Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 23

MRO ISSUES

Counterfeit parts cheat unwary users out of
expected service life and performance.
COUNTERFEITS SHOW up in all areas of
our daily lives, from name-brand clothing and
accessories to electrical components and repair parts
for industrial maintenance. According to the United States
Chamber of Commerce (uschamber.com, Washington),
counterfeit goods cost the American economy more than $400
billion annually. While items such as fake Rolex watches and
fashion knock-offs may not pose a danger to the user, they'll
typically lack the level of performance genuine products would
provide. Counterfeit maintenance, repair, and operational
(MRO) spare parts, however, can create a serious hazard for
equipment systems and facilities, and, most important, the
personnel that work with and around them.
The bad news is your operations could be buying and using
counterfeit parts and not know it. Counterfeits (or fakes) can
look so much like original parts in their packaging, graphics,
and engraved identification markings, that it's nearly impossible to distinguish them from the real thing. The increasing
flow of fake, after-market bearings from China and other
Asian countries is a good example of this dangerous supplychain situation. These items continue to create enormous
headaches for major bearing manufacturers such as SKF,
NSK, and Timken, among others. Many imported counterfeit
bearings even come with phony certificates proclaiming that
the items were manufactured in the USA and meet specified
standards for American-made products.
The main source for counterfeit parts is the Internet,
including websites such as eBay and Amazon. This is the first
stop for many maintenance planners, given the difficulties in
finding what may be categorized as "obsolete" parts for older
equipment. Not buying parts on the Internet isn't the solution,
though. Fakes have also infiltrated the supply chain of some of
the most trusted distributors.
Alas, maintenance and procurement managers often view
the counterfeiting threat as a minor concern. When a bearing
fails in a pump or small motor, there's usually no safety risk,
and the collateral damage can be minimal. When it comes to
equipment failures in larger components, such as compressors, large-drive motors, and other major process equipment,
counterfeits reflect a definite risk of injury to personnel,
including operators and maintenance technicians. Sadly,
increasing quantities of large-sized counterfeit bearings are
said to be showing up on equipment in a wide range of today's
industrial operations.

Distinguishing 'real' from fake
The drive to reduce maintenance cost and equipment
downtime will sometimes cause buyers who are sourcing parts
for equipment repairs to engage suppliers that sell these items
JUNE 2017

at low prices. The cost-reduction pressure has opened the
door for the entry of substandard parts into the MRO supply
chain and, ultimately, too many plant storerooms. The result is
a seemingly neverending, vicious cycle. Installed on equipment, the counterfeits deliver shorter-than-expected service
life, emergency calls to address equipment failures increase,
and the culture of a maintenance department becomes (or
remains) reactive.
In most cases, original replacement parts, if they are
installed correctly and maintained properly, will perform
longer and better than counterfeits. Reliability engineers and
maintenance planners should be tracking the service life of all
installed components and parts. Take, for example, a motor
bearing with an expected service life of 60 months that's
only lasting 30 months or less. The equipment's maintenance
history can be a clue that you're using substandard parts.
Other aspects to track or monitor in determining if
counterfeits are being used include MTBR (mean time
between repair) or MTBF (mean time between failure). Many
organizations are implementing RCM (reliability-centered
maintenance) programs to manage their production equipment. The problem, in many cases, is that they're not using the
data from these analyses to create valid strategies to address
the root cause of their equipment failures, which might be
associated with counterfeits.
The results of a root-cause analysis could also be an
indicator that additional training is required. Alignment,
lubrication, and preventive monitoring are areas that should
have standard procedures to ensure the equipment is installed,
operated, monitored, and maintained the same way by all of
the maintenance technicians, which is crucial in combating
counterfeits.
Monitoring the TCO (total cost of ownership) of equipment
is also helpful. It can provide a business-case justification for
upgrading to new technology or modifying current equipment
to eliminate the need to embark on a treasure hunt for obsolete
parts every time the need arises.
Note: In the case of bearings, whenever there's an indication
that a failed component is a counterfeit, legitimate suppliers
can conduct an analysis to determine the cause of the failure
and validate the part as original or counterfeit.

Reducing counterfeit risks
Don't be complacent. If you understand the health of your
equipment and you have trusted/certified suppliers, the risk
of getting counterfeit parts is greatly reduced. Plant personnel,
however, still must remain vigilant. Consider purchasers at a
major aircraft manufacturer who thought they were buying
name-brand ball bearings produced by a trusted American
MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 23


http://www.uschamber.com http://www.MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology June 2017

Editorial
Uptime
On The Floor
IIoT
ISO 55000
Products
Ad Index
Showcase
Final Thought
AZ Puts Proactive in Reliability
Glimpse The Future of Predictive Maintenance
Automation-System Updates
MRO: Counterfeit Parts
MRO: Reduce Your Lube Inventory
MRO: Optimize Belt Conveyor Systems
Manage Used and Waste Oils Wisely
Motor Insulation Test Payback
SAP: Tips and Tricks
Cool Off Compressors
Be A Safety Leader
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Cover1
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Cover2
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 1
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 2
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 3
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Editorial
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 5
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Uptime
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 7
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - On The Floor
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 9
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - AZ Puts Proactive in Reliability
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 11
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 12
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 13
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Glimpse The Future of Predictive Maintenance
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 15
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 16
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 17
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Automation-System Updates
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 19
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 20
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 21
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - MRO: Counterfeit Parts
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 23
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 24
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - MRO: Reduce Your Lube Inventory
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 26
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 27
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - MRO: Optimize Belt Conveyor Systems
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 29
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 30
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 31
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - SAP: Tips and Tricks
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Cool Off Compressors
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Be A Safety Leader
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 35
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - IIoT
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - ISO 55000
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Manage Used and Waste Oils Wisely
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 39
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 40
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Motor Insulation Test Payback
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 42
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Products
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 44
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 45
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Ad Index
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Showcase
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Final Thought
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Cover3
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Cover4
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