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Bearings - 2008-04-17


NSK Europe has resolved a major problem of counterfeiting of its bearing products in the German market. The problem, which concerned mainly deep groove ball bearings – some up to 500mm diameter, and smaller quantities of cylindrical and tapered roller bearings, came to light as a result of customer claims. These were investigated, quickly, revealing that the failed bearings did not meet NSK’s quality levels in terms of material specification and life. The source of these bearings was subsequently identified and the proper steps are being taken.

“Counterfeiting of any manufacturers’ products is illegal and puts safety at risk,” said Dr. Jürgen Ackermann, MD European Bearings Business Unit “Bearings are safety critical components in all types of equipment and machinery, and their reliable performance is a safeguard for personnel against catastrophic failures that could cause injury. However, this safeguard is totally invalidated by the use of counterfeit bearings, which do not have the quality guarantees provided by reputable manufacturers. Initially users may be attracted by the low price of counterfeit bearings, but, ultimately, there may be a very heavy price to pay as a result of premature – and often - catastrophic failure of these bearings.”

NSK has undertaken measures to help prevent any further supply of counterfeit versions of its bearing products into the market. The company is warning customers to beware of bearings that are being offered at very much lower prices, compared to NSK’s standard price list.

Also as an effective countermeasure, NSK is increasing its product training for NSK Authorised Distributors, to enable them to recognise counterfeit products easily. NSK already trains all its internal sales engineers so that they are capable of distinguishing an original NSK bearing from a counterfeit unit.

“The best safeguard of all, during problems of this type, and generally, is only to source bearings from NSK Authorised Distributors,” said Dr. Jürgen Ackermann, MD European Bearings Business Unit. “These bearings are underwritten by NSK’s outstanding quality in manufacture and operation.” 
Please refer to our list of NSK's Authorised Distributors on this website.

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