Single-Door Access Control and the Schlage AD-Series

May 3, 2010
With previous technology, every time an improvement was made, your customer had to buy a new lock. But Schlage AD locks can be upgraded when future needs change.

Over the years, locksmiths have seen many products that met the need for single-door access control, at the time. At one time, a mechanical pushbutton lock was on the cutting edge. Then electronic pushbutton locks were introduced that could have multiple user codes and be audited with a handheld device. After that, locksmiths were able to use their computers to manage the lock and add capabilities such as automatically unlocking a door at a certain time and relocking it later. Soon, users were able to add credentials that could be managed, without wires leading back to a controller for a new benchmark for standalone access control.

However, every time an improvement or capability was added or a new credential technology incorporated, it meant your customer had to buy a new lock. While consumers have become accustomed to buying a new computer every three years in order to take advantage of the latest and greatest advancement in performance or storage capacity, the average end user doesn’t accept that fact when it comes to a lock.

Because of that, locksmiths will find a way to modify what their customers already have in order to make do. Mechanical locks, especially Grade 1, are made to last many years, in some cases millions of cycles. But, let’s face it, technology advances and situations change, which provide locksmiths with a great opportunity to serve these new needs and prepare their customer for the future.

Understanding this need, Ingersoll Rand recently introduced the Schlage AD-Series electronic locks, bringing a fresh approach to access control and providing a product that can grow with an end users needs. Whether it is a cylindrical or mortise lock or an exit device, the AD-Series electronic locks provide your customer with access control for their present opening requirements, yet it’s ready to be upgraded depending upon their future needs.

For example, your customer may have a cylindrical lock and use only PIN codes to gain access. Since they only need a few codes, they will program it manually, right at the lock. Since they know every employee, there is no need for time/date or audit trail. The Schlage AD-200-CY-70-KP would be the lock to fit their need.

Later, they need the added security of a hard credential, such as a proximity card. By changing the credential reader on their existing AD-Series electronic lock, you can meet these needs and save your customer money in the process by not having to purchase new locks.

Conversely, they may start out with just a card without any PIN code capability, only to find out their insurance requires dual verification card plus PIN. No problem, you just switch out the card-only module and substitute the card plus PIN module. AD-Series electronic locks can be adapted to work with just PIN codes, just cards or cards plus PIN codes.

With all this capability, where does the AD-Series lock fit as a single-door access control product? Think of all your customers who run small businesses and don’t need an integrated system. They only need to control who has access to the back door, the storeroom or the office. Using the AD-200 electronic lock and taking advantage of its ability to be programmed manually, you can give your customer a solution for that one door that incorporates a hard credential like a proximity card and even associate a PIN code to that card for added security.

If they need to an audit trail or time zone, then they can use Schlage SMS Express software to manage those functions. The Schlage Hand Held Device (HHD) is required and this is where an opportunity for the locksmith presents itself. The end user may not want to purchase the software and programming device to manage a single door. This gives the locksmith the opportunity to offer these services, to use their own copy of the software, which can manage multiple facilities, and their programming device. This can make the initial investment much more attractive to their customer.

The HHD comes with everything needed to transfer the door/user data from the software on the computer to the AD-Series electronic lock and also is able to configure and run diagnostics on the lock. Date of manufacture, the charge state of the batteries and the firmware versions are all viewed with the HHD. Updates to the firmware for the lock or credential reader are also managed with the HHD.

The AD-Series electronic lock can be used with a variety of exit devices. For example, if you need to add access control to a Von Duprin 98/99 series Rim device, including concealed vertical rods, you would use an AD-200-993R. For a 98/9927 surface vertical rod device, use an AD-200-993S and for a 98/9975 mortise lock, use an AD-200-993M. Any of the credential readers available for the AD-Series electronic locks are available with the AD-Series exit trim.

Other devices that can be used with the AD-Series offline electronic locks are the Von Duprin 22/22F Rim (surface vertical rod device) and the Ingersoll Rand Falcon 25 Rim device. The Sargent 80 series rim device, the Corbin Russwin 5000 series rim, the Yale 7000 rim and the Dorma 9000 rim device can all accept an AD-Series exit trim due to the universal mounting plate that comes with the trim.

Earlier, we wrote about consumers unwilling to purchase new hardware when a technology changes comes along. However, the adaptability of the AD-Series electronic locks allows these changes to be made without the expense of new hardware.

For instance, one change that is starting to happen is the move from proximity credentials to smart credentials, sometimes referred to as “new proximity” cards. While both of the cards offer the end user a contactless way to transmit the card data, the difference between the two is monumental.

Both technologies transmit data via radio frequency and the visible operation of both appears the same to the end user. Simply wave the card in front of the reader. However, the contactless smart card provides much greater security, faster data transfer speeds and 100 times the storage capacity of the older proximity cards. In addition, Smart Cards can be used as a charge card, library card and as well as other features. This is advantageous for schools and businesses to provide ease of use as well as financial controls.

AD-Series electronic locks can be ordered with credential readers that accept smart cards as well as multi-technology readers that read both older proximity or keypad and newer smart card credentials. The proximity and Smart Card technologies in one lock gives your customers time to move from the old to the new while supporting both card technologies.

The Schlage HHD is used to re-program the locks with the appropriate firmware right in the field as updates or changes are made.

Should the time comes that your customers want more doors beyond their original system and/or more control over their system, the AD-Series electronic locks are ready for that as well. They can be adapted to a networked hardwired configuration with the addition of the COM300L communications kit. This allows the AD-Series electronic lock to directly communicate with integrated access control systems.

Schlage AD-Series electronic locks are designed with open architecture that gives the locksmith and the end user the choice of whose operating system they want to use that includes the Schlage SMS, the Schlage bright blue web-based access control system.

Wireless communication is achieved by simply adding the COM400L module and linking the lock to the Schlage PIM400-485 Panel Interface Module. The PIM communicates to the Schlage access control systems or one of the many third-party panel manufacturers. This allows a networked system to be installed without running wires to the door. Schlage makes a pre-installation test kit, TK797, which allows you to verify that you have sufficient radio frequency (RF) coverage where you are installing locks and placing Panel Interface Modules. Schlage sales professionals are also available to help with testing, layout and designing systems.

Things are changing and the Schlage AD-Series electronic locks allow an end user to adapt to these changing technologies and be confident that their investment in hardware is protected.

Chris Clark started in the industry in 1975 as a commercial locksmith. He currently works for Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies in Southern California.