Access control controllers - Expert commentary

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 post 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 whilst 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 whilst 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 manoeuvre. 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.

4 ways to keep your workplace protected from COVID-19
4 ways to keep your workplace protected from COVID-19

The unprecedented global impact of COVID-19 has taken its toll on all of us, but as cases of the virus thankfully recede, employers are now forced to confront how they can enable a safe return to work for employees. For many employers, this means they will have to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, redesign workspaces to maintain social distances, carry out more frequent cleaning, manage the transmission risk and find alternatives to touch-based security devices. Protecting workplace occupants in any emergency requires preparation and clear communication. This is especially critical in a health crisis involving an infectious disease. These are some of the essential best practices that could help organisations reduce the impact on their employees and operations during this pandemic. 1. Use a visitor management system With a visitor management system, organisations have a single source of real-time and historical insights into who is, or was recently, in the workplace. This is especially important because of the need to perform contact tracing should anyone in the organisation show symptoms of COVID-19, meaning everyone they have been in contact with needs to be contacted and asked to isolate. Yet still, first impressions are made at the front desk or lobby, where the visitor experience needs to be a positive one. At the same time, though, any emergency event requires that there be strict control over who is entering the workplace. This policy also needs to be clearly communicated to visitors. Doing this minimises risk to visitors as well as the workforce. In addition to delivering a high-quality visitor experience, the ideal visitor management system must: Enable organisations to meet regulatory compliance mandates and facilitate check-in at a self-service kiosk to minimise wait times. Customise the visitor experience to support specific security needs, such as accelerating and simplifying check-in or requiring additional security pre-checks. Automate compliance as it relates to visitor access rules with historical visit reports. 2. Pre-check questions at visitor registration kiosks Organisations can strengthen security at the registration kiosk using a flexible, enterprise-grade visitor management system to add visitor sign-in steps. This has proven successful in the past when used to control the spread of infectious disease during an outbreak. An example of this is a U.S. children's hospital which managed to reduce facility infection rates by 25 percent over a two-year period using a commercial, off-the-shelf physical identity and access management (PIAM) solution from HID Global. The solution provides two particularly important capabilities that can be used by organisations to protect their workplace from the uncontrolled spread of an infectious disease: Enhance visitor registration policy with additional mandatory questions to help identify any visitors who may need other screenings. Extend the visitor registration kiosk with a mandatory pop-up asking further questions during visitor check-in. 3. Understand who has visited your workplace Successful controlling the spread of infection throughout a facility requires the ability to automatically maintain an auditable trail of activity. This can be done using an enterprise-grade visitor management system that makes it easy to retrieve historical visit reports. This provides a timeline of who was in the workplace, and when they were there. Key features include: A single dashboard providing useful visitor insights at your fingertips. Historical reports that provide visitor details including location and contact information, all in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy regulations. 4. Clearly communicate how infection risks can be reduced Global organisations must actively communicate with visitors and employees on the outbreak of infectious diseases and follow best practices outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO). Here are several things organisations can do in this area to help maintain a safe and healthy workplace: Re-enforce and communicate WHO best practices with guideline posters in the front lobby and throughout the workplace. Add posters that also encourage regular and thorough washing of hands. Encourage everyone to cough or sneese into their shirt sleeve in their flexed elbow or cover their mouth and nose with a tissue. Encourage everyone to keep a relatively safe distance from each other and use alternatives to handshakes when saying hello. Organisations must contend with a variety of workplace challenges during the outbreak of an infectious disease. These challenges can be solved with best practices that include a comprehensive visitor management system that automates critical check-in policies and maintains an auditable trail of visitor activity.  

The intersection of education and fire and security
The intersection of education and fire and security

