Purchasing high quality, renowned-brand products from a reputable company is fundamental to a mine or plant’s operational efficiency as well as to worker safety. Using quality products that deliver reliability, long lifecycle and low maintenance will contribute to optimised uptime and productivity, reduced costs, improved total cost of machinery ownership, and ultimately, profitability.
This is exactly what you can expect from genuine SKF bearings, housings, seals and greases. With over 100 years of experience, SKF continues to invest in R&D to ensure cutting-edge technology, best practices and innovative products designed to perform to specification for a certain amount of time.
The potential risks associated with using counterfeit products cannot be overstated. Fake products are produced cheaply using low quality materials; there is no intention for these products to be reliable or have long service life. While SKF bearings are known and used for their quality and operational efficiency, you simply don’t know what you are getting when you buy counterfeit products. By using fake products you may be jeopardising your machine reliability, the health and safety of your staff, your environmental responsibility and finally, your business outcome.
Fake bearings can fail at any time, causing damage to other components ultimately leading to machine breakdowns and subsequent unplanned downtime. Not only are halts in production extremely costly, the necessary maintenance and repair costs add up too. Furthermore, machinery breakdowns caused by fake inferior quality bearings can result in waste handling issues and buying new parts sooner than planned increases your carbon footprint. Lastly, and most importantly, bearing failure can also cause injury to staff.
But simply being aware of the costly implications that counterfeit products can have on your business is one thing; identifying a fake product is another matter entirely. It can be extremely difficult to spot counterfeit products by merely looking at the product or the packaging.
SKF offers a few guidelines to assist you in identifying a counterfeit from a genuine product. Firstly, be on the lookout for the following warning signs: The offer is presented as a bargain and appears to be ‘too good to be true’; short delivery times on special products and product authenticity certificates and other documentation where the seller claims a business affiliation with SKF.
If for any reason a product is suspected to being counterfeit, its authenticity can be checked via the SKF Authenticate app for smartphones. Request photos of suspect products from unknown sources and forward them directly to us for verification prior to purchase; we undertake to come back to you with the result as soon as possible, often within 24 hours. You can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Only SKF experts can verify the authenticity of a product or package marked with SKF trademarks and in so doing help you to avoid being deceived by counterfeit products and certificates.
Secondly, select your bearing supplier carefully and be wary of unknown suppliers. The best way to safeguard authenticity is to buy from one of the more than 17,000 authorised SKF distributors located in 130 countries who are able to guide you to the products you need. All authorised SKF distributors are listed on skf.com/distributors.
We also recommend that you share your knowledge or experience with fake products within your business. The more people that are aware of the problem, the easier it will be to stop the counterfeiters. And finally we advise that you blacklist suppliers of counterfeit products and get rid of stock from unknown sources. In addition to safeguarding your machinery and benefitting from all the subsequent operational advantages, reliable production as a result of the use of genuine SKF products will enable you to keep your delivery promises to your customers, minimise the chances of claims and recall and maintain your hard-earned reputation as a trusted supplier and business partner.