Electronic access control system

February 2002 Access Control & Identity Management

TRACcess is an electronic access control system designed specifically for remote/multiple sites. It combines key control, electronic access control and entry activity tracking without requiring any external power supply or communication links.

Malcolm Thomas, Managing Director of TCT - the sole suppliers of the TRACcess products in South Africa, explains that the system is comprised of three main components, the TRACkey, the TRACcess locks and the TRACcess Information Manager (TIM) software.

"The TRACkey is the electronic key that not only opens the locks, but also records the entry activity of every user, ie location, time and date. Every TRACkey is protected by a unique PIN code, ensuring that only the key holder can open the locks he is authorised to unlock. This, combined with the fact that the keys are programmed to expire at management-defined intervals, guarantees that lost or stolen keys will never be a problem again. The information recorded within the key is transmitted via telephone (either fixed or cellular) to the central system," he said.

The variety of locks and locking devices in the TRACcess range of products can be retrofitted onto existing doors (wooden and metal), gates, safes, cabinets, in fact, everywhere you would normally have a lock, padlock or combination lock fitted. Thomas added, "The locks also record access transactions and can restrict access to certain times. Should a TRACkey be lost, the user's information can still be obtained from the devices accessed by the TRACkey.

"The fact that no external power supply or communication links are required for the system to operate makes it ideal for controlling access to remote locations and even on freight containers," Thomas said. "The power that is required for the devices to operate is supplied by the batteries contained within the TRACkey."

The entire process is administered by the TIM operating system which runs on a Windows NT operating system. Thomas said that this also benefits companies in a variety of ways, "The interactive voice communication system can run unattended 24-hours a day. It also supports unlimited access points and has a complete database of access point locks and key holders. The information that is transmitted from the users can be compiled into management reports to give up-to-date information on access activity."

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