Electronic lock systems - Expert commentary

Moving to Sophisticated Electric Locking
Moving to Sophisticated Electric Locking

In part one of this feature, we introduced the shotbolt – a solenoid actuator – as the workhorse at the heart of most straightforward electric locking systems. Shotbolts remain at the core of most sophisticated electric locking solutions as well. But they are supplemented by materials and technologies that provide characteristics suited to specialist security applications. Here we look at some more demanding electric locking applications and contemporary solutions. Preventing forced entry Where the end of the shotbolt is accessible, the electric holding force can be overcome by physical force. That’s why anti-jacking technology is now a frequent feature of contemporary electric solenoid lock actuators. Anti-jacking, dead-locking or ‘bloc’ technology (the latter patented by MSL) is inherent to the way the locking assembly is designed to suit the requirements of the end application. The patented bloc anti-jacking system is highly effective and incorporated into many MSL shotbolts deployed in electric locking applications. The bloc technology uses a ring of steel balls in a shaped internal housing to physically jam the actuated bolt in place. A range of marine locks is widely used on Superyachts for rapid lockdown security from the helm Real life applications for MSL anti-jacking and bloc-equipped shotbolts include installation in the back of supermarket trucks to secure the roller shutter. Once locked from the cab, or remotely using radio technology, these shutters cannot be forced open by anyone with ‘undesirable intentions’ armed with a jemmy. A range of marine locks is widely used on Superyachts for rapid lockdown security from the helm. While anti-jacking features are an option on these shotbolts, consideration was given to the construction materials to provide durability in saltwater environments. Marine locks use corrosion-proof stainless steel, which is also highly polished to be aesthetically pleasing to suit the prestigious nature of the vessel while hiding the innovative technology that prevents the lock being forced open by intruders who may board the craft. Rotary and proportional solenoids sound unlikely but are now common A less obvious example of integrated technology to prevent forced override is a floor lock. This lock assembly is mounted beneath the floor with round-top stainless-steel bolts that project upwards when actuated. They are designed to lock all-glass doors and are arguably the only discreet and attractive way to lock glass doors securely. In a prestigious installation at a historic entranceway in Edinburgh University, the floor locks are remotely controlled from an emergency button behind the reception desk. They act on twin sets of glass doors to quickly allow the doors to close and then lock them closed with another set of subfloor locks. No amount of stamping on or hitting the 15mm protruding bolt pin will cause it to yield, thus preventing intruders from entering. Or leaving! Explosion proofing In many environments, electric locking technology must be ATEX certified to mitigate any risk of explosion. For example, remote electric locking is used widely on oil and gas rigs for stringent access control, general security and for emergency shutter release in the event of fire. It’s also used across many industrial sectors where explosion risks exist, including flour milling, In many environments, electric locking technology must be ATEX certified to mitigate any risk of explosionpowder producers, paint manufacture, etc. This adds a new dimension to the actuator design, demanding not only intrinsically safe electrical circuits and solenoid coils, but the careful selection of metals and materials to eliminate the chance of sparks arising from moving parts. Resilience under pressure The technology boundaries of solenoids are always being pushed. Rotary and proportional solenoids sound unlikely but are now common. More recently, while not directly related to security in the traditional sense, proportional solenoid valves for accurately controlling the flow of hydrogen and gases now exist. Magnet Schultz has an extensive and somewhat innovative new range of hydrogen valves proving popular in the energy and automotive sectors (Fig. 2-6). There’s a different kind of security risk at play here when dealing with hydrogen under pressures of up to 1050 bar. Bio security Less an issue for the complexity of locking technology but more an imperative for the effectiveness of an electric lock is the frequent use of shotbolts in the bio research sector. Remote electric locking is commonplace in many bioreactor applications. Cultures being grown inside bioreactors can be undesirable agents, making 100% dependable locking of bioreactor lids essential to prevent untimely access or the unwanted escape of organisms. Again, that has proven to be topical in the current climate of recurring coronavirus outbreaks around the world. More than meets the eye In part one, I started by headlining that there’s more to electric lock actuation in all manner of security applications than meets the eye and pointed out that while electric locking is among the most ubiquitous examples of everyday security, the complexity often involved and the advanced technologies deployed typically go unnoticed.Integrating the simplest linear actuator into a complex system is rarely simple For end users, that’s a very good thing. But for electro-mechanical engineers designing a system, it can present a challenge. Our goal at Magnet Schultz is to provide a clearer insight into today’s electric locking industry sector and the wide range of locking solutions available – from the straightforward to the specialized and sophisticated. Integrating the simplest linear actuator into a complex system is rarely simple. There’s no substitute for expertise and experience, and that’s what MSL offers as an outsource service to designers. One benefit afforded to those of us in the actuator industry with a very narrow but intense focus is not just understanding the advantages and limitations of solenoid technology, but the visibility of, and participation in, emerging developments in the science of electric locking. Knowing what’s achievable is invaluable in every project development phase.

