Expanded Web Version: Door Operators: Opening The Door To New Revenue Streams

Automatic doors and operators can cause serious injury or death, when not correctly and safely adjusted and maintained. Only AAADM certified technicians should repair, adjust or maintain automatic doors.

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LCN & Falcon offer several models of automatic door operators. But how do you know which model is right for your application? Locksmith Ledger asks Ingersol Rand's Joseph Vaida, product manager, electronic door controls, for his advice and insights into door operator selection.

Locksmith Ledger: The Benchmark III; 4630/4640 LCN Auto-Equalizer & Falcon 8230/8240 are three of your low energy swing door operators which vary in price and features. What is the warranty on each of these?

Vaida: Benchmark = 2 years

4600 = 2 years

Falcon 8200 = 1 year

What is the service posture for each of these (modules, factory repair, etc.)

Vaida: All of these products have parts available that are modular. Replacement controllers, arms, covers, etc can be ordered for each unit for field repair. 4600 has additional orderable parts including the I/O board, motor, clutch, etc.

What is the recommended application of each? For example if the particular door operator is recommended for doors which will be opened primarily with the door operator, or mostly manually, etc.

Vaida: Benchmark = Primarily automated for moderate traffic applications. As long as traffic is at a moderate abuse level, then this product can be used manually as well. It has a low manual opening force and has a bit more features and interfaces than the Falcon 8200.

4600 = Primarily Manual application. The 4600 is one of very few electro hydraulic operators that actually operates completely independently of the motor and system when used manually. The clutch is magnetized, so when the unit is manually used it is only exercising the closer. This makes it ideal for applications when most people will be using this as a regular door closer, and occasionally pressing the motor. The clutch design is also ideal because if the product is being using automatically and the door is abused, the clutch will “slip” intentionally to relieve damage to the unit. The biggest damage and wear/tear in a automatic operator is abuse to the motor and mechanical system, this product avoids that.

Falcon 8200 = Similar application to the Benchmark… not as many bells and whistles, but is designed specifically to be easy to install and program. It also can be used in manual applications as well, but in a less abusive environment.

I notice that there does not seem to be any obvious correlation between price and duty cycle, please clarify.

Vaida: Personally – I feel the industry needs to focus less on duty cycle, and more on abuse. If you’ll notice, I’ve gradually began to remove “cycle tested” information from our marketing literature in attempts to focus on more real world situations in regards to abuse, damage, and overall quality. Lab testing and “cycles” do not duplicate “real world” abuse, as I’m sure you can personally relate. You can put an operator up in the lab, cycle it to XX million cycles… but the first time someone pushes against it the motor could blow. The LCN Automatic operators are designed to be robust in order to handle pedestrian use and abuse. The prices on these models are directly reflective of how they are suited for a particular application (listed below). I always relate it to cars, and MPG. You can take a Chevy Cavalier and drive it to a few hundred thousand highway miles… but does that make it the right car for every application? What about city driving, or off road? Similarly, a truck may get terrible gas mileage and only run to 150K miles… but if you live in central PA or the Virginia’s… it might be a must!

Sorry – anyhow – point being… We’re not like other automatic operator manufactures who can drop price and rely on our revenue stream coming from Service contracts. We need to be sure our products last in real world conditions, so customers don’t need to have someone come in every 6 to 12 months for a visit. Here’s a positioning below.

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