Thursday, May 17, 2007

They Canna Handle the Stress Capt'n ...

A recent news report highlighted the danger from counterfeit bearings. Bearings are often used in safety critical situations, and operate under high stresses and loads. Companies such as SKF, Timken and NSK manufacture their bearings with specialty materials and to tight tolerances ... suffice it to say that the counterfeiters don't bother.

Formula 1 driver Mika Häkkinen had to retire early from the San Marino Grand Prix in 1998, when he was leading the race. The reason was found to be a counterfeit ball bearing that did not survive the stresses of the race. "Häkkinen was lucky that things didn’t turn out worse," Schulz says. "He climbed out of the car unhurt."

The German tool manufacturing trade body estimates that each year 3,500 industrial accidents are caused in Germany alone by fake products.