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.

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.


  1. I won't comment on your allegations that manufacturers are hyping a story. I do believe that counterfeiting happens. And, it is happening more and more frequently. The "name brands" are most likely counterfeited.
    There are a number of ways counterfeit bearings could have arrived on Motions shelf. The most likely comes via a customer return. Some customer, who purchases large quantities from Motion institues a return of products they were "overstocked" on. Motion assumes these were all purchased from them (Motion)and accepts the return without close inspection. Later they sell these to other customers. I believe distributor service returns need to be examined in this age of counterfeiting.

    But going back to the SKF point. Customers need to channel their purchases through the manufacturer or authorized distributors in good standing. This usually does not include joe who sells a lot of stuff on ebay.

  2. Distributor Specialist

    You said:
    “I do believe that counterfeiting happens.”
    Do you know that it happens or just believe it?
    Are you familiar with any specific cases that you can relate?

    The scenario you suggest is not what happened in this case. According to SKF, Motion Industries purchased these bearings from a non-authorized source.

    This is not uncommon for any of SKF’s authorized distributors. This was shown in SKF USA’s complaint at the USITC, “Certain Bearings and the Packaging Thereof” written about elsewhere on this blog. In that case the Judge found that SKF USA’s largest distributors were the largest customers of both surplus and gray market sellers. He even found that SKF USA had purchased bearings from the gray market.

    You said:
    “Customers need to channel their purchases through the manufacturer or authorized distributors in good standing.”

    BP Processing did that and it did not insulate them from receiving counterfeit bearings (according to SKF). Do you actually believe that none of SKF’s other distributors ever buy from the gray market or surplus dealers? If you do, you are naïve.