Automatic Door Operators: Opening Doors to Revenues

March 2, 2020
Options abound that will help locksmiths to make their clients’ entrances accessible to all.

As traditional markets for locksmiths shrink and disappear, other markets have opened, and automatic door operators is one of them. Automatic door operators are one of the more interesting architectural hardware items for locksmiths to install and service.

Strong demand for “handicapped accessible doors” has increased as the population ages and businesses seek to avoid a rise of lawsuits from injuries that occur when people enter or exit buildings.

Door-operator technology continues to improve, the range of products has expanded, and prices are lower. All of this makes automatic door operators a far more feasible proposition for a growing number of applications.

Open to All

It’s a business advantage to create an environment that accommodates everyone.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) played an important role in introducing the concept of making entrances more accommodating to individuals who have a disability. In addition to meeting the needs of the 54 million Americans who have disabilities, however, a building that complies with ADA also is accessible to the elderly, children and people who carry and move materials and equipment.

The American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers (AAADM) is a trade association that’s involved with automatic door openers. Among the services and resources that the association provides:

  • Training for and certification of installers
  • Information to end users and architects
  • An inspection checklist that can be used to determine whether a door operator has been installed properly or is in proper working order.

The AAADM also has a listing of certified dealers and inspectors on its website,, to help individuals to find qualified professionals who can supply or install door operators.

After I became AAADM-certified, my employer got many calls from national facility-maintenance companies that wanted support for their client’s premises and individual companies that wanted to install an operator and sought a qualified local vendor.

Three types of automatic swing-door operators are in the market: low energy, high energy and power assisted.

High-energy operators are used in commercial applications, such as a supermarket. These operators require auxiliary sensors, because the door operators have the power to move the door fast enough to possibly injure pedestrians, particularly young children, the elderly or the disabled. High-energy door operators also frequently require guard rails and presence sensors.

Low-energy door operators are the typical retrofit sale for the locksmith. They’re self-contained and require switches that pedestrians press (a “knowing act”) to actuate the operator and open the door.

For most applications, low-energy door operators can be installed without auxiliary sensors or safety equipment and be code-compliant. This is because the low-energy operator has integral sensors and is designed to stop when the door encounters an obstacle while in motion.

However, after you’ve spent enough time in the field, you’ll realize that some individuals don’t have to come into contact with a door for an injury to occur. So, including auxiliary sensors around a low-energy operator is a great way to provide a custom-designed system to your customer.

A large selection of sensors and actuators is available to the installer. You should be familiar with the standards to which automatic door operators are manufactured, installed and adjusted:

ANSI/BHMA A156.19 – Power Assist & Low Energy Power Operated Doors

ANSI/BHMA A156.10 – Power Operated Pedestrian Doors, the standard that applies to full-power door operators.

A roundup of possible products:


BEA’s LZR-FLATSCAN SW is a laser-based time-of-flight presence sensor for use as a stand-alone safety sensor on full-energy automatic pedestrian swing doors. This solution also can be used as a reactivation sensor on the approach side of low-energy doors.

The product’s technology generates 170 detection points across a single curtain, which allows the LZR-FLATSCAN SW to cover the entire face of a single door leaf, including the hinge area. Its Finger Detection Technology uses 100 detection points within the hinge area of the door to protect hands and fingers while the door is in motion. And a leading-edge safety feature extends the detection area beyond the leading edge of the door for enhanced safety.

The LZR-FLATSCAN SW exceeds the ANSI 156.10 section standard for detection area and meets section 8.1.4 for monitoring.

Its laser technology ensures independence of all types of flooring (pedi-mats, carpet, reflective flooring, wet surfaces, etc.) and the surrounding environment of the door (guide rails, walls, weather).

The LZR-FLATSCAN SW has a hubless system and fewer components for easier setup and installation, and its Hand Gesture Setup technology reduces configuration time.

Note: This sensor is powered by DC voltage only. If only VAC power is available, a 12-volt transformer paired with a rectifier must be used. A 24-volt transformer and rectifier will damage the product.

