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The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more conscious of who is coming and going from our property. Whether it is a family home, business premises or public building, property owners want full control over access for protection and peace of mind. As a provider of access control technologies, we are seeing a growing demand for automated gates with a variety of access control systems. There are a number of considerations that buyers need to make when investing. And as an installer, there is advice that you can offer to help your clients make the right choice for their property. Here are some of the key considerations you’ll need to make and discuss with your client. Whomever you buy from, you should be offered more than a simple instruction manual. Electronic locks, magnetic locks and code security In the first instance, you’ll need to advise on the type of lock and access control available. Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open. Locks are required for all non-locking (also known as reversible) operators and are recommended for any gate on a multi-user site or any gate over 2.5m. Apply the same logic to an automated gate as you would to a domestic door – for example, you wouldn’t fit your front door with a lock on the same side as the hinges or a drop bolt at the hinge end of a manual gate so why dispense with this logic when the gate is automated? Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks. These are all designed for external use. While the gate itself will provide physical security, the customer will want to feel in control of who enters their property, when and for what purpose. Consider access for mail and deliveries, waste disposal and visitors arriving on foot etc. There is a range of options available. Intercom systems will allow the user to vet visitors, keypad entry can allow remote access for visitors with a specific code, remote controls allow an oncoming driver to open the gates without getting out of the vehicle, and a timer control can be used to open or close the gates at certain times of the day. Vehicle detection loops can be installed discreetly under the tarmac allowing the presence of vehicles to exit the gates and prevent closing while obstructed. Sliding gates versus swinging gates There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open and in the case of swinging gates, the opener may be concealed underground or gate mounted. The most suitable opener for your installation will depend on the space available and the type of gate selected. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates. However, where gates are fully infilled (typical of many timber designs), gate mounted openers are concealed from the front of the gate by the gate leaf and present a cost-effective option. The choice between slide and swing is largely down to space - swing gates require a clear space for their opening arc while sliding gates require space to one or both sides of the gate. Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited, as they use the least space when opening. Voltage Most swing gate and sliding systems are available in 24v or 230v. The 24v systems still need 230v mains power – there is a transformer built into the 24v control panels. Deciding which voltage to use can include a combination of factors such as the material of the gates, the location of the system and the safety features you want. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates With wrought iron gates, the wind can pass through them whereas with fully boarded wooden gates (popular because they give full privacy) the wind has nowhere to go, so they act like sails. For commercial or industrial applications with larger entrances and a heavy gate, you may need 3 Phase 400v power (sliding gates only). Installing gate motors in confined spaces The environment in which you are fitting may well influence which gate and motor you recommend. Will it be in an exposed area which is subject to the elements? Will it be positioned on a slope? Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited Installers have always faced the challenge of installing gate motors in confined spaces. When fitting a pedestrian gate, there is often limited space in which to work – potentially making an installation time consuming and technically demanding. If this is the case for you, consider a gate operator which is designed specifically for installations with limited space for maneuver. An example of this is the E5 compact gate operator. The operator is not only small but has an optional slide lever attachment designed for installations where there is extremely limited space, meaning that just 8cm of the pillar is needed for installation. What’s more, improved fixing points and a simple ‘hook and fasten’ process means assembly is safe, quick and straight forward. Ultimately, you’ll be looking for a good quality, reliable product with good service. Work with a supplier that offers more than just a manual. If they are happy to offer training, their time and advice when you buy, the chances are you’ll get their support long term.
