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 leading supplier Bearings International (BI). Major bearing brands distributed by BI included are 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. If they are indeed aware of the fact that they are buying counterfeits, the main motivation seems to be buying good quality at a reduced price. Another factor is availability, which is normally subject to lead times due to the complex processes involved in bearing manufacturing.
While counterfeit bearings seem to originate mainly from China, they are not limited to this source, stresses Altree. “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. The counterfeiters do not care whether or not the product meets all technical requirements.”