Embracing Automation

In this article for Window News, John Crittenden, Managing Director of Carl F Groupco explains that attitudes in the hardware sector are changing regarding automation.

Ten years ago some capability was offered, but Smart Tech hadn’t been embraced by the UK market and the appetite for electronic systems was embryonic.

Today that is changing, solutions have been created, capabilities are being recognised and people are putting real value on the technology.

Looking at why we are on the cusp of a boom in Smart Tech, John points to three things:

i)    The acceptance of, and confidence in, automation in other areas of our lives
ii)   The move towards Smart Homes supported by initiatives taken by major utility companies and technology providers
iii)   The impact of national media coverage and the lifestyle vision presented on programmes such as Grand Designs

With regard to the first point, we are immersed in automation and it has widely become the accepted way of life. Cars have been unlocked using key fobs for many years and are even being superseded with keyless entry systems. We don’t question this technology: it has become second nature, it simplifies the process and most of us would be reluctant to return to the traditional key. This significantly helps the evolution to electronic based technologies in the door hardware sector.

Smart Homes no longer sound like a futuristic prediction. Many people have some element of Smart Tech in their property and, spearheaded by major utility providers, we are moving towards full control and connectivity of home appliances.

New electronic era

The new era of electronic living is widely presented on television and in newspaper supplements – it is regularly featured in aspirational TV programmes including Grand Designs. It is also a topic that is taking centre stage at both business and consumer home exhibitions.

Additionally, other countries have been trail blazers setting out the stall for the scope and potential of the new technology. Germany, the home of locking specialists FUHR, has been particularly pioneering in developing and adopting the intelligent home and integrating this within their door fittings.

Against this backdrop, and supported by our long-standing partnership with FUHR, in 2016 Carl F Groupco introduced SmartSecure, our electronic locking and access control brand. With our track record working with FUHR understanding the practicalities and the needs of the market, we made the decision to fully embrace this opportunity.

The established FUHR multitronic 881 locking system is at the heart of SmartSecure – this gives all important validity to the solutions and assurance that it is tried and tested technology.

 

The traditional key is replaced with a range of access control options

‘SmartConnect easy’ is an optional access control package using a smartphone. Keyless operation and monitoring is provided via an intelligent WLAN-based system. Complete assurance is given with sensor monitoring of door leaf and bolt positions that enable verification of the locking status wherever and whenever required.

A second SmartSecure option is ‘SmartTouch’. This pioneering keyless access system enables easy entry by simply touching a sensor. Access to the property is gained if an active, moving transponder is within range and the sensor is touched. This means keys can be in a pocket when hands are full and the door will open – so, no more struggling up to your house with shopping, putting bags down, finding your key, unlocking the door and picking up your bags again. For a stylish, concealed solution, the sensor can also be fitted within a pull handle.

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

The real value in Smart Tech, such as SmartSecure, comes from the benefits it affords to users, such as easy access when carrying shopping, as described above. The advantages can be value add aesthetics to create a ‘Grand Design’ style home or  practical and pragmatic reasons such as in the care sector e.g. controlled access to authorised nurse or welfare visitors.

Total support and tailored solutions

Total support is essential. Smart Tech can’t be gloss, hype and vapour ware – it has to be a tailored solution, it has to offer real benefits and it has to be supported. The technology is just the tip of the iceberg. Advice and guidance is needed to assist customers as they embrace the new Smart era – our service team was in place from the outset and we appointed a dedicated Business Development Manager. Additionally, all staff that have customer contact are trained in SmartSecure’s solutions.

These are exciting times for the industry where we are witnessing real change and a real opportunity. At Carl F Groupco we firmly believe that you can’t play around on the side-lines offering ad hoc products: total solutions are needed that are comprehensively supported and this is our focus for SmartSecure.

 

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 emergency hardware supports safety standards

Established hardware supplier Carl F Groupco is promoting its extensive range of panic and emergency exit gearing, which meets stringent safety standards for public and commercial installations. A comprehensive technical advisory service, including guidance on standards, is also offered by the company.

A comprehensive range of panic and emergency exit hardware is available from Carl F Groupco. Image shows Strand Antipanic gearing (left) and a FUHR emergency exit lock.

A comprehensive range of panic and emergency exit hardware is available from Carl F Groupco.
Image shows Strand Antipanic gearing (left) and a FUHR emergency exit lock.

Commenting on the importance of offering support to the hardware sector, John Mitchell, Carl F Groupco’s Technical Manager explains:

“It can be time consuming for fabricators to translate standards into hardware selection – recognising this, we ensure that we are well versed in the regulations that impact this process and ensure we are fully equipped to advise customers on the best route to achieve panic or emergency exit doors.

“First, it is important to establish exactly where the door set will be fitted and who will be using it – this will determine what hardware is required to meet regulations. Non-public buildings, for example, where potential users have received full door operation training, require hardware to meet the EN 179 standard for emergency exits. However, if the door is to be fitted to public buildings or other premises where occupants may not be familiar with exit routes and hardware devices, the door will need to meet EN 1125 for panic exit. Carl F Groupco offers hardware solutions to meet the requirements of both of these standards.”

As a long-standing partner of the German lock manufacturer FUHR, products offered by Carl F Groupco include the FUHR 870 and 871 Type 8 emergency exit locks for aluminium, PVCu or timber doors. Proven over 18 years of service, the multipoint locks are capable of achieving EN 1125 panic exit and EN 179 emergency exit requirements: in order to comply, the lock must be used with a tested hardware set, such as the CES free movement cylinder and FUHR panic bar. Carl F Groupco also distributes facefix Strand Antipanic gearing: products offered are the EN 1125 Motorised or Modular Touch Bar, the EN 1125 Modular Push Bar, the EN 179 Modular Push Pad and a lever or knob operated Outside Access device.

