Electronic access control systems use electronic devices to grant. entry to personnel, safeguard security of property, and accurately monitor facilities. This technology is proven effective in organizations requiring with variable security levels, access areas, or automation requirements. Especially effective in reducing such basic costs as, re-keying lock sets or guard services, while providing a higher, more accountable level of security. This increased security is primarily due to the selective security and simplicity these systems offer. Additionally increased benefits of utility control and employee or asset monitoring. through a precise report system, reduce costs and increase efficiency.
The system consist of three main components; input devices, output devices, and a central processor. For example, you could enter the building by "swiping" your card, much the same as your credit card is swiped. Once the card is swiped it sends a signal containing your code and request to open the door to the processing unit. The processor then verifies you to be a valid employee for the area you are entering and permission to unlock the door is given. The permission goes to a relay, still in the central processor, which sends a signal to the door lock to unlock the door. From your perspective the door will open immediately as this all happens in the fraction of a second.
Input devices include any device which sends a signal to the processor and include card readers, keypads but also exit buttons, motion detectors, and door contacts. Output devices receive a signal from the processor and perform the action. A wide variety of actions are possible, but a few ares; electronic locks, alarms, audio output, magnetic locks, closed caption television (CCTV), printers, lights, visual display etc.
Every action and desired control is processed by the central processor. Every time a sensor (input device) sends a signal, it decides what signal, if any, should be sent to the output device. It essentially makes the decision based on criteria programmed by you to allow access, notify of an alarm, or report on a situation.
Proximity cards, unlike other technologies, do not require the user to insert or swipe a card through a reader. The card is simply held near the reader and initiates an action of reading the card through "thin air". The Proximity card can be read from 2 inches up to 20 feet. This is convenient for hands free operation, parking facilities, or in unsafe/harsh environment conditions.
Biometrics is the use of individual unique body features of the users themselves. There are biometric readers that read the retina, voiceprint, fingerprint, and hand geometry. This technology is quickly evolving into one of the best for security. Transfer of password or card is not possible thereby making employee tracking a definitive process.
Keypads are similar to card systems except that the user enters code as opposed to the card containing it. This method is less secure as passwords are known to the user and can be easily copied. These are still a good reliable method and can be added to a card system to increase system security.
In order to do an effective system design, answers to the following questions are required.
- How many card holders (users) will there be on the system?
- Will you require different access at different times?
- What type of reader technology would work best in your environment?
- How will each door be used-locks required?
- What other entry points such as gates or parking need to be controlled?
- What type of reporting does the system need to output?
- What are the future needs that will be placed upon the system?
- Are there multiple buildings?