Electronic locking devices - 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 specialised 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 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.

Latest Dahua Technology Ltd news

Amthal smartens up surveillance with innovative security technology at Butterfield Business Park
Amthal smartens up surveillance with innovative security technology at Butterfield Business Park

Butterfield Business Park, a multi-purpose modern development, has enhanced its security measures with the latest fibre optic network, smart CCTV and deep learning analytics technology, specified, installed and maintained by Amthal Fire and Security. Luton based Butterfield Business Park, managed by leading UK commercial and residential real estate consultancy, Lambert Smith Hampton, covers a total site area of 24 acres and is home to a range of high-quality commercial buildings. With extensive expansion plans already in place, the site needed to ensure utmost security. While the existing system was being managed on-site, Amthal, with which Lambert Smith Hampton had an existing relationship, was asked to review the security arrangements with a view to update and accommodate the need for a scalable solution. IP CCTV technology Amthal’s solution supports 24-hour security across the site that can be remotely monitored Amthal installed a specialist fibre optic network across the entire site to enable high-speed transmission and future expansion of the system. IP CCTV technology was also specified, incorporating state-of-the-art Dahua fully functioning cameras, to support facial recognition and IR distances of up to 500m coverage, together with deep-learning based auto-tracking and perimeter protection. Featuring Starlight+ technology as the gold standard in low light performance, the new system enables smart monitoring across the site with clear and relevant images. Together with automatic number-plate recognition cameras positioned at the entrance and exit, Amthal’s solution supports 24-hour security across the site that can be remotely monitored. Reviewing security “Butterfield Business Park is a busy development, day and night, designed purposely as a multi-purpose business and leisure site. When it comes to reviewing security, we needed to balance a welcoming feel with the need to ensure peace of mind for all our residents and guests, but also ensure any new system was scalable to suit the ambitious expansion plans,” says Kelly Cartwright, Regional Facilities Manager at Lambert Smith Hampton. “We have an established relationship with Amthal, and were keen to get their views on how best to update the systems across the site. They diligently presented a high specification solution that demonstrated knowledge and offered much more than we considered feasible. The extensive capability of the CCTV solution is particularly effective for providing clear and relevant images, regardless of lighting conditions, time-of-day or object movement. Installation was seamless and ongoing maintenance has been fantastic, with nothing being too much trouble.” Partnership Butterfield Business Park is an extensive site that requires remote monitoring on a 24 / 7 / 365 basis Amthal is now working in partnership with the facilities management team on a maintenance contract with Butterfield Business Park. In this, offering reliable servicing to preserve the integrity of the system and ensure continued protection to the highest level, while also responding to changes required to specification and preparing for the extension plans to the site. 24/7 Remote monitoring Paul Rosenthal, Amthal Sales Director added, “Butterfield Business Park is an extensive site that requires remote monitoring on a 24 / 7 / 365 basis. And together with its mixed-use development and expansion plans, any security installation has to carefully consider the different scenarios across the site and differentiate what is expected activity by day and night, with an ability to act fast.” “We worked closely with the team to understand the site logistics and specified using the latest technology from our industry-leading partners to create a solution that achieves requirements, both now and in the future. There are also clear benefits for the security and facilities team who can monitor activity remotely at all times, with clear visibility on activity and alarms triggered by target types (human and vehicle,) reducing false alarms. Combined together, the solution really does offer complete peace of mind for the benefit of all who work and visit this prestigious business park.”

Dahua Global Virtual Innovation Centre now available to its global customers
Dahua Global Virtual Innovation Centre now available to its global customers

Dahua Technology, a front-runner video-centric smart IoT solution and service provider, is proud to announce that the Dahua Global Virtual Innovation Centre is now available to its global customers. By demonstrating its latest technologies, products and solutions through an online virtual showroom, the centre can support customers in designing excellent security systems. Due to the drastic impact of COVID-19, people are having difficulties in gaining access and experiencing the development of products and technologies in their field of interest while keeping themselves safe and healthy at the same time. AIoT future Browse the most up-to-date security technologies, products and solutions from the comfort and safety of ones home or office As an innovation-driven company, Dahua Technology stands against the difficulties and challenges brought by the unprecedented pandemic by fully embracing digital transformation. The company launched the Dahua Global Virtual Innovation Centre in order to drive innovation to an AIoT future. No matter where one is, one can simply browse the most up-to-date security technologies, products and solutions from the comfort and safety of ones home or office, and get resources and knowledge that can help one with ones next security project. Benefits that the centre offers Browse the latest technology wherever one is 24/7 Broad range of products and vertical industry solutions on display 360-degree eye-catching product showcases available in VR Download product datasheets, images and other information directly to ones device Additional features With the Dahua Global Virtual Innovation Centre, one can learn about the up-to-date products and solutions of Dahua Technology in an economical and safe manner. Moreover, one can also simply click a button to mark the products that interest one as favourite, as well as send emails to request for more information. With its mission of “Enabling a Safer Society and Smarter Living”, Dahua Technology will continue to focus on “Innovation, Quality, and Service” to serve its partners and customers around the world.

Dahua Technology launches a virtual innovation centre to showcase their security solutions
Dahua Technology launches a virtual innovation centre to showcase their security solutions

With the continued absence of face-to-face trade events during the pandemic, Dahua Technology launches an innovative, feature-rich virtual experience dubbed the Virtual Innovation Centre. The innovation centre features immersive virtual reality, where visitors are able to walk through a large, spacious pavilion and see Dahua’s latest product and technology innovations. Visitors can select an automatic tour of the entire pavilion to get an overview on what is on offer, with the option of stopping at particular exhibits to drill down to the level of detail they require. Virtual innovation centre Visitors can navigate the pavilion at their own pace, stopping off wherever they like Alternatively, visitors can navigate the pavilion at their own pace, stopping off wherever they like. Users can visit the site around the clock, and there is no limit to the number of times it can be accessed. “We are thrilled by the launch of our Virtual Innovation Centre, which has been carefully planned and designed to give users the optimum experience from the comfort and safety of their own homes or offices,” said Michael Lawrence, Marketing Director for Dahua UK & Ireland. Live physical exhibition “It is the closest thing visitors can get to a live physical exhibition, but with the addition of a wealth of multimedia and online content.” Exhibits include: video solutions with AI learning capabilities; a range of temperature monitoring solutions including TMAC, Dahua’s innovative and contactless temperature monitoring access control system; smart home and smart retail applications; and video intercom solutions. There are also areas dedicated to specific vertical applications such as smart transport, safe cities, smart retail and smart banking.

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