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Access control management empowers verticals

Access control management empowers verticals

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 7/3/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Regardless of the vertical, end users can benefit from access control management software, which not only helps keep companies/organizations safe but also contributes to more efficient operations and workflow. Determining what end users' primary focuses of management are and what they look for in their access control solutions is the first step towards successful deployment.



Education, whether at a primary, secondary, or higher level, is often cited as one of the vertical markets that needs cutting-edge access control solutions the most, especially after campus violence has become more rampant in the U.S. A NAPCO Security Technologies white paper on school security points out that since 1980, there have been 137 fatal school shootings that killed 297 victims in America. However, safety aside, schools are also looking for ways to extract the potential of their students' ID credentials by integrating them with more functions. This is especially the case in colleges, where students are faced with the need to enter or exit school buildings or dorms as well as borrow books, make cashless payments, and reserve equipment. “They want to integrate all the above mentioned features together into their campus card,” said Tom Su, Sales Manager at Hundure Technology.

To achieve those objectives, schools are looking to integrate a variety of subsystems into their access control management software. “For higher education institutes, integrated subsystems include meal plans, vending, video, distress systems, and mass notification. For K-12, cost-effective lock-down capabilities and visitor management are also required,” said Richard White, VP and GM of Electronics at Allegion.

Integrating these systems into a seamless whole can result in many benefits, said Harm Radstaak, MD of Identity & Access Management for EMEA, HID Global. “They significantly improve safety and security for students, staff, faculty, and visitors. They also deliver cost savings and an easy migration path to future capabilities when needed,” said Radstaak, whose company was responsible for helping the Academy of Art University in San Francisco transition from a lock-and-key environment to an integrated access control system, which enables students to use their ID cards to not only open doors but also make secure purchases and gain access to Urban Knights athletic events.

“The university has realized a number of important benefits from its new access control system, including documented reductions in theft even as enrollment has increased, and an improved campus experience,” Radstaak said.


Another vertical that highly demands cutting-edge access control management software is healthcare, which is also faced with the need to secure a diverse group of people including patients, doctors/nurses, administrators, and volunteers, against a variety of emergency situations such as fires, earthquakes, or fights that break out from time to time at hospitals. Other focuses of management include granting emergency personnel expedited access to patients' wards or intensive care units, and protecting patients' data from theft or leakage to other parties.

Subsystems integrated into access control management software vary based on end users' specific needs and requirements. For example, access control integrated with visitor management makes sure that those without access rights stay away from critical areas such as radiology, pharmacy, and pediatric wards. Elevator controls, meanwhile, are valuable in allowing medical staff to reach certain floors in the quickest manner.

“Saving lives has absolute priority and requires unhindered access, and the access control management system must therefore be prepared for this eventuality,” said Nancy Wanders, Sales Manager of Global Clients at Nedap Security Management, adding with her company's solution, “the ER team has its own special cards. Held in front of any card reader they initiate elevator priority control. The elevator that is especially reserved for the emergency team is ordered to the appropriate floor. Only when this card is used, the elevator will go to the selected floor with priority.”

“The ER team often has its own special cards. Held in front of any card reader they initiate elevator priority control. The elevator that is especially reserved for the emergency team is ordered to the appropriate floor. Only when this card is used, the elevator will go to the selected floor with priority,” she said.

At the same time, the access control management system must converge with logical access control to make sure there is no theft or leakage of patients' data, which has become mostly digitized in an increasingly digital world. “With the right infrastructure in place, healthcare institutions can meet today's security and compliance needs while continually improving security and convenience, protecting patient privacy, and increasing the ongoing value of their investment,” Radstaak said.



For government agencies, the focus of access control management is high-assurance and multi-factor authentication. “This would include technologies such as biometrics and encryption,” said Jason Ouellette, Product Line Director for Access Control at Tyco Security Products. “The need is to be highly secure and highly protected by nature of what is physically being protected.”

Among subsystems typically integrated with government access control management software are HR, visitor management, video, alarms, and encryption devices for communications that need to comply with FIPS standards. According to Ouellette, government users look for software that can handle high-assurance government credentials such as PIV, CAC, and TWIC, along with intrusion zone support. “The ability to handle high-assurance credentials allows highly important facilities, such as government buildings and embassies, to put into place an extra layer of security to keep the wrong people out while allowing the proper people access,” he said.

