CompX Pushes Reputation and Strong Products

July 2, 2018
From its keyless cabinet locks to RF and audit capabilities, myriad solutions abound for locksmiths

As the migration into electronic locking technology accelerates, CompX Security Products President Lou Galvao sees his company being able to ride that wave with more innovative products. While the sale of electronic locks up more than 23 percent and now accounting for 10 percent of the CompX business, it is the tradition of more than 252 years of combined industry brands that carries Galvao’s overall business strengths.

With such trusted product lines as National Cabinet Lock, Fort Lock, Timberline Lock and Chicago Lock, CompX is also a top distributor offering more than 1,500 stocking products from the above brands. The STOCKS LOCKS program ships from locations in Mauldin, SC and Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

Galvao says that the StealthLock kicked everything off, as CompX has moved more heavily into radio-frequency cabinet locks. It introduced the StealthLock, which is a kind of RFID-type of transmitter pad that works with receiver latches for RF locks on wood installations. The StealthLock offers two versions. The Standard version allows any transmitter pad to operate any receiver latch and can be used in most general office or residential applications.

The Dedicated version provides a factory programmed feature that mates a transmitter pad to a receiver latch or latches by way of a unique transmitter ID. This version is ideal for assigned lockers or when users are within close proximity of each other.

CompX soon added the RegulatoR line, which is an electronic pushbutton access control lock that has up to 19 users’ codes and one supervisory code. There are two different versions: the self-locking version that allows someone to go in and enter their PIN code, turn and release the knob that then springs back into the latched position, and the SlamCAM spring-loaded bolt latch you can just push to close, there is no need to return the knob. This is also available in the manual version that allows the user to turn the handle back to the locked position.

“The manual version can also be programmed in something called “day-use or locker use”, which is a code set by the user. The user comes in, puts his belongings into the locker, sets his own code, and pushes the buttons on the lock and its secure. The same code opens it when the user returns,” explains Galvao. “The self-locking SlamCam was added to the RegulatoR product line and has been out about five years. We took that SlamCam idea and made it so you can add to the back of any National disc-tumbler camlock like an 8053, plus you can now get self-locking in a camlock so you can just push to close as well.”  

What’s New?

CompX introduced the RegulatoR AT at the recent Security Hardware Distributors Association (SHDA) show in Frisco, Texas, which is an electronic keyless pushbutton lock that has audit-trail capabilities. The audit trail can handle up to 1,500 occurrences. It also allows up to 20 users to be programmed into the lock.

“This is not something that is going to be a heavy-duty solution that will take 300 people on this lock and can do all this technologically advanced audit-trail functions. This is not the lock for that. This is a lock that people looking to satisfy regulations or need to meet some compliance need will work for them. If they put it on a file cabinet and need to pull an audit trail from it for compliance issues it is a great application,” says Galvao, who adds that any audit-trail information pulled from the lock is on an Excel spreadsheet program that CompX provides. “As long as the user has a full-blown Excel software package on their laptop, you can run the Excel spreadsheet. It is a macro-enabled program that communicates from a USB on the laptop into a USB-B that plug directly into the Regulator. At that point you can download all the audit trail information.”

Galvao explains that the biggest difference between the RegulatoR and the RegulatoR AT devices is when it comes to programming. On the AT version all programming must be done in the software first. “You have to set up your database of users and dump that database onto specific RegulatoR ATs. You can’t do any manual entry or deletions at the unit itself when you’re talking about the RegulatoR AT. That’s the only caveat with this solution. It’s the only way we could make this {solution} work to achieve that minimal audit-trail capability. And it is at a great price-point for a cost-effective way of getting an audit trail with your lock.”

Introducing the CompX EcoForce Keyless Solution

EcoForce is the other product introduced at SHDA. This is a mechanical pushbutton lock that requires no batteries and no electronics. Galvao says it’s similar to the D-9601 Kaba pushbutton locks in operation but looks much different.

“It does require a ¾-inch mounting hole so you can replace a camlock if you want. You can pop this one in there, so it does have a secondary attachment point of a much smaller hole that so it doesn’t spin,” Galvao relates. “The lock has five pushbuttons so you can operate it with as few as one button as your code or all five. You can also push button simultaneously – say buttons 1, 2 and 3 – and that would be your code. You can go up to as many as five pushes but each button can only be pushed once. This gives the user a simple and potentially endless variation for codes.”

He adds that this product won’t be shipping until later this month.

Galvao thinks there is a larger portion of the customer base in its vertical sectors like healthcare and schools that are more willing to use the electronic products now than perhaps three or four years ago.

“Clients are seeing that it is reliable for one; obviously if you don’t have a reliable product people are not going to buy it. But it also makes sense and is convenient for them,” he says. “So once they install it, there are features that they can change on both the RegulatoR and StealthLock product that makes them more palatable in the sense that, okay, sure this is a $7 camlock, but I don’t have to worry about keys being missed or worry about keys being passed around. It is also a lot easier to just go in and change a code rather than pulling out and replacing a lock or cutting new keys that would take up time for the locksmith.”

CompX has established a great reputation among healthcare administrators for solutions that are seamless and cost-effective when it comes to securing everything from pharmaceuticals to patient data. So that trust factor has made it easier to gain buy in when new products like EcoForce are introduced.

“When we introduce a new product like EcoForce, people are immediately alert because when we are going out and showing RegulatoR, along with other electronic products, we are still hearing staff telling us that they have a couple of areas where they don’t want to install electronics since it is either not critical or a high-traffic area,” Galvao says. “That cabinet may only be used once or twice a month, but I don’t want to take the chance the battery will be dead when the time comes we really needed to get in there. So, they want a solution that is keyless and they know is going to work.”