This blog was formed primarily to expose what this author believes to be a false story that two of the worlds largest bearing manufacturers conspired to release as a news story in order to use it in marketing campaigns. Since that first project ended with neither company willing to release any information that could authenticate their story, we moved on to looking at all bearing counterfeiting and how it is reported.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The World's Most Counterfeited Bearing

With all the stories flooding the industry publications and internet sites regarding counterfeit bearing seizures by various customs agencies in numerous countries around the world it has become completely apparent that one brand leads the rest in the number of such instances reported. It stands to reason that the largest bearing manufacturer in the world would also be the most counterfeited brand. If you were a counterfeiter, would you choose to counterfeit a brand that no one had heard of. I don't think that would gain a counterfeiter any advantage. It makes perfect sense that counterfeiters would choose to copy brands with a reputation for quality in order to ride the shirttails of the trademark holder to the market. According to the published published stories on the subject, SKF is the by far most counterfeited bearing on the market and has been for many years. No other brand even runs a close second.

 Here is the problem. Since it has been demonstrated that what SKF recommends as a solution (that is buying from only "authorized" sources) will not protect one from the possibility of receiving counterfeit product (as shown here), the the most prudent thing to do is to avoid altogether purchasing a brand that carries with it such a huge possibility of receiving a fake. This is particularly true since the consequences of receiving even one counterfeit can be so dangerous, if not deadly. More and more bearing users are waking up to this common-sense solution to the problem of counterfeit product: Since it is virtually impossible to determine whether or not a bearing is counterfeit, as bearing manufacturers are claiming, then avoiding heavily counterfeited brands is not only prudent, but an absolute must for those concerned with the safety of their customers. A growing number of bearing users are coming to the realization that what they once considered to be an asset (i.e. name recognition) has turned into a risk that is no longer worth taking.

A little extra time researching lesser-known brands that are never-the-less high quality can virtually eliminate the serious problems raised by the incredibly large numbers of counterfeit  bearings that have infiltrated the marketplace these days.  This will be time well spent, if just for the peace of mind it can produce, not to mention the lives it may save.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

No Answers From Nuremberg Courts

I never was able to get the answers I was seeking from the courthouse in Nuremberg.  I never got the official word on who was the Franconian bearing dealer in the fake story and what the charges were that the dealer was supposedly found guilty, but this is not the last phony story I have run into. It is evident to me that SKF and Schaeffler simply intended to run a vague story, which they believed would help them advance their agenda of convincing bearing consumers that the way to protect themselves from what they have portrayed as massive amounts of counterfeiting is to buy only from authorized distributors.  I have shown in other stories that this offers no protection at all, because the authorized distributors also buy from unauthorized sources.  Anyone who does not know this is naive.  SKF and Schaeffler had the advantage of knowing in advance that the German courts would not release the information about criminal trials (something I find astounding), so they knew their story could neither be authenticated or disproved.  They knew they could run a deceptive story with impunity.

 The World Bearing Association has now joined together bearing manufacturers from The USA, Europe and Japan who have made it their aim to spread as much misinformation as is necessary to convince their customers to purchase only from authorized sources.  I have a better idea. Since well-known brands are being so heavily counterfeited, one should find a quality less-well-known brand to standardize on.  Counterfeiters have no incentive to produce fake copies of less-well-known brands, yet some are of quite high quality.  A customer who takes the time to find these brands can eliminate any possibility of getting a counterfeit. The customer who continues to purchase well-known brands in spite of the huge amount of counterfeiting presently going on (according to these well-known manufacturers) is just tempting fate.  Eventually it will come back to bite him.

View original story:

View my conclusion from my investigation:

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Schaeffler Attorney Answers Regarding Franconian Dealer

Subject: Franconian Bearing Dealer
From: Pryssok Jan
Date: Friday, July 10, 2009, 6:35am

Dear Mr McGuire,
We are acting as legal representatives of Schaeffler KG, Industriestr. 1-3, 91074 Herzogenaurach, Germany, in the matter you inquired.  Our opinion on product counterfeiting in Franconia in the matter you inquired was delayed on the grounds of the examination of the matters of legal concerns of the defendants and for reasons of coordination with our client and third parties.  Henceforth, however, we are now in a position to inform you on the fact that the criminal proceedings pending at the Local Court of Nuremberg (file number: 53 Ls 506 Js 489/6) were concluded in accordance with which the defendants were convicted of a crime.

Unfortunately, we are not capable of communicating any further information on this case for reasons of respecting the right to privacy of the defendants and in the interest of data protection.  Your understanding in this respect is appreciated.  Insofar as you might seek any further information in this matter, you are requested to contact the Local Court of Nuremberg.

