfeit – a web site itself may be copied to resemble the web site of the genuine producer.
Counterfeits are a problem worldwide. That is why Schaeffler has a Brand Protection Team that operates worldwide. Its members come together in regular meetings to discuss their strategy and find best-practice solutions. The objective is to achieve even more successes in the fight against counterfeiters.