Eaton Corp., Pittsburgh, has launched a series of online videos about the dangers of counterfeit electrical products. The videos were filmed during a panel discussion on counterfeiting at Electric West 2010. They feature representatives from Eaton, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL), discussing how manufacturers' associations, supply-chain partners and government agencies worldwide are coordinating efforts to raise awareness of counterfeit electrical products.
“The high demand for electrical products combined with economic pressure to reduce cost has led some to attempt to purchase products outside of traditional manufacturing and distribution channels. To meet this demand for lower priced products, illicit manufacturers often misrepresent counterfeit goods as genuine,” said Tom Grace, manager, Anti-Counterfeiting Initiatives, Eaton's Electrical Sector. “Eaton is committed to creating awareness of the risks and dangers of counterfeit electrical products and will continue to invest in anti-counterfeiting technologies and programs.”
The videos, which can be found on Eaton's website at www.eaton.com/counterfeit, highlight the enormity of the problem, the motivation of counterfeiters, matters of safety, how to avoid counterfeits, what to look for, and what Eaton is doing to stop counterfeiting. “Consumers may unknowingly be buying and using, or reselling, counterfeit products that could compromise their safety,” said Brett Brenner, president, ESFI. “We encourage everyone to view these videos and share the links with their colleagues in hopes that we can educate the public and perhaps even prevent the accidents that we so desperately want to avoid.”
“There are many hidden costs when buying fraudulent electrical products,” said Clark Silcox, secretary and general counsel, NEMA. “Until consumers know that these products are in the market and how to identify them, they're not going to know how to avoid them.”
Attribution in the article “Project Forward” in EW's May issue was in error. It was written by Kate Johnston, Marketing Manager, GE Electrical Distribution.