Users also want their management software to be able to change authentication levels based on the imminence of danger faced by government personnel. “Buildings such as government and municipalities require a high-assurance badge, but when the threat level is moved up, there is opportunity to increase the level of authentication as required to include a second factor such as a PIN or a biometric. Access control authentication changes as the need/threat changes,” Ouellette said.

All this contributes to a safer and more secure environment for government personnel, said Daniel McVeagh, Senior Product Manager for Access at Gallagher. “The benefit is ensuring government facility security cannot be easily compromised. We support a wide range of security and interoperability standards, ensuring government sites are well protected and can leverage their security system investment with integrations into others,” he said.


In today's corporate world, companies are increasingly setting up offices and branches in multiple regions or even countries around the world. The need for multi-site management therefore arises. “They are looking for the ability to have local access control but with a global view. Typically they are set up so a central security station can see what is happening anywhere in the world,” said Tyco's Ouellette.

According to him, this type of installation gives users the flexibility to either own the security operation or outsource the monitoring through a managed access control offering. “Customers can determine what works best for them and determine what level of capital investment vs. operational cost is appropriate for them. Some customers may want to spend the money upfront, while others may find more flexibility with spending the money over a period of time,” he said.

A critical element for success in the corporate arena is the ability to tie access control management software with multiple subsystems including elevators, video management, RFID, key management and more, he added.

“With so many disparate offerings in the field today, the more options that can be supported, the better value the access control platform can provide to the end user,” Ouellette said. “A unified customer experience by offering a unified security platform from which to manage all of the security applications is quickly becoming a requirement for many customers looking for an easy way to manage their holistic security infrastructure. Toggling between multiple applications like video, access control, and visitor management is quickly becoming a thing of the past.”


Access control is vital in ensuring staff safety in an industrial setting, for example a factory or plant. “Securing critical areas is not just a security issue but also a life safety issue,” said Jeremy Krinitt, GM of Frontier Security.

For critical infrastructure such as power generation plants that may be the target of terrorist attacks, integrated access control and video systems are key. Other technologies that may be integrated with the access control management software include time and attendance, public address systems, perimeter protection systems, payroll systems, visitor management systems, wireless locking systems, and parking controls.

In an industrial setting, users often look for technologies and solutions that can withstand harsh environments, Krinitt said. Another user demand is access control management software with viable anti-passback technology to prevent misusage that is prevalent in this sector.

“They want a solution that does not allow any buddy clocking,” said Hundure's Su. “Our finger vein device has a high security feature that makes ID theft and buddy clocking impossible. After all, no one can copy finger vein patterns.” Users are also looking for software that can help enforce health and safety compliance, record employees' time of entry of exit, track their locations, and gather them in the event of emergency.

“If a machine explodes during maintenance work, our solution enables you to instantly activate the predefined settings and procedures you've defined for this type of situation,” Nedap's Wanders said. “You can easily control who's allowed access to the incident area. And you can get a quick overview of where your health and safety officers are and direct them to where they're needed. The solution also immediately blocks any zones that people shouldn't enter so everyone's led to the right assembly area, and you can quickly identify if anyone's missing and take appropriate action.”


How much does cost reduction really cost you?

How much does cost reduction really cost you?

Editor / Provider: Alf Chang, a&s Consultant | Updated: 7/2/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Production cost and the sophistication of security equipment are directly related; therefore, the more the manufacturers try to lower the cost of raw materials used in circuit designs, the more performance problems arise. There are two areas where these measures are commonly observed: circuit materials and designs, and peripheral equipment. This article delves into problems with material cost reduction for circuit materials and designs.

Some dishonest manufacturers simply claim that they choose different materials to optimize the interoperability of different components. However, the ugly truth is that it is done to “lower” the total production cost. Material substitutions can occur in all components, from resistors and chips to single or layered circuit boards, wiring connectors, relay designs, voltage stabilizers, and many more. Likewise, the external casing material, paint selection, fans and jacks used are also possible places to make alterations. But as mentioned above, these alterations are done to lower costs in order to boost competitiveness, despite the serious impact it has on product performance.

Some problems surface quickly, while others only emerge due to the influences of certain environmental or operational factors. Nevertheless, any problem is a headache for users and integrators. Below are some common problems resulting from production cost reductions.

For lenses, cost reductions usually happen with the replacement of the metal molding components with plastic materials. As a result, two problems arise:

A. The lens may or may not be tightly sealed with the rest of the camera due to its elasticity. Plastic molds may lose elasticity, shrink, curve in, or curl up with time, or even worse, change shape as temperatures change. This is almost impossible to avoid with plastic, which affects the accuracy of focal alignment.