Providing Fast and Secure Access in Life-Threatening Emergencies
Providing Fast and Secure Access in Life-Threatening Emergencies

A defibrillator can save the life of a person suffering from cardiac arrest – but it is most effective when used in the first few minutes of the patient collapsing. Studies have shown that a shock given within the first three minutes provides the best chance of survival and even one minute of further delay can substantially lower the chances of recovering. Public Access Defibrillators (PADs) were created to allow untrained members of the public to deliver life-saving treatment in those precious minutes before an ambulance arrives. There are currently over 10,000 in the UK, located in parks, offices, high streets and sporting venues, and they are especially popular in rural communities, where ambulance response times are longer. Every second counts Over the years there has been a long-running debate as to whether PADs should be kept openly accessible or locked. Leaving them open could lead to theft, vandalism or misuse. Leaving them locked could mean that precious moments are lost waiting for a local guardian to arrive – and could even cost a life. To save as many lives as possible, it’s clear that PADs need to be available 24/7, fully operational and easily accessible to users and local guardians. But there is a solution that can meet all these conditions – a lock that can protect against vandalism while providing convenient instant access when required. Life-saving solutions Over the years there has been a long-running debate as to whether PADs should be kept openly accessible or lockedDigital locks are ideal for securing PADs because they don’t require a key, and anyone can be given access over the phone. In the case of a cardiac arrest, the user calls 999 and the ambulance controller provides them with a simple, easy-to-remember code. The ambulance controller can then advise them, step by step, what to do. Local guardians, who have responsibility for the PAD, can be provided with an override key to enable them to monitor and maintain the defibrillator. The PAD cabinets built by Duchy Defibrillators show exactly how this works in practice. Based in rural Cornwall, Duchy Defibrillators manufactures, supplies and installs monitored PAD cabinets. To provide public access to the defibrillators, it needed a lock that could keep its cabinets secure, make them easily accessible and withstand the stormy Cornish weather. Codelocks recommended a digital electronic lock that could operate on a standalone battery, making it especially suitable for remote areas. As well as offering flexible access, digital locks come with a range of varying options and functions to suit different applications. As Duchy Defibrillator cabinets are installed in a wide variety of locations and sometimes need to withstand outdoor exposure, it opted for a robust electronic digital lock that is both affordable and easy to set up. A digital-access revolution Using smart locks in combination with a dedicated app or portal allows operators to send time-sensitive codes to end-users The example of Duchy Defibrillators shows how digital locks can be used to keep defibrillator cabinets secure while affording instant access to users when they are needed. But the flexibility of digital locks also makes them suitable for securing property and equipment in a wide variety of situations, especially for shared and public facilities. This is why you’ll increasingly see digital locks used to secure restricted areas in hospitals, schools and offices, as well as shared facilities like hotel and gym lockers, public restrooms and more. Digital locks are available for a number of specific applications, including doors, lockers and cabinets. They can range from simple mechanical locks through to more sophisticated electronic locks and state-of-the-art smart locks. Using smart locks in combination with a dedicated app or portal allows operators to send time-sensitive codes to end users – making them very popular for contactless entry and with facilities managers that need to manage access to buildings and campuses. One thing is certain – whatever your access control requirements are, there’s a keyless lock solution to suit. The digital access revolution is here.

