Electronic Access Control Systems, Technologies, and Components
A discussion of what access control is, common access control technology, the methods employed and the components used.
There are many levels of access control, ranging from an open door to very elaborate bio-metric control devices.
Mechanical key-operated lock hardware is the most common access control, if you have a key you can gain access, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. There is no capability for an audit trail, you cannot track who accessed on opening or when. This would be an example of “dumb” access control. If the key is lost or duplicated you no longer have access control.
From there you could go to a full time guard, this would also be access control, you could have all of the benefits of an electronic access control system.
Accountability – Audit trails
Convenience – no need to rekey
Security – no one enters without permission
Control of time and people who can access – who can enter and when, commonly called time zone capability.
Mechanical Push Button lock are used extensively for access control, the limitation is that all users would have the same entry code. The next step might be a stand alone battery powered lock, these locks have and are evolving at a very rapid pace, they have many useful features, and are becoming very popular.
Range from single to multiple user, some allow groups and management levels.
Some can “learn” existing controls.
Units that keep audit trails are available.
The range of fully integrated access control systems is so broad, that we really can’t discuss them all, in any detail. Listed below are some of the features these systems offer.