08 January 2010
Beware of imitations
Agriplas noted an advertisement in a local newspaper wherein FARM RC160 impact sprinklers were being advertised at a greatly reduced price compared to normal. Upon further investigation, we noticed that the advertised sprinklers were actually imitations of the real FARM RC160 sprinklers. These imitations were imported from China while the original FARM RC160 is manufactured in Spain and sold under agency license by Agriplas in South Africa.
A similar report was received earlier this year that someone was importing these imitations from China. The importing of these products was however later stopped as a result of problems experienced in the market with the imitations. Unfortunately it has since been discovered that someone else is now importing the same product and selling it under the FARM trade name.
Problems are now being experience in the irrgation market due to the availability of these types of imitation products. The imitations are manufacutured using lower quality materials than the original RC160. Agriplas is currently in possession of two of these imitation products one of which is a new unused product while the other was in use for approximately three to four months. The used sprinkler is however already broken, the spring is broken and the metal parts have rusted. The danger these imitations cause for us as the distributor is that the end-users in the irrigation market will think that the FARM RC160 sprinkler is a substandard product thereby also affecting the reputation of Agriplas as a whole in that the market impression given is that we are selling an inferior product. The danger this product has for the uninformed farmer is the possibility of them spending a large amount of money on substandard products resulting in the purchase of a product with a far shorter lifespan.
These imitations are however easily recognisable against the original FARM RC160. The most noticeable difference is that the FARM RC160 has “Made in Spain” inscripted on it whereas the imitation product has the inscription “Spain Model”. These inscriptions appear on the arm of the sprinkler. Secondly, the metal pin of the original RC160 has a small point at the top while the imitation one is flat on the top. A third characteristic is that the arm of the imitation product is has more play around the metal pin while the arm on the FARM RC160 has less play. The fouth characteristic is that the arm of the imitation product is approximately 1cm shorter than that of the RC160 and lastly you will see that the rings on the imitation product are noticeably thinner than that of the RC160.
The general appearance of the imitation product is not bad, it does however look “thinner” and looks as if the components do not fit neatly together.
As mentioned, Agriplas is of the opinion that the farming community should be informed of the circulation of imitation products in the market. It could have negative financial implications for them should they purchase these imitations and the lifespan is far less than that of the original product.