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Electronic Security Solutions Procurement for Access Control: Picking the Right Locks

10 September 2020

WHETHER YOU’RE talking about system installation, operation or expansion, electronic access control has costs attached to every stage of its lifetime. Of course, the benefits over mechanical locking outweigh these costs, but they could outweigh them even farther if the right locking technology is selected. Thomas Schulz expands on the detail.

Installation is where it all begins. The installation stage is also the largest contributor to the potential cost saving involved in choosing wireless. In calculations for a recent cost savings report, access control experts examined the likely costs of a 100-door installation. Labour cost savings for those who chose wireless versus wired locks were a staggering 82.5%.

Yes, you read that right. Installing battery-powered locks versus wired locks would save end users over 80% in the labour cost of specialist access control installers.

Wireless installation is much faster. It’s also less intrusive. Leading wireless locks require little or no drilling around the door, whereas wired access control demands cabling through and partly around the door. You can upgrade building security without inconveniencing your staff or disturbing everyday work routines.

Business sustainability goals

According to the Harvard Business Review, energy efficiency has become one of the “key levers for business success”. Battery-powered wireless locks use less energy than traditional wired locks, which normally work via magnets connected permanently to electricity.

Wireless locks work differently. They only ‘wake up’, so to speak, when presented with a credential for which they must make an access decision. This translates into another potentially large saving on the end users’ annual energy budget. More than 70%, in fact, or thousands of pounds over a typical access control installation’s lifetime.

Other related energy and material costs are also lower for wireless locks. During operation, wireless locks require only a battery change approximately once every two years.

Wireless locks also provide more flexibility and can reduce costs when reconfiguring or expanding office space. High-quality wireless locks can typically be reinstalled at another door without impacting their reliability. You can move them to wherever is convenient. Typical cost savings on your next office relocation or expansion are around 30% with wireless over wired locking.

Cost-saving wireless locks

Some types of wireless locks can save the buyer money at every stage of their life-cycle. Battery-powered RFID-equipped cylinders, escutcheons, handles and locks can be fitted as a new access control system or extend an existing installation by linking new doors to the same system wirelessly.

There’s no need for staff to swap their key cards, nor for anyone to carry more than one credential. They work seamlessly within almost every major access control system. In operation, one control panel manages everything.

Installation is quick as there’s no cabling around the door, no invasive building work and no need to change door hardware. Specific devices fit almost any opening or security level, exterior and interior doors (wood, glass or aluminium) from fire and escape doors to meeting rooms, labs and offices.

Thomas Schulz is Product Marketing Director (EMEA) at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions