Opening New Doors To Business Opportunities

The goal of the ADA EZ low energy door operator is to open up door automation to more end users by eliminating the need for electrical power.


Installing and servicing door operators has become one of our shop’s additional revenue streams, helping to offset losses in revenue from areas which have experienced shrinkage, such as automotive and door hardware.

Although we still are able to provide keys for the majority of automotive customers, and offer a lockout service which continues to do well, the number of cars we are unable to create and duplicate keys for grows daily as older models are decreed clunkers, and newer models with proprietary ignition systems hit the streets.

The demand for door hardware also wanes, as customers prefer to visit home centers for locks rather than call us to supply and install them.

This year after over 50 years in business, our shop’s revenues from security electronics exceeded those from mechanical locksmithing. Also the shop’s overall bottom line has increased despite a weak economy. So thanks to our hard work selling and installing electronics and our willingness to learn new technologies and services, the business was able to overcome months of flat or declining residential action, and the encroachment on the other traditional profit channels such as automotive, as described.

Door operators combine mechanical and electronic elements which perform double duty as conventional closers and provide powered and assisted opening of doors. The demand for this equipment for new installations as well for support for existing installed devices represents an ongoing revenue stream for many locksmiths.

Door operators are classified as either low energy or full energy. Full energy operators are used on commercial entries and typically are fully automated and they open the doors for all traffic.

Low energy operators are deployed on all type of doors and they find applications in a wider range of applications because they are less expensive and they involve fewer safety issues. Depending on the door operator, ratings may not be designed for full time door operation.

Another factor which encourages the deployment of door operators is the Americans with Disabilities Act, enacted in 1990. Title II of the ADA addresses state and local Government activities, Title III addresses Public Accommodations and their objectives are that owners of certain types of buildings must remove barriers and provide people with disabilities with access that is equal or similar to that which is available to the general public. Regulations vary between existing structures and new construction.

People with disabilities include an ever-increasing portion of the population as the boomers get older. More than 50 million Americans (18 percent) have disabilities. Disabled individuals have $175 billion in discretionary spending power, and by 2030 there will be 71.5 baby boomers over 65 years old.

I suggest visiting the AAADM website (http://www.aaadm.com/) to gain further insights into the door operator industry, the market and opportunities for locksmiths.

I obtained certification as an automatic door inspector, and in addition to exposing me to the regulations and procedures associated with ANSI operator installation and inspection, I can often offer my customers qualified comments on door operator operation and possible upgrades.

ADA EZ

The ADA EZ is an extreme duty, low energy door opener designed for the institutional, high traffic manual opening applications that occasionally require powered operation. A regenerative drive system charges an onboard battery pack, eliminating the need for electrical power.

Locksmith Ledger interviewed J. Jay Vaitkus, director of business development for ADA EZ, about his product. Following are the Ledger’s questions and Vaitkus’ answers.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I am an electrical / mechanical engineer by education and found my true love in marketing. I first entered the door and hardware industry as a technical support engineer with Locknetics. I later became the national training manager for that firm and also taught electrified hardware for DHI and ALOA.

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