Report: Counterfeit education is working

Survey reveals that educational programs are helping to increase awareness of the dangers of counterfeit electrical products.


Figure 1: Complete results of the survey on the state of awareness around counterfeit electrical products of IEC members. Courtesy: EatonTo identify the current state of awareness around counterfeit electrical products, Eaton teamed with the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) to survey IEC members on their knowledge of the dangers of counterfeits.

Survey results indicate that educational programs are helping to increase awareness of the dangers of counterfeit products and providing the tools needed to make informed purchasing decisions, key learnings that will help increase electrical safety.

“The first step to tackling any issue is building awareness and an understanding of why it is important,” said Thayer Long, executive VP and CEO, IEC National. “Our anti-counterfeiting efforts with Eaton have not only raised awareness of the dangers of counterfeit electrical products, but have also helped the industry and consumers understand the ways to avoid such products.”

Members understand the potential safety dangers of counterfeit products, the sophistication of counterfeiters that makes it difficult to identify a counterfeit electrical product, and how to avoid such products by purchasing directly from the manufacturer’s authorized distributors or resellers.

However, the results also reveal that more work is needed to share best practices and encourage collaboration in order to thwart counterfeiting.

While IEC members are educated on the dangers of counterfeit electrical products, survey responses disclosed that such products continue to be found in the field and, when found, a vast majority of respondents do not know where and how to report the fakes.

More education is needed to raise awareness among those who could potentially identify a counterfeit, encouraging them to contact the brand owner. This will allow authentication of suspect products and ensure that potentially unsafe products are removed from the market place.

“We are encouraged by the high-level of knowledge our members have, but we must continue our efforts,” said Long.

Moving forward, collaboration between manufacturers, industry organizations and government is required to provide professionals industry-wide with easier ways to properly report counterfeit products. Share your experiences in the “comment” area below.

Complete results of the survey can be found at

As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness, training, and prevention. This involves building awareness of the risks that counterfeit electrical products present to personal safety and the economy with end customers, contractors, inspectors, and electrical resellers.

Anonymous , 03/31/14 11:20 PM:

Are buyers or endusers criminally liable for buying counterfeit products without their knowledge? What is the penalty for such?
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Machine design tips: Pneumatic or electric; Software upgrades; Ethernet advantages; Additive manufacturing; Engineering Leaders; Product exclusives: PLC, HMI, IO
Industrial wireless cyber security: More complex than black and white; IIoT at the I/O level; Process modeling; Cyber security research
Robotic advances: Software, form factors; System-based ROI; Embedded control; MES and information integration; SCADA and cyber security; Position sensor; Controller, I/O module
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Cyber security attack: The threat is real; Hacking O&G control systems: Understanding the cyber risk; The active cyber defense cycle