Fully integrated resource management

October 2005 News

SACO, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the JSE-listed Reunert group of companies is a provider of resource management, access control and RFID tracking solutions, from tags and tracers to readers and SmartMine applications.

The company was established in 1976 to address the problem of access control and time and attendance in South Africa's large mining industry. Although SACO systems is known as a comprehensive solution provider in the fields of access control and time and attendance, its major breakthrough was the local development of an RFID tracking system in the 1990s.

Through continual upgrading and development, the company now specialises in the middleware, which connects RFID readers to management information systems, offering consultation, installation, commissioning, training, outsourced operation and full after-sales support.

The company was an early adopter of RFID technology and its unique blend of South African engineering innovation in hardware and software has resulted in the complete solution being designed and developed in-house. SACO performs a full business process analysis, prior to advising clients on the appropriate technology to suit their needs. The company's track record includes successful major projects around the world.

Enterprise scalability

In keeping with SACO's approach to engineering flexible, tailor-made solutions, the company recently released the 'Enterprise Edition', which it maintains is the most comprehensive access control and time and attendance system available today. Using contactless smartcards (RFID read/write tags), it offers 100% read integrity and is a fully integrated modular resource management system. The Enterprise Edition is totally modular which allows the system to be configured to meet future needs.

The modules offered include: SACO-Access (access control), SACO-Time (time and attendance), SACO-Track (a high technology tracking system) and SACO monitor, the latter allowing integration with other security alarm systems including CCTV surveillance.

The Enterprise Edition is based on open database architecture (ODBC) running on Windows and can be seamlessly linked into payroll and other management databases. The following are some of the fundamentals of the system:

The database - this is a set of tables that can be created on Microsoft Windows SQL Server or Oracle, on Microsoft Windows NT Server or UNIX platform. All data, irrespective of its source, is stored in these tables. Once SACO Enterprise is set-up, the full power of the open database architecture, with the flexibility of the SACO enterprise is available to the user.

The main module - this is the application that inserts, updates, deletes and queries all data in the database with the exception of the configuration of the various clocking and alarm devices. Access to data and the ability to change the data is controlled at two levels:

The first level is the Database Engine, where the system administrator enables access and modification rights on SQL.

Once this has been done, access and update rights can be further controlled via the User Function feature in the main module.

Richards Bay Minerals has a SACO RFID access control solution
Richards Bay Minerals has a SACO RFID access control solution

Access control: SACO Enterprise provides a comprehensive set of parameters to control the movement of employees, contractors, visitors and vehicles. These parameters are entirely optional and if all restrictions are switched off, the only validation when clocking in is on the status of the badge. There are five different levels where movement restrictions can be applied:

* Globally in the System Options screen.

* When defining reader groups where global restrictions can be overridden.

* At department level.

* At employee level.

* At the time zones level.

The access control module also offers anti pass-back, visitor hosting and optional add-on features like video imaging for custom-made ID badges, cafeteria management, a point of sale system and fuel management.

A turnstile control point at RMB
A turnstile control point at RMB

Time and attendance: SACO Enterprise offers a comprehensive parameter driven time and attendance management system. It provides a powerful set of rules and calculations for the customer to calculate the split of hours and allowances for the payment of employees and/or contractors, and automatically links time worked to the payroll.

The system offers the customer a choice between fixed shift cycles or the use of shift sensing, where the system will select a shift from a set of shifts in the shift cycle. A post-dated transaction function is provided to enable scheduling of future transactions, ie, leave, department changes, shift changes, discharges etc. The Enterprise System provides realtime, accurate information and on-screen authorisation of exception clearances and reporting, thus enhancing a paperless environment.

Reports - The open database architecture provides seamless data exchange and allows customisation of reports. However, the Enterprise Edition also offers a set of existing reports including employee reports, contractor reports, vehicle reports and visitor reports. An automatic audit report provides a full log report on the system.

For more information contact Des Oliver, SACO Systems, 011 652 5320, doliver@SACO.co.za





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