Centor is a multi award-winning designer and manufacturer of innovative folding, locking, screen and blind systems for windows and doors. Founded in 1951 in Australia, Centor has branches across Australia, as well as regional headquarters in Chicago (USA), Birmingham (UK) and branches in Florida, Nantes (France), and China. Centor is a third-generation company and employs around 160 people worldwide.
German-born engineer Frank Spork founded Centor in 1951. Frank’s single-minded goal was to produce the finest sliding door track available. This dedication to quality and innovation has been constant across three generations and six decades of history at Centor.
The name Centor comes from ‘Central Queensland’, the region of the state where Frank initially started the business, and ‘tor’, the German for door. This melding of words is reflective of Centor’s Australian roots, and its international attitude. As Centor’s reputation grew, Frank opened a factory in Brisbane, Queensland, where Centor maintains its international headquarters to this day. In the decades to follow, the Brisbane site would change and expand to meet the demand for its high-end, solid and reliable sliding systems.
1998 became a turning point in Centor’s history as Frank’s grandson Nigel Spork took over the company directorship. This was the year Nigel invented the first ever weather-sealed folding door system, changing architecture forever and revolutionizing the outdoor lifestyle. External folding doors became so popular, Centor grew from just 23 staff in 1998 to over 160 in just over a decade. This growth allowed Centor to expand overseas, opening regional headquarters in Birmingham, UK in 2004, and in Chicago, USA in 2005.
This amazing growth also allowed Centor to invest even more in research and development. Centor has one of the largest R&D departments of any company in the industry, and continues to create market-leading innovative products such as our retractable screen and blind system for bifold-scale doors.
Research & Development
Centor is ‘moved by innovation’. With one of the largest research and development departments of any company in the industry, we aim to be at the leading edge of technology and design in window and door systems. This commitment to innovation is coupled with the driving aim to create systems that are easy to install and a delight to use.
'Easy to install' means design features that assist both assembly in the factory and installation on-site. This includes manufacturing aids such as dedicated drill jigs, calculation software and profile-matched router bits.
'Delight to use' not only means a high quality, well-functioning product, but also one that is compelling for the homeowner or end-user. That means folding systems that open up homes to the outdoors, unobtrusive screens and blinds, and stylish and secure locking options.
Centor achieves these goals through a combination of research into what the market genuinely wants and needs, as well as thorough testing once a product is developed.
The research involves our design engineers meeting with leading architects, specifiers, joiners and window and door companies. We talk to a range of people in a variety of roles to get unfiltered information about the real issues. From this information we learn what the market needs and wants, and how they want it to work. After a system is developed, it then undergoes exhaustive testing to ensure it can withstand real-life use.