SKF Kenya, a subsidiary of SKF, a Swedish based manufacturer and supplier of bearings and other industrial products has launched a new mobile application, ‘2authenticate’, to enable consumers to detect counterfeit bearing parts in the Kenyan market.
The mobile application will be able to scan a special Data Matrix Code, which is similar to a QR code, on all genuine SKF parts.
According to Harris Kariuki, SKF Kenya Ltd. Managing Director, “The Kenya office was picked to run the pilot programme due to increased counterfeit products in the market that have seen both retail and corporate customers record major losses. The increased mobile and internet penetration in Kenya played a major role in the market being picked to drive this new initiative,” said Mr Kariuki. “We have already started working with our distributors and this launch is to ensure the whole market is empowered to identify genuine parts.”
The pilot anti-counterfeit programme is being run in partnership with the Anti-Counterfeit Agency to authenticate products in the market and protect Kenyans from these products and comes a year after SKF Kenya Ltd., which serves nine markets in the region from its Nairobi office, ran six raids in Uganda and Kenya. In Kenya, goods worth over Kshs 10 million were netted in the raids that were carried out in partnership with the Anti-Counterfeit Agency.
Bearings are a major part for rotating equipment ranging from cars to large industrial machinery.
The 2authenticate App is basically a 2-in-1 app as it gives instant feedback after the code is scanned or gives clear instructions on how to photograph the product if there is no code on the box, especially for parts that entered the market before the launch of the new technology. Then it automatically submits a request to SKF headquarters where dedicated experts review the information, authenticate the product and reply back.
The SKF 2authenticate app provides two methods to support with verification of authenticity of your SKF products. The first method is to scan the Data Matrix code on the package (similar to QR code). You get instant feedback if the code is valid or not while the second method is used when there is no Data Matrix code on the product package or if the scanning of the code did not provide a conclusive answer, i.e. the product is suspicious. In this case you are requested to send photos of the package and product to SKF which will manually verify its authenticity and revert to you with a conclusion regarding the likely authenticity of the product.