CENTURION Mini Product Catalogue

Tuesday 30 May 2017

The Great Cyber Caper of 2017

On the 12th of May, an unknown party, or parties, launched a cyberattack on an unprecedented scale the aftermath of which is still being felt despite many businesses and private computer users stepping up their cyber security policies.

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Dubbed the WannaCry cryptoworm, the malicious software is said to have infected some 230,000 computers in 150 countries worldwide, spreading through networks and bringing affected businesses to a grinding halt by encrypting data and demanding a “ransom” of around $300 in return for releasing it. Desperate to have access to their data, many opted to pay the ransom but were never issued with instructions for decryption, and it has been theorised that the attackers themselves are not entirely clear on how to undo the damage done by the appropriately-named ransomware.

Since the attackers demanded that the ransom amount be paid in Bitcoin, a ubiquitous cyber-currency which is largely untraceable, no suspects have been identified at the time of writing and data recovery specialists are still scrambling to salvage what they can while cyber security firms are rushing to the aid of the organisations that have been targeted.
The attack has raised important questions regarding the efficacy of firewalls and antiviruses.
What exactly is ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware (malicious software) that encrypts data on infected machines, making it inaccessible to the user. The attacker then demands a sum of money, or ransom, in return for releasing the data.

Who is at risk?

Theoretically, anyone with access to a personal computer or laptop is at risk of falling victim to a ransomware attack, although businesses are at greater risk since malware is often promulgated through company networks.

How is the ransomware activated?

The ransomware is activated in a number of different ways, but generally results from opening an email attachment that contains the malicious software. Clicking on suspicious links can also lead to a ransomware attack.

What can I do?

According to CENTURION IT manager and network security specialist Paul Mearns, the majority of the WannaCry attacks occurred due to attachments from dubious emails being opened.

He stresses the importance of not opening emails if one is unfamiliar or uncertain regarding the source.

Don’t open any attachments unless you are 100% sure that the email is safe and that you are familiar with the sender,” says Mearns, although he warns that even this is no guarantee of the mail’s integrity. 

“If you are unsure of something, contact your company’s IT department. We are here to help”.

For a full list of ransomware countermeasures, visit Microsoft’s website or click here.

Tuesday 23 May 2017

Check the Motor!

His hair may have been a little darker and fuller, the smile lines at the corners of his mouth – like tattoos of happy memories – a little fainter, but there can be no doubt that the man in the photograph wearing the smart navy-blue shirt and piebald tie is CENTURION MD and founder Pat Dickens, a man who, as a fresh-faced young engineer from Kimberly, dared to dream at a time when dreaming was all but outlawed. 


Could the man in the photo, taken from a sizeable stack that marketing director and Pat’s brother-in-law Richard Rohman lovingly keeps in his desk drawer, have known that, some day, his gate motors would be used on virtually every electric gate in South Africa? And would he have believed it if someone had told him that, in the near future, his solutions would automate the entrances to apartment complexes, office parks, airports and palaces? There’s no way of knowing for certain, but the man in the picture has a fire in his belly, a fire that he would not allow financial hardships, economic recessions or the hordes of naysayers that told him it couldn’t be done, to extinguish.


As CENTURION’s co-founder and someone who has been with the company virtually from the very beginning, Richard Rohman appears in many of the grainy old photographs, sometimes mustachioed and sometimes sans facial hair. Now in his fifties, Richard is as much an energetic firebrand as he was in those early days. He has since traded in his box-shaped Volkswagen Jetta for a vehicle that epitomises Richard's love for adventure and the outdoors, and nowadays one is more likely to find him poring over an Excel spreadsheet than fiddling with a multi-meter, but Richard was absolutely indispensable in securing CENTURION’s legacy as the undisputed leaders in gate automation and access control


Another picture shows the SupaSlida, the seminal sliding gate motor that laid the foundation for future successes such as the D5, of which there has been some 700, 000 sold to date. With the release of the D5-Evo – the evolution of the D5 footprint which added an intelligent LCD interface and sophisticated motor control, among other features – CENTURION achieved superstar status within the world of access automation. The original D5 slider built upon a bedrock of reliability, and the Evo’s addition of futuristic technology launched the brand into the stratosphere.


