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 ISONAS, Inc. news

ISONAS Pure IP access control solution creates a safer environment in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Ohio
ISONAS Pure IP access control solution creates a safer environment in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Ohio

ISONAS Inc., an IP access control and hardware solution provider and part of the Allegion family of brands announced that the ISONAS™ Pure IP™ access control solution has been deployed at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Grove City, Ohio. The parish is comprised of seven buildings, which include the church, preschool, elementary school, rectory, storage garage, athletic building, and modular classrooms.  The parish grew from around a dozen visitors daily to more than 80 people visiting the church every weekday morning and more than 500 people visiting over three separate services each weekend recently. Controlling Access  The elementary school has grown to host more than 300 students and 50 staff members and volunteers, with the preschool adding another 40 students and staff members to the campus tally. With 28 exterior doors encompassing the fully renovated church, school, and preschool, the parish needed a substantial security upgrade.                                                            The new system needed to not just limit access, but also control it. A main challenge at the parish was being able to control access at all seven buildings and provide an environment with improved personal security for their staff, students, and patrons. The security system the parish had in place consisted of a few standalone keypads and electric locks on a couple of doors with no centralised management or communication. Upgrading Security With an influx of people accessing the parish and its facilities, both the facilities director and the maintenance/technology specialist at the parish were ready to find the right access control solution. The new system needed to not just limit access, but also control it. After careful consideration and research, the parish selected the ISONAS™ Pure IP access control solution for their security upgrade. ISONAS introduced the parish to its local certified independent security integrators, Systems 28. “Working with ISONAS on this project was a tremendous experience from start to finish, and we were thrilled to be brought on board to handle this security upgrade,” said Scott Hoover, sales estimator at Systems 28. “As a certified independent ISONAS systems integrator, we were proud to install this unique solution at our local parish and help make our community safer.” ISONAS RC-04 reader controller The parish also liked the fact that an on-site server was not required with the ISONAS solution The project consisted of installing 24 ISONAS RC-04 reader controllers, with 21 deployed on exterior doors and three on interior doors in a month’s timeframe. The parish chose the ISONAS solution for a myriad of reasons, with one main factor being the ability to use power over the ethernet for the card readers and electric locks. The parish also liked the fact that an on-site server was not required with the ISONAS solution, as having a cloud-based server was critical to managing access remotely for multiple buildings. ISONAS Pure Access software “We are extremely happy that the parish selected ISONAS as the right solution for their security upgrade and look forward to providing capabilities to easily expand the system in the future,” said Jonathan Mooney, ISONAS sales leader. The ISONAS system is extremely user-friendly and much more convenient Along with the ISONAS hardware, the ISONAS Pure Access software was deployed for its remote access capabilities. Pure Access™, ISONAS’s software, is a cloud-based access control application that provides users the ability to manage their access control from anywhere at any time, on any device. Remote access functionality “The ISONAS system is extremely user-friendly and much more convenient than the previous ‘stand-alone’ system we had in place prior to this upgrade,” said Kevin Radwanski, facilities director at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish. “We especially like the remote access functionality, as it has been great for us to be able to lock and unlock doors remotely during regular times and emergency situations like the global pandemic.”

Cozaint Corporation launches BOBBY-W physical security kiosk to augment human security guard environments
Cozaint Corporation launches BOBBY-W physical security kiosk to augment human security guard environments

