Filling a huge security gap with an accountable security system
- By Nick Simon
- Feb 01, 2015
At the corporate facility of the world’s largest automotive manufacturer,
both authorized and unauthorized personnel were coming
and going with little accountability. Largely reliant on the honor
system, the company had zero visibility on who entered and exited
the building and depended on guard personnel—along with
the access control software—to identify valid or invalid credentials. Though semiautomated
with access control software, the entire process was not and this left a
huge security gap that needed to be immediately resolved.
The U.S.-based automotive manufacturer needed turnstiles that integrated
seamlessly with the existing access control software to provide a complete secured
entry control solution. Specifically, they needed a highly reliable solution that
could meet several key criteria:
- Restrict access to only authorized personnel
- Use multiple card reader types
- Aesthetically blend in with the corporate space
- Be user-friendly
- Deliver within four weeks
With the project deadline fast approaching, the automotive company looked
for a U.S.-based partner that could meet all of the requirements. Alvarado was
the only company that could meet and exceed the project requirements within the
Meeting a Tight Deadline
Even though Alvarado had worked on projects with tight deadlines before, the
size of the order posed an additional delivery challenge. Well known for being a
turnstile manufacturer, could Alvarado provide a comprehensive physical access
control solution for the end user?
With more than 9,000 employees entering and exiting every day, the end user
needed a solution that fully integrated with their existing access control software
and two different proximity reader types. They also wanted to integrate a barcode
reader along with new turnstiles.
The end user’s facility had a number of high traffic areas that required its physical
security to be enhanced, as well as visually pleasing in areas like lobbies and
elevator banks. This meant that the turnstile product had to have a small footprint
and a slim, elegant design so that it could architecturally and purposefully fit the
intended access points.
The product also needed to be highly reliable and user-friendly. With thousands
of employees and visitors, the turnstiles would be highly trafficked and if they malfunctioned,
would be costly to the company and frustrating to users.
Finding a Partner
With the deadline for completion coming down to weeks, the automotive manufacturer
could not find a partner to take on the large and complex project. That’s when Alvarado entered the picture.
“We are able to provide quick lead times to ensure
customers meet their installation milestones,”
said Bret Armatas, Alvarado’s CEO. With its 75,000
square foot facility and inventory to support a project
of any size, Alvarado could ensure delivery within the
In addition to the lead time, the aesthetics and
integration capabilities of the product heavily influenced
the selection process. Alvarado’s SU5000 optical
turnstiles offered the ideal blend of form and functionality,
with its slim cabinet and modern look that
enhanced the lobby space. A custom mounting solution
was developed for the SU5000 optical turnstile
to integrate with the access control system, two types
of proximity readers and the barcode solution. It was
critical that the turnstiles had the ability to detect tailgating
attempts and notify staff locally and remotely
of any unauthorized passages.
As a U.S. automotive manufacturer, it was important
for the end user to support an American-owned
company. A final deciding factor was based on the
fact that Alvarado is owned and operated in the
United States. Not just an assembly shop, Alvarado’s
U.S.-based operations allow for faster lead times than
anyone in the industry.
“We are proud to be the longest running turnstile
manufacturer in the United States,” Armatas said.
“We are uniquely positioned in our marketplace because
a number of our competitors support and fabricate
overseas. For more than 60 years, we have been
called upon to secure some of the most sensitive facilities
in the world.”
Combined with Alvarado’s exceptional support
and customer testimonials and feedback on previous
Alvarado installments, Alvarado was given the challenge
of delivering all of the turnstiles as the entry
control solution and all within a tight deadline.
Part of the Solution
Alvarado worked directly with the automotive manufacturer,
the security integrator and electrical contractor
to ensure that each phase of the project was
properly coordinated. The end result was a great functioning,
and looking, physical access control solution
that met all the project requirements and delivered on
time allowing ample time for installation.
Installed throughout the corporate facility are an
impressive 33 lanes of SU5000 optical turnstiles in multiple
lane sets with mid-height barrier panels, integrated
barcode readers and dynamic panel illumination.
The turnstiles have proven to be highly reliable
and blend beautifully with their surrounding environment.
Security has vastly improved and the end
user is now able to ensure that only valid users are
This article originally appeared in the February 2015 issue of Security Today.