From the lush mountains and valleys of the Mpumalanga province to the vast open planes of the Free State, from Tswhane to Table Mountain, South Africans – and people the world over – simply love the green CENTURION motors. So the next time you’re out and about, be sure to #CheckTheMotor!

Tuesday 16 May 2017

What to do with All Your Free Time (Now That You’re Using the Service Exchange Programme)

Now that you’re getting so much more done thanks to our innovative D5-Evo Service Exchange Programme, you may be finding yourself at a bit of a loss with regards to what to do with all that extra time. Don’t worry, your friends here at Centurion Systems have done the requisite research and come up with a list of five things that you can do to pass those idle hours.

Binge-watch all seven seasons of Game of Thrones

With season 8 of the acclaimed fantasy series slated for an August release, there’s never been a better time to catch up on the lives of the people of Westeros. Who’s still alive? Who’s dead? Who’s been disloyal to whom? Will the remaining Starks avenge the deaths of their family members? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: there will be blood, and plenty of it!

Learn a language
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South Africa is a flavoursome smorgasbord (itself a Swedish word meaning “plate of sandwiches”) of diverse cultures and languages. In addition to the country’s eleven official languages, South Africa is home to speakers of Greek, Portuguese, Lebanese, Chinese, Urdu, Hindi and Tamil to name but a few. Learning a new language is not only a great way to pass the time, but it will also expose you to new and interesting cultures and ways of life and you’re guaranteed to find it an immensely enriching experience. Check out this fantastic app that makes learning a new language easy and fun.


Take up a hobby

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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, goes the popular saying (which was made decidedly creepy by Jack Nicholson in The Shining). A good work-life balance is important. Whether you’ve always had aspirations of picking up the guitar or the siren song of nature has you reaching for the fly-fishing rod, taking up a hobby can be tremendously satisfying and will also help you unwind.

Hit the gym

The human brain is an incredible thing. Not only is it a super-computer that coordinates every little thing we do, it is also home to a reserve of “feel-good chemicals” known as endorphins. These endorphins are released under very specific conditions, and tend to make a person experience feelings of euphoria and wellbeing. One way to get the endorphins pumping is by doing cardiovascular exercise such as running on a treadmill or cycling – and there’s the added benefit that exercise is great for one’s overall health and also aids in weight-loss. There aren’t too many good reasons not to exercise.

Attend one of our famous training courses

Acquiring a new skill – or perfecting an existing one – is arguably one of the most gratifying experiences one can have in life. There is an incredible sense of accomplishment that comes with being able to do something that you weren’t able to do before, and this experience of self-actualisation can become quite addictive!

Our extensive range of product training courses have been developed by professional educators with many years’ experience to equip you with the necessary skills to install, sell and support CENTURION’s access automation solutions. Book your spot now!

Tuesday 9 May 2017

Centurion Systems’ Groundbreaking New Service Model

Ever since its launch in 2009, CENTURION’s D5-Evo sliding gate motor has become a ubiquity in the access automation market. Championed by installers and integrators who appreciate the operator’s user-friendly LCD interface and smart diagnostics, and lauded by end-users who benefit from the D5-Evo’s semi-legendary reliability, this product has certainly earned its title as South Africa’s favourite gate motor


But the overwhelming prevalence of the D5-Evo in the marketplace presented CENTURION with a unique challenge: keeping sites running while operators are booked in for service or repairs.

“The average turnaround time for a service is around three to five working days” explains CENTURION national technical manager, Bernard Boonzaaier. This doesn’t seem like a very long time, but gate automation is a critical part of the home security mix, and removing it potentially leaves the client’s entrance gate vulnerable from a security perspective.

Enter the Service Exchange Programme, CENTURION’s recently-launched initiative aimed at drastically reducing client downtime and expediting repair turnaround.

A pragmatic solution

The Service Exchange Programme, which saw the light of day in March of this year, is pragmatic in that it all but completely eliminates the problem of downtime by enabling the attendant installer to exchange a D5-Evo operator in need of repair or maintenance with a service exchange unit, which he can take back and install onsite.

Boonzaaier compares it to the courtesy car system offered by many insurance firms and panelbeaters.

“Think about it. If you are involved in an accident, and your car needs to go to the panelbeaters even for a short period of time, you’re left completely stranded if you aren’t able to take advantage of a courtesy car. [This is why] so many insurance companies offer this service. When your gate motor goes down, or it’s due for a service, why should you have to push your gate open for a week? It didn’t make sense to us and an exchange programme seemed like the pragmatic way of going about it”.

