The quest to stop the fake bearings industry continues apace at NSK, where the recent seizure of counterfeit NSK packaging and labels in Hebei Province, China, illustrates the scale of the problem. More than 23,000 fake boxes and cartons, which were subsequently confiscated pending further investigation and potential prosecution, were discovered in Linxi County, Xintai City.
Koichi Uchida, Manager of NSK’s GAM-IMBD department and member of JBIA (Japan Bearing Industry Association) and WBA (World Bearing Association), works closely with local authorities around the world to enforce law and order on counterfeiters. His aim is to protect NSK’s reputation and brand from being misrepresented in the bearing market.
Widely respected, NSK has been established for over 100 years and is recognised around the globe for manufacturing high quality and reliable bearing products that are used in many different industries, including automotive. For this reason, NSK has become a target brand for counterfeiters.
Dishonourable traders who ply their trade in fake bearings not only put their own businesses at risk – by sourcing and selling inferior quality bearings – but that of innocent end users, who unwittingly buy these products in the belief they are getting “the real thing” at a reduced price. Of course, such bearings have the potential to fail prematurely, even catastrophically, thus presenting an inherent safety risk. In turn, there is a significant negative effect on the brand image of NSK.
The challenge of catching counterfeiters, especially in countries like China, is a time-intensive, high-cost exercise. However, NSK continues undeterred in its relentless pursuit of these disingenuous operations. The latest success in Hebei arrived with the assistance of an investigator and Chinese government officials. Contained within the counterfeit store was a large quantity of fake, premium-brand bearing packaging, located either on shelves, piled inside woven bags or simply stacked on the floor. Furthermore, inkjet printers and people producing counterfeit cartons were found on site. When questioned about the seized bearing packages, the owner of the business admitted that all were fake.
Although the seizure in China was an important strike against the fake bearings industry, it unfortunately only represents a small proportion of what is believed to be present in the market globally. As a consequence, NSK and the team of Mr Uchida will continue fighting the counterfeiters to protect the company’s brand image and integrity.
More information about the fake bearings industry can be found at www.stopfakebearings.com, which is a WBA website that serves as both an awareness and educational platform, helping bearing users to become more informed consumers. The site stresses the importance of only dealing with authorised and trusted sources.