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 PAC International, Ltd news

PAC Introduces New Versions Of Access Central And EasiNet Residential To Address Post-Lockdown Access Control Challenges
PAC Introduces New Versions Of Access Central And EasiNet Residential To Address Post-Lockdown Access Control Challenges

PAC, a supplier of innovative access control solutions, has announced new versions of its cutting-edge Access Central and EasiNet Residential software management platforms. The most comprehensive upgrades to both systems since they were initially launched, PAC has introduced a range of dynamic features that will enable commercial and residential premises to maintain high levels of occupant safety as lockdown begins to ease. ‘Access control technology has a significant role to play in helping to protect building occupants from infection, alongside its ability to configure smart and reliable strategies to help alleviate anxiety, enhance confidence and maintain regulatory compliance,’ commented Pete England, PAC’s global product manager. ‘Over the last year, we have been working hard to leverage the power of our technology. As a result, Access Central v5.3 has been designed to help limit person-to-person contact, control occupancy levels reduce surface touches, and swiftly initiates contact tracing procedures.’ Enhance security with access central Access Central acts as a central resource for keyholder records and access privileges, with the ability to set pre-configured alarms, track activities  Designed primarily for the commercial, educational, and healthcare sectors, Access Central acts as a central resource for keyholder records and access privileges, with the ability to set pre-configured alarms, track activities and maintain a full audit trail. To build on its existing capabilities, Access Central v5.3 now has additional occupancy management features including managed entrance, occupancy tracking, and global anti-passback for accurate tracing of keyholders. This will help make sure occupants adhere to designated one-way flow systems through buildings and do not overpopulate specific areas. Furthermore, a keyholder’s access privileges can be temporarily disabled if they do not read out when exiting an area. Access Central v5.3 also boasts enhanced building management and security features such as a guard tour that configures set routes around a building for security officers. Using pre-configured parameters, automated event notifications send PC pop-up notifications when occupancy limits are reached and/or exceeded restrict entry and provide a live display of the number of people in an area. This can form part of a broader health and safety policy, for example, temperature and mask checks or use of sanitization stations, and can be used to configure a traffic light-style system, while time periods are configurable to enable one or multiple managed entrances per day. Cost-effective expansion Similar innovations are found in EasiNet Residential v5.3, which combines high-security access control with advanced keyholder configuration and management, which can be supported through PAC’s secure Residential Cloud. EasiNet Residential v5.3 enables cost-effective expansion into building management systems through the use of PAC input/output controllers to facilitate third-party equipment integration, allowing building services such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to be centrally managed. In addition, elevator control means that keyholders are only assigned access to specific floors to maintain social distancing. These features can all be managed via Control Center – PAC’s new ‘single pane of glass’ management tool for operators. Consolidating CCTV and access control functionality is more vital than ever and both Access Central v5.3 and EasiNet Residential v5.3 offer options for 3xLOGIC VIGIL integration. Cameras can be directly configured and monitored through each software solution, with access to VIGIL’s business intelligence capabilities achieved via integration with a VIGIL server. As such video verification through CCTV actions can be captured through pre-sets that, for instance, move a pan, tilt, zoom camera as an event is taking place. Smart access control PAC’s Pete England concluded, ‘As people emerge from their homes and begin to return to their workplaces, building safety and security needs to be rethought, reconfigured and adapted to meet a complex set of challenges. Access control technology must be used in smarter ways than ever before to help protect building occupants and achieving this objective is now possible thanks to Access Central v5.3 and EasiNet Residential v5.3’.  In order to help partners and customers maximize the potential of these state-of-the-art features, PAC will be hosting two webinars for the commercial and residential markets. 

3xLOGIC, PAC GDX And PACOM To Demonstrate Latest Security Innovations At IFSEC 2019
3xLOGIC, PAC GDX And PACOM To Demonstrate Latest Security Innovations At IFSEC 2019