The safeguarding of premises through the monitoring of entrance and exit points has traditionally been a very manual aspect of security. Human operators have been relied on to make decisions about who to admit and deny based on levels of authorization and the appropriate credentials. The access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation But the access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation; one where the protection of premises, assets and people is increasingly delivered by interconnected systems utilising IoT devices and cloud infrastructure to offer greater levels of security and protection. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. These systems, connected through the cloud, can be customized and scaled to meet the precise requirements of today’s customer. And it’s the ease of cloud integration, combined with open technologies and platforms that is encouraging increasing collaboration and exciting developments while rendering legacy systems largely unfit for purpose. Remote management and advanced diagnostics Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution.Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution. For example, as the world faces an unprecedented challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause disruption, the ability to monitor and manage access to sites remotely is a welcome advantage for security teams who might otherwise have to check premises in person and risk breaking social distancing regulations. The benefits of not physically having to be on site extend to the locations within which these technologies can be utilised. As an example, within a critical infrastructure energy project, access can be granted remotely for maintenance on hard to reach locations. Advanced diagnostics can also play a part in such a scenario. When access control is integrated with video surveillance and IP audio, real-time monitoring of access points can identify possible trespassers with automated audio messages used to deter illegal access and making any dangers clear. And with video surveillance in the mix, high quality footage can be provided to authorities with real-time evidence of a crime in progress. Comprehensive protection in retail The use of connected technologies for advanced protection extends to many forward-looking applications. Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity. Customers are able to use mobile technology to self-scan their chosen products and make payments, all from using a dedicated app. From an access control and security perspective, connected doors can be controlled to protect staff and monitor shopper movement. Remote management includes tasks such as rolling out firmware updates or restarting door controllers, with push notifications sent immediately to security personnel in the event of a breach or a door left open. Remote monitoring access control in storage In the storage facility space, this too can now be entirely run through the cloud with remote monitoring of access control and surveillance providing a secure and streamlined service. There is much to gain from automating the customer journey, where storage lockers are selected online and, following payment, customers are granted access. Through an app the customer can share their access with others, check event logs, and activate notifications. With traditional padlocks the sharing of access is not as practical, and it’s not easy for managers to keep a record of storage locker access. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers. The elimination of manual tasks, in both scenarios, represents cost savings. When doors are connected to the cloud, their geographical location is rendered largely irrelevant. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers They become IoT devices which are fully integrated and remotely programmable from anywhere, at any time. This creates a powerful advantage for the managers of these environments, making it possible to report on the status of a whole chain of stores, or to monitor access to numerous storage facilities, using the intelligence that the technology provides from the data it collects. Open platforms powers continuous innovation All of these examples rely on open technology to make it possible, allowing developers and technology providers to avoid the pitfalls that come with the use of proprietary systems. The limitations of such systems have meant that the ideas, designs and concepts of the few have stifled the creativity and potential of the many, holding back innovation and letting the solutions become tired and their application predictable. Proprietary systems have meant that solution providers have been unable to meet their customers’ requirements until the latest upgrade becomes available or a new solution is rolled out. This use of open technology enables a system that allows for collaboration, the sharing of ideas and for the creation of partnerships to produce ground-breaking new applications of technology. Open systems demonstrate a confidence in a vendor’s own solutions and a willingness to share and encourage others to innovate and to facilitate joint learning. An example of the dynamic use of open technology is Axis’ physical access control hardware, which enables partners to develop their own cloud-based software for control and analysis of access points, all the while building and expanding on Axis’ technology platform. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification Opportunities for growth Open hardware, systems and platforms create opportunities for smaller and younger companies to participate and compete, giving them a good starting point, and some leverage within the industry when building and improving upon existing, proven technologies. This is important for the evolution and continual relevance of the physical security industry in a digitally enabled world. Through increased collaboration across technology platforms, and utilising the full range of possibilities afforded by the cloud environment, the manufacturers, vendors and installers of today’s IP enabled access control systems can continue to create smart solutions to meet the ever-changing demands and requirements of their customers across industry.
