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ASSA ABLOY takes pain out of managing access control for French water utility

ASSA ABLOY takes pain out of managing access control for French water utility
Trust and a track record are vital attributes in any locking system designed for critical infrastructure. French water utility Eau de Valence set themselves a challenge upgrading an old-fashioned mechanical locking system. They demanded access control that could manage multiple and dispersed utility sites; perform reliably outdoors in any weather; and log and monitor all system users from a single control point. CLIQ key-based access control technology from ASSA ABLOY was the solution.

Eau de Valence selected PROTEC2 CLIQ mechatronic locks with mechanical disc cylinders and encrypted electronics. ASSA ABLOY partner AC Pro installed around 40 programmable PROTEC2 CLIQ cylinders and padlocks across Eau de Valence sites, and issued 20 battery-powered keys, one for every authorised user.

Now, a comprehensive audit trail for every lock and padlock is available on demand, so monitoring the frequency of contractor and other key-holder visits is easy. It is straightforward to tailor anyone’s access rights by restricting key validation to specific times or dates, if needed. Removing access permission from lost or stolen keys is easy with the CLIQ admin software. Weekly mandatory key revalidation provides yet another layer of security.

Five Eau de Valence keys are also equipped with CLIQ Connect technology, to allow supervisors to update their key access permissions on the move, via Bluetooth and the CLIQ Connect app, in the event of a problem arising when they were away from base or on-call.

With CLIQ, power to each cylinder is supplied by a standard battery inside every CLIQ key, so installation was fast and cost-effective. There’s no wiring at all — making it an ideal retrofit solution for doors and padlocks at sites where connecting mains electricity is difficult or impossible.

“All the energy is in the key,” says Christophe Nublat, Head of Study and Works Division at Eau de Valence. “There is no power supply to the lock, and therefore very little maintenance.”

In addition, CLIQ padlocks can handle weather extremes and secure almost any opening, making the CLIQ solution much more adaptable than standard electronic access control systems. It is also easy for Eau de Valence to manage mechanical and electronic locks in the same installation: “The electronic and mechanical cylinders are managed by one and the same key,” adds Christophe Nublat.

Despite all this extra convenience, there have been no compromises on site security. Communications between lock and key are encrypted. Because there are up to 1.97 billion unique key combinations, there’s unlimited scope for any utility to design its own mechatronic key-based access system to suit its own specific needs — however challenging. That’s why CLIQ technology is already trusted to protect critical infrastructure sites all over Europe.

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