Electronic Cabinet Locks

Security for inside and outside of the cabinet

To control access, a battery powered CompX Prox /Keypad Combo eLock is mounted onto the front of the metal box. The eLock’s motorized latch (a hole drilled through the tip of the latch itself) and the Pullman Latch are mounted inside of the box. A metal rod connects them.

Employees of this facility have Prox-equipped identification badges. The maintenance personnel who have access to this storage closet use their badges to gain access into the room and to release the rolling ladder.


In hospitals, rolling carts hold patient records, drugs, emergency supplies, etc. In the early days, “crash” carts were Craftsman rolling toolboxes. Today, specialty carts equipped with electronic locks are in the price range of $5,000. Some hospitals already have carts; retrofitting electronic cabinet locks is not that difficult.

Securing a rolling cart does not provide burglary protection. The cart is on wheels and could be rolled out of a building. If there is a reason for higher levels of security, specifically designed drug rolling carts are manufactured of metal or similar components. Controlling access to the contents of rolling carts can be accomplished using battery-operated cabinet locks and readers.

For this five-drawer rolling medical supply cabinet, the Schlage 443BP Cabinet Lock and the PRO 78 keypad controls access by limiting rotation of the drawer release, gravity drop mechanism on this mainly plastic cart. The knob is rotated, retracting the top and bottom pins.

Behind the exterior rotating knob on the swing out door, the top and bottom rods are connected to a metal wheel. When the knob is rotated, the top and bottom rods either extend or retract, locking or unlocking the drawers.

To secure the drawers on this rolling cart, the Schlage 443BP lock was installed adjacent to the metal wheel. An armature was attached to the wheel and the strike mounted onto the armature. When the knob is rotated to the locked position (rods extended) the strike opening is aligned with the path of lock bolt.

Another hospital rolling cart had just been modified and was being tested. The cart originally came with individual keyed drawer locks. For this application, the CompX eLock with “prox” and keypad was installed as there would not have to be additional programming as the hospital personnel have “prox” equipped name badges. The finished units would be equipped with a cover protecting the locking mechanism.

This cart required not only an electronic cabinet lock, but also the locking mechanism. The locking mechanism developed is a gravity drop style similar to a multiple drawer file cabinet. The locking mechanism is a vertical moving plate that has rods attached for each drawer. In the locked (down) position, into each of the two upper drawer tracks would have a rod extending into the drawer path. Along the edge of the drawer, a triangle shaped piece of metal is mounted be mounted. The right triangle of metal performs two functions: stopping the drawer from opening when the lock is in the locked condition and raises the metal locking plate as the drawers are slid in to permit the drawers to lock at anytime.

An “L” bracket was mounted vertically onto the left side of the cart in order to mount the CompX eLock. Behind the eLock, the spring latch components were installed along with the gravity drop locking mechanism. The spring latch in the vertical down position is attached to the locking mechanism. When the proper code is entered, the motorized spring latch retracts, lifting the locking mechanism, raising the two rods out of the way of the metal triangles. In the unlocked position, the two drawers can be opened.

Once the spring latch lock has timed out, the locking mechanism slide down into the locked condition. The drawers can be slid shut and locked without having to unlock the eLock.

In addition to securing non-moving cabinets, electronic cabinet locks can be used to secure a number of different products from rolling ladders to paperwork and hospital supplies.

For more information on the manufacturers mentioned in this article, contact your local locksmith distributor or: CodeLocks, 2930-B College Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Telephone: 714.979.2900. Web Site: www.codelocks.us

We Recommend