Compliance via biometrics

October 2012 Access Control & Identity Management, Industrial (Industry)

Environ, local manufacturers of a range of active-ingredient beauty products, is in the process of building new Cape Town facilities with high-end biometric access control and time and attendance.

The Medicines Control Council (MCC) has very strict regulations around access into the facilities of companies manufacturing health and beauty products that contain controlled substances. Non-compliance can result in fines and even temporary or permanent closure.

“Our current facilities use access control for the morning and evening flow of employees. However, there is little indication of the actual movements of the employees once they enter the premises. When we embarked on the plan to build our new 10 000-square-metre production facilities, we decided to upgrade our access control and time and attendance systems to provide more functionality, control and feedback,” says Danie de Jager, Environ’s IT manager.

Environ has consistently produced a number of market-leading vitamin-based skincare products over the past 21 years. Quality and productivity play a predominant role in the company’s business ethos. “We cannot afford to compromise any section of our production facilities, so the implementation of a superior access control system is paramount,” says De Jager.

Environ was first exposed to Trac-Tech’s products at a trade show in Johannesburg in 2011. “We were very impressed by the company’s approach and the high service levels they exhibited. The product offering consistently receives good reviews and we were impressed with the fact that the systems cannot be circumvented. We put the contract out to tender and we were further impressed at the company’s cost-effective proposal,” says De Jager.

“Trac-Tech upgraded the time and attendance (T&A) system at the existing Environ factory. In essence, the upgraded T&A system allows the Environ team to familiarise themselves with the system that will be installed at their new building. To date we have received favourable feedback from the human resources department, which cited great improvements in the accuracy of employee time keeping,” says Trac-Tech sales manager, Marj Valasek.

Valasek explained that the new system comprises Trac-Tech’s proprietary Time Register software as well as a number of biometric fingerprint readers and ancillary equipment. “We are supplying seven ViRDI AC2100 biometric fingerprint readers with ViRDI SR100 slave readers; six ViRDI AC2500 biometric fingerprint readers; 22 ViRDI AC2100 biometric fingerprint readers; 43 booth controllers; as well as one waist-height single iMAT turnstile and one waist-height double iMAT turnstile for the factory and security checkpoint respectively, both with emergency pedestrian gates.”

The biometric fingerprint readers will be installed at the entrances to the primary manufacturing area, the entrances to the secondary manufacturing area, the final goods store, the dispatch area and the entrance to the building. Time and attendance capabilities are provided at the entrance point at the administration building and the manufacturing facility.

“We have deliberately designed the canteen so it is located outside the manufacturing and administration buildings. In this way, we are able to monitor the time that employees spend productively within the main facilities,” says De Jager.

Because the MCC rules and regulations change, Environ required a system that had built-in flexibility in the critical paths. “Trac-Tech has been incredibly patient and accommodating with the frequent changes we have had to make to the specifications on the contract, in order to comply with both the MCC’s stipulations as well as with changes in the building programme and design,” De Jager concluded.

For more information contact Trac-Tech, 0861 100 199,,

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