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ASSA ABLOY supplies exit devices for University in Plymouth, UK

ASSA ABLOY supplies exit devices for University in Plymouth, UK

Editor / Provider: ASSA ABLOY | Updated: 8/11/2014 | Article type: Education

The University of St Mark & St John is based in the coastal city of Plymouth, and is located on a single campus offering bars, restaurants, shops and state-of-the-art sports facilities. The campus has seen an investment of over USD $33.58 million (£20million) over the last few years.

Working with Plym Valley Manufacturing, Adams Rite supplied exit devices for the halls of residences, which cater for almost 500 students. Doorcare South West Limited installed the doors with 960 Series Concealed Vertical Rod exit devices, providing vital panic hardware for the building's escape routes, CE Marked to BS EN1125. Suitable for aluminium doors, the concealed panic exit hardware uses a rotating top bolt and post type header strike, securing doors from the outside whilst ensuring a safe and swift exit for undergraduates in the event of an emergency.

Mike Pengilley, owner of Plym Valley Manufacturing, said: “I have worked with Adams Rite for many years – as a trusted brand, we know we will always get the excellent technical support that we are used to with ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions, and we are always safe in the knowledge that Adams Rite have the know-how to assist us in meeting the rigorous legislative requirements in a university building.”

Richard Lawes, Sales Manager for ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions, added: “Having suitable escape routes is a critical part of ensuring that a building meets with fire safety legislation under the Building Regulations, and the right hardware can be the key to creating an effective escape route in the case of an emergency.

“Adams Rite has extensive experience in the education sector, including some very high-profile and challenging projects. Our continual involvement ensures that we are well placed to advise on the relevant standards and legislation, as well as to continually develop our products in line with the industry demand.”

Adams Rite is one of the suppliers of aluminium door locking, electric locking and escape devices, supplying the top OEM door manufacturers worldwide. The company is part of ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions, a division of ASSA ABLOY, the global provider in door opening solutions.

ASSA ABLOY solutions supplied in King's College London University

ASSA ABLOY solutions supplied in King's College London University

Editor / Provider: ASSA ABLOY | Updated: 8/6/2014 | Article type: Education

Champion Hill student accommodation is due to open for the Autumn 2014/15 term. The development will provide rooms for up to 715 students and is being delivered to achieve BREEAM “Outstanding” sustainability standards. The students will have access to extensive communal, social, recreation and study spaces within the refurbished existing Grade 2 listed building on the site.

Providing a full ironmongery specification from ASSA ABLOY, products from ASSA ABLOY, ASSA and UNION brands, as well as the Aperio range have been fitted throughout the building, providing access and security solutions for students at the university, which is ranked in the top 30 worldwide.

ASSA ABLOY Access Control's innovative Aperio locking solution has been fitted on 2300 doorsets, the RFID wireless door control solution allowed for the simple upgrade of mechanical locks so that they could communicate with a complete access control system. Aperio is cost-effective and easy to install, as it can be fitted without the need to modify any doors, plus the sophisticated system provides real time audits and instant updates of access restrictions through the existing access control system.

A range of Optimus3 locks, StrongBOLT deadlocks and 1000 series furniture from UNION, have also been installed throughout the new residence. Both the Optimus3 range and StrongBOLT deadlocks are tested as suitable for high frequency use, making them the ideal choice for the heavy demands of student accommodation, whilst the attractive stainless steel door furniture is in keeping with the project's modern aesthetics.

ASSA's electromagnetic hold open devices and ASSA ABLOY's DC500A door controls were installed throughout the main corridors and student accesses to provide safe passage around the building, whilst assisting in meeting the requirements under the Equality Act and Approved Document M (ADM) of The Building Regulation.

ASSA Flexcore Plus master key cylinders were also installed, providing a practical and cost effective way of maintaining accessibility, without compromising on security.

Nick O'Donnell, Deputy Director of Estates & Facilities and Director of Facilities at Kings College London, said: “We use ASSA ABLOY suited locks across the university on a quality basis, they are our first choice for reliability.”

Tabitha Morton, Sales Director at ASSA ABLOY Access Control concluded: “We have extensive knowledge of managing access control within educational premises, the Managing Director of ASSA ABLOY Access Control UK, Damian Marsh has written a white paper on the subject, which also discusses the changing nature of the school and university ‘ecosystem'.

“The features of Aperio make it a simple and intelligent way of upgrading the controllability and security level of any premises, whilst also solving key management issues.”

Allan Thomson, Commercial Manager for ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions, said: “Security at university accommodation must be very carefully considered as students today often own high value equipment and personal possessions. Students at London university campuses are statistically more likely to fall victim to crime, according to the UK police web database, so it is essential that the security ironmongery specification be in keeping with the high standard of technical specification throughout the building, to ensure the students are protected.