Automatic Gates: Making The Right Investment For Access Control
Automatic Gates: Making The Right Investment For Access Control

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.

Latest HID Global news

HID Global Announces Release Of Its HID SAFE Physical Identity And Access Management Solution For Hybrid Workplaces
HID Global Announces Release Of Its HID SAFE Physical Identity And Access Management Solution For Hybrid Workplaces

As businesses move to hybrid remote and in-person workplaces while complying with evolving public-health mandates, they must manage a dynamic enterprise environment with more complex safety and security challenges. HID SAFE Facility and Risk Analytics HID Global, a globally renowned company in trusted identity solutions, has announced its HID SAFE Facility and Risk Analytics solution that improves efficiency, agility and flexibility in hybrid workplaces through real-time occupancy monitoring, risk analytics and alerting, and reporting. HID Global has seamlessly integrated the Innominds AI-powered iFusion technology into its HID SAFE Facility and Risk Analytics solution so users can create an easy-to-understand risk score based on real-time and historical behavior patterns. Integration with Innominds AI-powered iFusion technology The solution uses artificial intelligence to compare workplace data from physical security systems to archived information about past access control events, including unauthorized activities. This provides a clear picture of emerging threat scenarios so as to enable organizations to diagnose and resolve security risks effectively. “The ability to identify patterns of behavior that highlight risk is critical for businesses that increasingly are adopting a hybrid work model with more complex risks and compliance needs,” said Julian Lovelock, Segment Vice President at HID Global, adding “Innominds' iFusion’s deep predictive analytics capabilities and its integration with HID Global’s physical identity management solutions are designed to ensure a secure enterprise work force environment thus enabling enterprises to embrace the new normal.” iFusion analytics technology iFusion analytics technology uses Innominds’ proprietary accelerators to generate deep insights iFusion analytics technology uses Innominds’ proprietary accelerators to generate deep insights, predictive analytics and real-time reporting from complex data. The technology enables HID SAFE solution users to predict security events so they can improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and cost of their security operations. “We are pleased with this possibility of supporting enterprises’ return to work with solutions built on our AI, analytics and data engineering expertise. We are thrilled to be collaborating with HID Global who are leveraging our proprietary accelerators and AI-driven analytics platforms such as iFusion,” said Krishna Guda, President and Chief Strategy Officer, Innominds. Hybrid work solutions Krishna adds, “Our joint vision to offer a secure back-to-work solution for future enterprises becomes a reality with this collaboration. This strengthens our endeavor to power the Digital Next initiatives of global companies and be at the frontiers of the future of work.” In a recent HID survey, almost 70 percent of customers said the future of work will be hybrid. With the HID and Innominds collaboration, customers now have the deep insights, predictive analytics, and real time reporting to rapidly diagnose and resolve threatening situations while also meeting evolving compliance requirements in the new hybrid work environments.

HID Global Equips Bay State College With Its Digitized Contact Tracing Solution With HID Bluetooth BEEKs Beacons
HID Global Equips Bay State College With Its Digitized Contact Tracing Solution With HID Bluetooth BEEKs Beacons