B. In addition, without a piece of metal that serves as adequate grounding, external electromagnetic signals can easily interfere with the auto-iris lens and damage the signal output, leaving interference lines on images.

The makeup of a camera involves complex circuit and structural designs, including optics, electric wirings, mechanical structures, network modules, and many more. Hence, cost reduction measures to substitute these components may create the following problems:

A. Traditionally, security cameras use a sophisticated locking screw ring to adjust the back focus through rotation. To cut down costs, some manufacturers use a metal strip or loosen/tighten the screws to stabilize the back focus. These substitutions do save on production costs, but over time cause cameras to easily become “out of focus” due to vibrations, requiring further manual adjustment by the installer.

B. To save on costs related to circuit boards, some manufacturers combine the imaging sensor and the DSP/ISP into a single double-layered and double-sided board. Because two individual boards have been shrunk down into one, three problems may occur:

1. Crowded soldering on a circuit board could result in solder skipping or false soldering and could even lead to a short circuit.

2. The simplified board design allows IP cameras to become smaller as a whole; however, as the size gets smaller, the heat dissipation mechanism can be compromised.

3. The overcrowding of the pieces of components on the circuit board makes it difficult to maintain or repair. Therefore, instead of repairing a broken circuit board, the manufacturer would just replace it with a new one. It is a faster solution, but it can take a great toll on installers' maintenance service.

C. Unless the camera uses power over Ethernet (PoE), to lower the production cost, some manufacturers may simply change its AC/DC power supply to switching mode power supply (SMPS) and simplify the interior power module and voltage stabilizer at the same time. Three problems could surface as a result:

1. Voltage and current flow could be very unstable and fluctuate wildly, thus overheating and damaging the camera.

2. When the external power supply becomes too heavy, the surge protection device (SPD) can be easily penetrated; cameras designed with the substitution or elimination of SPDs or lightning arresters are at greater risk of such damage.

3. In case of lightning strikes, the SMPS could become so sensitive that it would pick up the lightning-induced current and cause damage to the circuit board, which may be too vulnerable to handle strong currents.

D. When downgrading electronic components, electrical connections and transmissions in the interior of a camera can be problematic, leading to impedance mismatching to 75Ω. As a consequence, the images shown can be overlapping, too bright, and full of jittery OSD or noise lines.

E. Some manufacturers may eliminate the output of video (CVBS) signals or switch the BNC connector to the cheaper RCA jack, even in some network cameras without automatic focus. It may cause a short circuit or loose connection of the BNC connector. Because there is no CVBS output in the camera, installers may spend extra time adjusting the camera focus.

F. To substitute the coding component in IP cameras, there are two kinds of common selections: application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and field programmable gate array (FPGA). ASIC is advantageous in terms of achieving low power consumption, but it still has some shortcomings. Therefore, the cheaper FPGA chip is also favorable as it can contribute to a shorter product development period. But FPGA can take up high power consumption, as much as a 30mA current — that's almost 1 or 2 scales higher than the common power consumption level.

G. For PTZ cameras, it is common to see the gear wheel replaced with cheaper chains. As a result, both the horizontal and vertical tilting becomes less smooth and the chains may easily break or fall out of place. Furthermore, when the cradle head stops moving, the chains can exert a kickback force that could shift the camera's pre-determined angles.

H. Another component on a PTZ camera that is easily substituted is the capacitor. A lower-grade capacitor can cause inaccurate cradle head movements and can burn up due to inadequate rotations.

A. DVR/NVR manufacturers usually utilize development boards and kits already on the market to save development and design costs of DVR motherboards. However, this could easily jeopardize a DVR/ NVR's stability and product longevity because of defective firmware and the materials used in the development boards, giving rise to potential risks and faulty performances.

B. To reduce cost, some circuit boards would eliminate the CPU cooling fan, which causes the CPU to perform at a compromised level when the server is overheating. Images yielded would not be clear due to mosaic blurriness.

C. Transmission wires can be minimized by simplifying the material of jumper wires. However, this can cause impedance mismatching and the interference of thousands of vertical lines on the monitors.

D. DVR/NVR transmission connectors, which have adopted substitute materials, could cause interference, too. The communications between the box, decoders, or control boards could be compromised.

