Counterfeit SKF bearings seized by police
BRAMMER, suppliers of maintenance, repair and overhaul products and services, have issued a warning to UK plant and equipment manufacturers about the dangers of buying through unauthorized sources following a further major discovery of counterfeit parts in Europe.
The latest incident saw 6,500 counterfeit bearings, which had been imported to Sweden and packaged as SKF products, seized by police.
According to Jeremy Salisbury of Brammer, buying spare parts through unauthorized sources is a risk not worth taking for any company that is serious about maintaining plant operational effectiveness, production line integrity and, even more importantly, employee health and safety.
‘Although counterfeit parts may look identical to the real thing, they are likely to fail more quickly, leading to unplanned downtime,’ he explained. ‘In extreme cases they can cause extensive damage to machinery, with manufacturers unable to claim through either their warranty or insurance because they have not used a genuine spare part.’
He added that such parts could also result in increased health and safety risks to production operatives, with companies liable for both legal and medical costs if a member of staff is injured as a result of an incident caused by a counterfeit product.
‘Counterfeit parts may have a lower initial purchase cost, but the potential costs that may be incurred down the line can far outweigh any initial savings,’ he warned. ‘The only way to guarantee that genuine parts are being received, is to buy through an authorized distributor.’