Cozaint Corporation, manufacturer of ‘smart’ physical security platforms, has announced the launch of the BOBBY-W wall-mounted physical security kiosk. Available immediately, this ‘Video Surveillance as a Service’ (VSaaS) device has been designed to augment human security guard environments that need additional eyes and ears on their premises. BOBBY-W physical security kiosk BOBBY-W is based on a custom, Cozaint-built expandable platform that allows for the integration of a multitude of IoT sensors which allow for the monitoring and alerting of motion, water leaks, door/window opening, room temperature, lighting, and much more. All of these sensors are centrally monitored and the service can interact with an organisation’s existing security team. BOBBY-W standard features include: 24/7 180-degree video surveillance Facial recognition-based access control Smartphone-based access control IoT Sensor management Remote monitoring and concierge service Panic communication Expandable platform Touchless access control solution The timing couldn’t be more perfect for the need of a touchless access control solution" “The timing couldn’t be more perfect for the need of a touchless access control solution and the BOBBY-W physical security kiosk seems to fit the current market requirements. The integration of the BOBBY-W kiosk, along with Cozaint’s facial recognition technology, and Isonas’ Pure IP Access smartphone reader controller using Pure Access is ideal,” stated Fred Sumner, West Region Account Executive at Isonas, Inc. He adds, “Cozaint has been great to work with and we’re thrilled that our Pure IP access control API was able to integrate so well into the BOBBY-W platform. “ 24/7 remote monitoring With 24/7 remote monitoring included with the BOBBY-W service, customers can rest assured that their environment has the added protection to deal with unauthorised entries or incidents that could cause personal harm or property damage. BOBBY-W’s interactive touchscreen display is designed to showcase company news and information (or even specific advertising) as well as communication in cases of emergency to trained remote monitoring staff. With the current global pandemic challenges, BOBBY-W also has an optional integrated kiosk offering that incorporates the non-contact thermal imaging system from feevr. feevr non-contact thermal imaging system “We are delighted to be an available integration partner with Cozaint’s BOBBY-W security kiosk that allows organisations to monitor individuals that may show possible symptoms of an elevated skin temperature as they enter a particular campus,” said Barry Oberholzer, Founder and CEO of x.labs, the company behind the feevr non-contact thermal imaging system. He adds, “We agree that the integration of the feevr platform with the BOBBY-W physical security kiosk delivers enhanced peace-of-mind and situational awareness to an organisation.” Facial recognition access control Every BOBBY-W wall-mounted kiosk comes standard with facial recognition access control Every BOBBY-W wall-mounted kiosk comes standard with facial recognition access control, which utilises the Isonas Pure IP access control solution with smartphone authentication capabilities, as well as IoT sensors for motion detection, door/window openings, and environmental conditions (temperature, etc). Another integration partner to the BOBBY platform is the Enterprise Asset Tracking platform from Sympler. Enterprise Asset Tracking platform “With Enterprise Asset Tracking, organisations can simply place asset tags (small/thin devices with unique identifiers) onto valuable equipment, keys, lanyards, or even an individual’s wrists with a standard watch band and continually track and locate those company assets,” stated Jeff Debrosse, Principal and Founder of Sympler. Jeff adds, “The tags report asset's positions within the enterprise campus or jobsite. This information is integrated into the BOBBY-W monitoring platform and an asset’s real-time location, distance, and movement pattern can be quickly determined.” BOBBY security towers The BOBBY-W platform is the first in the Cozaint line of physical security kiosks and towers. Cozaint will be delivering new BOBBY security towers later in 2020. BOBBY-W wall-mounted physical security kiosks are available as of August 2020 and are rented to customers on a monthly basis, alleviating any capital equipment expenses and maintenance costs. Complete maintenance and service of the BOBBY-W kiosk is provided throughout the life of agreement, as well as 24/7 online technical support and remote monitoring service.

ISONAS Inc. announces installation of its Pure IP access control solution at Premier Packaging’s distribution centre in Kentucky
ISONAS Inc. announces installation of its Pure IP access control solution at Premier Packaging’s distribution centre in Kentucky

ISONAS Inc., a globally renowned IP access control and hardware solutions provider, and part of the Allegion family of brands, has announced that the ISONAS Pure IP access control solution has been installed at a new flagship distribution centre for Premier Packaging, an international packaging solutions company, with facilities in 14 locations nationwide. ISONAS Pure IP access control In the summer of 2018, Premier Packaging was looking to implement an access control system to help secure their brand-new 320,000-square-foot facility in Louisville, Kentucky. After working closely on a recent project with Orion Networks, a trusted IT infrastructure provider, Premier Packaging relied on their recommendation to implement a cutting-edge access control solution from ISONAS. With no access control system in place at any of their 14 locations and a combination of office workers, support staff, truck drivers and warehouse employees entering and existing the building daily, a process to control access was a necessity.  Monitoring and tracking visitors to distribution centre A major challenge facing the new distribution centre was truck drivers, who came into the facility, were not company employees. With on average 250 people coming in and out of the new facility in Kentucky daily, monitoring and tracking who those people were and if they belonged there was imperative. They were also looking for the flexibility to manage the locking and unlocking of doors remotely, rather than having to rely on physical keys. “After comparing ISONAS to other access control systems out there, we knew that ISONAS was the right flexible access control solution to meet Premier Packaging’s security needs,” states Brock Jamison, VP and Director of Sales at Orion Networks. ISONAS RC-04 reader-controllers installed ISONAS Pure Access software was implemented to give the packaging company remote access capabilities The initial project consisted of 18 ISONAS RC-04 reader-controllers installed at their new distribution centre in Louisville. The RC-04 reader-controllers from ISONAS delivers advanced technical functionality with an easy installation process. In addition to the ISONAS hardware, the ISONAS Pure Access software was implemented to give the packaging company remote access capabilities.  Pure Access Pure Access, ISONAS’s industry-renowned software, is a cloud-based access control application that provides users the ability to manage their access control from anywhere at any time, on any device.  “We are extremely happy that our unique access control solution could help Premier Packaging improve safety and security at their new distribution center seamlessly,” states Jonathan Mooney, ISONAS Sales Leader. ISONAS cloud-based platform By using both the ISONAS hardware and software solution together, Premier Packaging was able to improve security and keep employees safe. With the ISONAS cloud-based platform, Premier now required all Louisville employees to enter the building using their ID badges to gain access.  If an employee was not in the database and verified, then access would be denied. Future plans include rolling out the ISONAS access control solution to additional buildings and possibly integrating it with other security systems.

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