In the area of biometric security the term “access control” comes up a lot. The term in general obviously means, to control access through a point. In the field of biometric security products this phrase has a more specific connotation. When a person states their interest in access control products or more specifically biometric access control they are looking for an advanced hardware & software security solution.
There are two required items to an access control system.
- First you need a scanner or control device. These devices get mounted on the wall next to the door, not actually on the door. These scanners come in many varieties. There are biometric (fingerprint) scanners, Smart card/Key fob readers & pass code systems. There are some devices that allow a combination of all those access options. They control the next piece of the access control set up, the locking device.
- The locking device is the apparatus that actually provides the physical locking or securing of the door. There are many types of locking devices on the market.
The type of locking system needed is dependent on the type of door it will be securing. If the door is made of wood or metal & uses a typical door handle key lock like you’d find at a hardware store a standard electric strike can be used.
- An electric strike is common in buildings were a person gets “buzzed” through the doorway. If the door has a push bar or panic bar exit like you find in many schools & office buildings that door requires a specialize larger electric strike.
If the door is a metal framed glass door commonly referred to as “showroom” style door, they require a more complex locking system. These types of doors require the use of magnetic locks.
- A magnetic device is installed on the door frame & a metal plate is fastened to the door. When the 2 plates touch they proved a magnetic holding force of 600-1200 Lbs.
Both the scanner & the locking device run on separate 12 Volt DC power. These systems are often networked with multiple scanner units & are controlled by a control computer that runs the management software. They generally have Cat5 cabling running from the scanners to a switch or hub. Then the switch connects the control PC. The management software automatically tracks & logs each users time & attendance. Each user can be given a personal access schedule defined by the date & time they can access the building. These access schedules can also be set up for large work groups of users, as well. Once the access control system has the scanner mounted, the locking device installed & is networked with the control PC, then the administrator who manages security has 24/7 real-time access to all the features & function of their security network!
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