More info:


BEA’s LZR-MICROSCAN T is a laser-based sensor system designed for automatic swing doors. It uses time-of-Flight technology to eliminate the limitations of infrared-based devices. The system’s background independence eliminates nuisance detections caused by changing weather and floor conditions, while gyroscopes sense the movement of the door for accurate positioning.

The LZR-MICROSCAN T provides adjustable pattern depths that exceed the ANSI 156.10 standard and provides 100 percent coverage in all door states (fully open, fully closed, opening and closing). Its combination of high-resolution, self-adapting detection zones coupled with reduced uncovered zones create an accurate and reliable safety sensor.

The LZR-MICROSCAN T has built-in troubleshooting through an on-board error log, which ensures easy technical support, and its plug-and-play technology that uses a central hub and intuitive LCD interface reduces installation and setup time.

More info:

Detex AO19 Series

The AO19 Series of automatic door operators is an easy-to-install, heavy-duty product that’s aimed at high-use and high-abuse low-energy applications. The self-contained unit in an extruded case provides easy access for maintenance and adjustments, and it works with existing access control, locking and computer signal devices.

Two features that make the Detex operator unique are the installation hanger plate, which allows for quick installation, and the installation method sequence, which allows the electrician to arrive after the installation — all the fine adjustments already have been set by the locksmith.

Available models in the AO19 series:

  • AO19-1 for single-door applications
  • AO19-2 for double-door applications
  • AO19-3 for double-egress door applications


  • ON/OFF/HOLD switch
  • Easy manual use
  • Power close can apply a reverse power to aid in latch check position
  • Single voltage source required to operate
  • Adjustable delayed activation for sequenced vestibule doors
  • Reverse on obstruction can stall a door during the closing cycle and reactivate to open if an obstruction is sensed at any time before the latch position
  • Adjustable closing speed
  • Push & Go (Use for Handicap) can activate when a door is manually pushed to open
  • Electric lock relay provides an adjustable delay before a door opens to unlock an electric strike, maglock or other electric lock to prevent binding
  • Power: 115VAC plug-in mounted in header
  • Certification: ANSI A156.19 compliant; ANSI/UL 325 listed for United States and Canada; ADA compliant
  • Warranty: 3 years mechanical, 1 year electrical

More info:

Ditec HA8-LP

Entrematic offers four models of automatic swing-door operator through its Ditec brand:

  • HA8-LP low energy low profile operator
  • HA8-SP low energy standard profile operator
  • FA8 full energy operator
  • HA9 low energy operator

The HA8-LP provides customer convenience and meets ADA requirements but in a lower profile where clearance might be limited. It’s suitable for new and existing installations, which permits easy access to commercial, industrial and institutional locations. It’s a complete swinging-door solution for push, pull and surface-applied installations.

The header contains the driving system (motor), torque production (gearbox) and a control system to interlink the two.

The HA8-LP can be combined with the full range of safety units, such as presence and motion sensors. It’s easy to install for new construction and retrofit applications.


  • Heavy-duty commercial construction
  • High precision gears made for sustained long-term use
  • Electromechanical design for simple, dependable operation
  • Permanent lubrication, maintenance-free
  • Onboard programming
  • Built-in strike/maglock relay for fail safe or fail secure
  • Separate inputs for activation and safety devices
  • Integrates with building access and security systems
  • Certification: ANSI A156.19 compliant; ANSI/UL 325 listed for United States and Canada; ADA compliant

More info:

Hager 8200 Series

The 8200 Series of automatic door operators from Hager provides a low-cost low-energy option when an opening must comply with ADA guidelines.

They can be used on interior or exterior doors up to 275 pounds and 48 inches wide that swing in or out, and the standard unit allows for a 24-volt DC activator, two push plates and a reactivation sensor. Their modular design allows for client customization, and the door operators can operate as a manual closer with or without power. (Battery backup is optional.)

