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Tube and Pipe keeps growing
October 2005, Access Control & Identity Management

Project scope

To control the access and monitor time and attendance of 600 users at Macsteel Tube and Pipe, using one enrolment station, 17 biometric readers at the main factory and two at remote sites, and eight turnstiles.

The history

This company has experienced tremendous growth and at each stage Timewatch Systems was able to expand the original card-based access and time management system to meet the new demands. Eventually a Keymaster controller and software was added using the existing readers, to provide improved control. Recently, more and more problems were occurring with communication links, many of which were lengthened with factory expansion. RS485 lines were very long and communications became unstable. The electrical noise from the large machinery and welding was probably causing most problems. At the same time the readers were ageing and the card technology in use was becoming obsolete.

The company had a few requirements that were only partly being met:

1. The access control was to be as secure as possible.

2. The clocking data had to be reliable and loopholes had to be eliminated.

3. The time workers spent in change rooms had to be monitored.

If changes were made, they wanted to avoid having to learn new systems and to recapture all employee data.

The solution

The communications network needed to be upgraded. All card readers were replaced with Sagem fingerprint readers linked via LAN to the controlling PC.

The Keymaster access control system was retained, adding door controllers where necessary. The existing Clockwatch time and attendance programme was known and worked well so that was also retained.

A new program (CWEXPORT) was used to combine data from the Keymaster database and Sagem data from remote readers. Readers were added at two remote sites.

Obstacles and concerns

Concern was expressed regarding the dirty environment and that the rough work damages workers' fingerprints. Speed of access was thought to be slow compared to card-based systems. Employee resistance was considered.

Tenders, specs and implementation

The proposal was made by the suppliers of the existing system, due to the problems of the ageing and over-extended system. The number of upgrades over the years resulted in a situation that was becoming less and less reliable. They also pointed out that other companies in the group were successfully introducing fingerprint readers and the technology we had was becoming obsolete. For us it would reduce the cost and effort needed in issuing and replacing cards, and give us the controls that were lacking in the card-based system. Due to our experience of many years of good service, and that the proposals were cost effective and our needs were well understood, the upgrade project was awarded to them.

The results

A dramatic improvement has been made in the stability of the core access control system. The use of fingerprints has simplified the whole management process and has resulted in a genuinely secure system with few loopholes. There were a few people with problematic prints, but after recapturing the images with assistance from the suppliers, all employees are successfully registering at a surprisingly fast pace. (One employee whose prints have deteriorated is being investigated.)

The other big impact has been in time saved with corrections. Somehow with the card-based system there were often missing clockings which meant much extra work investigating and correcting each omission. This problem has been virtually eliminated. Vanessa Sanders adds, "The remote readers that were added are a huge advantage, as we can now control their clockings from HR and ensure consistency."

Fact file

Key service providers, products and solutions:

System integrator and product suppliers: Timewatch Systems, Dani Taback, 011 640 1850, danit@timewatch.co.za

Biometric products: Ideco Technologies, Gary Jones, 011 840 7800, info@ideco.co.za

Software: Clockwatch Distribution, June Jawitz, 011 485 2912, info@clockwatch.co.za

Macsteel Tube and Pipe, Vanessa Sanders, 011 897 2100


Credit(s)
Supplied By: Itatec
Tel: +27 11 264 0530
Fax: 086 665 5566
Email: info@itatec.co.za
www: www.itatec.co.za
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Further reading:

  • Awareness and trust in context
    November 2017, CA Southern Africa, Access Control & Identity Management, Security Services & Risk Management
    Markus Krauss, senior director, Digital Identity and Security, CA Technologies, spoke to Hi-Tech Security Solutions about making identity work for people and things.
  • People on the move
    November 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure
    Sanjay Dharwadker looks at some of the changes that have been enacted to better manage Europe’s borders.
  • Access and identity: looking ahead
    November 2017, neaMetrics, ZKTeco, Powell Tronics, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions
    Access and identity is more important than ever with more options than ever for companies looking for solutions that go beyond mere entry and exit.
  • A question of trust and ­accountability
    November 2017, Technews Publishing, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions
    Access and identity management is about trust, how you assign it, how much you allow and how you manage it.
  • Trusting your privilege
    November 2017, Technews Publishing, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions
    Privileged access management is the starting point for effective enterprise identity and access management, whichever device you're logging in from.
  • Involve users in design
    November 2017, Elvey, Access Control & Identity Management
    One of the biggest obstacles to the successful operation of an access control system is the end user not being involved in the design of the solution.
  • Integrating surveillance and access
    November 2017, Cathexis Technologies, Gallagher, Milestone Systems, Paxton Access, Access Control & Identity Management, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Integrated Solutions
    Integrating access control and surveillance is a good idea, but those who take on this task have their work cut out for them.
  • The access edge
    November 2017, Johnson Controls, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions, Security Services & Risk Management
    With the common denominator of IP networks as their backbone, building automation, security and, in particular, access control systems are increasingly providing opportunities to both security integrators and building managers.
  • Home run for integrated security
    November 2017, Milestone Systems, Integrated Solutions, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Access Control & Identity Management, IT infrastructure
    Axis Communications, Extreme, Lenel and Milestone team up to secure 2017 Little League Baseball Series.
  • Facing the future
    November 2017, neaMetrics, Virdi Distribution SA, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, IT infrastructure
    Facial biometrics is coming into its own today, but is it a 100% reliable means of identity verification and authentication?
  • The growth of biometrics
    November 2017, ZKTeco, Access Control & Identity Management
    Biometric verification is the future, we live in a time where a person can be uniquely identified by evaluating one or more distinguishing biological traits.
  • Access on the edge
    November 2017, Suprema, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions
    CoreStation handles half a million users with a fingerprint matching speed of up to 400 000 match/second and simultaneous matching speeds of up to 8 devices in 1 second.

 
 
         
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