Schaeffler in counterfeit product warning

16 January 2008

Schaeffler has attacked the ‘grey’ market for bearings saying the products can put end users and distributors at risk.

The Sutton Coldfield, UK, based company claimed between 12% and 15% of UK bearing sales went into the ‘grey’ market, allowing the distribution of counterfeit products.

The internet, according to Schaeffler, has created more opportunities for purchasers to buy bearings, manufactured in India, the Far East and Africa, and sold through unauthorised traders.

Des Pattinson, national sales manager, said many buyers turn to the ‘grey’ market to lower costs but highlighted potential ‘hidden costs’ due to product liability and credibility.

‘These could, for example, be critical bearings on high value machinery in a manufacturing plant. The buyer therefore needs to take into account the cost of any production downtime if the bearing fails early.’

Last year Schaeffler destroyed €8million worth of counterfeit rolling bearings, seized at a rolling bearing dealer.

Ingrid Bichelmeir-Böhm, lawyer and anti-piracy co-ordinator for Schaeffler, said the financial damage these products caused the company was hard to quantify.

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