Changes are Coming

Changes are Coming

During the past 10 years there have been some magnificent technological innovations in the security industry, but the pace of change has never been higher. One can make a strong argument that the next 10 years will bring an even greater rate of change.

One of the companies spearheading this change and innovation is ASSA ABLOY, and many of the new access control technologies come out of the Access and Egress Hardware Group of ASSA ABLOY where Martin Huddart is the president.

“One of the biggest technology advances we’ve seen in the past 10 years is intelligent locks,” Huddart said. “By integrating several access control components into one smart, integrated device on the door, access control costs and energy consumption can be radically reduced.”

“IP-enabled locks have allowed facilities to bring access control deeper into the facility by re-using their existing IT infrastructure. ASSA ABLOY Group brands Corbin Russwin and SARGENT offer PoE locks that have been recognized for their contribution to sustainable buildings. These PoE locks streamline the installation process, reduce costs and components, and can minimize power consumption by about 90 percent.”

Wireless locks have become mainstream in the industry where end users want more control at affordable costs per opening. ASSA ABLOY offers WiFi locks where no additional wireless infrastructure is needed. As an alternative, Aperio wireless technology has made it possible to address a broader range of applications never before possible, giving facilities greater control and efficiency.”

Another important innovation in sustainable access control is EcoFlex technology. Available in Corbin Russwin and SARGENT electrified mortise locks, it has been GreenCircle certified to save up to 96 percent is energy costs. Huddart said this can represent significant s avings for customers. “In a campus setting with hundreds or thousands of doors, reducing energy costs by $15 per door can be significant,” Huddart said. When combined with some of the new clever EcoPower supplies from Securitron, the savings in total energy consumed can be 99 percent.

“We will see more change in the lock and power supply business in the next 10 years. For example, we now understand that by designing products that consume less power, we are not only helping the environment, but can also have a positive impact on an organization’s sustainability objectives,” said Huddart.

Looking to the future, mobile access will make a profound impact on the industry as smartphones begin to replace mechanical keys or RFID credentials. The convenience and security of mobile access will drive widespread adoption in both residential and commercial markets.

Looking even further into the future, openings will feature detailed door monitoring, real-time diagnostics and the sharing of information to the cloud. Huddart said that ‘highly intelligent openings’ will offer easier installation and troubleshooting, and an extended life of the components.

Huddart added that ASSA ABLOY is a strong proponent of open architecture, wireless, and mobile capabilities. Putting these elements together in creative new ways is opening up new markets that have been historically underserved. For example, Yale is launching new simple but powerful solutions into multi-family housing markets to control tenant and common area openings using smart cards or phones. Yale also provides commercial locks for small businesses wanting to extend the new Z-Wave or Zigbee wireless capabilities of their burglar alarm panels. “Yale Locks has provided a bridge between intrusion and access for the very first time,” said Huddart. “We are creating a compelling business case for the small business to upgrade mechanical locks to a system with more visibility and control over employees”.

There are other vertical markets where Huddart and his team are focused. Healthcare and universities are at the top of the list. He said there is a greater emphasis than ever before on physical security at schools, and for good reason. Schools need to provide a safe and secure learning environment, and in an emergency, teachers must be able to lock their classroom doors and feel at ease.

“We are at a time when there is an unprecedented rate of change,” Huddart said. “There have never been so many great choices to make our buildings safe, secure and cost effective.”

This article originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of Security Today.

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