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Paxton Net2 access control solution plays central role in Windrush Frozen Foods’ smart building

  Net2 plays central role in Windrush Frozen Foods’ smart building
 Windrush Frozen Foods' smart building
Accidentally leaving the lights and air-conditioning on overnight is a thing of the past at Windrush Frozen Foods, thanks to an innovative application of Paxton Access' Net2 access control system. Chris Lewis Security Services has installed Net2 to serve as the centralised building management system in Windrush's new head office, bringing benefits in terms of both security and energy saving. Net2 controls everything from switching on the lights when the first person arrives in a morning to ensuring that only authorised people enter individual rooms.

Windrush Frozen Foods is a fast-growing company based in Witney, Oxfordshire. It specialises in producing the finest food from the best ingredients, supplying customers ranging from those with skilled catering staff to others that depend on fully prepared food. Ingredients are sourced from around the world, and recipes are constantly being developed by Windrush's own chefs.

"Net2 is not just an access control system," stresses Chris Lewis Security Services IT director Justin Rhodes. It offers a lot more than would be available from a traditional entry system, he says, as it can integrate with a diverse range of other services to prepare a building for use in the morning and shut it down at night. The programmable Triggers & Actions are ideal for removing the need for individuals to remember to lock up or turn off lights, heating and air-conditioning. The installation of Net2 has integrated security systems, such as the intruder alarm and access control with general office services such as lighting. Net2 also makes it easy to monitor staff time and attendance, which Windrush wanted to be able to do for health and safety purposes.

"Management is much easier than with individual systems. It all works together," says Chris Lewis Security Services surveyor James Boorne. "Security is very important to us, and we wanted a reliable and flexible system with a central point of control," says Windrush Frozen Foods IT manager Robbie Roberts. It was important to integrate all the security - alarms, shutters and access controls- as well as the fire alarm. The Net2 system offered by Chris Lewis Security Solutions met the security criteria and went further.

"Being able to link in the lighting, heating and air conditioning brings additional benefits and energy savings," he says. "We chose the Paxton Net2 system as it had the flexibility to integrate with other products. The Paxton equipment is very good, and the software is easy to set up and use."

The installation of Net2 has integrated security systems, such as the intruder alarm and access control with general office services such as lighting. Net2 also makes it easy to monitor staff time and attendance, which Windrush wanted to be able to do for health and safety purposes

Further benefits come from Net2's ability to monitor the building's services and send out email or text notifications to the company's managers about any issues such as power failures that require attention Chris Lewis Security Services has noticed an increase in requests for integrated systems. Clients' IT departments are becoming increasingly involved in specifying and then running security systems that bring together multiple aspects, all controlled via a central computer. The company regularly undertakes a single installation covering fi re, intruder, access control and CCTV with integrated management. "Delivering this at a cost that is affordable for small and medium sized businesses is very advantageous. Building management systems have traditionally been for multi-million pound sites," says Mr Rhodes.

"With a company like Windrush that is expanding rapidly, it is important to install a system that will continue to suit their purposes," says Mr Boorne."Net2 offers this flexibility and has many different functions that take it beyond standard access control."

Every door has been fitted with access control units that are used both on entering and leaving the area. Biometric sensors have also been incorporated. Most doors require a valid access card as well as fingerprint verification. "This also stops people holding the door open for someone else - they wouldn't be able to get back out again otherwise," points out Mr Boorne.

The access cards have individual access levels meaning that only authorised people can enter sensitive areas such as the server room. These individual identity cards may also be incorporated into the vehicle fleet's satellite tracking system in due course as a further step in the integration. Other possibilities for future development of Windrush's system include the addition of CCTV cameras - snapshots could even be stored of whoever opened up the building in the morning.

The card of the last person to leave in the evening initiates the shutting down of systems such as lighting and air conditioning and the setting of the alarm. Shutters are opened automatically when the first person enters in the morning, but are shut manually at night so that checks can be made for obstructions such as open windows.

The whole system is run from a central server and controlled by Windrush's IT department, with all the doors linked back to that computer system. Net2's flexibility has been the key to enabling so many functions to work, says Mr Rhodes. Use of the Net2 I/O board and Triggers & Actions enables easy programming so that the systems meet Windrush's needs. "We are increasingly using these features - it's a growing market," he says. "Net2 is a very reliable system and easy to install. We work closely with Paxton on development and have the IT capabilities within our own IT department to be able to use the more advanced features."

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