Electronic Access-Control Technology Emerges for Door Hardware

By Thomas A. Westerkamp  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: High Usage Level Places High Expectations on Door HardwarePt. 2: This PagePt. 3: New Door Hardware Creates Need for Additional Technician Training

Electronic access-control technology is becoming increasingly popular for managers specifying door hardware. The components of a card-operated lock system are up to 11 levels of magnetic-striped keycards, computerized card-reading door locks, and a handheld computer that programs, interrogates, and troubleshoots door units. To open a door, the user slides a card encoded with the same instructions as the door unit through the vertical slot.

Flexibility is the main benefit of this system. System administrators can change locks from a central location by reprogramming the door as needed. The computer also records transactions, providing a printout for administrative control. Administrators also can encode emergency cards or master cards to give certain personnel — security or maintenance personnel — access to selected doors.

For maintenance, the largest impacts of new-generation hardware comes from increased attention to selecting appropriate products, as well as paying closer attention to preventive maintenance tasks that keep components working properly.

One recent addition to door-hardware components is a proximity card that uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. The card replaces magnetic, bar code, and barrier ferrite cards. It does not require contact, and it results in less wear and tear on the cards and reader equipment.

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  posted on 12/18/2012   Article Use Policy

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