Protecting against fire and security risks is an essential aspect of life for people and across all sectors. However, there is an increasing expectation and demand on fire and security providers, in areas such as education. The securitisation of our world paired with the rapid speed of communication and news updates means that young people especially have the potential to be more aware of potential dangers and threats to their own safety and the safety of those around them. Education institutions are large and sometimes sprawling sites that present considerable fire and security challenges. From kindergarten to university Each education site brings distinct challenges, with differing facilities and specialties, as well as the need to maintain the capacity of students, teachers and lecturers to study, learn and teach at the high level expected.Each education site brings distinct challenges, with differing facilities and specialties While some schools and universities are based in urban areas with a mix of heritage and high rise buildings, others are sprawled across green open spaces. Some of these sites have specialised sporting facilities, while others may be focused on engineering or scientific study, with costly technical equipment. Kindergartens and primary schools have their own unique requirements. Parents expect the highest safety standards, while schools require safety in addition to efficient facilities management. The demographic of these institutions is predominantly young children, who are often unaware of or only just learning about fire safety and personal safety. This creates a huge vulnerability and an added onus on teachers to keep their students safe. Facial recognition at West Academy of Beijing In response to this need, Chubb China upgraded the closed-circuit television (CCTV) system for Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) focusing on elevating video content analytic features, including maximised CCTV monitoring, automatic police calling, and a smart search solution. Complementing this, a facial recognition system capable of finding the exact location of a student on campus within 30 seconds was added, aided by real-time remote gate operation. This integrated and advanced system resulted won the "High Quality Educational Technology Suppliers for School" award for the WAB project at the 2019 BEED Asia Future Oriented Construction of Universities and Schools Seminar. This award recognises outstanding solution design and project execution. Parents expect the highest safety standards, while schools require safety in addition to efficient facilities management Awareness remains important at university As students graduate from kindergarten, primary school, junior and senior school, they become more aware of fire safety, relevant dangers and how to protect themselves. Unfortunately, external dangers remain. There are particularly high stakes for university campus facilities managers The safety of students in a university environment is also critical. It is often the first time young people live away from their family home and have the independence of adulthood. For this reason, there are particularly high stakes for university campus facilities managers. In the eventuality of a fire, students could be at great risk and, beyond the immediacy of physical harm, this can have serious ramifications for the reputation of an educational institution. Integrated solutions Integrated solutions must be nimble and adapted to a range of site types including campus residences, recreational areas, open spaces and lecture theatres. Chubb Sicli recently identified and overcame these challenges through the installation of a full suite of fire safety and security equipment and services at Webster University Geneva. Established in Switzerland in 1978, Webster University Geneva is an accredited American university campus that offers programs in English to students interested in undergraduate or graduate-level education.  Located in the Commune of Bellevue, just a few kilometres from Geneva's central station, the campus of Webster University Geneva includes five buildings in a park-style atmosphere. Full fire and security audit Chubb Sicli provided Webster’s fire extinguisher maintenance for over 25 years. This business relationship led to a full fire and security audit that identified the need for updates to the university’s security installation. The initial audit showed several improvements to the university’s security profile were needed.The challenge was to create and provide an effective and interconnected fire and security solution The challenge was to create and provide an effective and interconnected fire and security solution, enhancing the security of the student population and its ever-evolving needs. This included complete fire detection and intruder alarms for all five buildings, upgrades to existing CCTV systems, new video surveillance equipment and an automated fire extinguishing system in the kitchen areas. In addition to this integrated system solution, Webster University required access control for all main entrances, with the requirement that all documentation to be made available in English, because Webster is an American company. Customised solution Chubb Sicli’s quality, capability, and security expertise provided a customised solution for the unique educational establishment. Not only was the solution both tailored and integrated, the approach and planning were based on audit, fire extinguisher and emergency light maintenance, fire detection, intrusion detection, access control, video surveillance and Fire Detection. Through dedicated and integrated fire safety support, Chubb provides students and families peace of mind and security. From the moment a young child enters the education system, Chubb’s diligent and effective surveillance and fire safety systems work to prevent and protect, offering a new kind of ‘end-to-end’ service for education systems around the world.

Latest Idesco news

Idesco secures Infobric’s construction site with its transparent reader
Idesco secures Infobric’s construction site with its transparent reader