There’s growing noise around smart homes and smarter security. You’ve probably heard it. But there is a place where access control and more have been smart for decades: the workplace. Home automation and IoT are still playing catch-up with the commercial sector. A new insights report from ASSA ABLOY and IFSEC Global — “The Smart Door Locks Report 2018” — measures just how fast consumer smart technology is running. According to a survey conducted for the report, 61% of households now claim to own at least one smart home device or system. Energy monitors, home CCTV cameras, intruder alarms and smart door locks are the most popular, according to the report. All these functions, of course, have been available to businesses for years.61% of households now claim to own at least one smart home device or system Educating The Smart Home Consumer Paradoxically, report data also questions how much consumers really know about their smarter home. A surprising 42% of those surveyed, for example, were unaware they could control a smart door lock from their phone. In fact, many leading smart door lock models offer this feature, delivered by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and an app. Despite a wealth of features offered by the latest smart door locks — remote and location-based locking/unlocking; voice activation; timed access; emailed entry alerts; and integration with smart camera and lighting systems — most people still have limited knowledge of their capabilities. Smart technology is increasingly becoming the new norm in terms of home security Only 14% of survey respondents described themselves as “very familiar” with what a smart lock can do. Even though most of them probably use smart access control solutions at their workplace. Secure Homes Through Smart Technology Monitoring and security are not the only drivers for smart home adoption. We humans also love convenience, and modern living presents us with problems that smart home technology can solve. Ironically, given the report’s findings, it takes a smartphone to really unlock the convenient possibilities of smarter living. The device that’s “always to hand” is central to the newest generation of smart door locks.A smart door lock is a convenient way for a landlord or agency to offer round-the-clock check-in and check-out If homeowners wish to remotely manage property access for friends and family, many smart door locks oblige. You let in guests remotely, send them a virtual digital key, or provide a temporary or single-use PIN to unlock the door. It is just as easy to revoke a digital key, if you don’t want its owner to come around anymore. This is a significant improvement over sharing physical keys — or hiding one under the doormat. We cannot be totally sure where a metal key ends up and have no way to track or cancel it once it’s “out in the wild”. Commercial access control offers such functionality as standard, of course. In addition, smart door locks offer more than just stand-alone operation and clever functions. In a domestic setting, magic happens when locks work in harmony with a home automation system, connected by protocols like Z-Wave, ZigBee or Wi-Fi. "Smart" Security On The Move The smartphone is becoming a remote control for managing a connected life beyond just home (and even workplace) security. According to Accenture, the parcel delivery services market will grow by $343 billion by 2020. Just like home security, convenience is a major driver of change. Homeowners can send guests a virtual digital key to their phones, or provide a temporary or single-use PIN to unlock the door A recent PostNord pilot in Sweden aimed to remove the inconvenience of waiting home for a postal delivery. Selected customers of some major Scandinavian e-retailers could choose to have parcels delivered inside their front door, if it was equipped with a Yale smart door lock. Home delivery is among potential smart services covered in “The Smart Door Locks Report 2018 ”. When asked whether the ability to receive parcels securely in a porch or lobby would make them more likely to invest in a smart door lock, 79% said it would.It is easy to revoke a digital key, if you don’t want its owner to come around anymore Vacation Rentals And Smart Home Tech ASSA ABLOY research published in 2017 forecasts continued growth in the European vacation rentals sector (at 5.8% CAGR). Smart door locks are also making an impact here, at both ends of the market: for service providers — agents and homeowners — and for travelers. A smart door lock is a convenient way for a landlord or agency to offer round-the-clock check-in and check-out, without creating extra work or staff costs. Both Intersoft, in Croatia, and Hoomvip in Spain have built vacation rentals management systems around an app and the ENTR® smart door lock. Agents issue, revoke, track and manage virtual keys for all their guests, saving everyone time and hassle. travelers use their phones and an app to unlock their apartment. For these visitors the smartphone is already an essential travel accessory. It is a boarding pass, a credit card, a travel guide, and a postcard home... why not a door key, too? And if this key is backed by a trusted home security brand — and a company with vast experience in the mature market for commercial “smart” security — better still.
At one of Spain’s newest co-working spaces, the founders’ vision incorporated using the latest in security, accessibility and design to create a 21st-century business center. Flexible and wire-free, SMARTair™ from TESA delivers real-time access control that can accommodate both regular daily traffic and busy one-off events at ULab’s dedicated events area. SMARTair Wireless Online Management SMARTair™ Wireless Online management now enables access to the building and individual offices to be controlled in real time. ULab’s SMARTair™ system securely manages regular daily traffic of approximately 100 people, and has the flexibility to accommodate many more temporary visitors when their event space is full. “In addition to regular daily traffic, weekly traffic can almost multiply by 10 if an event is held,” says Enrique Burgos. “We needed an access control system as flexible and convenient as SMARTair™.” Also — and critically for ULab — SMARTair™ escutcheons and wall readers complement the ultra-modern design aesthetic of this new workspace. With SMARTair™ Wireless Online, ULab’s facility manager can monitor the building’s security status from a single control point and in real time, controlling who enters and when. The installation permits remote opening of any door at ULab, enabling easy access in cases where users have lost or forgotten their credential. Remote access can be granted from the SMARTair™ Web Manager software, which works on any device inside a standard browser without software installation, or from the SMARTair™ admin app for Apple and Android cellphone devices. Individual Access Rights For User Profiles It’s also easy to schedule individual access rights for different user profiles — allowing, for example, site managers to access all doors, but offering occasional users more limited entry to common areas. Changes in status can be made instantly from the Web Manager. And because SMARTair™ locks are operated with RFID smartcards, there’s no security problem if an employee loses their credential. With the SMARTair™ admin software, a simple click cancels the credential’s access rights — a much quicker and cheaper process than replacing a mechanical lock. With contemporary, low-profile design, user-friendly operation and flexible, real-time security functionality, SMARTair™ wireless access control has captured the spirit of ULab.
