Electronic Access Control System controls entrances to premises. It commonly replaces
the traditional keys and locks to secure doors to prevent unauthorized entry. Authorized
person uses credential such as PIN, Proximity Card or Finger etc as Electronic Key
to gain access. Because the credential is in the form of Electronic ID, it can be
easily removed from the system to prevent unauthorized access if the staff loses
the card or have left the organization.
A basic system usually consist of a Credential/Identification Reader, Controller,
Electromagnetic Lock, Exit Button, Emergency Break-glass Switch and Power Supply
Unit. The Reader validate the user’s credential and then unlock the door by releasing
the Electromagnetic Lock for entry. Exit Button is used for Egress and Break-glass
Switch for unlocking door from inside during an emergency. Door Contact can be added
to enhance security to prevent door from being opened for too long or not closed
properly after opening.
The type of credential used depends on need of each organization. PIN is the cheapest.
Card is still the most reliable and popular. Fingerprint is gaining popularity due
to its convenience because users don’t need carry card or remember PIN, but its has
an inherent inability to read every fingers.
Systems may be categorized as into Standalone (Credential Reader and Controller combine
in a unit), Reader/controller and PC Networked type. Standalone type usually provide
office hours access requirement and door need to be lock-up manually after office
hours. Reader/Controller system provide better security and therefore it is safe
for round the clock protection. PC Networked system are for multiple doors systems
which requires convenience programming of users. It also provide and event logging
for management report such as Time & Attendance. Advanced Microprocessor Based Controller
with Access Management Software for Multiple doors system maintain effective controls
by assigning different levels of access to personnel determined by doors, days and
times for each door.
Access control are now almost indispensable for many big organizations. They has
many departments or sensitive area such as Clean Room, Server/Data Centre and R&D
dept or Research Laboratories that need to be controlled separately. High end Integrated
System provides powerful and sophisticated complex access operation which include
Intrusion Alarm and Video Surveillance (CCTV) functions.
Access control not only apply to control of doors but also include any entry points
such as gate/car park barrier, turnstile/flap barrier, etc.