Besam Swingmaster® 900 Series Low Energy Power Operator Meets Hospital's Requirements

Jan. 2, 2013
Low energy power operators can provide accessibility for those who are not physically able. Adding presence sensors helps provide safe access and egress for specific applications

I was invited to the installation of Besam Swingmaster 900 Series Power Operators onto double low energy application doors for a positive air pressure unit within a large medical facility. This pair of doors is the secondary set to ensure only purified air is in the unit. Swingmaster 900  units are replacing older power operators that were installed onto the interior side of the doors in the early 1990s.

For this installation, the Auto Door Operator was set to comply with low energy classifications. What qualifies low energy are three components; speed, resistance and "Knowing Act" devices. An automatic door operator can be adjusted to low energy specifications when:

  1. The door operator must be activated with a 'Knowing Act' device, these include push-plates, keypads, card readers and key switches, as well as 'push and go' function from the door operator.
  2. The doors must be calibrated to move and hold open according to the speeds and times defined by ANSI/BHMA A156.19.
  3. The doors must be calibrated to the open and close torque defined by ANSI/BHMA A156.19.
  4. All appropriate signage should be installed on the doors as defined by ANSI/BHMA A156.19.

Because this is a hospital, the safety of the patients and their families is of primary importance. Although a low energy power operator does not require presence sensor, presences sensors were included on both the swing side and the interior side of the doors. The presence sensors will detect gurneys, patients who are slow moving and those who stop in the sensing fields.

Note: To maintain low energy classification, these sensors could only inhibit activation or reactivate the doors. Initial activation must be made at a 'knowing act' device.

The Swingmaster 900 uses a gear reduction mechanism to open the door. When the door has been opened, the motor holds the open position for the programmed time. Once the time delay expires, closing the door is accomplished by a rack and pinion coil spring mechanism using the motor to provide the brake. Spring force keeps the door closed. Should power be lost, the door will close automatically.

The double outswing doors are equipped with surface mounted continuous hinges, felt meeting astragal on the swing side of the doors and electric latch retraction concealed vertical rod exit devices on the active and inactive doors. Surface door loops are installed onto the interior side of each door at the height of the exit devices. The active door is equipped with locking exterior trim. Two hardwired, square push plates are mounted onto the exterior and interior sides of the door.

Mounted onto both doors near the top of on the interior side are BEA SuperScan  low energy presence detectors. The SuperScans utilize triangulation technology to detect a presence in the sensing field when the doors are in motion. The SuperScan sensors have a detection range of up to 12 feet.

An Overhead Presence Detector (OPD) is mounted above the door on the swing side. A BEA Bodyguard presence sensor is located on the center of the 88" wide doorframe header. The Bodyguard is designed for swing side operation of the door and has two settings, one for the open door and the second for the closed door. The open door setting can detect through the door threshold 12" to 18". The Bodyguard III will either keep the doors in the open or closed position, or will prevent the closed door from opening if a presence is detected. There are fixed and customizable sensing patterns.

When activated, the two push plates send a signal to the door operator to open the door. This is a "Knowing Act," where someone consciously initiates the opening of the low energy door.

A second pair of doors are located approximately 25 feet along the corridor between this set of doors and the unit. Between the two pairs of doors are offices, but no other corridors. This alleviated some of the demands on the installation, as the opening where the power operator was being replaced did not have to keep the doors closed in order to maintain the positive pressure within the unit.

The non-handed Besam Swingmaster 900 Series power operator can be used for automatic and low energy pedestrian applications. A rack and pinion spring mechanism provides sufficient power to close the door even in normal wind conditions, at the same time complying with codes and standards. These power operators can accommodate up to 350 lb doors in a surface mounted installation.

When a Swingmaster is installed with the required motion and presence sensors, it meets or exceeds minimum requirements for ANSI A156.10 Standard – Power Operated Pedestrian Doors. The Swingmaster 900 can be configured to comply with ANSI A156.19 Standard – Power Assist and Low Energy Operated Doors and the ADA.

The Swingmaster 900 can be adjusted to compensate for wind and stack pressure. The units are adjustable to comply with low manual push forces outlined in ANSI A156.19. For this installation, the power operators were adjusted to the low energy application.

In addition to the two Swingmaster 900 power operators, a Bodyguard III, two SuperScans, CUHub with the three position Doorswitch, BEA MC-25 Time Delay and BEA MS-08 Magic Switches were be installed. The MC-25 provides the time delay necessary for the electric latch retraction to retract the exit devices' rails, permitting the doors to be opened by the power operators. The MC-25 can be set for a one-half second or one and one-half second delay. For this installation, a one-half second delay is sufficient to retract the rails unlocking the door before the power operator pushes the doors open. The MC-25 supply voltage is 15 to 24 VAC/VDC @ -5 to +10 percent.

A custom full width, aluminum housing was provided to conceal the two operators and the common electronics. The new housing has a front load cover.

Before installation, the first step ias to test the electric latch retraction, the sensors, push plates, etc., making sure the system did not have wiring problems. The doors were manually opened and closed, checking for construction problems.

Then remove power from the door operators and components as a precaution since the housing is metallic and aluminum conducts electricity.

Remove the arms from the door operators and the doors.

