SIC Marking Combats Counterfeit Bearings

Counterfeiting is prompting major bearing manufacturers around the world to mark their components.

Counterfeiting is prompting major bearing manufacturers around the world to mark their components.

June 28, 2021—
The bearing market has been facing a scourge of counterfeiting for many years leading to huge consequences. No less than 5.4 million jobs are at stake, as well as a loss of 36 billion euros for the global economy (figures from the World Bearing Association).

These alarming figures are prompting major bearing manufacturers around the world to mark their components. On the one hand to facilitate internal traceability and maintenance actions, but above all to improve their corporate identity, by offering distinctive and aesthetic signs.

Every year, millions of bearings are manufactured for numerous sectors such as the automotive and aerospace industries, but also for the energy and medical sectors. Obviously, this large demand generates a wide variety of products, in terms of used materials (steel, ceramic or other treated metals) but also in terms of dimensions (larger or smaller diameters or widths). As a result, marking solutions must easily adapt to these differences.

The marking type is also different. The bearings are marked with a variety of information, ranging from alphanumeric production codes or product data (site or date of manufacture) to Datamatrix codes or logos. The inscriptions must be clear, readable and unalterable. This last point is especially true if the bearings are subject to significant mechanical or thermal stress.

In addition to their great modularity, the marking solutions used must be able to adapt to the different parts' shapes. Consisting, among other things, of an outer and inner ring, it is common to engrave both. This involves flat, circular, concave and convex markings. All of this while considering cycle times that can sometimes be in the order of a second.

SIC Marking has been committed for over 30 years to providing the most appropriate marking solutions to meet the challenges of industry. Its experience has enabled the French group to offer a technically superior range of laser marking machines as well as a large number of automatic reading solutions (Datamatrix).

SIC's integrated lasers are particularly well suited to marking ball bearings, providing clean and permanent results on all materials, from plastics to ceramics to hard metals. The various options available, including the 3D function and Autofocus, ensure perfect marking on all bearing surfaces (outer or inner ring).

The range is completed by 3 workstations (L-BOX, XL-BOX and XXL-BOX) allowing a dedicated marking station. This can be integrated into a production line or used as a stand-alone marking station. The production of small, medium and even large series is possible. The resizing of the boxes, the creation of specific tooling, the addition of additional movements (Z axis, rotary axis) are options available on request.

SIC Marking