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Brammer: Counterfeit spares problem very real in UK

01 April 2011

Brammer has issued a fresh warning to UK industry about the problems posed by counterfeit spares – in the light of new evidence showing the threat in the UK is now very real

A recent incident saw a total of 2.5 tonnes of counterfeit SKF bearings seized by Trading Standards officers from a non-authorised SKF bearing distributor in the UK.

This follows a number of similar cases in continental Europe in recent years – 30 tonnes of counterfeit bearings were discovered in one operation in the Czech Republic, while more than 6,500 counterfeit products were impounded by the Swedish authorities last year.

Jeremy Salisbury of Brammer commented: “Up until now, the evidence largely indicated the problem was more prevalent in continental Europe, but this most recent case shows clearly that UK industry is very much under threat.

“Counterfeit products have become an increasingly serious problem in the industrial spares aftermarket over recent years with the product often offered with the prospect of a shorter lead time or small purchase price saving, but at what real cost?

“At best, the counterfeit part will not perform as well as a genuine part. What is more likely, as counterfeit parts can degrade and fail quickly, is unplanned downtime, damage to machinery and potentially major health and safety implications.

“Furthermore, companies who use counterfeit bearings can expect little or nothing in the way of redress from insurers or through warranties which invariably stipulate that only genuine approved parts should be fitted to machines. Quite simply, it is a risk that is not worth taking.

“Fortunately, the issue is one that companies can easily avoid by ensuring they only source bearings – and for that matter all MRO spares – from an authorised distributor. This approach will guarantee availability of factory-fresh components which have been stored correctly and whose source can be verified.”

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