Canadian Consulting Engineer

What’s new in security and access control?

Assa Abloy rolled up a mobile showroom into Montreal and Toronto this summer. The showroom is a large tractor trailer that has been fitted out to exhibit various door locks, doors and related security...

August 1, 2010   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Assa Abloy rolled up a mobile showroom into Montreal and Toronto this summer. The showroom is a large tractor trailer that has been fitted out to exhibit various door locks, doors and related security technologies made by companies that come under the Assa Abloy umbrella. The Swedish company was founded in 1994 and since then has acquired a large roster of manufacturers in North America. The companies still make their own products and carry their own brand names, but operate on Assa Abloy’s common backbone.

Based on the products exhibited in the mobile showroom, access systems are becoming increasingly intelligent, and capable of remote monitoring and operation. They are also becoming more adaptable, with simple retrofit and plug and play options in many cases.

Assa Abloy’s HiO (highly intelligent openings) protocol allows every device in an opening (lock, exit device, electric strike, door operator, etc.) to work together and share encrypted information. The technology can save hours in the time required for installing all the different components to a door opening. It also saves time for maintenance crews in large campus applications. When monitored on a building automation system, the HiO technology indicates exactly which door part needs replacing so staff can take the correct equipment when they travel across campus.

Among the door locks exhibited, was the Sargent Profile Series v. S1 and S2, which are powered over Ethernet and WiFi. The door systems have built-in intelligence; without needing a command from a central control room, the door will independently “decide” whether to grant admission or not. The locks have lock-down capabilities, as well as encryption for security.

Another demonstration showed Securitron CCM-1 technology that allows someone to open an access gate via a cell phone. Through this type of system, a gate in a remote area such as an oil field might be operated by solar power and can be controlled at long distance.

The drive for energy efficiency and sustainability has reached into the security industry and is driving many product developments. “Green” products include double thresholds on security doors to avoid thermal bridges, and doors made with certified wood products. The Trinity door closer by Norton has its own on-board generator that ensures a door stays closed — useful, for example, in situations where a building has a strong stack effect.

For the showroom’s most dramatic demonstration, visitors were asked to enter a small enclosed dark room. On the door at the back of the room was the Beacon emergency exit push bar by Sargent. When activated by smoke, the bar emits a loud white noise, pulsating light, and “speaks” in various languages: “This is where the exit is located.” The bar also has an LED-backlit stencil Exit sign.

The manufacturers have even thought about our fears of infection and pandemics, with Agion’s “MicroShield” treatment for door handles to give them a “long-lasting” defence against the transmission of bacteria and microbes.

Another interesting product was a simple device developed for the hotel industry. Pemko has developed door gaskets to provide hotel room doors with more sound-proofing and to prevent light seeping inside at night around the door frame from hallways. Yet the gaskets have alternate open cut-outs that still admit air for ventilation.


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