Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
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Jul 22 2011


Category: Door ClosersLori @ 1:16 am Comments (7)

Picture this. You wait by the mailbox for your brand spanking new iPad 2 to arrive. You carefully open the box and breathe in the intoxicating scent of Apple, then plug in the cable, sync your iPad with your iTunes account, and settle back to watch a movie. A few minutes into Despicable Me, the screen goes black. AAHH!!! You pack up your iPad, take it to the Apple store, and find out that it’s not an Apple iPad after all – it’s a KNOCKOFF!!!

It’s not so far-fetched…there are hundreds of iPad knockoffs starting as low as $30 (can I interest you in a HaiPad, an iPed, an ePad, or a WoPad?), and in China there are even counterfeit Apple Stores (and Apple “Stoers”) that blatantly imitate the real thing. Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery, or the theft of a company’s research, engineering, and marketing investments?

I showed my 6YO son (alias SuperBoy) the two photos on the right of Superman and his knockoff, “Specialman.” Yes, Specialman has a cape, boots, and industrial strength protective undergarments, but is he faster than a speeding bullet?! More powerful than a locomotive?! Is he able to leap tall buildings in a single bound?! I think not. He doesn’t even have detachable and interchangeable hands.

I asked Superboy which action figure he’d rather have and after zooming in and looking them up and down, he said he’d rather have the one on the left. Why? “Because he’s bigger and stronger, and he looks more like Superman.” Duh. Maybe it’s just me, but Specialman looks a lot like Rambo.

The Cambridge University Press defines a knockoff as “a cheap copy of a popular product.” Knockoffs are a growing problem…the New York City Council has even considered a law which would result in fines for consumers purchasing knockoff products like “Ronex” watches and “Uggg” boots. Over the last 10 years, imported knockoffs of the LCN 4040 closer have become prevalent. They look very similar to 4040’s, and some of them are even manufactured from cast iron. But are they “just as good”? No way.

In 10 days, two milestones will be celebrated. August 1st is my birthday (coincidentally, my 4º4ºth) – the same day that the 4040 will experience a “re-birth” of sorts. All of the features of the 4040XP will become standard features of the 4040 series, at the standard 4040 price!

I’ll have more information about this change over the next few weeks, but today I have a question for you. Have YOU had an experience with a 4040 knockoff? LCN receives multiple knockoffs back for warranty replacement every month, because in many cases the labels are almost an exact duplicate of the LCN label, but with no company name or address. Customers assume that they’ve got an LCN closer and send it to Princeton, Illinois, only to be told that it’s not an LCN product.

Has this happened to you or someone you know? I want to hear about it! Tell me your story, send a photo, video, or even send me your knockoff! From all of the submissions collected between now and September 15th, I’ll pick my 3 favorites and send each a 4-pack of LCN 4040XP closers! They’re the REAL DEAL!

To learn more, check out the Real Deal page on our website. You can watch a video, download information about the 4040XP and the upcoming changes to the 4040, or register for a free Real Deal hat. Stay tuned…more to come!

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7 Responses to “Knockoffs”

  1. Brad Keyes says:

    You know… Princeton, Illinois was a great place to grow up in the 50’s and 60’s. On the block where I lived, the following LCN executives also made their homes: President, Vice President, and Plant Manager. My father worked for Harper-Wyman, one of the other two rival manufacturing companies in town so I was not one of the “LCN boys” running around the neighborhood. Today, LCN remains a strong, viable manufacturer in a small central Illinois town, but the company that my father worked for is long gone. Back in the 50’s, every child in the neighborhood was categorized by his/her peers as being either a “LCN kid”, a “Harper-Wayman kid”, or a “Champion kid” and loyalties ran deep. One Christmas I received a toy train set and I immediately set to making cardboard buildings for the set. Being as young as I was, I could not write the name “Harper-Wyman” on front of the cardboard building, so I wrote “LCN” instead, since I could spell that. I remember my father noticed this and reminded me that the food on my plate did not come from LCN. The cardboard building soon got a name change.

