A New Form Factor for EAC

Sept. 2, 2022
Securitron puts the access control door relay at the center of its latest Aperio product, the DR100.

In its ongoing quest to bring electronic access control (EAC) to more doors in a building, ASSA ABLOY, through its Securitron brand, has released the DR100. The DR100 is a combination access control reader and door relay that’s part of ASSA ABLOY’s Aperio lineup of wireless products. As such, the DR100 also aims to cut down on the wiring necessary for that expansion.

The lack of wiring opens the possibilities of where EAC can be, says Patrick Hill, product manager of digital products for the ASSA ABLOY electromechanical solutions group.

“We’re looking to make those — I’m afraid to say niche — but the more challenging openings that would take a hard-wired solution, a standard access control panel, and now allow us to make that opening wireless.”

The potential applications for the new product apply to any vertical market and include sliding doors, rollup doors, roof hatches and gates, Hill adds. “You can pretty much put it anywhere you’d want. There’s really no limitation on what you can secure.”

The Product

The DR100, as is the case with other Aperio products, includes a multiCLASS SE reader that supports a wide range of credentials, including mobile. The reader is connected with the relay, which can mount beneath the reader or adjacent to it, depending on the application.

However, the DR100 has several key differences from other Aperio products:

  • It isn’t a stand-alone locking product.
  • It isn’t battery-powered.

That’s because the DR100 isn’t a lock, per se, but a relay that operates a new or existing electronic lock, whether hard-wired or battery-powered. It acts as a go-between between the lock on the door, whether it’s a strike, maglock or deadlock, and the head-end of the EAC system.

In effect, it acts as a door panel, which was the idea, Hill says, noting that the concept for the product resulted from feedback from security pros.

“We get a lot of requests: ‘Can I get an output out of the lock, so when it gets a valid card read, [it] triggers whatever?’” he says, noting standard cylindrical or mortise locks or exit devices. “We don't have that ability on the traditional locks, so this kind of takes place of a standard relay to unlock and lock.”

But the DR100 goes beyond that and receives inputs for request to exit, a door position switch and a privacy function. The latter will deactivate the reader and, thus, the lock if the relay controls a lock on a bathroom door, for example. Hill says the DR100 also can control automatic door openers and even turnstiles.

In addition, the reader is IP65-rated and UL 294 saltwater-tested, Hill says, so it can handle direct rain and even extreme cold with the addition of a heat kit accessory. For outdoor applications, however, the relay would have to be installed indoors or at least where it was protected.

The Wiring

If the device must be hard-wired to power and wiring must be run to the locking device anyway, why not just use a traditional door panel?

Hill acknowledges that question but adds that the DR100 does a few things that provide advantages over standard EAC panels.

First, the Aperio wireless communication reduces the amount of wiring necessary during an installation, because it eliminates the necessity of wire or even Power over Ethernet cable between the head-end and the reader to control the access to a door. Eliminating the long communication run also means the DR100 can be powered locally, which makes for a cleaner power delivery to the reader and opens up the possibilities of where EAC can be achieved.

Second, the DR100 provides for “local control” of the door and, thus, flexibility in the system to change as the demands of the door change.

Hill uses the example of a building that has an automatic door operator between two office spaces where controlling access to that operator is desired.

“We’ll install the DR100 [and] we’ll put in a door strike or a maglock,” Hill says. The relay has outputs to control the lock and the door operator simultaneously and allow for a timing sequence. “It's like putting an access control panel locally at the door, but we're able to make those decisions with our device versus the access control system having to do that for us.”

The Training

As with other recent Aperio products, the DR100 comes in a pre-paired version, in which the programming for the reader, relay and hub that connects with the EAC system is performed at the factory rather than in the field. In addition to saving on installation time and work, this means the security pro doesn’t have to be Aperio-certified to sell and install the product.

The advantage of Aperio certification, however, is that it allows the security pro to tackle larger projects that involve multiple locks and multiple doors that connect with one Aperio hub, rather than the pre-paired 1-to-1 ratio. It allows the security pro to be more flexible when they build an EAC system.

However, Hill notes that ASSA ABLOY will introduce a certification process that will allow security pros to “self-certify to buy these products,” including the DR100. The process will be in the form of an online, self-guided program. “We’re trying to make it easier for everybody to certify and still get the knowledge that they need to properly install them.”

Hill says the online portal was expected to go live in July 2022.

About the Author

Will Christensen | Senior Editor

Will Christensen is senior editor at Locksmith Ledger International. He has been an editor and reporter at magazines and newspapers for more than 30 years.