E. If the backend server of a DVR/NVR is not equipped with signal blocking materials, interference signals may show up on the display, including diagonal lines, jitters, power supply fluctuations, etc. The interference may not pose a big problem, but badly distorted images resulting from the interference would not be useful to anyone.

F. If the DSP components were minimized, then the signals may not be magnified to the desired degree, rendering low-resolution images that may compromise details such as color, saturation, etc. These typically happen when signals greater than 3MHZ are lost.

G. The casing of the DVR/NVR may be downgraded with the elimination of a fan. Once again, the overheating issue would cause the machine to breakdown.

The above scenarios may be the result of common cost reduction measures by manufacturers for their own benefits or because they have no other choice but to. It is not an easy task for integrators and users to distinguish the interior design of equipment. Therefore, what can be and should be done when selecting a product is to evaluate the reactive measures that can solve the abovementioned problems.

Nedap enhances accessibility of access control at micro level

Nedap enhances accessibility of access control at micro level

Editor / Provider: Nedap | Updated: 5/15/2014 | Article type: Security 50

The number of agile working organizations is increasing rapidly and so is the question for secure storage for peoples' personal belongings. That's why Nedap has integrated Locker Management into the 3.1.1 release of its AEOS Security Management Platform. Employees, visitors and contractors can now use their access cards to access e.g. lockers, filing cabinets, laptop lockers or post boxes.

“We noticed that companies are asking for secure and private ways to store personal belongings and assets,” explains Arjan Bouter, sales director at Nedap. “As lockers are often used intensively, managing them should be simple and clever. Therefore, it was a logical step for us to add Locker Management into our user-friendly Identity & Authorization application. With this integration we now offer more security and privacy to the user. And it gives our customers all relevant authorization information in one application. Using the advanced AEOS user role model allows them to define which user(s) can allocate and withdraw, open or block lockers.”

The straightforward user interface increases the usability of the system and it reduces the risk that user errors occur. This way, Nedap made access control at micro level accessible to everyone, while offering the flexibility, cost effectiveness and ease of use which is so familiar to AEOS users. Working agile, companies often want to save on space. That's why Locker Management can be implemented dynamically, so companies need up to 50% fewer lockers. This way, companies make more effective use of space, while saving on total cost of ownership. Furthermore, key management is eliminated, as employees can use their existing access cards.

EVVA EPS deployed at designer outlet in Salzburg, Austria

EVVA EPS deployed at designer outlet in Salzburg, Austria

Editor / Provider: EVVA | Updated: 5/13/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Nearby Salzburg Airport, the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Salzburg combines more than 200 fashion labels under one roof. EPS, the trusted system for affordable security will take care of the security side. The project was realized by the experienced EVVA partner PKS Sicherheitssysteme.

The shopping center with its high architectural appeal encompasses some 28,000 square meters sales area covering two levels. Shops from various industry sectors and of various sizes have high demands in terms of a mechanical locking system. EPS (Extended Profile System), the trusted EVVA product with proven technology was able to meet these demands. Every shop has its own connecting passage and storage. One single key must be able to open and close both. EPS also secures lifts, doors in the underground car park as well as a fire brigade safe.

Versatile range of use, diverse requirements
The mechanical locking system must ensure security as well as flexible manageability. Plus, the system must be able to be expanded at any time. EPS is optimally suited for versatile use, is ideal for well- structured master key systems and clearly defined user groups. Besides shop employees, security personnel, cleaning and maintenance staff as well as the management team of the outlet are among the user groups of the center. A total of more than 700 persons are administered.

EPS: patented technology & versatile use
The distinctive side coding and associated integrated manipulation control make the EPS key extremely secure. Thanks to the robust length profile and optimized lower key cuts, the EPS key is particularly easy to insert. The nickel-silver key is particularly wear-resistant and durable. Reliable technologies of the EPS cylinder, such as drilling, scanning, picking and optional plug pulling protection safeguard against illegal opening techniques.

Walter Hauser, Designer Outlet Facility Manager, is fully satisfied with the mechanical locking system. "The security and administration of the system work perfectly", says Hauser.

Nedap provides electronic locks for Saudi university hospital

Nedap provides electronic locks for Saudi university hospital

Editor / Provider: Nedap | Updated: 5/12/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Saudi university hospital, King Khalid, has saved significant time and money by shifting from traditional, key-based metal lockers to flexlockers secured by Nedap's electronic locks. Locker key management was becoming increasingly more time consuming and expensive, but it's important for the university to provide a safe place for students' belongings. It consulted trusted partner Best InfoTech Solutions, which recommended Nedap's electronic locks. Students can operate these using their existing smart card, so keys are no longer needed.