“It was exciting to be part of such a vast project, which required such a wide range of security solutions. This project was one of our largest ever, pure ironmongery orders, so we aimed to supply products that would provide ease of installation, we specified Optimus3 as it allows uniform door preparation, which has proven to be a particularly useful feature on other University projects.”

Wireless locks bring flexibility to electronic Access

Wireless locks bring flexibility to electronic Access

Editor / Provider: BY EIFEH STROM, a&s International | Updated: 7/22/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

The many benefits of wireless locks are becoming more apparent as electronic access control continues to gain popularity. Without extra wires and cables, wireless locks can provide many different verticals with an electronic access solution that is not only more cost-effective, but allows for more flexibility as it is easier to implement and manage.

"7.4% estimated growth for global access control in 2014" ---Source: IHS

In 2014 alone, IHS estimates a growth of about 7.4 percent for the global access control market, including electronic locks (mechatronic, digital cylinder, and electromechanical). The rise in electronic access control adoption is paving the way for wireless access devices like wireless locks to come into play. Whereas electronic access control systems still require expensive cabling and wiring, wireless solutions provide a less price-inhibiting solution for prospective users. Without the need for extra or new cablin+g or wiring, wireless devices such as wireless locks are making electronic access control possible for those looking for a more efficient, convenient, and cost-friendly solution.

Type s of Wireless Locks
While there are several ways to differentiate between different types of wireless locks, one way is by how they communicate to the controlling software, according to Daniel Stewart, Product Integration Manager at Stanley Security, a division of Stanley Black & Decker. Naming three of the “key varieties” in the current market, Stewart noted that each standard has positive aspects and drawbacks. Ultimately, “The decision a user usually needs to make is one of convenience versus control.” Aside from communication standards, wireless locks can also be categorized by physical make-up. For example, for commercial use there are electronic cylinders, escutcheons, handles, and locks paired with RFID readers. They can also be customized with different credential readers including keypads, magnetic stripes, or multi-technology that can read both proximity and smart technology, explained Karen Keating, Portfolio Marketing Manager of Electronic Access Control at Allegion. “Wireless locks can combine all the hardware components required for a complete access control system into one integrated design that includes the electrified lock, credential reader, request-to-enter and -exit sensors, door positions switch, and more.” This type of integrated design can save both time and money when installing a system.

Who's Going Wireless?
The earliest adopters of wireless access products have been the higher education and healthcare markets. Both of these verticals have benefited immensely from wireless systems as both have thousands of doors that need to be secured without breaking the bank. Keating pointed out that wireless solutions solve many installation restrictions in healthcare, education, and historic buildings, which include limitations on where drilling and laying wire can happen. Aside from healthcare and education, Keating added, “Whatever the industry, wireless is becoming the prescription for getting more doors covered and extending the present access control system, especially when the facility requires something that is not too invasive and can be easily installed.” Chris Bone, VP of Access Control Solutions for EMEA at ASSA ABLOY, noted that “Large commercial applications of wireless access technologies are ideally suited to any premises that, firstly, have lots of keys and, secondly, have a wired access control system already in place.”

Why Go Wireless?
One of the biggest positives of wireless access control is that it is very affordable to install, according to Bone. Not only is it affordable to install but affordable to run, especially when compared to wired solutions. “Wireless locks are battery operated and only ‘wake up' when prompted by digital credential. Wired doors need to be permanently connected to main power and that makes them expensive,” added Bone. “Wireless access saves you money, and that, I think, is a major reason why demand is growing in every vertical.”

Not only can wireless locks save money, they can also save electricity. As pointed out, wireless locks are battery-operated devices. This, according to Stewart, reduces the electrical load that a building will be pulling to support the access control system. “Some end users have utilized wireless locks to fall in line with green initiatives that they have for their building structures.” This makes wireless locks a great solution for commercial buildings looking for energy savings and better energy efficiency. Savings from wireless solutions also allows integrators to help facility professionals extend the reach of their card-based systems at a cost that used to include extra materials and increased labor, stated Keating. “Wireless helps migrate the present access control system so that it can be used for more doors as well as mobile mustering, remote areas, gates, elevators, and other unique applications that have been heretofore impracticable to install or too expensive.”

Wireless Hurdles
Easier to install and more cost-efficient make installing wireless locks sound like a no-brainer; however, this is not the case. “The recent progress in microelectronics has enabled wireless technology adoption at a reasonable cost for lock manufacturers, but, still, there are debates about standards and interoperability of systems which causes most customers to refrain from making a decision,” said Rocco Vitali, Product Manager of Electronic Products at ISEO.

