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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 Corbin Russwin / An ASSA ABLOY Group company news

ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Americas launches Safer2Open™ suite of hands-free solutions
ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Americas launches Safer2Open™ suite of hands-free solutions

ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Americas introduced its Safer2Open™ suite of hands-free solutions. Available across a variety of products, both mechanical and electromechanical, these solutions can reduce touchpoints without compromising functionality in a range of facilities, including healthcare, education, office buildings, and other high traffic spaces where decreasing the spread of germs is essential to public safety. “As the economy begins to reopen, there’s a surging need and demand for facilities to employ new approaches that enable healthier environments. From low-touch to completely touchless automated openings, ASSA ABLOY’s Safer2Open solutions include a range of cost-effective and low- to high-tech options for a myriad of facilities’ doors, from entrance to exit,” said Mark Duato, Executive Vice President, Aftermarket at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Americas. Post-COVID Technology and the New Normal Many state and local COVID-19 protocols recommend reducing the number of touchpoints in a facility, along with additional cleaning and sanitising protocols. Safer2Open products offer quick-to-implement solutions that can withstand rigorous cleaning cycles to align with these recommendations and improve facility safety as organisations adapt to this new normal. ASSA ABLOY’s Safer2Open solutions include – Low-Touch Solutions Trim options, such as SARGENT ALP Push/Pull Trim, Corbin Russwin HPSK Paddle Trim and Adams Rite Push/Pull Paddle Trim, are low-touch solutions that allow doors to be opened with minimal contact and can be added to virtually any opening to enable hands-free operation. Rockwood Hands-Free Arm and Foot Pulls allow access and egress without grasping hardware. These cost-effective options for hands-free door operation can be implemented in new and pre-existing aluminium, metal or wood openings. Sargent Electrified Closer-Holders keep doors open during high traffic times to minimise contact on door handles. Exit devices with Motorized and Electric Latch Retraction, such as Adams Rite 8000 and 3000 Series, Corbin Russwin ED5000 Series, SARGENT 80 Series Exit Device with Electric Latch Retraction and Yale 7000 Series, enable remote lock/unlock of a door, making it easier for people to move quickly and hands-free through virtually any opening. No-Touch, Fully Automated Solutions Low energy door operators from Norton are compatible with wave-to-open switches to offer an easy, contact-free method of opening doors. Wave-to-Open Switches, from Securitron and Alarm Controls, can pick up hand gestures within four inches of the switch to trigger operation for swing doors. Exit Motion Sensors, from Securitron and Alarm Controls, are egress options that minimises contact in high traffic areas. HES Electric Strikes enable remote locking and unlocking of an automated door and are available for all frame types and applications, including low profile, outdoor rated, aluminium and glass. These types of hands-free solutions are essential to public health and safety, enabling facilities to quickly implement solutions now, with existing infrastructure, while setting up their space to meet today’s increased hygienic standards.

ASSA ABLOY unveils mortice lock status indicators with enhanced viewing capabilities for better security and privacy
ASSA ABLOY unveils mortice lock status indicators with enhanced viewing capabilities for better security and privacy

ASSA ABLOY Group brands Corbin Russwin and SARGENT released a new status indicator for, respectively, the ML2000 Series and 8200 Series mortice locks. Featuring the largest viewing window available on the market, a reflective coating for improved clarity in low light conditions and a patent-pending curved design, these mortice lock status indicators combine emergency preparedness and enhanced privacy to meet the needs of any type of facility. “Schools, offices and all types of commercial spaces need to prioritise safety and create inclusive environments,” says Bill Grambo, President, Access and Egress Hardware Group, ASSA ABLOY. “Our mortice lock status indicators make it easier to see if a door is locked from a distance and at almost any angle, thereby avoiding awkward disturbances or interruptions and enabling a more secure and private experience in a given space.” Improving security through efficient design With its viewing window 25% larger than other indicators on the market and a reflective coating, it’s easier to see the lock status on these indicators, even in low-light conditions. Because of the curved design, it’s also possible to view the lock status from any angle. Available in both sectional and escutcheon trim, these mortice lock status indicators help users secure an opening and determine more quickly when that opening is locked. Quickly seeing that a room is occupied can avoid awkward moments in restrooms in public facilities ASSA ABLOY’s mortice lock status indicator also offers the option to include engraving on the lock escutcheon or sectional plate to visually confirm the direction to turn the key or thumbturn to lock or unlock the door. By clearly displaying the status of an opening, ASSA ABLOY’s latest mortice lock status indicators prevent interruptions when a person attempts to open a locked door. Quickly seeing that a room is occupied can avoid awkward moments in restrooms in public facilities. Enhanced safety and privacy These indicators can also prevent classroom interruptions, maintain a secure and quiet environment in rooms for nursing mothers, and keep a space distraction-free for office meetings or employee meditation. The result is an inclusive environment where end users can focus and enjoy a more peaceful experience. Upgrading to the latest mortice lock status indicators is quick and easy. For facilities with existing ML2000 or 8200 series mortise locks, an upgrade kit is available with either escutcheon or sectional trim to secure to the lock body. The upgrade kit uses the existing door preparation and leaves no holes. Security and individual privacy are increasingly important in all manner of spaces, and ASSA ABLOY’s latest mortice lock status indicators provide both of these experiences. The ease of installation facilitates safety and comfort in facilities ranging from education to healthcare to commercial buildings, and the industry-leading features signal what’s next in the evolution of inclusive spaces.

HID Global unveils support for Seos-enabled student IDs in Apple Wallet
HID Global unveils support for Seos-enabled student IDs in Apple Wallet

HID Global, globally renowned trusted identity solutions provider, has announced support for Seos-enabled student IDs in Apple Wallet. Beginning this fall, students, faculty and staff at Clemson University will be able to add their IDs to Apple Wallet and use their iPhone and Apple Watch to access buildings on campus, purchase meals and much more. Seos-enabled student IDs “HID Global is excited to play an important role in creating transformative connected university experiences that make it easy for students to simply use their iPhone or Apple Watch to enjoy all that daily campus life has to offer,” said Stefan Widing, President and CEO with HID Global. HID’s technology and electronic locks from our parent company ASSA ABLOY are helping Clemson University students" Stefan adds, “HID’s broad range of technology and electronic locks from our parent company ASSA ABLOY are helping Clemson University students, faculty and staff take full advantage of convenient mobility applications. This fall, their Apple devices can be used for everything from entering buildings – such as residence halls and individual rooms – to buying meals, accessing the gym, and using secure print services and numerous other university resources.” iCLASS SE reader modules To support student IDs in Apple Wallet on iPhone and Apple Watch, HID provides Seos-enabled credentials, HID iCLASS SE and HID OMNIKEY readers, embedded HID iCLASS SE reader modules, and Corbin Russwin and SARGENT electronic locks from ASSA ABLOY. Through HID’s support of student IDs in Apple Wallet, Clemson students will be able to seamlessly access residence halls, libraries and fitness centers, buy lunch, make purchases at the university store, print documents and more by placing their iPhone or Apple Watch near a reader where contactless student ID cards are accepted. Contactless student IDs Contactless student IDs are supported on iPhone 6 and later and iPhone SE. On iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, student IDs may still be used for up to five hours in power reserve mode when the iPhone battery needs to be charged. Student IDs in Apple Wallet are not only convenient, they also provide an extra level of security as students no longer have to worry about misplacing their physical card. School credential provisioning is protected by two factor authentication.

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