12 May 2020 -

Counterfeits damage mechanical engineering in the billions, says new study

Counterfeit products are causing an annual 7.6 billion euros damage to the mechanical engineering industry, and pose a threat to the operation of machines and plants, says a new study by the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA).

According to the study “Product Piracy 2020“, the annual damage has now grown to 7.6 billion euros – in 2018 it was still 7.3 billion euros. They estimate that a turnover of this amount would mean the “equivalent of almost 35,000 jobs in the mechanical engineering industry”.

Steffen Zimmermann, head of the VDMA Competence Center Industrial Security, says, “What is shocking is that 57 percent of the companies report counterfeits that pose a danger to the plant. This shows that plagiarism is not a trivial offence, because operating fake machines or systems with fake components can pose a real danger to the operator.”

Every two years the VDMA surveys its member companies on the threats and effects of counterfeiting. In the current study, which was carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security AISEC on behalf of the VDMA, 74 percent of the companies questioned stated that they were affected by product piracy, and in the case of companies with more than 500 employees, this proportion even reached 90 percent – both are new record figures.

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