In addition to interoperability concerns, security remains a top reason for user uneasiness. In reaction to these concerns, Christoph Karl, Product Manager at EVVA, assured that providing high security access solutions is his company's top concern. “Thus we are only relying on high security encryption standards such as MIFARE DESFire EV1, HTTPS connections, end-to-end encryption, and high security smart cards.” Karl also stressed the need for potential users to “look behind the facade and find out about the security features” of wireless locks, as users are “quickly drawn by the looks of a product but that does not tell whether the lock will fend off illegal opening attacks.”

Misunderstandings, according to Stewart, such as the realization that wireless locks are not a real-time access control device, are also an obstacle. “Every wireless device is ‘offline' with its controller at some point,” he explained. “If it is not, the batteries used to power them would expire in days instead of months.” As a result, control of products and updates sent to them is dependent on when they communicate back to get this information. For this reason, wireless access devices are not suitable for perimeter security.

Future of Wireless Locks
Growth for wireless locks has been in the double digits, according to Keating. Regions such as Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and APAC are among those seeing a particular rise in demand. IHS attributes this to the need for “low-cost products that are valuable” in lower-end/underdeveloped markets. Although wireless locks are making a play for the security industry, they will, however, not be taking over mechanical locks any time soon. According to IHS, “Despite the growing popularity of access control systems driving the adoption of electronic locking devices, mechanical locks are not projected to falter any time soon.” Regardless, the many benefits of wireless locks make them a desirable choice in certain verticals and environments, such as higher education and healthcare. However, as wireless technologies mature, adoption by more verticals will continue. Additionally, the flexibility and adaptability of wireless locks will continue to drive growth, leading to a wider variety of wireless locks in the future.

Three Key Communication Standards for Wireless Locks
Daniel Stewart, Product Integration Manager at Stanley Security, a division of Stanley Black & Decker, outlined the three key communication standards most commonly used in today's wireless locks.

Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi locks utilize a user's existing wireless network installation to communicate with the controlling software. Deployment of Wi-Fi locks is easy for a user to do because there is very little infrastructure that would need to be added. The majority of users today have an existing Wi-Fi network with ample coverage of their buildings. Deploying Wi-Fi locks then allows the user to simply install the locks and connect them to the network. The downside to Wi-Fi locks is that it is a very power hungry protocol. This limits the frequency that the locks can communicate to the controlling software down to only a few times a day, in order to be able to maintain a reasonable battery life.

900 MHz: 900 MHz locks utilize a frequency outside of the majority of wireless devices today in order to maintain clear communication with the devices. In a typical 900 MHz configuration, the wireless lock communicates to a receiver that will translate the signals from the lock and output them to the control panels for the access system that communicate back to the software. The frequency wave and power behind a 900 MHz signal allow for long and more thorough penetration through a user's building, helping to maximize their investment by reducing the number of receivers that are needed. The downside here is the infrastructure that needs to be added to a facility to support the installation of these products. Wires need to be run between the receiver and the access control panels to facilitate their communication.

Zigbee (802.15.4): This is a low-power wireless protocol that utilizes the same frequency range as Wi-Fi. This protocol allows for channel selection outside of the standard Wi-Fi channels, though, to facilitate interoperability with the existing Wi-Fi devices — for example wireless computer networks — that a user may have in place. The protocol's low-power consumption allows these locks to communicate more often, as frequently as every minute, and maintain a reasonable battery life. The typical installation requires a receiver that will connect to a user's Ethernet network to communicate back to a controlling software. Range from the receiver to the wireless lock is comparable to the range that a user would have with a Wi-Fi lock from a wireless access point. The downside to these products is, again, the infrastructure that needs to be put in place to facilitate communication to the controlling software.

Wireless Lock 411 for Integrators
Wireless locks present a unique challenge to installation teams and users who are deploying them, according to Daniel Stewart, Product Integration Manager of Stanley Security, a division of Stanley Black & Decker. “This challenge results from an inability to physically see the wireless environment. With hardwired locks, it is relatively easy to troubleshoot the wire that runs between the device and the controller to identify any challenges. With wireless locks, the environment cannot be surveyed as easily.” An understanding of this is crucial in order to “adequately evaluate the frequency spectrums that their product uses for communication,” added Stewart. Additionally, because these wireless products are not inherently connected to the access system, updates, configuration changes, and commands sent to the locks may have a delay, which is important to realize. This needs to be taken into consideration when deploying a wireless lock solution. Karen Keating, Portfolio Marketing Manager of Electronic Access Control at Allegion, further pointed out that integrators need to do their homework upfront. “They have to understand the IT infrastructure. Are there additional costs that might be incurred for an additional node? There are advantages and disadvantages to every wireless approach out there. What do they need and what problems are they looking to solve? What is the initial budget? What is the ongoing cost budget? Make sure the solution is appropriate for the client.”


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.

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