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Enhanced Protection Against Counterfeits Peace of mind when buying rolling bearings with Schaeffler’s OriginCheck app

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Original or counterfeit? The OriginCheck app helps buyers to check products’ authenticity on the spot and provides an easy method of clarification when suspicion arises.

2016-08-02 | SCHWEINFURT

Original or counterfeit? Long gone are the days when this question only applied to watches and handbags – it now also has to be asked when buying machine components such as rolling bearings. The OriginCheck app helps buyers to check products’ authenticity on the spot and provides an easy method of clarification when suspicion arises.

Schaeffler’s new OriginCheck app gives end customers, distributors, and authorities the tools they need to quickly and easily carry out initial checks on INA and FAG products. If one of these checks leads the user to suspect that a product may be counterfeit, he or she can use the app to take additional measures to obtain proper clarification. The checks are carried out based on the traceable data matrix codes that are placed on the Schaeffler packaging.

Enhanced counterfeit protection
Schaeffler uses data matrix codes (DMC) according to the GS1 standard. These two-dimensional codes contain various types of information in an encrypted form and allow the relevant product to be identified worldwide with no conflicts. 90 percent of products that are supplied by Schaeffler today already feature a DMC on the packaging, and the worldwide changeover process will be virtually completed by the end of 2017. The user scans this DMC with the OriginCheck app and immediately receives notification of whether the code has been found in the database that is maintained by Schaeffler. If one of these Schaeffler codes is authentic but has already been scanned multiple times, the user then receives a warning based on a defined set of criteria. If this is the case or if the code's authenticity is clearly not confirmed, the app can be used to create suitable photographic documentation of the product being checked and send this documentation to Schaeffler.

Further investigation when suspicion arises
Photos of the product, its packaging, and its markings play a decisive role in helping to clarify with certainty whether a product is an original or a counterfeit. The OriginCheck app gives the user a step-by-step explanation of which photographs are relevant, illustrated using examples. The finished photographic documentation can be e-mailed directly from the app to the central department responsible for combating product and brand piracy at Schaeffler. Since 2004, the team has handled several thousand cases, and is continuously developing additional measures to protect against product piracy and trademark infringements. In March 2017, for example, an importer in Turkey was imprisoned and counterfeit rolling bearings with a nominal value of € 250,000 destroyed after customs officials at the port of Mersin began to suspect that the FAG-branded bearings may not be genuine and sent photographs to Schaeffler’s Brand Protection Team, who then took over and handled all of the subsequent measures.

Finding a distributor made easy
To remain as safe as possible from counterfeit rolling bearings, Schaeffler recommends only purchasing goods from its own network of certified distributors. These certified distributors have direct access to original Schaeffler products and additionally offer expert consultation and the full range of relevant services. The OriginCheck app also provides assistance here in the form of a radius search function.

The OriginCheck app is available free of charge for iOS and Android operating systems in German and English: www.schaeffler.de/apps

Publisher: Schaeffler AG
Country: Germany

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