The Problem with Counterfeit Bearings

Does Quality Matter in Bearings?

We hear about quality every day, but what does it mean? What’s the point in having the newest and shiniest products available aside from the fact that they’re the newest and shiniest? The best coffee maker might brew the smoothest Colombian Supremo, but will it change our lives? Probably not. Bearings are another story. Bearings have to fit properly and they also have to be the ones we think we’re buying. We choose certain brands for a reason. The companies that make and distribute them have reputations to uphold and extensive quality control programs. We know when we install one of their bearings in a robotic arm, a front-end loader, or the family minivan, that the bearings we use were made using the proper specifications, went through rigorous testing, and are proven for the uses for which they are made. They were balanced correctly and polished to cut down on friction and metal burrs. When we start the tractor, space shuttle, or wind turbine, we know it will run efficiently and keep the operators safe.

SKF destroys counterfeit bearings

Photo courtesy of SKF

That’s why companies like SKF work with law enforcement agencies all over the world to find and confiscate counterfeit bearings. They want to protect your safety and their name. They’re busy. In February of 2017, they destroyed fifteen tons of fake bearings in phony SKF packaging. Unfortunately, counterfeit bearings have become a big business with dire consequences and authentic bearing manufacturers are taking it seriously. They’re increasing their efforts to prevent fake products from entering the market and joining with police to confiscate the ones that do make it. They even created an app to identify forgeries.

Does quality matter? You bet it does.

We’ve selected a few articles about the counterfeit problem and the bearing industry’s efforts to stop it. Click the links below to read the pieces.

AutomotiveWorld: SKF Destroys 15 Tons of Fake Bearings

SKF statement on anti-counterfeiting

Machine Design: The Dangers of Fake Bearings