145 Jordan Road, Troy NY, 12180
Translate This Page
Know Your Source: Prevent Counterfeit Ball Bearings From Ruining Your Project
Posted By: Nancy Cogliandro, Marketing Director, PKB (Nancy, pacamor at msn dot com) 12/06/2007
During recent years, many users of miniature and instrument ball bearings have experienced disastrous field failures and/or costly assembly hold ups due to substituted or misrepresented parts. For any company that has suffered as a result of field failures or production delays, a detailed analysis of examples is unnecessary. For any company that hasn't yet experienced these problems, the consequences are easily imagined.
In her article "Beware Bogus Bearings", http://www.engineeringtalk.com/news/ine/ine226.html, Kate Hartigan, MD at Schaeffler (UK), explains how the "grey" market for bearings puts both end users and distributors at risk. We couldn't agree with Ms. Hartigan any more heartily. Similarly, PKB's CEO, Augustine Sperrazza, published "Don't Want Counterfeit Ball Bearings? Know Your Supplier", in Machine Design Magazine some time ago. You can catch a summary here, http://www.pacamor.com/white_papers/070705_md.php or read the entire article here, http://machinedesign.com/ContentItem/60157/DontwantcounterfeitballbearingsKnowyoursupplier.aspx.
I'm sure we would all agree that ultimately, the users of these counterfeit or bogus products experience costly consequences. The reputation of an end user may be damaged by poor quality, unanticipated costs, or delivery delays while to proper replacement bearing is located. The response of an unhappy buyer of a given brand is to contact whomever they believe manufactured the bearing for either resolution and/or restitution. Often, the root cause is a substituted part that a supplier represented as either the exact part produced by the approved manufacturer or an equivalent.
Most distributors are honest, responsible, and are conscientious about providing the best to service the end user. Occasionally, there are honest errors made by inexperienced customer service personnel and/or miscommunication between customer and supplier. Sometimes, unfortunately, these costly failures are the result of blatant misrepresentation by unscrupulous dealers.
Counterfeit product has been increasingly entering the market place - sometimes known and sometimes without knowledge. In order to avoid costly potential problems due to either field failures or production delays - know your supplier: the manufacturer, the manufacturer's authorized distributor, or a reputable distributor.