Print this page

Get in line

Written by 
Published in Features

Thinking about installing an access control security system or upgrading your security turnstiles? ... Read this first!

By Jean-Pierre Leleu, Automatic Systems Group Marketing Director

Are you thinking to install an access control security system to ensure your workplace is safe and secure and the building occupants protected? Is it time to replace or upgrade your existing pedestrian entrance control (PEC) system? Are your security turnstiles at end-of-life and are you starting to consider with what or how to best replace them? Are you wondering what features are new, important, or critical for compatibility with your available lobby space, your new card/biometric readers and access control systems?

End-user clients, along with their security consultants, architects, and security integrators are interested in finding the best solution - considering the latest features and technology available.

What are Pedestrian Entrance Control (PEC) systems?

The term PECs includes all security entrance lanes, turnstiles, barrier type optical lanes, sliding glass optical portals, high security portals, and security revolvers used as part of an integrated security strategy for an access controlled building or area within a building. Most entrance control systems are specifically designed to increase security and also enhance the effectiveness of lobby staff, who would otherwise have to check the credentials of every pedestrian passing the secure point. The PECs works by singling out any pedestrians attempting access without proper credentials. Normally a card reader or biometric authentication device is built into or integrated with the PECs. Usually the system will include technology (infrared or other optical sensors) to detect tailgating and prevent piggybacking, crossing through or other fraud attempts.

Many PEC systems are reaching end-of-life

For PEC systems purchased 10-15 years ago, replacement parts are now becoming harder to find. Downtime is expensive and detrimental to operation and traffic flow - let alone the perceived corporate image associated with non-functional security equipment. Meanwhile, new state-of-the-art security entrance lanes have been developed, the benefits of which (financially and practically) support the upgrade or replacement of these old, dated systems.

Security first 

Terrorism threats, workplace violence, industrial/intellectual espionage are some current trends that have influenced the interest and growth of Entrance Control in recent years. In addition, technology has changed to the point where integrating a good entrance control system with the building’s access control environment is simpler and more seamless. Generally, a professionally designed and well-implemented entrance control system pays for itself through the manpower savings in lobby and security staff. The entrance control equipment makes the staff more efficient, and decreases staffing demand, proving a clear ROI in most cases.

The product selection decisions are importantand long

The design, product selection and buying decisions for such projects take usually one year or more till the intended purchase is done. Clients have concerns about how to make the right decisions because access control security products are usually a long-term capital investment and a strategic one. Another important consideration concerns the existing infrastructure work that was already done on site and its dimensional limitations when replacing/upgrading an existing entrance control system. Will the new proposed housing footprint fit correctly on the existing space? Should you accommodate more lanes than before in the same given area? How integrating your new security turnstiles with your overall security system? Further complicating such decisions is the variety of new physical features, available certifications, and software packages that are available.

Architectural finishes, product features and overall aesthetics will be of concern for architects and lobby designers. Custom colors, surfacing and finishes are usually available options and architects like to have choices of custom and materials.

Security turnstiles with swing glass doors are especially trendy today. Their slimmer and shorter housing - and therefore smaller footprint, can be easily accommodated in any lobby space whereas retractable doors will require larger space.

Technology features available in the newer PECs

Some of the new changes in evolution in the PECs are that they have very sophisticated tailgating and piggybacking detection systems - allowing clients to even tailor the sensitivity of their tailgating/piggybacking security detection system. Enhanced tailgating/piggybacking detection technology improves accuracy, reduces both false positive and false negative incidents - thereby increasing security while reducing cost of false alarms. Today's PEC systems use long-life LED lights which years ago replaced incandescent bulbs which had been standard in older turnstiles.

One very important advancement is the advent of network ready, IP addressable security turnstiles and server based lane control panels. These advancements open up a wide realm of communication, lane control, and maintenance possibilities not available in the legacy analog, dry contact systems of the past. The use of network ready and IP based systems like this also provide a level of "future-proofing" your PEC system.

Old vs. new: justifying/selling the selection

Nowadays, having no access control system is not an option anymore. So, when ROI must be addressed, it is best to look at the cost of the old system over time. How often does it need repair? Have we had to call for emergency repairs and what is the cost of the repairs? When the system is down, do we need to add additional security personnel to monitor the entrance? How long do we wait for parts?

SlimLane, the all-in-one new security turnstile generation from Automatic Systems

Automatic Systems’ new SlimLanerange of swing doors security turnstiles offer every one of these features and is the most compelling product offering for security turnstiles on the market, combining maximum throughput in a minimum footprint with high speed and best in class security in a modern and streamlined design. For over 50 years, and with over 200,000 security gates installed worldwide, the strategy of Automatic Systems is to design and manufacture high-reliability products that meet the market needs. Automatic Systems invests constantly in improving the performance of its products. Few companies with an extensive international coverage have such a product-oriented strategy.

Greater modularity

SlimLaneproduct range offers the best flexibility and versatility in terms of product configuration. SlimLaneis available with high or low glass, standard or short cabinets, single or double doors, wide or narrow lanes, opening/closing in both directions.

Aesthetics in a very compact footprint

Its slim, transparent and modern design blends seamlessly into any type of interior architecture such as office buildings, head offices, banks as well as public administrations. A wide range of options and accessories are available to customize the design, safety level and control of SlimLane.

SlimLaneswing doors short cabinet (SC) version - with reduced footprint, has been recently added in response to the increasing issue of premium space. The SC version has a cabinet length of 1274 mm versus 1640 mm for the standard unit. The shorter cabinet version allows for easier implementation into most elevator openings, as well as where architectural demands are stricter like in many existing front lobbies.

Its fast closing/opening movement ensures maximum throughput in a very compact footprint. There is no other optical turnstile as quick (opening/closing speed <1s.) and as silent (< 55dB) at the same time (combination of both).

Priority to security and safety

SlimLaneis the most secure and safest turnstile thanks to its locking features and its unique high-performance detection system running along the whole lane and across the glass obstacles. Based on a high processing capacity (ARM9) and a high-density matrix of superior infrared beams (DIRAS), SlimLane allows for dynamic, predictive tracking of users thus preventing unauthorised use such as tailgating or piggybacking. It also includes electromechanical locking to withstand forced entry attempts as well as audible and visual signals to indicate unauthorized usage. User protection functionalities include anti-panic operating mode (EGRESS) - meeting the highest fire safety standards, finger entrapment prevention design and extrinsic battery operated opening in case of power failure.

IP Connectable

SlimLanebenefits from an open communication platform for IP connectivity. Its embedded software provides real time monitoring and the ability to configure and maintain each lane locally or remotely via a simple web browser. Its remote functionalities allow for lower operating costs and increased service time. Its electrical consumption of 65W at rest is 40% less than that of traditional retractable gates.

BIS compatible

SlimLane security turnstiles are BIS (Biometric Identification Systems) compatible, allowing for seamless identification and access.

By seamlessly integrating biometric authentication technology into the SlimLane gates, users do not need to stop or carry badges therefore increasing throughput rate. BIS readers and lights are installed inside SlimLane and work via software or dry contacts. Users are pre-enrolled with biometrics and validated as they approach the gates. SlimLane opens automatically when authorised individuals walk through. In cases of attempted fraud or tailgating an alarm is generated.