Fortunately, manufacturers have an organization on their side called The World Bearing Association. The WBA is relentless in getting the word out to companies regarding counterfeit ball bearings. According to this article on their website, the good guys won one:
Good Detective Work puts the Brakes on Two Counterfeiting Operations
Recently, anti-counterfeiting efforts by The Timken Company prevented thousands of fake Timken bearings from reaching the marketplace.
An investigation started in Xingtai City, Hebei Province, China, last September following information received about an unnamed factory there. Early observations indicated the factory consisted of two workshops and a warehouse for finished product, with approximately 10 workers at the site. Further surveillance of the plant generated strong evidence it produced counterfeit bearings. A raid of the operation in late November proved the investigators were correct, as they discovered several thousand sets of counterfeit Timken bearings.
Authorities ordered the owner of the plant to stop producing fake Timken bearings, and levied a fine of RMB12,000. In addition, agents seized all Timken-branded product in the facility.
During the follow-up investigation, authorities learned about another possible counterfeiting operation. Good detective work developed information about an unnamed printing plant, also in Hebei Province. This operation, in Baoding City, reportedly provided authentic-looking Timken packaging for the factory that manufactured counterfeit Timken bearings.
Investigators then started a formal probe into the print shop, which included some undercover work. Early this year, authorities raided the facility. A search revealed thousands of pieces of fake Timken packaging, along with printing plates and cutting machines used to create the boxes. Authorities confiscated the counterfeit packaging, along with the printing plates and related equipment.
Now two counterfeiting plants are no longer producing fake Timken product, and in the case of the print shop, criminal charges are possible.
Timken continues to actively seek and take action against counterfeiters to help ensure customers receive the quality and value that they know and trust.