Idesco devised a transparent reader to simplify Infobric’s construction site system management, making it powerfully adaptable to widely different market needs and technology standards. For a while, construction sites have provided a textbook example of how much electronic access control systems can benefit managers. Controlling access to a site, including restricted zones, machinery access (such as lifts and elevators), increases both security and safety, while also helping track authorised personnel and even equipment utilisation. Ensuring regulatory compliance Infobric Ease possesses a wide range of functionality, from site access to energy control and much more An automatic, electric system, with that much functionality combined in a single service meets a high-value need in the construction industry. Today, Infobric provides a cloud-based digital platform, Infobric Ease, to help construction site managers monitor and secure key elements, such as site safety, while increasing worker productivity and ensuring regulatory compliance. Infobric Ease possesses a wide range of functionality, from site access to energy control and much more. In addition to simplifying site management and boosting worker productivity, it simplifies sites’ compliance with staff ledger regulation across a number of European countries. Worker productivity has been enhanced by the elimination of queues to register new staff on site and attendance. Lastly, controlled access increases worker safety while reducing theft and vandalism. Simplifying worker attendance monitoring Cloud management contributes even more to time and labour cost savings while also letting site owners conveniently fulfil their law-mandated employer obligations. To prevent tax avoidance and illegal workers, some European countries require construction site managers to upload the employee data registered in their staff ledgers – which Infobric Ease also provides, thereby also simplifying worker attendance monitoring. In short, the digital tracking of all this data saves significant time and money. The RFID industry commonly labels this type of reader ‘transparent’, because it seamlessly transmits transponder data Infobric integrated Idesco’s 9 CD 2.0 Slim Pin T reader into Infobric Ease as its vital front-end interface with construction workers. The RFID industry commonly labels this type of reader ‘transparent’, because it seamlessly transmits transponder data – fully-encrypted to ANSSI Level 1 Architecture specification – directly to a system, without any mediating keys. This lets systems themselves directly control all aspects of transactions – including data collection and reader response – resulting in both a highly secure and a cost-effective solution. Several identification card standards For integrators like Infobric, 9 CD 2.0 Slim Pin T’s direct, ‘transparent’, interaction between transponder and system not only simplifies transactions. It also lets them use more of the available features in the chips in workers’ transponders. This further benefits site owners and security managers because system updates can be implemented with greater agility and cost savings. “There are several identification card standards we adapt our products and systems to work with. So, we really wanted a card reader we could use in all our markets, without needing different hardware updates after a system upgrade or launching a new functionality across our different markets. The ‘transparent’ reader from Idesco turned out to be the perfect solution”, says Björn Hilliges, IT & Electronics Director at Infobric. Product design and expertise Every month, the Infobric Ease system handles approx. 11,000,000 card readings" “Infobric and Idesco have been co-operating for more than 10 years and through several product development projects. Over the years, Idesco repeatedly demonstrated their excellent quality in both product design and expertise, always providing us with products and solutions that reliably withstood very rough, inclement conditions amid frequent use at our customers’ construction sites,” says Björn Hilliges, IT & Electronics Director at Infobric. “Every month, the Infobric Ease system handles approx. 11,000,000 card readings. So, Idesco is a key partner for Infobric, and each day their readers fill a vital role at approx. 15,000 construction sites,” says Björn Hilliges, IT & Electronics Director at Infobric. Convenient regulatory compliance Infobric ease benefits for construction sites Convenient regulatory compliance on staff ledger registration in numerous European countries Increased productivity by reducing administrative tasks Time savings from agile system updating (despite differing card standards in different markets) because reader updates are no longer needed Enhanced reader functionality for workers with included keypads Reliability of Scandinavian-designed readers that are robust, weather-proof, maintenance-free Sites can now substantively help prevent undocumented labour and unprofessional contractors Infobric Ease features: Cloud-mediated service Seamless data collection Energy control Regulatory-compliant staff ledger Automated electronic access Mobile attendance & access Staff access control Vehicle access control Machine control Smart locks Making construction sites safer Infobric designs systems that make construction sites safer, more productive and reduce costs. Infobric’s solutions ensure the right people are in the right place at the right time at the site. Infobric provides with the best-working solution for the worksite, for both work hours and after, in packages that have been serving successfully on European construction sites large and small. Their goal is to become the digitisation partner for the construction industry in the Nordics. With 30 years of experience, RFID technology pioneer Idesco Oy makes RFID readers, transponders, controllers and touch screen devices. Every day, for customers around the world, their devices collect data and enhance security for a variety of access control, vehicle identification, logistics and inventory systems.