The shift from wired to wireless access control was expected to gather pace in 2016—and that has happened. This year we at Assa Abloy surveyed a large cross-section of security professionals, seeking their insight into the changing market. Comparing our data with research we did in 2014 showed a clear trend towards wireless access control. Wireless Access Data Our 2014 survey found 23% of commercial properties using a wireless or hybrid wired/wireless access control system. By 2016, that was 29%, with 5% of premises already fully wireless. We know we’re on the right track: ASSA ABLOY has invested heavily in market and product research, and we will continue. More card- and key-based wireless access control products are releasing through 2017 and beyond. We see a parallel trend in the residential market. Connected smart door locks, as part of smart homes, are becoming more high-profile, vindicating our investment in this sector. Our Yale brand has the largest range of smart door locks on the market.Efficient Security Solutions In 2016, more efficient security solutions have been right at the top of the agenda. Corporate and public sector budgets are tight, and that is likely to continue. On the commercial side, customers increasingly demand access control solutions that integrate with their current building management systems, even if those are made by different manufacturers. That’s why our Aperio wireless locks, cylinders, and escutcheons are built to open standards, for example. On the domestic side, connected living is taking off Connected Living Solutions Solutions must be easy to manage with low installation and maintenance costs, which is a major benefit of wireless access control. On the domestic side, connected living is taking off. More service providers in the domestic market—from energy suppliers to telecoms and security providers—are offering smart door locks as part of connected living solutions to their customers. Access Control In 2016 Looking ahead to 2017, interoperability and compatibility will be increasingly important in commercial access control, as customers expect multiple systems to integrate seamlessly. In smart-home technologies, too: Platforms like Samsung SmartThings, the UK’s O2 Home, innogy SmartHome in Germany and many others are critical to the growth of smart-home security. We also see a growing role for access control solutions in small and medium-sized businesses. Wireless access systems like our SMARTair or CLIQ Go product line make it more affordable and easier to install and run than ever. See the full coverage of 2016/2017 Review and Forecast articles here Save
Everything about wireless access control makes life easier for those who install and operate it A lot of market data crosses my desk at ASSA ABLOY. Sometimes it can be hard to spot patterns or pick out the trends. But not always. Some recent access control market research we commissioned pointed in one direction. Our conclusion? Slowly but surely, access control is becoming a wireless technology As the global leader in door opening solutions, we are able to survey a large, representative segment of security professionals. Comparing our latest data with similar research conducted in 2014 clearly indicates the trend. Our 2014 report found 23% of commercial properties using a wireless or hybrid wired/wireless access control system. Fast forward to 2016 and the proportion has risen to 29%, with 5% of the installed base already with a fully wireless setup. That’s a significant leap, in a relatively short time. Already, 69% of respondents consider wireless locks a cost-effective alternative to wired access control. A whopping 62% even predict that few business premises will still have mechanical locks within a decade. We published the detailed results in a report, “The Wireless Access Control Market in 2016”. Easy To Operate, Easy To Integrate But why wireless? What aspects of the technology appeal in particular to facility managers, integrators and installers? Cost-efficiency, ease of installation, and the compliance requirements for audit trails are often cited by building managers. Everything about wireless access control makes life easier for those who install and operate it. It’s easy to extend an existing third-party access control system by switching mechanical locking cylinders for battery-powered, electronic Aperio® cylinders, for example. You can bring them into the existing, single control panel via communications hubs (online integration) or via update-on-card (offline). Compare that to the full-scale rewiring job needed to add traditional magnetic locks! Key management headaches are eliminated by RFID smartcards, as are the security risks posed by a lost mechanical key — an all-too-common occurrence Equipping doors previously locked using mechanical keys with electronic access control upgrades a site’s security in an instant. Key management headaches are eliminated by RFID smartcards, as are the security risks posed by a lost mechanical key — an all-too-common occurrence, and something 86% of our survey respondents also worry about. EN, DIN and CE wireless lock certification drive still more customers to wireless. Easy, effective integration of wireless lock technologies like Aperio® with CCTV, alarm and other security systems is another major benefit. The era of the smart building is here; locking systems that integrate seamlessly with complementary building management infrastructure are increasingly vital. “Wireless locks are often specially designed for integration with other systems. The integration capabilities and ease