Product piracy is a menace plaguing the HVACR industry the world over. Bitzer, Kühlmaschinenbau, warns about the dangers of using cheap imitations and shares information about his company’s ongoing initiative against fraudsters.
Counterfeits have become a mass phenomenon. In addition to complete compressors, using counterfeit compressor spare parts and fake refrigerants is on the rise worldwide. This is unacceptable because, unlike with counterfeit watches or handbags, technical applications can be very dangerous when pirated products of poor technical quality are used. Apart from safety, the issue of performance clearly takes centre stage. Cheap copies lead to poor performance and play a key role in the customer’s purchasing decision.
Particularly in Asia, unscrupulous product counterfeiters now even go as far as copying the catalogue data of companies, which misleads buyers. However, in the long run, the supposedly cheaper copies prove to be much more expensive than the originals, as they conceal another risk for users – the low-quality components significantly reduce both the service life and reliability during operation.
More significantly, all these factors negatively impact the entire industry.
Unfortunately, product piracy has achieved highly professional results in the industry. Experienced counterfeiters copy originals with a level of perfection that makes it nearly impossible to tell them apart from the original. We are dealing with a network of counterfeiters and distributors who sell very authentic-looking copies all over the world. The criminals pretend to be partners of reputed companies and, thus, harm both the company and the customers.
However, while they make fakes look the same as originals, when it comes to quality, the poorly constructed components cannot withstand the high demands and will likely experience limited functioning after a short period of time or be completely defective and require repair.
The use of fake compressors, spare parts and refrigerants has already led to personal injury and death in the transport cooling industry. What’s more, there’s a risk of motor damage, liquid slugging, heat damage and short circuits, which are often irreparable and can only be identified with in-depth analysis.
What is important, when copied spare parts are used, the warranty becomes void for the entire product.
The Bitzer Group, manufacturer of refrigeration compressors, has decided to wage war on product piracy by taking a more proactive approach to dealing with counterfeiters, especially compressors, spare parts and pressure vessels.
The Bitzer Green Point offices are expert contact representatives when it comes to issues of compressor repair and provide customers worldwide with professional support in service, maintenance and training. As such, we can monitor the entire lifecycle of our compressors and pressure vessels all over the world.
Also, we are increasingly taking legal action. Suppliers of fake products are always thrown out of trade fairs and have to remove our logos immediately.
Because it’s difficult to differentiate between an original and a copy visually, we are now introducing a diverse range of measures to make it possible to clearly tell them apart. This will help to protect people’s lives and the commercial interests of both the company and the customers.
Finally, we strongly advise against accepting unusually cheap offers for compressors, spare parts or refrigerants.