The operators are activated manually through a wall switch or by radio frequency, and optional programming functionality includes the capability to have:

  • Push and Pull (selectable on/off)
  • Power Assist Close
  • Power Boost Close, which assists the motor under wind and stack pressure
  • Motor Hold Close
  • Power Open and Hold, for smoke evacuation
  • Adjustable Opening Force Limitation
  • Adjustable Opening and Closing Speeds
  • Adjustable Opening Angle
  • Adjustable Hold Open Time for Door Activators (up to 60 seconds)
  • Sequential Operation (push to open/push to close operation).

The 8200 series includes a motor-protection circuit feature that interrupts the power when an obstruction is present during opening as well as built-in circuitry that will stop doors, hold them closed or open, or move slowly under certain circumstances.

Available models in the 8200 series:

  • 8218 Single Operator
  • 8219 Simultaneous Pair (both doors open at the same time)
  • 8221 Double Egress Simultaneous Pair (both doors open at the same time in opposite directions)


  • Nonhanded
  • Three operating modes: On/Off/Hold Open
  • Onboard power supply: 115 VAC 60-hertz single phase 5A; 0.75A at 24VDC Output
  • Dimensions: 4-9/16 in. (h) x 5 in. (d) x 31-1/2 in. (w) single; 4-9/16 in. (h) x 5 in. (d) x 75-1/2 (w) pair
  • Certification: ANSI A156.19 compliant; ANSI/UL 325 listed for United States and Canada; ADA compliant
  • Finishes: Aluminum, Dark Bronze
  • Warranty: 1 year

More info:

Kinetic by Camden

Kinetic by Camden’s 900-megahertz wireless door-activation switches are powered by the simple motion of pushing the switch, which eliminates the need for wired or battery power.

Kinetic by Camden’s advanced “power harvesting” wireless system uses the energy that’s created by the operation of the switch to power the wireless transmitter. There are no batteries to maintain or replace.

Kinetic by Camden features an ultracompact receiver that has field-selectable momentary, delayed or latching relay operation, with adjustable range control.

The system is compatible with all brands of automatic door operators. Suited to indoor and outdoor applications, Kinetic by Camden delivers reliable door activation in any commercial, industrial and institutional application.

It’s also available in kits that include two switches with transmitters, two surface boxes and a wireless receiver.


  • Operate switch with only 3.4 lbs. of force
  • Range: Up to 300 ft.
  • Operating temperatures: minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 185 degrees F

More info:

 SDC Auto EntryControl 

SDC’s Auto EntryControl Low Energy Swing Door Operator provides true plug-and-play installation with features that the end user and installer will appreciate.

It has an internal 1.0 Amp + Accessory/Lock Power Supply to allow for integration with electric latch-retraction exit devices, electric strikes and other electric locking systems, without the extra power supply.

A time-delay function is built into the control system, which eliminates the necessity to have supplemental relays or controls.

The Auto EntryControl operator provides hands-free, low-power point-of-entry door control to help meet all ADA requirements for door installations in retail storefronts, office buildings, campuses and health-care facilities. The door operator’s state-of-the-art microprocessor-based unit is self-tuning and self-learning while providing nonhanded operation, full mechanical stops and a variety of interface options for sensors, push plates, fire alarms and electrified locks.

Onboard diagnostics simplifies troubleshooting, and all Auto EntryControl models can be configured for either surface-mounted push/pull or overhead concealed applications.

Available models in 36-inch, 42-inch and 48-inch sizes:

  • AUTO1 Push operator
  • AUTO2 Pull operator
  • AUTO3 Push and pull operator


  • Nonhanded
  • Minimum 5 seconds from close to open
  • Stays open for 5 seconds
  • Force: 15 lbs.
  • Push or Pull (In door, Out swing)
  • Power: 1A, 100W
  • Extremely quiet operation
  • Certification: ANSI A156.19 compliant; ANSI/UL 325 listed for United States and Canada; ADA compliant
  • Finishes: Aluminum, Dark Bronze Powder Cast
  • Warranty: 3 years

More info: