Substandard and counterfeit cables, labelled with fake official standards and accreditations, is a growing problem in the UK.
What are Counterfeit Cables?
Manufacturers are purchasing wires and components they believe are legitimate only to realise later that the materials do not meet industry requirements. Sometimes the counterfeit parts have been passed off under a respected brand name but are in fact made of lower quality materials that cannot perform the necessary functions required of the cable or harness. Counterfeit cables often aren’t compliant with critical safety and performance standards;
As the rise of counterfeit materials continues to compromise the supply chain, the risks of ending up with inferior counterfeit parts are very real.
Why are Counterfeit Cables Dangerous?
While the cable harness manufacturer may be one of the victims of cable fraud, they could also take the blame for any problems caused by the counterfeit parts.
Damages caused by counterfeit cables can include:
- Affected performance
- Diminished safety
- Fire danger
- A stock of materials that cant be sold
- Legal ramifications
- Costly repairs
Recovery from counterfeit cables can mean anything from simply exchanging the bad cables for good cables in your devices once they have been identified, or paying for damages caused by the fraudulent material.
What are Common Counterfeit Cable Scams?
One of the most common scams is false approval marking. Approval markings are compliance standards that are required by manufacturers. They are a sign of quality and trust that product standards have been met (Conformance European (CE)). Applying false approval markings can be done very cheaply. So if a cable seems cheap, or a deal is too good to be true then it probably isn’t fit for purpose.
How are Counterfeit Cables identified?
Labels: Keep an eye out for inconsistent labels. You might notice conflicting information on different labels, or changes in wording or design.
Price: Dodgy cables are often sold well below the average price. You may come across an unbelievably good deal that could save your company hundreds of Pounds. It is likely these cables are counterfeit and buying them will cause problems that could cost your company more in the end. More often it is better to pay a little bit more for cables you know are legitimate and avoid the risk of winding up with counterfeit parts.
Materials: Many victims of counterfeit cable scams describe discovering the counterfeit state of the cables because the materials felt wrong. The wire bent too easily, felt brittle, or weighed less. Upon further inspection the cable is found o be made of materials different to those described by the seller.
Source: When shopping online for cables and components, stick with reputable dealers. Stay away from websites that are unfamiliar. If you are unsure of a company’s standing, research the company to find out if they have been reported for selling counterfeit cables.
What Should I do about Counterfeit Cables?
This is not a new issue in the cable and harness industry. Many businesses have encountered counterfeit parts as they build cable and harness assemblies. If you discover you’ve become tangled in counterfeit parts, do your best to rectify any problems caused – replace them and repair any damage. Counterfeit cables don’t have to turn into a catastrophe for your business. As long as you pay attention and make wise decisions, they may never become a threat to you.