Mari Melakari shares her thoughts on Idesco’s supply chain
Mari Melakari shares her thoughts on Idesco’s supply chain

Mari Melakari is one of the newest to join Idesco’s SCM team. She oversees incoming component logistics and inventory, ensuring adequate supply for production members. Additionally, every day Mari expedites delivery of numerous Idesco product consignments to customers world-wide. Teamwork is integral to Mari’s work at Idesco. Every morning, Mari and her SCM team review the pending task and delivery schedule to parse assignments among individuals. Providing a healthy counterbalance to work When Mari began at Idesco, it was a new kind of job with a robust learning curve. Yet the work variety since then has also kept her job interesting. “The best days give me a feeling of achievement; it’s nice leaving at the end of the day, with everything in its place, knowing shipments left for destinations on time,” she says. Mari has a most interesting hobby. In pursuit of her life-long dream, she applied to and was accepted into the Student Theatre of Oulu. She is already in rehearsal for her sixth performance. As the performance date approaches, she anticipates a string of evening rehearsals will keep her busy. Acting, however, provides a healthy counterbalance to work, Mari concludes.

Idesco Security Key Management Service secure Evotec’s systems against cargo thefts
Idesco Security Key Management Service secure Evotec’s systems against cargo thefts

Denmark’s Evotec chose Idesco readers to complete their cargo securing system they had designed for transport companies’ vehicles. Evotec’s system does more than merely preventing cargo theft. Drivers also feel more secure when delivering because hijack risks are also reduced. This is because cargo is robustly secured when drivers leave vehicles behind. Idesco 8 CD 2.0 DESFire readers Evotec selected Idesco 8 CD 2.0 DESFire readers for deployment on delivery vehicles Danish cargo companies had been struggling with regular delivery cargo thefts. Drivers did not feel secure when delivering and financial losses were growing. Evotec decided to develop a novel vehicle security solution for cargo companies. As part of their solution, Evotec selected Idesco 8 CD 2.0 DESFire readers for deployment on delivery vehicles. Idesco readers have since been installed on several hundred Danish cargo trucks and vans. Early in their design process, Evotec had seen a clear need to strictly limit access to vehicle’s cargo space to authenticated personnel only. They had known RFID technology could provide accurate, secure user identification and authentication. They learned that Idesco’s MIFARE DESFire readers, paired with 128-bit AES-encrypted DESFire transponders, would easily repel transponder hacking or cloning. Best of all, they learned Idesco designed many of its readers for installing outdoors, reliably resisting impacts, moisture, dirt and temperature extremes. Security Key Management service Idesco’s Security Key Management service saved Evotec extensive time and resources"Bo Schønning, Evotec Aps CEO, described the subsequent cooperation of Idesco with his company, “We got great assistance in choosing the correct solution for our system”. In addition to coded readers, Evotec ApS also subscribed to Idesco’s convenient Security Key Management Service for ensure compatibility with every vehicle’s readers. Since DESFire demands readers and transponders be encoded with matching security keys, Idesco’s Security Key Management service saved Evotec extensive time and resources, freeing them to focus exclusively on installations for their customers’ vehicles without worrying about managing DESFire keys themselves. “We feel safe when Idesco handles this data for our customers”, says Bo Schønning. The cargo drivers of Evotec’s customers are assigned vehicle specific transponders to carry, which open the cargo space when presented to the reader guarding it. For increased security, the driver cabin locks automatically when the cargo space unlocks. Additionally, cargo doors automatically lock when they close and will remain locked when the vehicle’s engine is running. The system works equally well in vehicles equipped with liftgates. Opening the vehicle’s driver cabin with the ignition key doesn’t affect its cargo space: it remains continuously locked. If needed, a vehicle’s cargo space could be opened remotely via fleet management software. If a transponder is stolen, a vehicle’s readers can be reprogrammed to not recognise the transponders. Fleet management and vehicle tracking Vehicles are also equipped with GPS transmitters that update fleet software with vehicle locations and routes Vehicles are also equipped with GPS transmitters that update fleet software with vehicle locations and routes. The fleet software’s online tracking and route reporting also provides cargo companies a powerful fuel control ability that can reduce fleet costs. “This system has significantly increased drivers’ security at work while reducing costs caused by theft”, notes Bo Schønning, CEO, Evotec ApS. “Fuel costs have also been reduced, as the cars aren’t left idling anymore. It is easier to control the fleet, and our customers can also follow the quality of deliveries with this system”, he continues.” RFID technology Founded in 1989, Idesco is an experienced company in the field of RFID technology. From the very beginning, Idesco was a pioneer in using RFID, deploying it for identification in industrial applications. Down through the years Idesco continued expanding its reputation as a pioneer provider by innovating numerous technological alternatives and multiple technologies for a variety of different application areas. Every day, Idesco devices collect data and enhance security for a variety of access control, vehicle identification, logistics and inventory control systems.

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