3xLOGIC, PAC/GDX and PACOM, providers of security and access control solutions, have announced they will be exhibiting on stand IF2930 at IFSEC International 2019, which takes place on 18th-20th June at ExCeL, London. For over 15 years as one of the USA’s most respected innovators in server, cloud and artificial intelligence-based solutions, 3xLOGIC has an enviable track record in redefining what’s possible with security technology. After successfully launching into the European market earlier this year, 3xLOGIC will exhibit its diverse range of cutting-edge products as well as demonstrate their integration capabilities. Leading the way is the integration of 3xLOGIC’s NVRs and standalone cameras into PACOM’s GMS and Unison product lines. VIGIL Enterprise Grade VMS 3xLOGIC’s VIGIL enterprise grade VMS is the driving force behind the VIGIL range of NVRs, DVRs and PoE cameras3xLOGIC’s VIGIL enterprise grade VMS is the driving force behind the VIGIL range of network video recorders (NVRs), digital video recorders (DVRs) and Power over Ethernet (PoE) cameras. To further enhance VIGIL’s suitability for multi-site environments, it has been integrated with the PACOM Graphical Management System (GMS). Engineered to communicate over an IP network, the PACOM GMS allows for full integration of access control, alarm monitoring, video surveillance and many other security functions. 3xLOGIC’s Visix Facial Recognition camera is making its European debut at IFSEC 2019. This special purpose, low cost, dual lens 2MP device is designed for instant face detection, and the identification and notification of persons of interest. Using camera-based analytics and 3xLOGIC’s exclusive facial recognition software and mobile app, users can review images and choose which individuals to place on a watch list. Unison Security Management Furthermore, 3xLOGIC’s Facial Recognition camera has recently been integrated into PACOM’s Unison security management platform. An open security solution designed specifically for campus-based organizations, Unison is the solution of choice for organizations within vertical sectors such as healthcare, universities, commercial buildings, public facilities, municipalities, airports, shipping ports and data centers. The combination of Facial Recognition capabilities with Unison improves operational efficiency by quickly and accurately identifying persons of interest, and streamlining processes to use this information to meet the organization’s security and marketing goals. TRENDS empowers the user to interpret vast amounts of disparate data more effectively and efficiently than ever before For those looking to optimize organizational efficiency, 3xLOGIC’s TRENDS cloud-based business intelligence tool incorporates exception-based reporting, video data and third-party applications into an easy to use dashboard that provides a simple visual snapshot of business operations. TRENDS empowers the user to interpret vast amounts of disparate data more effectively and efficiently than ever before, offering unrivalled levels of visibility to quickly spot issues and liabilities that can seriously impact a company’s bottom line. Bluetooth-Based Card Reader Last, but certainly not least, visitors will have the chance to get hands on with the new PAC GDX Bluetooth-based card reader technology, which has been specifically designed to meet the requirements of companies of all sizes that want the most secure access control solution possible. Experts from the company will be available for product demonstrations and to discuss a new online training program that has been developed to enable installers and end users to get the very best out of their PAC GDX solution. “It has been a tremendously exciting year, and we are looking forward to discussing our activities with those attending IFSEC,” commented Matt Kushner, Global President, Stanley Products and Solutions. “With a combined legacy 
of over 100 years in the security industry, 3xLOGIC, PAC GDX and PACOM lead the way in the design and manufacture of video surveillance, access control, and business intelligence solutions. By visiting Stand IF2930 and talking to our experts, visitors have a fantastic opportunity to find out how our technology can enhance security provision in a diverse range of built environments and how we can help them achieve their operational and security objectives.”

3xLOGIC, Inc. Expands North American Sales Network With New Hires
3xLOGIC, Inc. Expands North American Sales Network With New Hires

3xLOGIC, Inc., global provider of integrated, intelligent security solutions, and a three-time Deloitte Technology Fast 500 winner, announced that the company has added to its growing North American sales network, along with other personnel moves at its umbrella company, Stanley Products and Solutions (SPS). The company added two new RSMs to further penetrate key markets in the Pacific NW as well as the Mid-Atlantic regions and appointed a new Marketing Manager for the PACOM brand of products. 3xLOGIC Adds Security Expert 3xLOGIC welcomes Joel Dombovy as a Regional Sales Manager (RSM) in the Northwest 3xLOGIC welcomes Joel Dombovy as a Regional Sales Manager (RSM) in the Northwest. Joel comes to the company with 14 years of security industry experience, working with companies such as Interlogix, GE Security, and Honeywell. John Saxen will support Joel as the Inside Sales Account Manager for the region. Jake Franklin takes over as RSM for the Mid-Atlantic. He joins the company from RF Technologies, a safety solutions company in healthcare where he was RSM for the Northeast. Prior to that, he worked as Critical Infrastructure Account Manager & Sales Representative at a security integration company. Jake’s passion for technology and previous security experience make him an excellent addition to 3xLOGIC’s powerful sales team. Bill Hobbs, Global VP of Sales for SPS, announced that both Joel and Jake will report to Jason Bryan, Director of Sales. PACOM Expands Marketing Team Jennifer Joyce is the new Marketing Manager for PACOM, sister company of 3xLOGIC, as the company continues to expand efforts in the North American to market the wide range of PACOM solutions that have found success all over the world. She brings more than 25 years of marketing and design experience to the team. Her global marketing experience began with Firestone Industrial Products and Jennifer most recently spent her time in digital marketing as Marketing Director for Orbis Education. She will report to Suzi Abell, Senior Director of Global Marketing, SPS. Gavin O’Keeffe has been promoted to Director of Product Management Elsewhere in the larger SPS organization Charlie Erickson has a new title reflecting his growing responsibilities—Chief Technology Officer. He continues to oversee Product Management as his team continues to expand. Reporting directly to Charlie, Michael Poe has been promoted to Director of Product Management. He will be leading the Video, Blue, DIY, and TRENDS products lines. Rick Walker will be aligned under Poe’s leadership.  New PAC, PACOM, infinias Head Also reporting to Charlie, Gavin O’Keeffe has been promoted to Director of Product Management, and he will be leading the PAC, PACOM, infinias, and Sonitrol product teams. We also welcome Darren Monroe, Product Manager for infinias to Gavin’s team. Darren will work in the 3xLOGIC office in Indianapolis and Gavin works out of the PACOM Australia office. Drew Alexander continues as Sr. Director of Program Management, and he will continue to add Program Managers to his team to facilitate a growing list of product launches and business initiatives.

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