Brand Protection — Stopping Counterfeits

Are you buying and receiving genuine NSK products?

NSK bearings

Most users that receive counterfeit bearings believe that they have purchased genuine products and, not being bearings 'experts', will find it very difficult to tell the difference between real and counterfeit products at the point of delivery.

Another potential cause of vulnerability to counterfeits is when subcontractors are used for rotating equipment repairs on assets such as electric motors, pumps, gearboxes and fans.

Unless vetted to ensure they are aware of the risk and have the appropriate controls in place to avoid it, they may inadvertently purchase and install counterfeit bearings during the repair or refurbishment.

Where are counterfeits from?

where are counterfeits from

Counterfeit bearings tend to originate from suppliers in countries where the cost of manufacturing is low and where intellectual property protection is weaker.

They use lower grade materials that are often processed on ageing machines operated by minimum wage operatives a high risk combination when users are expecting a quality product.

They then package these counterfeit bearings in boxes designed to resemble original manufacturer packaging — trying to disguise the inauthenticity of the product, cheating purchasers and users.

What are the risks of counterfeits?

Buying low quality bearings will result in higher maintenance and lost production costs as a result of premature failures. This means end users will spend more as they have to buy replacement bearings more frequently. Sometimes, bearings can be classified as “safety critical” components, dependent on the criticality of the application they are used on, for example, airplanes, trains and medical equipment. Therefore buying from low priced suppliers is a potential recipe for reliability problems and higher costs. End users should be prepared to pay a higher price for a premium quality product, technical support and the after sales service that comes with it. Fake bearings bring danger, costs and unreliability.

Features of counterfeit bearings?

Workers assembling counterfeit bearings during a raid

Workers assembling counterfeit bearings during a raid

Cleaning machine which are not so clean found at the raid site

Cleaning machine which are not so clean found at the raid site

  • Inconsistent quality
  • High risk of failure
  • High risk of machinery downtime and damage
  • Process and maintenance cost escalation
  • Products & components from uncontrolled sources
  • No local technical back-up
  • No materials development
  • Material purity not guaranteed and material weakness
  • No heat treatment development so material performance reduced
  • Performance will not match that of the original NSK specification

What is NSK doing to fight the counterfeit issue?

Protect our customers

  • Protect human life, property and machine reliability
  • Promote authorised dealer network
  • Exclude illegal players and products from the market via promotion and awareness

Terminate presence of counterfeit operations

  • Eliminate the counterfeit syndicates
  • Suspend counterfeit manufacturers' operations and distribution channels
  • Conduct legal action against counterfeit manufacturing sources

Promote the value of the NSK brand

  • Recognition of real value and value authorised distribution
  • Conduct brand protection and intellectual property protection activities
  • Provide educational programs for dealers/colleagues

Cooperation with authorities in China

  • Co-operate on raids and legal prosecutions
  • Protect out-flow of counterfeits by Customs and Border Control by
    • Major trading countries
    • Raid activities by central and local government organisations

Only buy from reliable authorised channels.

  • Carefully chosen and meticulously monitored, NSK Authorised Distributors are professional, knowledgeable and service orientated.
  • An authorised NSK distributor will never supply fake or counterfeit NSK.
  • Technical and Engineering support is only available through authorised distributors.
  • Check that the distributor you plan to buy from is authorised by NSK.
  • With extensive stocks of NSK and RHP products and unlimited access across the range, they deliver genuine orders quickly and reliably — as well as everything from stock management to product and application knowledge, through to engineering advice and support based on a total-cost approach.
  • Every NSK A uthorised Distributor is part of a tripartite relationship (Manufacturer — Distribution — End User) delivering the peace of mind that comes as part of a fully committed global and local alliance.
  • If you have any concerns about the authenticity of the NSK bearings you have received, contact your local NSK personnel for verification.

Click here for Global Distributors nearest to you.

NSK's fight against counterfeiting continue with a new app

NSK Verify

NSK works closely with the WBA (World Bearing Association), JBIA (Japan Bearing Industry Association) and authorities around the world to enforce the law on counterfeiters, and eliminate fake bearings including — through app development.

NSK engages in multifaceted efforts to combat fake bearings. Recent efforts include the 'NSK Verify' app, that allows customers to assess the authenticity of machine tool bearings by scanning a special barcode found on the box.

Click here for NSK Verify and WBACheck.

More useful information