HID Global, the globally renowned company in trusted identity solutions, has announced that Bay State College safely brought its students back to its campuses in Boston and Taunton, Massachusetts using a digitized contact tracing solution that includes HID Bluetooth BEEKs Beacons to provide real-time location services. HID Bluetooth beacon The HID Bluetooth beacon is in the form of a simple badge holder that is used to carry existing ID badges for students, faculty, staff and guests. The beacons are part of a robust solution that makes it possible to quickly and easily perform contact tracing, removing the manual and time-consuming effort to identify who has been in contact with whom on campus. “Contact tracing is a key component for safely operating our campuses and considered by health departments to be one of the most important efforts to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Jeffrey E. Myers, Chief Information Officer with Bay State College. Contact tracing solution He adds, “HID BEEKS beacons are carried by each person on campus as part of our solution that enabled us to safely resume in-person classes and keep our campus operational should isolated parts of our community find themselves infected.” The HID BEEKS Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) beacons provide the starting data that Bay State College’s contact tracing solution uses to calculate the time, place, and proximity of faculty, staff, and students while on the college’s two campuses. HID BEEKs Beacons HID’s offering is part of a broader platform that provides smart building and optimization capabilities" The information from the beacons enables college administrators to comply with state and local occupancy mandates and, when needed, rapidly respond to cases. Logs are maintained only for the 14-day period required for contact tracing, and the university has adopted strict privacy policy guidelines for data use and access. “We are very pleased that Bay State College has used HID BEEKs Beacons to help streamline and accelerate the often daunting task of contact tracing,” said Mark Robinton, Vice President of IoT Services at HID Global, adding "In addition to creating a completely digitized approach to this process, HID’s offering is part of a broader platform that provides smart building and optimization capabilities that extend well beyond today’s pressing need to stem the spread of COVID-19.” HID Location Services HID BEEKS Beacons are part of a complete HID Location Services for Workplace Safety that also simplifies and streamlines how to manage social distancing. These workplace safety solutions build on the company’s comprehensive HID Location Services platform, deployed by Fortune 500 companies worldwide, to manage building occupancy, optimize office and facility space, improve energy efficiency and enhance security. The platform can also monitor assets as well as the condition and health of industrial equipment.

HID Global Provides Mobile Access Solution To Avolon To Create Secure And Convenient Employee Experiences
HID Global Provides Mobile Access Solution To Avolon To Create Secure And Convenient Employee Experiences

HID Global, a worldwide provider of trusted identity solutions, announced that popular aerospace company Avolon has selected the HID Mobile Access solution for physical access at its headquarters in Dublin and other locations worldwide. Powered by HID’s award-winning Seos credential technology, the solution enables Avolon to issue staff Mobile IDs to smartphones for building access and provides an efficient management platform for its global network of offices. Avolon is one of the world’s largest aircraft leasing companies servicing many of the world’s major airlines. HID partnered with Ireland-based systems integrator Summit Security Systems Ltd to deploy the HID Mobile Access solution and HID’s readers throughout Avolon’s Dublin campus. Mobile IDs are sent to Avolon staff via an app on a user’s Android or iOS mobile device so they can quickly and easily use their phones to gain access to Avolon facilities. Manage access rights “We needed to maintain a secure perimeter, but we did not want the security to be a barrier. Using a mobile phone is much more convenient than an access card and phones tend not to get left behind,” said Allan Dawson, Facilities Project Manager at Avolon. “We were looking for a system that was highly flexible, highly mobile and highly secure. HID has offered us that and the solution gives us everything that we want in terms of security and flexibility.” Since Mobile IDs are issued remotely, they can easily be issued or revoked for added convenience and efficiency The HID Mobile Access solution facilitates around-the-clock office access for staff members and equips administrators to manage access rights from a centralized, cloud-based portal. Since Mobile IDs are issued remotely, they can easily be issued or revoked for added convenience and efficiency. Touchless access control “Avolon’s use of HID Mobile Access makes touchless access control possible for a more seamless user experience, which is appealing to many organizations in the today’s new normal,” said Harm Radstaak, Vice President and Managing Director of Physical Access Control with HID Global. “The scalability of our solution also lays the groundwork for Avolon to easily extend mobile access across more of its facilities.” Following the successful deployment of mobile access at its Dublin headquarters, Avolon has also launched the HID Mobile Access solution at its New York, Florida and Hong Kong offices, with plans underway for its Singapore campus.

Related white papers

Physical Access Control In Higher Education

Mobile Access- What You Need To Know (Part 1)

The Role Of IT In Physical Access Control