Manitowoc has joined the war on counterfeit crane components and is determined to see the practice stamped out.
It is the second company to raise concern about counterfeit parts after it identified Asian companies building unlicensed mast and jib sections for its Potain tower cranes. According to the company, counterfeit parts were on display at Bauma.
It is in no doubt that these items are not being sold as an alternative component, but passed off as original parts. Frans Vanwinkel, vice president of sales and marketing for Manitowoc in Europe, said: "They are copied to mirror as closely as possible an original Potain part, including designation and identification plate."
The company's engineers have "grave concerns" about the manufacturing quality of a number of the counterfeits. "There is a risk that they are not fit for task," said Vanwinkel.
While no counterfeit parts have been detected with European operators, Vanwinkel said: "The suppliers are now looking at Europe and customers will be tempted by the lower purchase cost without realising the potential risks involved."
Manitowoc has created an internal task force to tackle the problem and is raising awareness of the potential dangers with customers.
It has also reiterated its recommendation that customers source parts from an approved source. Vanwinkel stresses that this is not a ploy to increase parts sales and said: "With this counterfeit issue, people's safety is at stake and safety is the primary value of Manitowoc Crane Group.
"Consequently, we are determined to undertake any action that can help our customers and crane users to protect themselves and that can lead to the shut down of the counterfeit operation." He said the company is "actively leading initiatives within industry trade associations, whether at a European level or globally".