How to tell the difference?
BACS is the unofficial standard in Battery Management in Europe and the USA for data centers of all kinds, and is also extensively used by military and
a myriad safety-critical organizations (air traffic control, banks, civil infrastructure).
With this in mind, it ought not be surprising to find new BACS copies appearing on the market almost every new year. In truth this state of affairs has traditionally been somewhat flattering for us – the early copy generations were easy to distinguish and sloppily put together – and like the old Germans used to say, "much enemy - much honor". We understood that ours was a good, successful product, since nobody would go through the trouble of trying to copy a bad product’s basic physical appearance…
Up until recently, all those copycat devices were really only “passing” visually similar, but miles away from the original in terms of function; to wit, most of them disappeared from the European and American markets after a short time, especially once significant import barriers were erected against Chinese products in the US for the BMS industry.
Now, all that has begun to change: recently we’ve become aware of a new BACS copy out of Asia which very cleverly tries to give the impression that it is in fact the “genuine article”!
In fact, this new copy has done such a careful job attempting to mimic the original that even we could not even differentiate the two at first glance. Especially insidious is that even the module sticker has been counterfeited, both the lettering "GENEREX - Patented" and even the UL certification number – such attention to detail testifies to a determined sense of criminal energy!
In addition, even the module firmware has been partly "reverse engineered", in that the counterfeit modules are able to communicate in a similar, if incomplete way to that of the original. As such, it is seemingly near impossible for an end-user or distracted battery engineer to tell the difference between the two. More concerning is the prospect of such a counterfeit product being successfully installed within a critical infrastructure or datacenter installation, thus “opening the back door” for a concerted Trojan-horse scenario on otherwise “cleared” Western infrastructure…
…However, as long as the original BACS WEBMANAGER from GENEREX is used and the latest firmware is applied, even the use of such a copy is -- at least from a network security point of view -- "safe": The GENEREX device will have been tested by independent organizations regarding network security (UL 2900-1) and will effectively provide a compartmentalization against the unknown risks of such copies in the network, no matter how cleverly they might be disguised.
However, the same cannot be said about the operational safety of the counterfeit modules!
In most countries, this copy would be a case for the public prosecutor. Unfortunately, not in Asia and Germany, where this is not prosecuted as "plagiarism" but "left to the market to sort out".
As a GENEREX Partner, or as an end-user being supplied by an Authorized BACS Reseller, you can rest assured that any and all modules supplied on our behalf will be “the real thing”. However, with all of the above in mind, it is always worth “double checking” if and when a competing party offers “BACS” at dramatically different prices, or with questionable conditions. We’re always available to lend our expertise! Just drop us a line at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org .