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Beware the Risks of Grey Market Rockwell Automation Products

7/18/23  |  Rexel

The safety, security, reliability, and regulatory compliance of your operations depend on the quality and authenticity of your products. Unfortunately, unauthorized dealers try to sell counterfeit – or grey market – products, which can expose your business and employees to serious risks. This post explores the concept of the grey market, the dangers associated with counterfeit products, and how you can safeguard your plant to mitigate these risks.

What is the Grey Market?

Rockwell Automation follows a limited distribution model, ensuring their products are sold directly to customers or through authorized distributors. Authorized distributors are also prohibited from selling to unauthorized resellers. These unauthorized sellers, also known as parallel importers, enter the grey market by getting surplus, old, used, counterfeit, or stolen products and selling them as “new.”

What are Counterfeit Products?

Counterfeit products refer to any Rockwell Automation trademarked items that contain elements that aren’t factory original. They are then advertised as being “new.” These products are often repackaged with fake factory seals and labels and may contain counterfeit plastics, displays, electronic components, and circuit boards.

The Risks of Grey Market and Counterfeit Products

  • Cybersecurity and Safety Concerns: Counterfeit products provide opportunities for unauthorized access to industrial networks and control systems, creating security vulnerabilities and the potential for unauthorized access to industrial networks and control systems, creating security vulnerabilities.
  • No Warranty Coverage: Products purchased from unauthorized sources do not qualify for Rockwell Automation warranty coverage. Only products purchased from authorized distributors are eligible for warranty claims.
  • No License for Firmware or Software: Unauthorized sources do not provide licenses for Rockwell Automation firmware and software use. The End User License Agreement (EULA) limits software use and downloads to customers who have purchased from authorized sources. Unauthorized resale of software licenses has resulted in deactivation by Rockwell Automation.
  • Reliability Issues: Malfunctioning, improperly repaired, damaged, unmaintained, modified, or counterfeit products can cause downtime and damage to industrial operations.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Purchasing products from unauthorized sources can lead to compliance issues in validated industries such as life sciences, food and beverage, entertainment, military and governmental applications, and laboratory applications.

Protecting Yourself and Your Operations

To safeguard your operations from the risks associated with grey market products, consider the following steps:

  • Source from Authorized Channels: Ensure your supply chain remains transparent by sourcing Rockwell Automation products only from authorized sources. Rexel is an authorized Rockwell Automation distributor.
  • Verify Authorization: Always independently validate the authorized status of companies claiming to be authorized sellers. Use partner locators or contact your local Rockwell Automation office for verification.
  • Mandate Authorized Sourcing: When purchasing machines or solutions incorporating Rockwell Automation products, mandate that your supplier sources from either a Rockwell Automation Authorized Distributor or directly from Rockwell Automation. Verify this requirement to ensure authenticity.
  • Avoid Online Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces: Stay away from purchasing Rockwell Automation products from online platforms like eBay, Amazon, Alibaba, or similar marketplaces. These platforms often host grey market products.
  • Register Products and Verify Authenticity: Familiarize yourself with Rockwell Automation's security and anti-counterfeit label technologies. Ensure that all new products purchased are registered via the Rockwell Automation Product Registration platform.

Rockwell Automation Repairs & Remanufacturing

When items are repaired by third parties, there’s the potential for compromised parts, which can lead to unauthorized access and other severe consequences. Rockwell Automation has a rigorous remanufacturing and repair process that ensures your parts are returned at the highest quality and standards, mitigating the risks mentioned above.

Rexel – a Partner You Can Trust

By understanding the risks associated with grey market products and knowing how to verify your products, you can protect your teams and operations.

Rexel is an authorized distributor of Rockwell Automation products. If you believe you’ve purchased a grey market product, contact us today.