Eliminating key management
Eng. Hatem Al Rashdan said: “In the past, we had 1500 metal lockers, for which 1500 students all possessed their own mechanical key. Locks wore out regularly and keys got lost or stolen, so it became a real hassle to replace locks and manage the reproduction of keys. Best InfoTech Solutions, our system integrator, listened to our challenges and offered us the electronic locker management solution from Nedap. It's a function-rich system. Students can open and close lockers using their existing smart card, so we don't have to manage keys or replace locks anymore. And, since we have 904 lockers divided over two dressing rooms, it's convenient that I can manage them centrally from my desktop PC. Via the web browser, I get a clear overview of all lockers and users in the building and can easily set who should have the rights to access which locker at what time. Moreover, I can also check users' history, so I'm confident our students' belongings are always stored safely.”

Reducing the number of lockers
Eng. Hatem Al Rashdan continues: “Our new system hasn't only enabled us to eliminate time consuming key management, it saves space too. Before, we had a personal locker for every single student, the whole year. But, in a flexible environment like a university hospital, you don't need this because people often work in shifts. With Nedap's electronic flexlockers, students can now only claim a locker when they need it, using their existing smart card. Once they finish their shift, they take their belongings out of the locker again and it becomes available for the next person. This has enabled us to bring the number of lockers down from 1500 to 904, resulting in a 40% space saving. We don't have to be concerned about students keeping lockers for a long time because I've predefined, via the web-based application, that they can't do this. So 904 lockers is plenty to serve all of our students.

Ready for future expansion
Currently, there are 452 lockers in the men's dressing room and 452 in the women's. King Khalid University Hospital could choose to expand this number at any time. It's an open system, so extra electronic locking systems can easily be integrated, even if they're not in the same building as the existing lockers.

Wise buying mindset for access control in Middle East

Wise buying mindset for access control in Middle East

Editor / Provider: Jill Lai, a&s International | Updated: 4/25/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Middle East buyers carry strong purchasing power. Compared to four to five years ago, Middle East buyers have become more aware of the general benefits that the new technologies can bring them. At the same time, they particularly prefer future proof security technologies that will bring them extra value to optimize their business operations and even law and policy enforcement. This kind of buying mindset becomes very obvious when they select access control products.

Access control products usually tend to be designed according to the local culture and lifestyles in a country. When buyers select access control products in the Middle East, the time-attendance feature is most frequently asked about and preferred because the government has clear rules on employee attendance. “It is important to have a localized approach here. We are able to customize the products according to the regional requirements and culture; for instance, the holidays in the Middle East are Fridays and Saturdays, which is different from other geographic regions. In the Middle East, the time-attendance feature is very important to end users, especially in commercial and governmental buildings solutions. End users really need the time-attendance function to enforce the government law and calculate penalties for unpunctual employees. Time-attendance features are available in different ways in our systems, and are part of the overall business reporting tools available in our access control systems. These include building space usage and occupancy calculation, people-flow measurement, entry and exit time of visitors, subcontractors, and employees. We are also developing a visitor management system to manage visitors using electronic devices. Meeting room reservation is also another newly added function,” said Tarek Ismail, Sales Director of Middle East at Tyco Security Products.

In the SMB sector, ZK Techhnology FZCO's time-attendance and access control system is popular especially in the Middle East region, especially in Saudi Arabia, Iran, the U.A.E., and Iraq. “We recently launched our latest iris and vein recognition systems, and IP video surveillance cameras with facial recognition. The camera can link with the access control system, after installing software, suitable for business buildings,” said Kiven Wu, Sales Manager of Middle East at ZK Technology FZCO.

Due to the combination of higher purchasing power and the interest in innovative solutions, "the end users here are becoming more willing to upgrade from the standard mechanical locks to electromechanical locking systems which provide more convenience and have a more technological aspect to them. Electromechanical locks have gained more traction in the GCC than other Middle East countries," said Tarek Marawan, VP of Business Development, for Middle East at Assa Abloy Security Solutions.

