08 Nov 2023 -

Counterfeit parts result in catastrophic engine failure at Australian mine


A mining operation in Western Australia experienced firsthand the grave dangers of integrating counterfeit components into diesel engines, reports Australian Mining. An excavator’s Cummins K50 engine, a 50L V16 famed for its endurance and reliability, astonishingly failed after just 6000 operational hours. For perspective, such engines are typically anticipated to last up to 16,000 hours following midlife servicing at the 8000-hour mark.

Gary Mollart, a supervisor at Cummins Perth workshop, and technician Ryan Elliott were instrumental in the dissection and study of the 1800 horsepower (hp) engine. Elliott recounted the profound damage within, stating, “There was total destruction inside one cylinder.” This engine was consequently dispatched to Perth for expert evaluation after on-site technicians concluded it was beyond their repair capabilities.

What they discovered was alarming. Evident signs of counterfeit components, such as counterfeit cylinder liners, were apparent in the malfunctioned engine. Elliott further detailed the extent of the internal damage, observing metal debris, broken parts, and fluid mixtures. The clincher? Substandard head gaskets in colours uncharacteristic of genuine Cummins parts, and inauthentic branding markings on the liners.

The overarching implications were severe. Elliott noted that the liners were alarmingly close to completely eroding, potentially leading to the engine’s hydraulic lock and the rod being violently ejected from the block. Gary Mollart emphatically conveyed the lesson, advocating for the intrinsic value of authorised repairs, essentially conveying that when you opt for quality, that’s precisely what you receive.

Cummins is proactive in challenging the rampant counterfeit menace. Kyle Miller, handling business development for Cummins in the Asia Pacific region, articulated the challenges faced, noting that third-party repairers, while perhaps well-intentioned, often unknowingly acquire and integrate counterfeit parts into their repairs. This deceptive mimicry by counterfeiters, even to the extent of replicating QR codes and packaging, risks Cummins’ esteemed reputation.

With the magnitude of counterfeit parts infiltrating the Australian market, Cummins is poised to combat the issue robustly. Miller hinted at imminent protective measures to shield their clientele from counterfeit components, underscoring that only Cummins High Horsepower Genuine parts, acquired from their established Australasian network, carry the trusted Cummins warranty and approval.

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