And CENTURION’s installers seem to share this sentiment, as evidenced by the fact that more than 200 service exchange units have already been sold since the programme’s launch earlier this year.

Installers (and their clients) will benefit

CENTURION’s passion for service excellence is embedded in the Service Exchange Programme, and the initiative is informed by the company’s appreciation for the installers who collectively form an integral part of CENTURION’s route to market.

Boonzaaier says that while end-users will definitely benefit from the programme, it is arguably the installers who have the most to gain from an efficiency perspective.

“In the end, rapid turnaround means that installers can get more jobs done which, in turn, translates into a greater profit [for the installer]. We realised that outmoded service models were frustrating [the installers], and we wanted to introduce something that would really change the way that they do business” says Boonzaaier.


Read all about Centurion Systems’ Service Exchange Programme on the company’s website: http://www.centsys.co.za/service-exchange-programme-landing-page

Friday 5 May 2017

18 Hidden Gem Features of the D5-Evo!

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Did you know that basketball superstar Kobe Bryant is completely fluent in Italian? Or that actor Steve Buscemi, famous for playing odd-ball characters in neo noir films such as Fargo and Reservoir Dogs, used to be a New York City firefighter? We bet you also didn’t know that controversial talk-show host Jerry Springer was, once upon a time, the mayor of Cincinnati, or that actress Natalie Portman has been published in not one but two scientific journals – and is a Harvard alumnus!

The point we’re trying to make is that it’s easy to get caught up in someone’s – or something’s – more obvious attributes even though there might be some truly amazing things that you might not even be aware of.

Similarly, our superstar sliding gate motor, the D5-Evo, has some much-touted features such as its intelligent LCD interface and sophisticated motor control circuitry. But instead of going down that well-trodden path, this article will focus on some of the lesser-known (but no less impressive) features of CENTURION’s flagship operator. It will explore those hidden gems that you might not necessarily be aware of, but that have positioned the D5-Evo in a league of its own and, eight years since its official release, still reigning at the apex of sliding gate automation.

Gearbox features

• Doped with a fire-retardant chemical agent ensuring that, in the unlikely event that a fire breaks out, it will be contained
• A solid metal gear provides superior anti-break-in strength
• The gears have been submerged in an oil bath for long-term reliability
• The worm-shaft is thread-rolled ensuring a smoother running surface
• The worm is supported by bearing at the top and bottom for added strength
• There is a coupling between the motor drive and the worm-shaft to rule out any chance of misalignment
• Six mounting screws secure the locating flange for the worm, providing strength against the gate being forced

Electronics

• The switch-mode charger runs “cool” and ensures continued operation during brown-out conditions as low as 90V

Cover

• Only requires a single action to secure – saves time

Adjustment

• Convenient jacking bolts for easy adjustment

Intelligent LCD interface

• Easy setup via the wizard and visual feedback and information
• Sealed housing to prevent ingress of dirt, moisture and vermin
• Removable connectors for easy maintenance
• Audible feedback via onboard buzzer
• LEDs for easy fault-finding
• Adjustable speed
• Standard safety and sensitivity settings
• 80+ features onboard

Wednesday 3 May 2017

Accessorise Your D5-Evo with these 4 Ancillary Products

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Who doesn’t like a bit of bling? Whether you prefer a simple, tasteful set of cufflinks, an understated wrist watch or you have a penchant for Lil Jon levels of ostentatiousness, there’s just something about accessorising that makes an outfit feel complete. Accessories can tie a suit together, accentuate that little black dress or even draw attention away from a poorly-chosen item of clothing. It can emphasise certain attributes while diminishing the harshness of others.

While we won’t be stocking decorative, sequin-covered sleeves or gold baseplates for the D5-Evo any time in the near future, you can accessorise your gate motor with all the latest access control solutions. The D5-Evo integrates seamlessly with a number of ancilliary security products, including…

The SMARTGUARDair keypad


Let’s get straight into the good stuff: the SMARTGUARDair is completely wireless and can communicate with up to 15 NOVA code-hopping receivers…like the one built into the D5-Evo controller. Security, meet convenience!

