Doors Open for Smart Tech

An article written for Glass Times, July 2017.

John Crittenden – Managing Director of Carl F Groupco reports that markets are opening up for SmartSecure, the company’s Smart Tech electronic locking and access control technology.

Representing the biggest investment ever made by the company, SmartSecure was no leap of faith.

The FUHR multitronic twin-drive motor which has the capability of locking and unlocking doors.

The FUHR multitronic twin-drive motor which has the capability of locking and unlocking doors.

The solutions incorporate FUHR’s multitronic door lock – these have been distributed by FUHR within Europe and they are already widely adopted in Italy and Germany. Other European countries are following the Smart Tech trend with Carl F Groupco championing roll out of the technology in the UK.

The traditional key is replaced with a range of access control options. ‘SmartTouch’, where entry is made by touching a sensor, was particularly popular with stand visitors at the FIT Show. Access is simple, it is facilitated if an active, moving transponder is within range – it means that you can walk towards your door with your key in your pocket, touch a sensor and the door will automatically unlock. For a stylish, concealed solution, the sensor can also be fitted within a pull handle.

The SmartSecure brand also includes ‘SmartConnect easy’ an access control package using a smartphone: an intelligent WLAN-based system that provides keyless operation and monitoring. Sensor monitoring of door leaf and bolt position ensures complete peace of mind as locking status can be verified from any location, whenever required.

Radio-based access control systems are also available including a radio keypad, transponder and fingerprint scanner for keyless biometric access control.

Early interest in SmartSecure in the UK is coming from care homes, residential & Housing Association organisations and this is where the first contracts have been won.

 

Selling Solutions

Expanding on the value of the technology, John Crittenden says:

“The appeal to Housing Associations comes from the safety and access features afforded by FUHR’s multitronic
locking system. This is a very neat product which, although it can be described as hi-tech, it is by no means complicated.

“What we are selling here are solutions. We’re not promoting the FUHR multitronic per se, we are providing an answer to controlled access… this means that only authorised visitors, such as care staff, can enter. And access is easy; the person in the home doesn’t even need to go to the door.

“People reading this might think that all this is great in terms of access and control, but what happens in the event of an emergency escape. That is catered for very efficiently, and very simply, with a door handle over-ride all to
EN 179 and EN 1125 emergency and panic escape standards.

“And, aside from care home organisations, this solution has individual appeal. If anyone is worried about an elderly relative, SmartSecure will give peace of mind. The door lock automatically throws all locking points and fully secures the door on closing, meaning that the door is safe from opportunist burglars.”

Both Carl F Groupco and FUHR recognise that the potential for Smart Tech is huge and that care homes are just the tip of the iceberg.  Around the corner are the ‘Grand Design’ opportunities where, increasingly, people with the aspiration for home improvements are looking for state-of-the-art solutions to advance controls and enhance their door locking technology.

Supporting the company’s promotion of SmartSecure is a permanent stand at the National Self Build and Renovation Centre (NSBRC) in Swindon.  The display presents the solutions, and their advantages, to the self-build, renovation and home improvement markets.

The potential for SmartSecure is such that the brand has become  a major new division for Carl F Groupco supported by specially commissioned marketing materials including a video, website, literature and showroom at the company’s Peterborough distribution and administration centre. The company’s technical and sales teams have all been fully trained in the products to provide the answers and support that are needed to support the electronic evolution.

 

For more details on the FUHR multitronic 881 lock from SmartSecure, please click here.

For more information about our different access control options, please click here.

Carl F Groupco Limited: Tel: 01733 393330
For more information, contact sales@carlfgroupco.co.uk
Follow Carl F Groupco on Twitter using the handles @Carl_F_Groupco and @_SmartSecure.

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Carl F Groupco’s hands on hardware

Julie Warner demonstrates the Roto / PN System 700 launched to the UK at the FIT Show by Carl F Groupco.

Julie Warner demonstrates the Roto / PN System 700 launched to the UK at the FIT Show by Carl F Groupco.

An article written for Window News, July 2017.

Exhibiting on its largest ever purpose built stand, a wide range of hands-on hardware displays were by presented by Carl F Groupco at this year’s FIT Show. Centre stage was SmartSecure – Carl F Groupco’s electronic locking and smart access control solutions: launched at last year’s exhibition, the company celebrated the first anniversary of the brand and its success becoming established as a smart hardware hub.

Managing Director John Crittenden was pleased to meet Window News to present a display which distilled the company’s range of over 7,000 product lines and highlight a handy hardware selector tool that has been developed in-house – watch this space for a new app based on the selector.

Regarding SmartSecure, first year achievements have included developing a fully equipped showroom at the company’s UK distribution centre in Peterborough which presents solutions in a range of installations. Carl F Groupco has also established a permanent SmartSecure display at the National Self Build & Renovation Centre (NSBRC) and supplied doors for a number of customers’ demonstration showrooms.

Not Just a Lock in a Box

Commenting on the interest in Smart Tech, John explained:

“Attitudes are changing. The UK market is starting to put value on locking and control technology. What we are doing here is selling solutions…..this is not just a lock in a box and it isn’t a gadget. The real value comes from ease of access and the ability to check remotely that people are secure. This technology is of huge support, and interest, to the care sector, and this is where we are experiencing early attention that is converting to sales.  With the likes of British Gas heavily promoting its HIVE system, there is growing awareness of the capabilities of smart home technology.

“Electronic locking and smart access control are no longer visionary technologies, they are a practical reality. This market is huge: it represents over 20% of FUHR’s business and we are just starting to tap into its application potential. Italy and Germany are the biggest markets, with the UK and Holland following as major growth sectors.

“We recognise the importance of providing a full range of solutions with comprehensive support. We have never been just ‘box shifters’, we have always backed our product ranges with full technical service and this philosophy has never been more important than in our support for the electronic evolution.”

System 700 Show Launch

Aside from SmartSecure, there was plenty to talk about regarding Carl F Groupco’s mainstay hardware range that is the backbone of the company’s offer. As sole distributor of PN hardware by Roto in the UK, the new System 700 range for reversible windows was revealed. The fully reversible system features a slimmer hinge that works on a 7mm groove. With consistent aesthetics across all window types, widespread appeal is predicted including the new build housing market. Expanding on the product launch, John said:

“Reversible windows are an established market dating back over twenty-five years. What we have with the System 700 is an upgraded version of the PN UNI product that retains the trademark durability and functionality while advancing the range making it easier to fit. The latest product in the PN by Roto series is ideal for timber fabricators and systems companies looking to complement their flush casement window range.”

There was a real buzz on the Carl F Groupco stand with staff kept busy demonstrating products. The comprehensive selection of hardware on display also included Cotswold, Greenwood, Hoppe, Ingenious, Kenrick, MACO, Siegenia and Trojan products.

 

For more details on the FUHR multitronic 881 lock from SmartSecure, please click here.

For more information about the System 700 reversible gearing, click here.

Carl F Groupco Limited: Tel: 01733 393330
For more information, contact sales@carlfgroupco.co.uk
Follow Carl F Groupco on Twitter using the handles @Carl_F_Groupco and @_SmartSecure.