Whatever the engine, proper filtration is paramount to reliable and efficient system operation. To stay competitive, automotive and truck original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and design engineers rely on leading filtration companies to develop new technologies and advanced system solutions to address the challenges of today and tomorrow.
Counterfeit goods pose a threat to filtration applications in the transportation industry. Counterfeit filters are going into service, without the full knowledge of OEMs or the end user, often with costly consequences.
Counterfeiters purport the products they produce share attributes with products that come from leading manufacturers like Parker Racor, a division of Parker Hannifin. Some counterfeiters even put forth products with the claim that they were actually manufactured by Parker Racor. Counterfeit products come from organizations all over the world, with no relation to the company manufacturing the genuine product. Counterfeiters realize that a well-known brand like Parker Racor and its reputation for high quality, fuel, air, crankcase and oil filtration systems can be a powerful selling point in the market. They look to take advantage of this, as well as the trusting customer.
As suppliers to the world’s leading engine manufacturers, filtration leaders must continually invest in product development and cutting-edge technology to set new standards and create innovative solutions for customers to meet today’s demanding application requirements and strict environmental regulations. Parker Racor, for example, employs a team of specialized engineers with years of practical experience partnering with customers to understand and solve their engine operation challenges today and in the future.
A partnership of trust and confidentiality
The partnership between a filtration supplier and its customers is built on a foundation of trust and confidentiality. The customer shares critical technical details, intellectual property, and specifications with the supplier. This is often done under a legal agreement to ensure confidentiality between the parties. The supplier can then collaborate with the OEM to develop, fine-tune and ultimately commercialize a product. This process offers the OEM and end user a technically advanced solution, tailored specifically to the OEM’s engine application in the end user's working environment.
When an OEM applies a counterfeit product, it is no longer providing the end-user with a filtration system that has been developed under the auspices of the OEM’s intellectual property and technical specifications. In fact, the counterfeiter has no direct knowledge of the specifics of the OEM’s requirements or the genuine part's technical attributes. In this case, the end user has unwittingly been placed in a position of risk that can result in performance and safety issues.
Today, a priority is placed on the safe operation of motorized vehicles and equipment, and this trend will continue into the future. End users will require more enhancements to ensure safe and reliable operation, and this need will circle back to the OEM and their suppliers.
A filtration system operates under pressure. It is designed to ensure the fuel traveling through it stays within the system. Leaks in the system will create a broad range of safety and operational concerns. There is significant and detailed engineering that goes into the design of the filtration housings, sealing areas and media to prevent leak-related failures.
Filtration is used to protect critical engine components, like high-pressure pumps and injectors, from damage caused by liquid and solid contaminants. If the filtration system is inferior and fails, contamination can reach the components, resulting in downtime, costly maintenance and unsafe conditions for operators.
Counterfeit product designs will often be absent of key, but subtle features to the housings designed to prevent leakage and operational interruptions. The filtration media on the counterfeit products may, at times, strongly resemble the genuine product. However, the counterfeit will not feature the intricate chemical and material makeup that makes the genuine product a customized and effective solution to the OEM’s application challenges.
End users will continue to demand higher efficiency engines to operate their equipment. In order to maximize profits, they are reliant upon the service of their equipment to do its job. This demand is driven back through the supply chain to the component manufacturers. At Parker Racor, this responsibility is taken seriously, and the investment is made to develop the best solutions for the end user's specific and evolving challenges. Breakthroughs and subtle modifications are carefully developed and, whenever possible, patented. Patented technology helps assure the end user gets the quality product they expect, and not a cheap, ineffective knock-off.
In conclusion, it is important that OEMs carefully select their buying partners to ensure they are applying the best, safest and most effective filtration solutions to their engines.
This blog was contributed by Melanie Day, marketing services manager, Parker Engine & Mobile Filtration Division, EMEA