Working in the front line of the hardware supply industry, Carl F Groupco has observed the growing confidence, and corresponding uptake in use, of electronic fittings. In this article for Glass Times, John Mitchell, the company’s Technical Specialist, details the new generation technology that is changing the capabilities of hardware and makes a prediction for its widespread adoption.
“If we take the example of keyless technology – this has been widely adopted in commercial applications for over a decade and potential in the domestic market is beginning to be realised. The success of access control across offices, warehouse and other industrial premises, combined with the automotive industry moving to electronic controls, has boosted confidence in keyless solutions.
And our emotional attachment to the metal forged key is changing. For the more mature reader, memories of coming of age were traditionally linked with a particular ditty ‘21 today, I’ve got the key of the door, never been 21 before’. While a large number of us Baby Boomers will remember this Music Hall tune, I have a strong suspicion that Generation X readers will be less familiar with the song which reflects, amongst other things, our changing emotional attachment to the traditional key.
In our experience at Carl F Groupco, the first wave of electronic hardware technology to capture the imagination of our customers has been highline gearing. Designed for remote control of window systems, the technology provides single, group and zoned operation ranging from manually operated switches to automated control panels.
A variety of brackets and extensions means that highline gearing suits most applications and a range of automated control panels open up sophisticated options including a thermostat, smoke or rain sensor, break glass switch and S50 switches.
The trend towards electronic locking solutions is reflected in new generation hardware technology such as the FUHR 881 Multitronic electromechanical door lock which provides the home owner with a remote control key: the access device is simple to use and activated to unlock and open the door. The door automatically locks on closing requiring only a key or thumb turn cylinder to deadlock the door.
There are many access options which can be incorporated into the FUHR 881 system, including finger print or iris recognition, key card and motion sensor – in fact, most components that can remotely unlock a door can be fitted. As an additional safety measure, in the event of a power cut, a panic function will release all locking points from the inside.
A new addition to the Carl F Groupco range is the MACO Z-TA automatic multipoint door lock which again features automatic engagement of all locking points when the door is closed. To open the door, a simple half turn of the key retracts all locking points and operates the handle. An additional electric motor for the Z-TA Comfort facilitates access devices such as key pads and finger print recognition.
Against the backdrop of progressive technology such as Highline gearing, the FUHR 881 and the MACO Z-TA, we are confident that we are witnessing the first wave of the electronic era for hardware solutions. Looking to the future, we predict a significant increase in its use as the practicalities and user benefits are extensive.
Hospitals, hotels, office blocks and many public buildings are already recognising the significant benefits of keyless security and have embraced this technology for both external security and on internal doors to control access to different parts of the building. The domestic sector is set to follow and it is our conviction that this technology, which is already very popular in Germany and Italy, will be further adopted in the UK as confidence in electronic solutions grows.”