Remove the Phillips Head screws from the two bottom panels in the housing. Remove the bottom panels.

Identify, mark and disconnect the wiring to the electric latch retraction, Bodyguard, SuperScans, push plates, and the power.

Remove the two door operators.

Measure the locations of the mounting screws as each screw was firmly mounted into the wall. Write the height of the holes onto the header from the top of the doorframe header. The new housing will be drilled in the same locations.

Remove the housing. Behind the housing were two pieces of drywall that extended the mounting surface flush with the doorframe header. Between the drywall pieces were three pieces of flexible metal conduit through which the wiring was run.

Drill the new aluminum housing for mounting and wiring holes. After the three holes for the flex and two of the mounting screw holes are drilled, place the housing in position. Install the two screws. Drill the remaining mounting holes and add extra mounting screws to ensure the operator is firmly attached.

Important: When installing a large housing, be sure to drill holes along the upper portion of the housing as well as the middle and lower portions. This will reduce the possibility of tweaking the housing as long as the housing is mounted onto a flat surface.

NOTE: Electronic circuitry is susceptible to ElectroStatic Discharge (ESD). Before handling any circuit boards, ground yourself to dissipate any built-up charge.

The power operator components to be installed are two Swingmaster 900  units using Push Arms, the CUHub, the CU2 Control master and the CU2 Control slave. Each operator requires a CU2 control unit to swing the doors to the back check (open) and the closed positions, when both the CU2 controls are connected via a sync cable that allows the doors to operate simultaneously. Then whichever CU2 the CUHub is plugged into becomes the master and the other CU2 becomes the slave. The opening and closing speeds and balance force are adjusted separately for the master and slave. The push plates are wired into the MC-25 relay to sequence the activation of the rails before the activation of the door operator. The MC25, the On/Off/Hold Doorswitch, the Master CU2 Control, the Bodyguard III and the SuperScan presence detectors are wired into the CUHub.

The Doorswitch has three positions; Off, On and Hold Open. When switched to Hold Open, the power operator keeps the door in the open position.

The CUHub coordinates with both of the SuperScans on the approach side of the doors, only when the doors are in motion. Once the doors are closed, the sensors are ignored. On the swing path side of the door, the CUHub coordinates with the Bodyguard III. When it detects a presence, a command is sent to either stop the doors from closing if they are open or to stop the doors from opening if they are closed. While the doors are in motion (either opening or closing), the Bodyguard III sensor is disabled.

Preparing the door operator for installation can include handing each power operator and adjusting cam for doors' positioning. The cam set determines where the latched and backcheck positions are as well as the handing of the door.

For this installation, measure the housing on both sides for the Swingmaster 900. Install the CU2 Control master and the CU2 Control slave into a bracket secured to the housing. Then mount the Swingmasters into the housing. The CUHub and the Doorswitch are  installed into the housing. Important: The Doorswitch must be installed and wired into the CUHub or the door operators will not operate.

The push arms are installed onto the power operator and the doors. Install the shaft adapter lock and screw and tighten the main arm using a 3/8" hex wrench.

Remove the existing Bodyguard and SuperScans and install the new components. Wiring is run from the sensors into the housing. The wiring will be connected once all of the components were mounted.

Remove the two push plates and install two contact-free switches. These contactless activation switches utilize Doppler-effect microwave motion sensor to eliminate physical contact. The sensing pattern is adjustable from four to 24 inches.

Contact push plates require two wires. Contact free switches require four wires; two for power and two for activation. New cabling runs from the push plate double gang boxes into the housing.

Connect the wiring from the Swingmasters to their corresponding CU2 controllers based on the handing required.  Connect the CU2 master to the CU2 slave via the Sync cable, and to the CUHub via the control harness.  The door switch and Bodyguard are also connected to the CUHub. Do not connect the SuperScans for the initial operation.

Power and test the system, making sure the exit device rails unlatch before the power operator swings the doors to the open position. Check the time delay and make sure the door close and the rails latch, securing the doors. Repeat this operation at least four times to give the system an opportunity to complete the learn cycle before wiring presence sensors.

Important: The CUHub will not operate without the Bodyguard III harness hooked up to a Bodyguard and the Bodyguard configured to operate with the Swingmaster 900.

Make adjustments as necessary.

The Bodyguard and the SuperScans circuit board angle settings can be adjusted from horizontal to 10 degrees or more, depending upon the application. Once adjusted, connect the SuperScans with the door in the closed position.

There are two methods to adjust the Bodyguard III sensing field: a BEA remote control or the manual push buttons under the right end cap. The push button are limited to adjusting the sensitivity, relay mode, auto learn time, pattern width and depth. The remote control provides easier and greater adjustability.

Test the operation of the Bodyguard III and the SuperScans in the closed and open door positions. Make adjustments as necessary to optimize the sensing field. Test the operation again.

Low energy power operators can provide accessibility for those who are not physically able. Adding presence sensors can help ensure safe access and egress for specific applications.

Important: Because this was kind-for-kind installation verification was provided to the appropriate agencies.

For more information, contact your local locksmith distributor or the following manufacturers:

BEA Inc.: Telephone: 412-249-4100. Web Site:

Besam: Telephone 877-237-2687. Web Site: