Continue to be a Problem
Counterfeit bearings continue to be a major problem for manufacturers and distributors. The dangers of these fraudulent bearings can’t
be overestimated and can result in the loss of life, compromise the financial condition of a company, and mean
customers don’t get what they paid for, according to the
World Bearing Association (WBA).
It’s a problem that has existed for many years and one
that has been attacked vigorously by manufacturers that
have seen their products copied by increasingly improving
Just recently a series of raids in Mumbai further exposed the number of counterfeit bearings products used
throughout the United States and the world.
The Schaeffler Group said that four companies in
Mumbai were involved in dealing counterfeit FAG roller
bearings. Schaeffler brands include FAG, INA, LuK, and
the Barden Corp. — all well-known and highly respected
companies throughout the world.
At these production, packaging and grading firms,
police confiscated tens of thousands of counterfeit FAG
packaging units, more than 500 counterfeit FAG roller
bearings, as well as various machines. The owners have
been arrested and criminal proceedings have begun.
Products of the brand FAG, one of the leading rolling
bearing brands, are highly popular with counterfeiters.
The team of investigators from the agency TACT India,
which safeguards Schaeffler business interests in India,
identified Mumbai as a central market for these counterfeit products and those responsible. Their investigations yielded sufficient information as a basis for the
raids. However, the firms involved had already learned in
advance of the operations and had closed their shops or
moved to new storerooms.
After five days of waiting and more observation, the
investigators raided four firms in a joint operation with
the local policy authorities. TACT India impounded more
than 37,000 counterfeit FAG packaging units and labels,
530 counterfeit FAG rolling bearings, and 250 FAG master
copies, as well as various grinding machines and packag-
ing machines. Moreover, two of the proprietors and an
employee were arrested and remanded in custody, the
company said in press release.
In 2004, Schaeffler set up a central department for
fighting product and brand piracy. A lot has happened
since then. The Brand Protection Team has handled several thousand cases, and they are by no means restricted
to Asia as in this example. There have also been a large
number of major counterfeiting offenses in Europe and
the U.S. This global experience forms the basis for the
constant improvement and refinement of our procedure
Successful raids are an important step for Schaeffler
in the fight against product piracy and thus towards
the protection of customers. Two years ago in Germany,
Schaeffler was able, thanks to the assistance of an authorized distributor, to seize a total of 87 FAG spindle
bearings and over 2,000 other rolling bearings from the
Schaeffler brands INA and FAG.
This was the largest cache of counterfeit spindle bearings seized in Germany to date. Subsequent investigation of the incident led back to a German importer, from
whom counterfeit Schaeffler products had already been
confiscated and who had been issued with a declara-
A Closer Look with