of use can be a significant benefit,” writes Blake Kozak, principal analyst at IHS Research, in commentary on our report. Extensive Adoption Across Many Business Sectors Wireless is extensively adopted across many business sectors. In a corporate office setting, the ability for facility managers to amend access rights remotely, to instantly cancel lost cards or to extend an existing wired access control system without disruptive structural alterations are all valuable. Sensitive settings such as hospitals and residential care homes need the real-time information flow that only electronic access control can supply. Online wireless locks provide this much more cost-effectively than any other technology — and are even available with hermetic sealing and anti-bacterial coating. In the event of a security breach at a medicine store of patient records area, wireless locks generate detailed audit trails for locks, users or smartcards that regulatory compliance demands. In student accommodation blocks, lost keys are a recurring security risk and drain on resources — risks and costs that are eliminated by installing wireless access control instead of mechanical locks. Critical infrastructure sites are often widely dispersed or remote (or both). Wireless locks don’t need a mains electricity connection, making them a perfect choice for reservoirs, electricity sub-stations and power generation or distribution facilities. Certified locks and encrypted communications between lock and system ensure security meets the stringent demands of such critical premises. Wireless locks don’t need a mains electricity connection, making them a perfect choice for critical infrastructure sites Aperio Wireless Locks Among our own product portfolio, Aperio® wireless locks integrate with almost any leading access control system, allowing facility managers to take access control much further into a site than would be possible with wired access control. At i2 serviced offices around the UK, Aperio® wireless locks replaced the slow and expensive job of hardwiring every newly sublet office into i2’s central access control system. Aperio® is the access control backbone of a 100% wireless deployment at Ghent’s Hospital Maria Middelares. It enables real-time management and “gold standard” resident care at a new care home in Umeå, Sweden, as well as flexible, online access control at the University of Surrey’s Manor Park campus. SMARTair For Small To Medium-sized Premises SMARTair™ is a stand-alone wireless locking system aimed at small to medium-sized premises, including offices, retirement homes, hospitals, small hotels and universities. Building managers at Frankfurt’s Tower 185 chose SMARTair™ for its easy installation and access rights processing speed. Because SMARTair™ locks are wireless, they consume less energy and emit much less CO2 than wired magnetic locks. It’s no coincidence, then, that Tower 185 was among the first European high-rises to be awarded Gold LEED Certification by the US Green Building Council. The flexibility of SMARTair™ was also a major factor in the Red Cross’s decision to select it for its new Córdoba headquarters. CLIQ key Management Solution CLIQ® is a mechatronic technology, based on patented, high-security cylinders, battery-powered, programmable keys and encrypted electronic communications between cylinders and system. It is widely adopted in critical infrastructure settings around Europe. Its security credentials and the ability for in-house managers to issue contractors with programmable keys are a major benefit to workflow management in these complex organizations. The ability for in-house managers to issue contractors with programmable keys is a major benefit to workflow management in complex organizations In Helsinki, Finland, CLIQ® secures 3,500 interior and exterior doors at 70 different sites for Helsingin Energia, ensuring 400,000 customers have uninterrupted electricity supply. The whole ecosystem is managed remotely from simple, web-based CLIQ® administration software. Industrielle Werke Basel needed a locking system that would equip it to face 21st-century security challenges — as well as padlocks that could withstand extremes of climate and weather. CLIQ® technology ticked all the boxes. Adopting Wireless Beyond Doors Interestingly, our recent customer research also finds the market is already tuned-in to the potential for wireless beyond just doors. Well over half of respondents judged electronic access control well suited to securing server racks, cabinets, lockers, safes, and machines, as well as padlocked outdoor structures. Flexibility makes wireless technology the natural solution. “Interior doors, file cabinets, carts and other deployments will increasingly use wireless electronic systems,” says Kozak. “In deployments beyond doors, IHS expects mechatronic locks to see the most growth. Globally, we forecast that these devices will see volume growth of about 24% in 2016 as security personnel strengthen security to adhere to strict compliance regulations, which often require audit trails. Mechanical keys simply don’t offer this level of tracking.” With audit trail compliance, easy installation, cost efficiency, and seamless integration, wireless access control makes life easier for security managers, installers and system integrators. This, surely, is the secret to its rapid growth. We see it in survey responses and its increasingly widespread adoption across many sectors— and we expect to keep seeing it, as we analyze market trends through 2016 and beyond.
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