For a wide selection of panic / emergency hardware plus advice on regulations and solutions, contact Carl F Groupco, the experts in hardware distribution, services and support.

 

For more information about our range of Emergency Hardware, 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.

SmartSecure: Intuitive Installation

Carl F Groupco reports that the industry is embracing a major Smart Home technology revolution. To assist those working in the front line, this article sets out to provide an overview of the company’s SmartSecure brand, which offers a range of electronic door locking and smart access control solutions.

John Mitchell, Carl F Groupco’s Technical Manager demonstrates SmartSecure.

John Mitchell, Carl F Groupco’s Technical Manager demonstrates SmartSecure.

Incorporating state-of-the-art FUHR multitronic 881 locking technology, aesthetic, practical and technical benefits are offered across a wide-range of installations including housing associations, the growing retirement-living sector and care homes.

The traditional key is replaced with a range of access control options. ‘SmartConnect easy’ is an optional access control package using a smartphone: this intelligent WLAN-based system is a significant USP 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.

‘SmartTouch’ is a pioneering access system that is another SmartSecure option. Easy entry is enabled by simply touching a sensor. Using innovative technology, access is facilitated if an active, moving transponder is within range. For a stylish, concealed solution, the sensor can also be fitted within a pull handle.

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

With strong security and safety benefits, SmartSecure has wide ranging appeal including the fact that doors are automatically locked on closing, which means that occupants are always secure.

Reinforcing the high calibre of security offered, the FUHR 881 multitronic lock, which is at the heart of Carl F Groupco’s SmartSecure electronic door locking and smart access control solutions, has achieved Secured by Design accreditation.

Commenting on the importance of being able to display the Secured by Design logo for the FUHR 881, John Mitchell, Carl F Groupco’s Technical Manager said:

“As an officially recognised accreditation body, Secured by Design reassures home owners that products are tested to the most stringent and current security standards. It also aids fabricators and installers in demonstrating the quality of their offer.

This achievement affirms our commitment to the evolution of our range and underscores our objective of providing the very latest in technology without compromising security.”

The FUHR multitronic 881’s intelligent technology, combined with a modular construction, has made the versatile locking system ideally suited for SmartSecure’s range of  access control solutions while also being compatible with third party building control systems, alarms, door openers and access control.

Simple to Fit

It would be easy to think that with all this capability comes complexity of installation but Carl F Groupco emphasises that this is not the case, the company stresses that SmartSecure products are very simple to fit and technical experts are on hand to answer any questions. It is also stylish – all components can be concealed, which reduces the risk of tampering and, for total flexibility, the system can be integrated with existing access control or building management systems. The lock requires just four additional routings compared to a standard multipoint lock, this allows the transformer and cabling to be fully concealed into the frame. If any assistance is needed, the company is on hand to support – as with all Carl F Groupco’s hardware products, comprehensive service and technical assistance is readily available.

To demonstrate the sophistication and simplicity of SmartSecure, a high quality, professionally animated video depicts the capabilities of the company’s state-of-the-art SmartSecure solutions for electronic door locking and smart access control. The video can be viewed on the SmartSecure website http://www.smartsecure.co.uk or via the Carl F Groupco YouTube channel.

 

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.

Cairngorm Group success supported by Carl F Groupco

Recent contract gains for the Inverness based Cairngorm Group, manufacturers of high energy rated windows, are being supported with hardware supplied by Carl F Groupco. With a Scottish distribution centre located in Cumbernauld, Carl F Groupco has a strong track record in Scotland and a partnership with Cairngorm Group that dates back to 2004.

Recent contracts which incorporate Carl F Groupco’s hardware are announced by Cairngorm Group

Recent contracts which incorporate Carl F Groupco’s hardware are announced by Cairngorm Group

Cairngorm Group began working with award winning new home builder, Springfield, in 2013. Latest news is a contract that has resulted in the company supplying its ninth Springfield development. With each site ranging from 50-100 mixed dwellings, the contract is significant. Commenting on the company’s success supplying Springfield, and the input of Carl F Groupco, David Dowling, Managing Director of Cairngorm Group said:

“An ability to provide a PVCu alternative for timber windows, while maintaining aesthetics and functionality with PN reversible window gearing supplied by Carl F Groupco, was pivotal in Springfield’s decision to work with Cairngorm Group. The PN reversible hinge is particularly important as Scottish Building Regulations stipulate that it must be possible to clean upstairs windows from the inside.

“Carl F Groupco has also supported this contract with the Trojan Patriot hinge, which has been colour matched to complement the design requirements of this development. Colour continues to be a hot trend – for this particular scheme, an anthracite grey RAL 7016 outer was selected with white inner window and door frames.”

An additional contract success announced by Cairngorm Group has been achieved in partnership with Compass Building and Construction Services. Working on behalf of Albyn Housing Association, the prestigious project – which is in year two of a potential four-year contract – will result in renovation of 66 houses during this phase. Originally built in the 1970s to accommodate oil rig workers, timber windows have previously been replaced however, PVCu windows have now been selected to offer enhanced durability and longevity. Having successfully fulfilled the security and insulation standards required, the social landlord & local authority sector is a market set for further development by Cairngorm Group.

Established in 1988, Cairngorm Group is active in trade, commercial and domestic markets. A significant increase in both new build and local council contracts has seen growth in fabrication to around 500 frames per week. Services provided by
Carl F Groupco include product supply, hardware selection support and regulations advice.

 

For more information about the Cairngorm Group, 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.