Furthermore, in the Middle East, there are no set standards on locks and door hardware. Some countries such as Saudi Arabia prefer American standards (ANSI), while others prefer European standards (EN). So, there is a mixture of standards in the Middle East, depending on the country's history. “However, I would say it provides a good opportunity for a big organization such as Assa Abloy, because we have a diverse range of product lines which comply with all the different standards,” continued Marawan.

People, primarily in the GCC countries, have a high acceptance of new and savvy technologies, which accelerates the penetration of network technologies. Just like in the mature markets, the Middle East also started the adoption of NFC and identity management in certain verticals.

"From HID Global's perspective, there are several key trends for access control (in this region). Firstly, there is a growing paradigm shift from proprietary access control architectures to open and flexible solutions addressing customers business requirements for new products and technologies," said Harm Radstaak, MD of Identity & Access Management of EMEA at HID Global. "Another important trend is the increasing adoption of mobile access control, in stages, whereby smartphones will function similarly to that of a card transaction today."

Because of the high understanding toward advanced technologies and their benefits in this region, more and more end users are getting away from the traditional buying mindset, such as considering security applications or products only, and are starting to think about how security technologies can optimize their security processes and procedures and fit their security policies. "We are witnessing a rise in demand from organizations to provision a converged physical access control system (PACS) and IT identities on a single card (or smartphone) that can be used to open doors, log on to computers, and for other applications. Integrating physical access control with IT security will create a seamless user experience when securing doors, data, and the cloud. It will improve how organizations create, use and manage identities across many different applications," said Radstaak. "Migrating intelligence to the door will continue with further adoption of IP architectures and future capabilities of smartphones for access control."

Pierre Racz, President and CEO of Genetec also echoed, “Many customers approach us, initially, not just for security, but to get operational efficiency out of it too, such as in retail stores or even city wide surveillance. We discovered that access control has become a very important sensor to monitor daily business operations. In order to optimize their operations, end users mostly turn to a unified access control and video surveillance system. For example, some of our airport customers charge their employees for not bringing their badges and sometimes the fine is huge. That is because the government has imposed this specific rule on the airport. The airport would get fined without enforcing this rule.”

“In many cases, the employees who forget to bring their badges would ‘piggyback' on access granted to other employees. So, now, we are using the video with access control to monitor if an employee sneaks in with someone else. So, combining these two technologies help the end users to enforce the rule in a very cost-effective way.”

New technologies, like green construction, are also driving the market to adopt more new technologies. John Davies, MD at TDSi commented on the changes for the past three years in this region. “We found that the customers want more and more integrated systems, which is not just integration of different elements of the security systems, such as intruder alarms, fire, video surveillance, and access control. More often, customers also want all these security systems to be integrated into a building management system, or back-office systems, like payroll systems and time-attendance systems. From an access control point of view, we can easily know where the people are and see how these people interact. Building management systems also want to interface with access control in order to provide better granular control of heating and ventilation control or lighting systems. Although the Middle East is full of energy, governments and corporations still care about the environment green technologies. We find that Europe has a great track record in developing green technologies, but Asian customers are early adopters of these green technologies; for instance, Hong Kong has been really developing the concept of smart buildings from four to five years ago. In Europe, people are very slow to adopt. However, here, buyers are so different. They really love new technologies and ideas as long as there is a convincing return on investment or cost benefit.”

The access control sector is not like the video surveillance sector, which is strictly regulated by government rules. Instead, buyers' selection is mostly dependent on their preference toward specific standards and technologies. In general, thanks to the people's acceptance of new technologies and requirements toward efficient management and long-term investment, we can expect more and more advanced technologies, especially in access control, to be introduced to this region.

Assa Abloy solution for the largest German municipal company

Assa Abloy solution for the largest German municipal company

Editor / Provider: Assa Abloy | Updated: 4/22/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Stadtwerke München GmbH (SWM) is the largest municipal company in Germany. With over 7,500 employees, SWM supplies the regional capital of Munich and the surrounding area with public services such as electricity, gas, water, district heating and cooling.

Via its subsidiaries SWM also provides telecommunications services and operates the public passenger transport network in Munich.

SWM is responsible for several thousand objects. These include buildings, shafts and electrical mains transformer stations to name but a few, some of which are over 100 years old. Its responsibility also covers installations using new and old locking systems, different organizational set-ups including employee shift work and on-call services, the widely different environmental conditions in district heating systems, damp and high dust exposure in the underground and temperature deviations in power stations.