    Thanks Lori…

    • Jess says:

      LOL interesting and funny story there Brad. really enjoyed reading the funny moment when your dad reminded you that LCN didn’t provide the food on your plate.

      also, sounds to me that dad imagined having the toy train bring in the bulk ingredients and deliver the food that was made by Harper-Wyman and pushing you to become a “rep” for the company(in play as in telling you to change the name of the cardboard building)by having your train leave and arrive at the cardboard Harper-Wyman instead of LCN or he wanted you to make Harper-Wyman’s before LCN’s building for the neighborhood or small city for the train to travel through

      I do understand about LCN though, simple to remember the 3 consonants(letters that are not vowels) and also if you take a look at google earth at where LCN is located in comparison to the AMTRAK line is, I mean looks like a few 100 ft between the tracks and the LCN plant.


    • Jim Bystry says:

      Brad, my dad worked for Harper-Wyman also.
      Where did you live in Princeton.


  2. Jess says:

    Hello Lori, I have personally not had any hands-on experiences with any knockoff LCN closers, but I am aware they are out there (look at eBay especially)

    I do not know how these companies (non-IR) companies get a hold of a LCN body and rename it as their brand.

    I do remember only one slight situation that the staff at my high school tried to pull a fast one on me and proved them wrong on their act. (the post about that is in “cracker barrel shocker”) brand they tried to pass off as the LCN was D***A. dead giveaway, their snap-connection arm, LCN NEVER USED SNAP TOGETHER ARMS OR HAVE A “Euro” look to it!!

    and the screw holes to mount the arm (parallel mounting shoe/plate were different as well)

    the superintendent of schools, head of maintenance and the lead custodian as well as the principal felt like they will never hear the end of it when they tried to pass off their D***A’s as the LCN closers that were installed on the door (and the old screw holes from the LCN 4010 show the proof about the brand.

    moral of the story, do not try to lie to me about the brand of closer you have or try to pass it off as “new doors” (as in bought new hinged walk-through panels)

    there is evidence of this, but the photo of the spinoff is in my high school yearbook (and does have a cover)and is in black and white, it’s in the backround of one of my best friends when they took a “candid” shot of him going to his bus.

    to all those people out there that see these closers with the same body shape and layout of the LCN 4040 and sometimes are made of aluminum alloy instead of cast iron……….READ THAT LABEL CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU INSTALL THAT CLOSER! many times, the warrantee does not go into effect until that closer’s body touches the door (spinoffs) but LCN that warentee is effective as soon as the closer leaves the factory to be shipped out to distributors.

    the reason why people mistake the knockoffs as the real deal, they think 2 things, they either don’t read the label on the spring tube and see the label saying “LCN door closers, ingersoll rand security technologies, (address in Princeton IL with zip code and phone number)

    LCN also has a date code stamped around the packing nut the arm attaches to, the spinoffs, DO NOT DO THIS, they usually will stamp a mm/dd/yy format instead of using a code that includes the week of the year, a 2 digit year code.

    (example, if the closer was made this morning, Fri July 22nd, 2011 you will see the number will appear like this: 4040(series) 1(morning shift) 11(year)and 29(week of the year)

    many people are unaware of this until they call LCN one of the first things (after address and phone number) are asked by the tech to read off the date code to find NO DATE CODE or but please be aware that as the years changed, the date code location and format has changed,it may not be in the same format or locate the date code on the spring tube (LCN in the 70’s used to do this on their 4010’s)

    the older LCN 4010 closers, it was mm/dd/yyyy (no shift code shown)

    the general public (uneducated) they seem to think, ok, “block body” shape with tube on one end and the end of the tube is hex shaped and may or may not have the green spring tension indicator, may or may not be same weight of the real deal, they think, ah, ha! LCN then find out after contacting LCN they really are the knockoff.

