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NSK technology against product piracy

UNITED KINGDOM – Designed to provide a quality guarantee, full traceability and act as an anti-counterfeit measure, NSK’s state-of-the-art production facility in Newark, UK is laser marking its Super Precision bearings with a unique 2D matrix which allows every individual bearing to carry details about its manufacture.

The introduction of two dimensional matrix codes has allowed a much greater amount of individual information to be referenced compared to a generic product type serial number or batch number. Now it is possible to include a unique reference for manufacturing dates, axial and radial run-out figures as well as preload information and machining data. All of this information can be linked to a unique laser etched pattern on every single Super Precision bearing, which enables both NSK and its customers to have easy access to this crucial information.

Complete traceability
At NSK, this coding forms part of the manufacturing process and is used to populate the product reference database as well as produce the product labels which are fixed to the outer packaging. By incorporating the data for every bearing produced into the production data system, it also provides a vital quality control tool as well as complete traceability, which is required by many industries such as aerospace, medical and automotive.

The majority of NSK Super Precision bearings are used on machine tool spindles. In this application the unique information carried by each bearing also enables identification of any product that is being replaced, so that wear and life-time information can be linked back to the production process in great detail. In the past, this could only be narrowed down to a single batch or day of production, which could mean much larger numbers of the product being included in any analysis.