Smart Security Solutions From Medeco

If there’s something that Medeco is good at, it is in making retrofit cylinders. A number of years ago, an advertisement claimed ‘we don’t make things, we make things better.’ That’s what Medeco does as well; Medeco makes locks ‘better,’ either with high security, protection against unauthorized duplicate keys, or audit and scheduling with eCylinders. And that leads to the second thing that Medeco does really well: providing creative solutions. Ideal security is often that which solves the most problems for the end user.

Smart Security Solutions provides options from Key Control (protection of unauthorized duplication) with M3 BiLevel, High Security (UL437, ANSI/BHMA 156.30 Level A) with Medeco3, and audit and scheduling with M3 Logic eCylinders. A single key has the potential to operate all three cylinders.


M3 BiLevel

M3 BiLevel uses a Medeco3 high security key with the Biaxial dimension cuts and angles. All of the cuts must be in the AFT position for the key to work in a M3 BiLevel cylinder.

A M3 BiLevel cylinder may be operated by a M3 high security key, or a M3 Logic key, since the blade is the same for both. M3 BiLevel cylinders use pins with a cone shaped tip and no locator tab, since there is no sidebar that interacts directly with the pins. All of the pin chamber holes in the cylinder are drilled in the AFT position, as you can see in the graphic of the plug with a key inserted. In the BiLevel plug, the cuts are all centered in the AFT position. When the key is inserted in a high security cylinder, the cuts are shown in the FORE and AFT positions in the pin chamber holes. (See Exploded view, BiLevel cylinder )

Medeco3 High Security

A Medeco3 high security cylinder also may be operated by a Medeco3 key, or a M3 Logic eCylinder key. While there are electronics in the head of a M3 Logic key, it is simply the blade needed to operate the cylinder. Both the standard mechanical Medeco3 key and the M3 Logic key are protected by a Utility Patent, which protects against unauthorized duplicate keys.


M3 Logic

The M3 Logic cylinder requires a M3 Logic key with electronics and a battery in the head of the key to operate. M3 Logic is part of the ‘Vertical Logic’ family. That is, Logic is available in Original or Biaxial keyways, as well as Medeco3 keyways. The M3 Logic key is similar to the Classic Logic key in that the electronic head is not removable or replaceable, and that an optional 125 kHz Prox coil is available in the battery cover. While M3 Logic may have both FORE and AFT position cuts, when being used with M3 BiLevel cylinders, only AFT position cuts are used. If M3 Logic is being used in a standalone system, or with Medeco3 high security, both FORE and AFT cuts may be used.

M3 Logic keys also have functionality options in the type of key, called E2 or E3. The E2 key is the standard key issued where the lock needs to be notified that the key should have access. The E3 key holds the information on what cylinders it may open, but the cylinder has to be notified that the E3 keys exist in the system via the C key. Both E2 and E3 keys may be used in the same system. Each key can be programmed to contain expiration and activation dates and times, to limit vulnerability if a key is lost or access rights change frequently. Each key can also hold up to 32 unique time schedules to accommodate for users wanting to program access for various work shifts or times. Additional differences in the keys are shown in Table 1. Keys.

The following unique characteristics are important to keep in mind with the M3 Logic cylinder.

  • Programming and audit of a M3 Logic cylinder is accomplished with the use of a “C” key
  • While a wide range of cylinder options are available, M3 Logic is not available as a cam lock type (or 4 level) cylinder that is pinned without top pins.
  • M3 Logic is available as a six-pin cylinder length, with pins in the 2nd through 6th position only.
  • The electronically locking sidebar is on the opposite side of the plug from the mechanical Medeco3 cylinder’s sidebar.

The locator tab and locator tab slot has been moved to the ‘back’ of the pin chamber hole, or towards the back of the plug. (See SolidWorks drawing of plug)

The locator tab on the pins has moved (for Biaxial and Medeco3 technology cylinders) in Vertical Logic technology, so a different pin kit is required. The pins do not have sidebar slots because no mechanical sidebar is included, so only FORE or AFT position pins are required. Table 2. Pin Cross-Reference shows the relationship of the pins. There are 12 bottom pins included, instead of the standard 36 bottom pins in a Biaxial or Medeco3 system.

For a key cut to the depths below, the cylinder would be pinned as shown, starting in the second position.

Depths: 2M (blank), 1Q-1F; 4B-4F; 5D-5A; 3K-3F; and 6S-6A.

Since one of the benefits of an eCylinder is the ease of ‘rekeying’ by simply inserting a C key with new programming information, master pinning M3 Logic cylinders is possible but not recommended for most effective system management. It is also possible to order all M3 Logic cylinders keyed alike from the factory for a specific system to eliminate the need for a special pin kit.

  • M3 BiLevel: Medeco3 or M3 Logic Key, BiLevel Pins (KJ-1501)
  • Medeco3: Medeco3 or M3 Logic Key, Biaxial Pins (KW-5010)
  • M3 Logic: M3 Logic Key, Biaxial Logic pins (KW-5401)

How or why would all of these different technologies be used in a single system? An office building might use Medeco3 cylinders for the exterior doors, and M3 BiLevel for shared spaces such as conference rooms, a break room or kitchen. The M3 BiLevel cylinders help control the overall cost of the system, but still provide protection against unauthorized duplication of keys. The M3 Logic cylinders are used for IT, HR, Finance, or R & D areas that benefit from the ability to provide an audit or to meet regulatory guidelines. The right solution at the right place to solve the customers’ challenges provides the most effective system.

For more information on any of the technologies described in this article, please contact Medeco at 800-839-3157 or Medeco Canada at 888-633-3264.


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