    (many people are amazed about how much detail I pick up when I look at these things (door closers especially)

    me, I don’t need to look at the spring tube label to know a legit LCN from a spinoff, I look at the size of the valve adjustments and the end cap (the flat end nearest the sweep and latch valves).

    (and i still wonder how non-IR product brands still gets away with same body shape but 2 different brand names, similar to the Falcon SC-70 “large bore” closer, see that one being used by 2 other brands, which I do have a legit version of the (non-ir) version of the aluminum alloy body closer that does CLOSELY resemble the 4010 accept the brand has a backcheck position valve added to their body style)

    oddly that your offering closers this time, my dad that one day when I won the 100 countries contest last year) did ask me when I received the package asked me if you sent me any closers, then I shown him the pack of playing cards “no closers but a playing cards deck from LCN”

    hope my tips and hints have been helpful with identifying the legit from the spinoff closers,

    as for the electronics example that was used as the “intro” to this post, I WAS BURNED this way on an arcade game at the boardwalk, I was at the moment soooo happy (happier then a child in a candy store) when I somehow own what was said to be the ipod nano (4th generation I believe) well it came with 2 songs, a sample movie, and a sample video to show how the videos, photos and music works, then WHEN I DISCOVERED IT WAS A FAKE…………..I downloaded iTunes to my laptop and try to attempt to make iTunes recognize the mp3 player (which it didn’t) and then I attempt to update the player (done on the player while it’s plugged into the computer) the computer immediately came up saying it found a virus (YES A VIRUS in the updating software on the iPod!), so yea only way I can use it now is as a USB poratble drive that plays music and stores photos(have to drag n drop the songs into it from the iTunes list to the open drive letter assigned to the mp3 player by the computer when plugged in

    -Jess the door(closer)doctor

  3. Jess says:

    for Lori and those who work in warentee dept of LCN, I forgot to add to my comment,

    another way the (unknowing and knowing they have a knockoff) will try to pass the knockoff as the legit unit, some individuals may actually peel that spring tube label off their closer (or it fall off if closer is exposed to humidity) then try to send their closer to LCN and them (LCN workers) unknowingly actually work on a closer that LOOKS like theirs but is not their’s

    that’s why i say, look for date code and at the end cap, a true LCN, it should be 3/4 inch hex shaped allen screw type of hole, NOT 3 holes in formation of a triangle or 2 holes (such as those found on the spinoffs or a single slot or + shaped slot)

    the valves should be 3/32 size allan wrench as well

    please be aware also the spring tension adjustment nut/hex socket, the older LCN’s up until about 1998 or 99 used 3/4 inch hex nut, it is now a 1/8 hex wrench adjustment.

    as for the handbag problem in NY, can’t walk 5 feet without one of them ripoffs begging for you to buy and charging an arm and a leg for them freaking things, bad enough, last time I was in NYC, the person that took me there she TOLD me to buy a handbag (she in anger said all women carry a purse, as i can soo ar tell, she must like getting knockoff handbags, lol)

    I did get her to leave me alone about my after an hour of making her realize I’m a TOMBOY and prefer a backpack or a small ditigal camera case to carry my money ID card and medical insurance card.

    purses in that city are just an accident waiting to happen and puts the unknowing woman at higher risk of purse snatching/mugging/kidnapping or even homicide. so yea, steer clear of the purse sellers, no matter how attractive (LADIES, I HOPE YOUR READING THIS) it is, don’t fall for it, that money (and an arm and a leg) you may have paid for that knockoff bag may not actually gone to the manufacturer or the distributor of the bag, but to a terrorist group in some 3rd world country.

    figured I would share some tips (more knockoff closer identification)and my experience about NYC and the handbag ripoffs,


  4. Matt Chandler says:

    Speaking of which …

    Unlicensed World of Warcraft theme park opens in China

  5. Brad Keyes says:


    Corner of Lake and Church, from 1952 to 1967.

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