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Original versus Fake Bearings

Posted last April 25, 2012, 9:52 am in Autos report article


Counterfeit or fake bearings are a serious problem by every manufacturer of bearing products.  Nowadays, it is almost impossible to spot the difference of the original bearings and the fake bearings.  Fake products ranges not just from designer clothing, luxury watches, hand bags and many others that are flooding the market, and what is more alarming is that even industrial products with safety-relevant issues like rolling bearings are also being counterfeited.

The fake bearings may even look the same as the original bearings even the brand name of who made it is also counterfeited.  One should be vigilant about this and don’t be easily fooled by fake products because poor quality bearings may result to dangerous and risky consequences for the end users.


Bogus Bearings causes Too Much Problem for Engineers

The flourishing of the fake bearing products causes too much concern and problem for every businesses and engineers as well.  Everyone in the bearing business is alarmed with this disturbing problem because a lot of news of counterfeit bearing products is distributed around the market.  Some engineers even experienced getting bogus bearings that has very poor quality and did not even last for an hour after fitting it into the machines.


What makes this too alarming is that counterfeiters are very good in reproducing original packaging and markings of the top bearing suppliers and one who is not professional in bearings may find it difficult to distinguished the fake bearings to the original bearings. Counterfeiting practices of bearings can be done by producing the exact copies of the legitimate brand imprints and markings of the famous bearing manufacturers and using second hand or used bearings that are re-conditioned so it will look good as new.  Other practices may include grounding or polishing the bearings to remove the pit marks and rust of the grease stains and oil. 

Some even simply remarked the bearing tolerances since the ordinary bearings are usually marked as P4, P5, and P6 class and others even altered clearance like the C3 clearance which is remade as a plain bearing or a plain bearing to C3 bearings.   You will be surprised that the lists go on and on when it comes to producing counterfeit bearings.  It is very alarming to note that counterfeiters can target any types of bearings. 

The fake may enter the market with the used bearings from the automotive back street and after market applications, wherein those who are less sophisticated and professional users are unable to determine that they are already fooled by scams.


OEM Bearings with wider lead times

Even the bogus bearings are getting better over the years; it even entered the precision bearing or OEM market where it usually suffered an extensive lead time.  Counterfeiters are able to produce copies that can run down from the industrial mill products which can often be sold mixed in with the originals.  Fake bearings which don’t meet the technical specification are always expected to have low quality and may fail quickly in delivering good performance. 

Spurious bearings create more economical loss and problems that may result to serious implications particularly on the critical safety applications.  Worst, it may even ruin the reputation of your business.


Spot the difference?

Distinguishing the fake from original bearings can be impossible for those who don’t have much experience and know-how in the technical aspects of the bearings.  More often than not, only the technical laboratory can confirm the authenticity of the bearings.  Most importantly, only the authorized distributors can assure legitimate and original products.  Thus, it is highly recommended to buy bearings from the authorized distributor only.