Marks USA Meets Consumer Demand For Patented Key Control

Marks' Tri-Level options include the UL-437 high security cylinder, a non-UL cylinder that still offers pick and bump resistance and the economical Security-Mate pin tumbler cylinder that may be operated by the same patented key.


Consumer demand has changed the market. The birth of high security began with a single option, featuring resistance to physical attack. UL-437 provided guidelines and standards for drill, pick, and small hand tool attack product testing with the side benefit of preventing unauthorized key duplication.

Today most residential and business consumers perceive the need of resistance to drilling and picking of less concern, (although bumping has the attention of some folks). They view   the prevention of unauthorized key duplication as the main security “need.”

Consumer demand has changed the market. The change is driven in part due to lack of fear of physical attack on the cylinder itself and also relative to price as non-UL patented key control only options are less expensive.

One company that has addressed the opportunity head-on is Marks USA. The introduction of a Hi-security upgrade cylinder to Marks USA lockset line launched one year ago in the Locksmith Ledger and we thought we'd check to see how they are doing and where they see the opportunities ahead.

Bill Sporre , director of global marketing & sales says, “Since the introduction of our Hi-Security Program, sales have been growing each month. Many commercial customers are asking their suppliers for upgrades to higher security in the contract hardware segment and locksmiths are getting to know marks enhances their existing high security and key control sales efforts.”

Marks USA expanded the Hi-Security line to offer a TRI-LEVEL of security options, beginning with UL-437 high security cylinder with all the bells and whistles, then with a non-UL cylinder that still offers pick and bump resistance as well as key control but offers less drill resistance. Completing the trio is Security-Mate, a strictly pin tumbler cylinder that may be operated by the same patented key, providing the convenience of using one key throughout the system at a value price without sacrificing the benefits of patented key control.

  Demand to prevent unauthorized key duplication is satisfied, while providing cylinders with appropriate physical protection per actual application. This provides the convenience of using one key at   a “value engineered” price without sacrificing security. For example providing UL437 cylinders on exterior doors, non-UL on office doors and Security-Mate on closets inside offices provides convenience, security and price.

Start-up costs are minimal. An exclusive key machine or expensive proprietary pin kit is not required. This also means the learning and training curve is minimal too. By eliminating the need of expensive gear to work on the cylinders and keys, many locksmiths now are offering from the service van, on-the-spot cylinder replacement in lieu of re-pinning cylinders…actually expanding their sales of key control products and increasing the security of their customers in the process.

According to Joey Dalessio, Director of Business Development, Marks USA Hi Security offers two programs for dealers. The first is the ALL-IN Program (AIP). Dealers can buy any quantity of cylinders and key blanks or cut keys from participating wholesale distributors, no contract, agreement or commitment required.

Second is the Distributor-Dealer Partnership Program (DDP) where the dealer selects a specific wholesale distributor for an exclusive relationship, then purchases 144 cylinders of choice, 200 key blanks and a service kit. In return, a limited exclusive security wave is assigned within a geographic area.

The product line includes a “screw-cap” type Key-in-Knob cylinder, Mortise Cylinders in 1”, 1 1/8”, 1 ¼”, 1 3/8”, 1 ½”, an 1 ¾”, a Rim-Mortise Combination Cylinder, Small Format Interchangeable Cores to fit Best type housings, and Large Format IC for Schlage and Medeco .

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