Due to the requirement by the Federal Ministry of the Interior for the protection of critical infrastructures, a standardized and sustainable locking and access solution was urgently needed.

The VERSO CLIQ system from ASSA ABLOY met the system requirements and also contained the essential software enhancements to meet SWM's demands. VERSO CLIQ became a special solution offering a quantum leap forward in terms of functionality, security and range of use.

Its benefits include on-key programmable access rights, authorization of up to 20,000 locking cylinders per key, the possibility of up to 1,500 freely programmable groups per key, multi-client capability with decentralized allocation of rights and new procedures for a clear and comprehensible allocation of access rights. As of November 2013, 14,000 cylinders, 3,000 keys and 50 authorization terminals had been installed. The scope of the completed project will be for 40,000-50,000 cylinders.

Assa Abloy door locking solutions applied in Expo transformation

Assa Abloy door locking solutions applied in Expo transformation

Editor / Provider: Assa Abloy | Updated: 4/9/2014 | Article type: Security 50

ASSA ABLOY Iberia drew on its wide range of door locking solutions for the huge transformation project of the Expo Zaragoza complex in Spain.

Estudio Lamela was founded in 1954. The architectural firm has developed more than 1,600 projects in 32 countries: residential, offices, hotels, sport facilities, healthcare, transportation and urban planning.

The Expo Zaragoza 2008 buildings were to undergo a major project to transform into the largest business park in Spain, including a “City of Justice.” ASSA ABLOY Iberia (TESA), a leader in systems and locking solutions for residential and institutional markets, took up the challenge.

ASSA ABLOY Iberia (TESA) worked closely with the architects and constructors to agree on the best security products and solutions for the transformation of these fantastic buildings.

It met the challenge by supplying solutions for 1,800 doors such as panic exit devices (UNIVERSAL series), cylinders (TK100), master key cylinders (1,400 units), locks (CF60, 2030, 2210 and 2240), handles (SENA and OBBAL), surface-mounted door closers (TEX14), concealed door closers (CT4500 and CT500) and door coordinators.

UK Co-operative Food embraces IP video surveillance with Axis

UK Co-operative Food embraces IP video surveillance with Axis

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 4/1/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

The welfare of customers and colleagues is taken extremely seriously at The Co-operative Food. In order to enhance the safety and security of its stores, the retailer undertook a review of its incumbent analog surveillance systems with the aim of improving colleague safety, incident detection, response times and conviction rates though the adoption of IP video technology.

Installer and Axis partner, Kings Security, developed an interactive security solution that utilized Axis networked video cameras to measurably increase the personal wellbeing of Co-operative colleagues, and improve loss prevention across the supermarket estate.

The final installation incorporated Axis' compact fixed dome cameras and high performance video encoders, controlled by a Milestone Professional operating system, sitting on a Razberi server.

Live surveillance footage from each store is streamed to a central control room and monitored by a dedicated operator at Kings Security. Staff can directly communicate with the control room via an incident button and operators can both listen to and broadcast messages in-store.

The Co-operative Food reported an average 50% reduction in reported instances of crime and a significant reduction in unrecorded loss from theft of attractive commodities in stores where Axis cameras had been installed. Following a staff engagement survey, an average 34% increase in ‘perception of safety in the workplace' was reported, as measured against the previous year. Feedback from local law enforcement has also been positive, with system footage routinely used to support prosecutions.

Making the switch from analog to digital
The Co-operative Food is the UK's fifth biggest food retailer, with almost 2,800 local, convenience and medium-sized stores. Its supermarkets range from between 1,000 and 24,000 sq ft. It has food stores in every UK postal area, and over 75,000 employees, serving a total of 14.5 million customers per week.

Having acquired much of its estate though a substantial acquisition and integration program, diverse surveillance set-ups existed across the chain, operating in silo, with no centralized control platform. Axis partner, Kings Security, was selected to transition the retailer onto one unified, future-proof security system and implement a sustainable asset renewal program.

Graham Watt, loss prevention manager at The Co-operative Food, explained: “Our stores trade from 6am to 11pm across very mixed-demographic locations. Some sites are higher risk than others. We needed a system that would cope with disparities in each location, could be easily scaled up or down as necessary, and that would connect the estate on one integrated platform. “After analyzing the market, we chose Axis because its product range and camera quality meant we could use a minimum number of suppliers and maintain the same blueprint system across the entire estate.”