We assume to have satisfied your interest in the information sought.

Kind regards
Jan Pryssok

Attorney at Law

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

SKF Accuses Motion Industries of Selling Counterfeits

The major bearing manufacturers have put a great deal of effort into promoting the idea that bearing counterfeiting is widespread. Many of the stories are far-fetched, to say the least. The point of these stories has been consistent: buy only from authorized distributors or risk getting counterfeit.

Despite the fact that SKF has repeatedly claimed that the only way to be sure of getting genuine SKF bearings is to buy only from SKF directly or from its authorized distributors, it has now demonstrated that this will not ensure that the products you receive will be genuine.

"On or about October 16, 2008, Motion Industries, Inc. located in Saginaw, Michigan (“Motion”) notified SKF’s territory manager covering Michigan, Donald N. Woodside (“Woodside”), that Motion’s customer, BP Processing (“BP”) was unable to install two bearings identified as SKF Bearings bearing SKF part number “29460-EJ” (“29460 Bearings”). Motion had sold a total of six 29460 Bearings to BP for use in twin screw extruder/mixers for the metal processing industry."

SKF subsequently examined these bearings and has claimed they they are counterfeit.

SKF USA has accused Motion Industries of selling counterfeit SKF 29460 bearings to BP Processing. This, however is (apparently) not a news story. You probably won't be reading about it on eBearing News or Bearingnet News. Nor is SKF initiating a lawsuit against Motion. It seems that the majority of industry publications are nothing more than hacks for the major manufacturers marketing campaigns. It is "news" when SKF and Schaeffler destroy 40 tons of their own bearings that they purchased from their accused "counterfeiter", but it is not news when SKF alleges one of its own authorized distributors sold counterfeit bearings. It seems obvious to me that the so-called jounalists in this industry are in the pockets of the large corporations.

While I don't believe that bearing counterfeiting is as common as the major manufacturers would like you to believe, if it were, I would suggest that the best way to avoid getting counterfeit bearings is, obviously, to avoid buying the brands that are most likely to be counterfeited, such as SKF and FAG.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Schweinfurt Hoax-The Real Story

Since the joint news conference at Schaeffler’s FAG facility in Schweinfurt, Germany and the resulting brochure Product Piracy-Made in Germany, much has come to light. The story, which told of 40 tons of counterfeit bearings being found in the warehouse of one rolling bearing dealer located somewhere in Franconia, spread throughout industry publications like wildfire. Every story carried with it the warning that the only way to be certain that one does not get counterfeit bearings is to buy only from “authorized” sources.

It is now apparent that the story is not as its proponents have portrayed it. The bearings involved in this story were not counterfeit at all. The dealer in this story was never charged criminally and never even sued civilly. In fact, the dealer was paid for the 40 tons of his bearings, which amounted to less than 20% of his inventory in return for his silence.

Although the original story failed to name the dealer, several sources have told this writer that the company, which was raided, was Batucom in Erlangen. Schaeffler attorney Ingrid Bichelmeir-Boehn has refused to either confirm or deny this.

In 2003 Batucom bought the entire Inventory of Hans Lentz Kugellager in Cologne. Hans Lentz was a surplus and gray market dealer with a good reputation and the expertise to modify bearings to meet the demands of his customers. Evidence of this is the fact that he remained in business for 50 years. At 73 years of age he decided it was time to retire. He sold his inventory to Batucom. Batucom was able to operate profitably and had many satisfied customers until one morning approximately 50 police officers showed up at its business. Finding no evidence of counterfeit bearings, Schaeffler, because the Press was also present, came up with a way to continue their charade. They bought the silence of the owner of Batucom, together with an agreement that he would go out of business. (400,000 euros will buy a lot of silence). Batucom had no counterfeit bearings at all. Batucom was repackaging bearings. At most, and this has never been proven in court, there may have been some counterfeit boxes together with used genuine boxes and other packaging materials.

SKF has claimed in, news releases in US industrial publications and in its own magazines, that this was a "joint investigation". Their exact role in this "news story" is difficult to determine, but at some point SKF decided it would be advisable to join Schaeffler in this deception and the idea of calling a news conference was born. With media present, employees of Schaeffler proceeded to destroy 40 tons of bearings that had been manufactured by themselves and SKF and purchased from the very person they were accusing of being a counterfeiter.

When questioned, the purveyors of this story have been extremely tight-lipped, unwilling to release any information that would allow their story to be verified.

The above story is my understanding of what actually occurred from the witnesses that I have interviewed. I hope to hear from anyone who could shed more light on this.

Original story here.