The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority is the statutory public organisation mandated to build, operate, maintain and regulate seaports in Ghana. The authority owns and operates two ports in Tema and Takoradi. Takoradi Port is being repositioned through an extensive expansion and modernisation programme to better serve the needs of the oil and gas, mining and trading sectors. Its vision is to make the seaports of Ghana the leading maritime hub and the beacon of trade and commerce in West Africa.
The two ports together handle about 17 million tons of cargo with vast opportunities for growth. The container traffic is projected to grow from the current one million to about two million TEUs in the next decade.
The authority has stated that one of its primary goals is to ensure a safe and secure environment for people, vessels, cargo and facilities. Controlling pedestrian traffic in and out of its various buildings is a logistical challenge, given the security sensitivity of the operations. A reliable access control solution was required that would accommodate the stated vision of the authority, whilst simultaneously allowing a smooth employee and visitor traffic flow.
Speedstile express lanes
In 2013 the authority ordered a total of six Speedstile Express lanes from Turnstar to control access into the various buildings within the compound. Each lane was fitted with a customised bracket on which a Sagem biometric reader and a barcode reader was installed by the customer’s IT division. These lanes provide access for port authority employees and visitors. In addition, two lanes were reserved for card dropbox exit in order for visitors to return their access cards on leaving the buildings.
The units were selected not only for their performance, but furthermore for their aesthetic appeal. The design and engineering of the Speedstile Express units incorporates a cabinet that is manufactured in attractive and durable 304 grade brushed stainless steel. The choice of stainless steel is particularly relevant when deployed in areas close to the ocean, since corrosion poses an ongoing problem.
Turnstar director Craig Sacks points out that the Speedstile allows for ultra-high-speed access of one second for opening or closing, which is achieved through a combination of a motion detection sensor array, a heavy-duty motor and a built-in intelligent PLC controller. The motion detection sensors dynamically follow the pedestrian through the Speedstile Express and together with a highly sophisticated anti-tamper detection capability, ensures that there is no tailgating, unauthorised directional flow or crawling. Another advantage of this design is the added safety feature that prevents the closing of the glass wings when a pedestrian or object is within the closing envelope.
All elements are 3D designed and components are precision laser cut. In order to ensure full operational quality and aesthetic appeal, the units are hand-made using expert welding and polishing techniques. LED lane status and direction indicator lights provide visible feedback on each unit. The glass wings are constructed from 8 mm CNC toughened glass for enhanced safety and the direct motor mount technology eliminates any linkages or bearings which could be prone to failure.
The success of the initial speedgate installation resulted in the authority recently ordering a further three Speedstile Express lanes for a newly completed building. “We were competing with well-established European companies for both contracts so it was very heartening that the authority recognised the quality and performance of the Speedstile Express. Feedback from the customer has been extremely encouraging, citing unhindered flow of visitors and employees through the lanes and a marked increase in security levels. The best vote of confidence from a customer is when they place another order and we look forward to future projects with GPHA,” says Sacks.
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