The World Bearing Association (WBA) announces the release of a new app, the WBA Bearing Authenticator, to help combat counterfeit bearings. The WBA, its member manufacturers and associations worked with oneIDentity+ to develop the WBA Bearing Authenticator, which is now available on the Google Play and Apple App Store for free download.
The WBA app allows bearing customers, distributors, and customs officials to scan a QR or DMC code on the bearing packaging to identify whether that code is correct and known in the manufacturer’s database.
The WBA and its members have been fighting counterfeit products for years, working with customs officials worldwide to help identify and seize counterfeit products. The WBA is made up of three bearing manufacturing associations: JBIA representing Japanese manufacturers, FEBMA representing European manufacturers, and ABMA representing manufacturers in the United States.
“The app is a proactive approach to help customers and distributors to avoid selling and using counterfeit bearings. Counterfeit bearings pose a significant safety risk to bearing users and their operation, and the WBA is dedicated to making sure that customers are not cheated with counterfeit bearing products,” said Alrik Danielson, President and Chief Executive Officer of AB SKF, and President of the World Bearing Association.
The bearings industry alone loses billions of dollars to counterfeit goods every year. But what is most alarming, is that these counterfeit products can be detrimental to the safety of end users.
How Does it Work?
The WBA Bearing Authenticator app can be downloaded onto any mobile device via the Google Play or Apple App Store. Once downloaded, the WBA Bearing Authenticator app allows the user to scan a QR/DMC code on the bearings packaging. The app gives an indication of authenticity of a given bearing product by checking to see whether the QR/DMC is registered as a valid product code in a participating company’s database and was not checked too many times. The app then provides an indication of whether the code on the product is a correct code with one of three symbols:
- A green checkmark if the code is correct and is in the manufacturer’s database;
- A yellow exclamation point if the code is correct but has been scanned too many times, which indicates that the user should contact the manufacturer to determine authenticity; or
- A red alarm symbol if the code is incorrect. The red symbol indicates the product is suspected fake and the user should contact the manufacturer for more information.
It is always recommended by the WBA and the manufacturers, that if there is no code, or the authenticity is in question, you should contact the manufacturer to be sure. Customers can easily reach out to the manufacturer directly to ask questions about the authenticity of the product directly through the app. The WBA Bearing Authenticator is currently supported by the leading international manufacturers—JTEKT (Koyo), NACHI, NTN, NSK, Schaeffler, SKF, and Timken.