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It was an ambitious undertaking, to be sure – bringing together ten regional distributors for a technology showcase unlike anything the local security industry has ever seen – and, in the days leading up to the expo, emotions are running high.

At CENTURION’s head office in North Riding, Johannesburg, a potent cocktail of excitement and nerves fuel the marketing, sales and technical teams as they handle the final preparations for the country’s first ever Access Automation Expo. The technicians are variously assembling and testing, connecting and tightening, while designers court the muses to create the visual content that will form an integral part of the event.

Meanwhile, marketing manager Mark O’Brien and PA to the marketing director Rose Porter (also known as Wonder Woman, or at least she should be) delegate and coordinate like two crazed conductors. There’s a lot riding on this expo.

When the day finally arrives, the nerves are still there, but there’s also a sort of calm that descends over the venue – the lavish Galleria conference centre in Kramerville – as we count down the minutes until 9am, the expo’s official opening time. After all, we are a world-class team, and we know how to put on a show. Are people not still talking about the D2 Turbo launch at Zwartkops raceway seven years after the fact?

The answer, in case you were wondering, is an emphatic “yes”.

Visitors have been arriving since before 7 and, by the time that the doors officially open, any concerns that may have existed regarding a poor turnout are well and truly put to bed.

An hour into the event, and the considerable exhibition hall is packed to the rafters, as the saying goes. So phenomenal is the turnout that it’s difficult to believe that this is the first event to be held under the Access Automation Expo banner and not an established and well-known trade show.

Scores of noticeably intrigued visitors stand huddled around engineers and product specialists as they demonstrate the latest tech, and both the morning and afternoon training sessions are presented to a full house.

Access Automation Expo 2017 wasn’t all business, though, with visitors being treated to a heart-stopping display of sheer daring – some would say madness – courtesy of two daredevil FMX riders. Every last member of the spellbound audience seems to hold their breath as former Red Bull X-Fighter Nick de Wit makes the death-defying leap between the two ramps, performing a variety of tricks and stunts mid-air before landing to the sound of about a hundred people exhaling in relief. Like the training sessions, each of the three FMX shows are exceptionally well attended.

But the real stars of the show are the three new additions to the CENTURION access automation stable.

While the landmark event undoubtedly acted as a springboard for CENTURION’s latest product offerings, the company’s communications coordinator, Charl Mijnhardt, points out that it presented an excellent networking opportunity for professionals involved with access automation and its related fields.

“There’s never really been anything like this in South Africa, an event that focuses solely on access automation,” explains Mijnhardt. “And judging by the incredible turnout, it’s clear that it’s something that the security industry has been waiting for”.

With regards to the new products on display, Mijnhardt says that they tie in perfectly with CENTURION’s brand promise of “compelling innovation”.

“The three new products are all geared towards providing maximum convenience and maximum functionality, both for the installer and for the end-user”.

The new products are:

G-ULTRA

Built upon the bedrock of convenience established by the original G-SWITCH-22 GSM module, the G-ULTRA is a complete evolution of that device imbued with intelligence and packaged for use in a modern environment. The combination of a smart graphic user interface and a plethora of advanced features means that the G-ULTRA goes well beyond the scope of mere access automation and takes remote monitoring and control to an entirely new level.

The G-ULTRA makes it possible for access holders to remotely control up to six appliances – for example a gate motor or irrigation system – via a missed call or SMS from their mobile phone.

In addition, the unit’s four channels can be individually configured as outputs, which enable learned-in users to receive notifications via missed call, SMS or email.

“A typical example would be using one of the unit’s inputs to monitor the status of a CENTURION gate motor, and setting it up to send you a notification when the gate is open, or opening, or both,” says Mijnhardt. “The possibilities are virtually endless”.

Other features include:

  • Easy access to diagnostics thanks to intelligent LCD interface
  • Effortless configuration and management of devices via CENTURION’s G-WEB PLUS online portal
  • Advanced time-based access control and scheduling – perfect for Bed and Breakfasts
  • Password-protected security
  • Reliable event logging

G-SPEAK ULTRA

The G-SPEAK ULTRA promotes the ultimate in convenience and peace of mind by combining wireless GSM technology with CENTURION’s futuristic and stylish ULTRA interface. Infused with the DNA of innovation, the G-SPEAK ULTRA allows wireless communication between the user and the intercom gate station, effectively turning the user’s phone into the intercom handset.

SDO4

The SDO4 has been designed to automate domestic garage doors safely, quietly and reliably.

The product’s chain-driven system allows for whisper-quiet operation, while a reliable battery backup ensures that the SDO4 will continue working even during lengthy power outages.

In addition, the SDO4’s built-in collision sensing circuitry makes it a very safe automation solution. Kits are available for both sectional and tip-up garage doors.

Michael de Klerk, owner of Johannesburg-based SMK Security Distributors remarked that he perceived the show as being “even better than more established security trade expos” and that he was blown away by the “excellent turnout”.

Indeed, nearly a full month later we are still basking in the afterglow of the show’s success, and planning has already begun for next year’s event, which promises to be even more spectacular.

See you at Access Automation Expo 2018!