Card-Operated Locks Offer Managers Flexibility

By Thomas A. Westerkamp  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Maintaining Locks, Hinges, Closers and Exit DevicesPt. 2: This PagePt. 3: Door-Hardware Maintenance Includes Lubrication, AdjustmentPt. 4: Door Misaligned? Reset the FramePt. 5: Door-Hardware Maintenance: Weather-Stripping Basics

A card-operated lock system consists of a computer, up to 11 levels of magnetic-striped keycards, computerized card-reading door locks, and a hand-held computer that programs, interrogates, and troubleshoots door units. To open the door, the authorized person slides a card encoded with the same instructions as the door unit through the vertical slot. The computer reads the card information and opens the door if the information is valid for the door at the time.

Flexibility is the main advantage of this system. Technicians can change locks from the central computer by reprogramming the door as often as desired. The central computer also records all transactions, providing a printout for administrative control of all changes.

System operators also can encode special emergency cards or master cards to give certain personnel, such as security or maintenance workers, access to selected doors in a given area at a certain time. Among the other advantages of this system are:

• no rekeying

• no liability risk of not rekeying when needed

• automatic card-expiration time

• the ability to open a door only during certain times

• the ability to open a door only once, then canceling access

• memorizing the code of the last 20 cards used to gain access.

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  posted on 9/1/2008   Article Use Policy

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