The payoff of selecting original manufactured equipment versus knockoff equipment

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Courtesy of Aeration Industries International (AII)

Limitation is the greatest form of flattery' is an expression I which can be use to summarise one of many central I themes taught for hundreds of years by Confucian scholars to eager students in the 'central kingdom' of China and beyond. These values embraced the diligent study, duplication and recital of key ideas and passages passed down from one generation to the next. For many foreign companies selling their products to the Asia-Pacific region today, it evident that this long time belief system often times clashes with the modern business worlds definition of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). And when a company's IPR has been violated, the word 'flattery' in this famous expression suggests another f-word: 'frustration'. However, the greater problem does not lie with those companies whose products are being 'copied' and thus losing valuable potential sales revenue. The real loser here Is the tax paying public whose funding goes into projects where ultimately 'knockoff equipment is being used. For the wastewater industry, the selection of an inferior knockoff product typicafly causes numerous problems beyond violating a company's IPR. These problems include: reduced lifespan of equipment, poor operating performance which does not meet application expectations, high cost of ownership, overall negative perceptions of the technology and misapplication of products.

Reduced lifespan of equipment

To the company who has developed or pioneered their equipment, quality is of the utmost importance. These companies know the black box' of the machinery that will not only provide optimum performance, but also long term durability and minimal maintenance. Some of these designs and parts may look simple and easy to copy, but in reality they are often the result of a considerable capital investment and numerous years of R&D. The knockoff product from the surface may appear to be the same but in most cases they lack the important understanding or Investment in developing these key 'black box' parts. As a result, these knockoff goods feature subtle but major internal differences that dramatically reduce the equipment's lifetime. Excessive vibration, continual wear of parts, and frequent breakdowns are common occurrences, which usually spell disaster for their copied products.

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