Most compelling features:

No messy and unsightly cables
Easy installation
Activate up to 15 compatible devices
Stores up to 1000 unique codes comprising one to ten digits

The G-SPEAK Classic+ intercom system

Ever wish that you could be two places at once? Now you can! With the G-SPEAK Classic+ GSM-based intercom system, your mobile phone becomes the intercom handset, so you can answer your intercom from virtually anywhere.

Most compelling features:

Answer your intercom – and open your gate – from anywhere with a 2G network
Minimal cabling required
Crystal-clear speech quality
Monitor by receiving SMS alerts

Photon infrared safety beams

Okay, the presence of the word “safety” in this product’s name probably tipped you off to the fact it isn’t so much an optional extra as it is a must-have. If you have an automatic gate, or you’re planning to automate, then you definitely need some sort of detection device in place to ensure that your installation is as safe as possible and the gate won’t close on kids, pets or vehicles. Photon infrared beams represent the easiest way to achieve a safe automatic gate installation. 

Most compelling features:

Transmitter is wireless – no digging or tunneling under the driveway
30m range
Supremely easy to align thanks to audible feedback
Effortless mounting

New-look NOVA remote controls


If the overall objective of accessorising is to look good, then the new-look NOVA range of remotes with its stylish carbon face and durable, multi-coloured silicone buttons is exactly what the bling doctor ordered.

Most compelling features:

It looks so good!
Silicone buttons designed to last and last
Secure code-hopping technology makes it very difficult to copy or clone
Easy battery replacement and visible battery-low indication

Tuesday 2 May 2017

5 Reasons Why the D5-Evo is South Africa’s Favourite Gate Motor

In these turbulent, uncertain political and economic times – with countrywide protests calling for the resignation of the sitting president, a controversial cabinet reshuffle and a downgrade to junk status – it’s become more necessary than ever before to reflect on what it means to be South African.

Certainly, these recent events have shaken our faith in many of the foundational truths that we have always taken for granted, and have challenged our resolve to keep pushing for the deliverance of the country of our birth.

So, what does it mean to be South African?
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Ask any recent √©migr√© what it is that they miss most about South Africa, and they’re likely to wax lyrical about the warmth of the people and a certain sense of connectedness that they haven’t been able to find anywhere else. Indeed, the uniquely South African concept of Ubuntu ­speaks volumes about the emphasis most South Africans place on community


We also know a good thing when we see it. We value robustness, fortitude and dependability. Case in point, South Africans simply love our D5-Evo sliding gate motor for domestic and light-industrial applications. Here are five reasons why:

Supremely easy setup

Copyright: jirsak / 123RF Stock Photo
The D5-Evo represents a unique dichotomy, namely our love affair with all things high-tech combined with a penchant for simplicity; it’s the futuristic sensibilities that have always been so at home in the CENTURION stable processed through the engine of compelling innovation to deliver the ultimate in intuitiveness. Boasting an intelligent LCD plug-and-play interface, the controller utilises an appropriately-named Setup Wizard – with graphics - to guide you through the limit setup procedure.

Even if the lights go off, you can still get in

While load-shedding seems to be under control for the time being, it’s still nice to know that one isn’t completely at the mercy of a power grid that’s unstable at the best of times, especially when it comes to your home’s security. We pioneered power failure protection in gate motors, so in line with all our other operators, the D5-Evo sliding gate motor carries on guarding your entrance even when the lights go out, and you won’t be left out in the cold impotently shaking your fist at a recalcitrant gate, either.

Safe anti-crushing protection

The D5-Evo’s controller remains, without a doubt, one of this gate motor’s most compelling trump cards, thanks in no small part to the inclusion of sophisticated motor control circuitry, ensuring smooth acceleration and deceleration a far cry from the frantic, jerky and frankly unsettling movements of older products. Besides the obvious aesthetic benefits, the complete control exerted over the motor enables us to make the collision detection system even more sensitive to obstructions. This translates into greater end-user peace of mind.

Packed with features to keep you and your loved ones secure

From the novel Intruder-detection Alarm feature-set to time-barring of inputs and beam Autoclose, the D5-Evo controller runs the gamut of high-security features.

Seamless integration

While the D5-Evo works perfectly well as a standalone access automation solution, it’s remarkably easy to accessorise your gate motor for a well-rounded blend of security and convenience through integration with, among other accessories, intercom systems, keypads, infrared gate safety beams, pedestrian key-switches and external receivers.