Colleague and customer comfort is a top priority
The solution was an interactive security network that improved surveillance cover for high-risk stores and increased the safety and security of customers and colleagues. Kings Security installed an ‘incident button' that could be pro-actively used to alert control room operators when a colleague feels at risk. Steve Evans, commercial director at Kings Security, said: “We have a 24-hour manned control room, with a dedicated operator monitoring up to 20 stores. If an incident occurs or a staff member anticipates that a situation may escalate, they can alert the operator. It's incredibly comforting for staff to know that someone is watching over them and that support is on-hand whenever necessary.”

When locking-up, colleagues can request that operators assess the area, using the cameras to scan and identify any potential threats. Steve added: “Axis' unique Lightfinder technology means the picture quality is clear and precise – even in the dead of night.” AXIS P8221 network I/O audio module adds two-way audio capabilities, allowing control room operators to make in-store announcements, speak directly to colleagues or deliver instructions.

Subtle and effective surveillance
Axis' camera's wide angle view allows fewer units to be used to deliver full coverage of the shop floor and sensitive areas. Graham explained: “We often change store layouts – promoting specific products, reorganizing shelves etc. The picture quality, maneuverability and depth of field of Axis' cameras mean that there's no need to increase camera numbers or move them around whenever we have a re-shuffle.”

Axis cameras have also helped fulfill the retailer's central aim of improving the comfort of its staff and shoppers, thanks to the camera's discreet and compact design.“Security should never be obtrusive,” says Graham. “The system Kings Security and Axis have delivered provides an effective deterrent for thieves, but is subtle and effective enough to ensure that customers and colleagues feel protected, not scrutinized.”

SALTO Systems safeguard Antrim Area Hospital in Northern Ireland

SALTO Systems safeguard Antrim Area Hospital in Northern Ireland

Editor / Provider: SALTO | Updated: 3/25/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

SALTO Systems announced they are securing Antrim Area Hospital; the largest hospital in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, one of five health trusts in Northern Ireland.

The Northern Trust delivers a broad range of health and social care services across 10 council areas. It provides services for a population of approximately 460,000 and also supplies services to Rathlin, the only inhabited island in Northern Ireland.

Belfast based SALTO Certificated Partner Ambar Systems has installed the state-of-the-art online wireless XS4 security solution in the hospital. This features SALTO's unique Data-on-Card technology, and currently secures 80 doors throughout the new emergency department of the hospital, supplemented by 300 XS4 locker locks.

The powerful SALTO XS4 platform secures specific zones and doors within the department with complete security. The locker locks have been fitted to staff lockers, drug cupboards, mobile trolleys in resuscitation and major trauma areas, as well as to patients bedside cabinets on the wards.

At Antrim Area Hospital, XS4 delivers a highly flexible and integrated security solution by providing a specialized healthcare access solution tailored to the hospitals specific needs and helps improve staff and patient safety as well as the facility's quality of care” said Gerald Etherson, Product Manager of Ambar Systems. “The XS4 platform is in use at hospitals all over the world, making it a tried and tested security management system for Antrim Area Hospital.

Commenting on the installation, Paul Carr, National Accounts Manager, SALTO Systems states, “The challenges involved in securing a hospital are unlike those in many other buildings. Most hospitals have relatively easy access because they want to provide a welcoming environment and while this dictates that it is often necessary to allow for high levels of public access to the hospital and other health service amenities, including the routes linking different departments, entry to many back of house areas and most other facilities often need to be restricted for the protection of both patients and property.

Precisely how this is achieved depends on many factors including the level of security required in specific areas and the numbers of people likely to need access to those areas in the course of their work. The XS4 online wireless solution delivers real-time high level security with all the convenience of battery operated access control, and limits access to restricted areas and permits only authorised personnel to enter.

It is the perfect choice for applications that need a system with low power consumption, providing online control without any need to hard wire. Gateways are connected by Ethernet/WIFI to the controlling PC and repeaters then positioned in pre-defined wireless zones. The system is then set up and it is ready to go. The battery powered escutcheons configure themselves automatically through their SALTO software and then use their built-in low power (2.4Ghz) radio transceivers to communicate with the gateways to create a real-time wireless access control network.

Smart staff ID cards can be programmed to allow access to specific rooms or areas within the hospital for selected periods only, with the doors auto locking at pre-specified times as required. And if key security is breached due to the loss of an ID card, it can be instantly deleted from the system without the need or cost of rekeying or changing locks – saving the hospital time and money.

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