Security at Silicon Smelters

Access & Identity Management Handbook 2004 Access Control & Identity Management

Project scope

Number of users: 350 employees, 1600 people enrolled eg: contractors and visitors.

Number of enrolment stations: one Sagem MEMS.

Number of biometric readers: eight Sagem MorphoAccess.

Mode of biometric operation: Identification (1:many) - fingerprint only.

Number of turnstiles: 4.

Sagem solution in the office
Sagem solution in the office

The history

Silicon Smelters is the largest operation of its kind in the western world. On this large site there was a strong need for access control and a reliable time and attendance system to improve safety conditions on the site, by ensuring that only authorised employees and contractors are allowed onto the site; to strictly control access onto the site and reduce the possibility of theft from the site; and to have accurate logs of all people entering and exiting the site.

The original system was based on traditional clock/punch card machines, which allowed employees to clock for each other without any means of detection. This had a negative impact on productivity, and on the bottom line.

Turnstar, Sagem and control box
Turnstar, Sagem and control box

The solution

"We wanted the best possible form of access control and hence selected a Sagem biometrics-based system," says the company's Gys Vermeulen.

Turnstar boom
Turnstar boom

The benefits

More accurate and faster access control as well as time and attendance managememt. Better reporting capabilities. A fully automated process.

Obstacles en route to a final solution

There was a perception that fingerprint readers would not be fast or reliable enough in a mining environment. In particular, a fingerprint only based system (independent of cards or PINs) was required. Hence convincing the relevant stakeholders to migrate to a fingerprint-based system took some time. But, the systems biometric performance exceeded all expectations.

Tenders, specs and implementation

Silicon Smelters issued a tender and awarded it to the company with the best solution for the best price. In the process, advice from consultants and experts was welcomed.

In summary

"The fingerprint readers have proven to be extremely effective in this environment," says Vermeulen. "Approximately 1600 people have been enrolled into the system, which includes full time staff and contractors. This allows us strict control over large, fluctuating numbers of people without any increases in expenses - as we do not need to issue any cards to anyone. If you operate in a harsh industry, do not invest in biometrics without properly testing the equipment first, and visiting similar sites where the system has been working for a decent length of time."

Fact file

Key service providers, products and solutions

System integrator: Control Instruments Polokwani, Karel De Bruin, 015 293 1475.

Biometrics: Sagem distributed by Ideco Technologies, Gary Jones, 011 442 0064, [email protected]

T/A supplied and distributed by Clockwatch Distribution, Dani Taback, 0860 100 854.

Turnstiles supplied by Turnstar, Mark Eardley, 011 786 1633.

Silicon Smelters, Gys Vermeulen, 015 290 3000.


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Powder coating provides durable finish
Turnstar Systems Access Control & Identity Management Industrial (Industry)
Turnstar’s powder coating line provides corrosion resistance, high-quality surface finishing and a long-term environment-friendly impact for all access control components the company manufactures.

Local makes lekker parking bay management technology
Access Control & Identity Management
South African born-and-bred technology platform Parket builds a seamless bridge between supply and the ever-increasing, but fluid – and often temporary – demand for parking bays.

Controlled access on BRT system bridge
Turnstar Systems Products
Turnstar’s traffic barriers provide the City of Johannesburg with eight fully-retractable hydraulic bollards for the flagship Alexandra to Sandton bridge.

Local innovation continues
BoomGate Systems Access Control & Identity Management
While having local manufacturing facilities presents its own set challenges in South Africa, Boomgate Systems makes full use of its in-house local manufacturing and R&D.

CathexisVision integrated with Suprema’s BioStar2
Technews Publishing News Access Control & Identity Management Integrated Solutions
This integration uses BioStar2 access control events to trigger automated actions on the CathexisVision system, including alerts, recording a camera and commands such as locking and unlocking doors, and clearing an alarm.

Maximise parking lot security
Hikvision South Africa Access Control & Identity Management
Hikvision has created its range of TandemVu PTZ cameras which provide wide-angle and close-up visibility of incidents, real-time alerts for security teams, and sound and light alarm deterrents in commercial parking spaces.

Linux-based biometric access control
ZKTeco Products Access Control & Identity Management
The SpeedFace M4 is a Linux-based multi-biometric access control and time attendance terminal with visible light facial recognition and palm verification.

Hospitality in the post-pandemic world
Salto Systems Africa Access Control & Identity Management
COVID-19 has forced the hospitality industry into reconfiguring hotel operations, but it has also provided a new opportunity to transform them for the better.

ACaaS: The future of access control systems
Suprema Access Control & Identity Management
As many SaaS-based cloud services in other industries have shown, ACaaS will improve quality, making it more convenient, safe and quick to responding to user feedback.

Advantages of palm vein biometrics
Fulcrum Biometrics Access Control & Identity Management
Fulcrum Biometrics Southern Africa offers five key differentiators when comparing the reliability and accuracy of palm vein biometrics with other modalities.