Access control

Key Systems

The traditional method of controlling access to different areas of a building is the masterkey system. Here keys are issued which allow the key holder access to only the parts of a building the need to use. These systems are often represented by a tree diagram as below:

Using the example of a hotel split into three areas. Guests would be issued with a proper key allowing them only access to their own rooms. The cleaning staff for each area would have one of the MK keys allowing them access to all the rooms they clean in their area. Finally at the top of the tree, the manager would have the Grand Master Key allowing him/her access to all rooms in the hotel.

These systems work fine as long as everyone gets issued the correct key and a key does not get lost. The loss of the master key would make it necessary to change all of the locks in the hotel. And new keys issued to everyone. An expensive mistake!

This is still a very popular way of managing access. We are able to plan and install these systems and also upgrade/maintain existing systems. Often a traditional system such as this is the best option.

Another approach is to install an electronic system. These can offer much greater flexibility, in terms of access, and a lost key would simply be wiped from the system not requiring any locks to be changed.

Electronic access control

Standalone systems

We supply two standalone systems, offered to satisfy both low and medium-high security applications.

Compact system

A standalone solution where all of the control electronics are in the keypad or reader. Compact systems are an easy to administer and cost-effective means of controlling access to a building. However, as the control electronics are all housed in the reader or keypad this type of system is not recommended for exterior or high security interior doors. Compact systems are available in a choice of TOUCHLOCK keypads, PROXIMITY readers or CARDLOCK (magstripe) readers.

Access is gained by using a code or PIN with a keypad, or by presenting a valid token to readers. Simple token management using our token packs makes administration straightforward.

Compact systems can be fitted to one door or many doors in a building. Additional doors may be added as required.

Key features

Typical applications

Switch2 System

A standalone solution, which uses a separate control unit for higher security. The Switch2 control unit is housed on the inside or safe side of the door. The control unit is used in conjunction with a Paxton Access reader or keypad. This provides higher security than a compact system. Switch2 is the standalone solution for external and higher security internal doors.

Switch2 systems are available with a choice of PROXIMITY or CARDLOCK (magstripe) readers or TOUCHLOCK keypads. Switch2 has a larger range of compatible readers than Compact and may also be used with a combined keypad/proximity reader. Access is gained by using a code or PIN with a keypad, or by presenting a valid token to readers. Simple token management using our token packs makes administration straightforward.

Switch2 systems can be fitted to one or many doors in a building. Additional doors may be added as required.

If you are choosing a standalone system but may want to upgrade to a PC based system in the future, Switch2 is the right choice. Only the control unit would need to be replaced. Readers and other hardware are compatible with both systems.

Key features

Typical applications


The administration of both Compact and Switch2 systems is identical.

TOUCHLOCK keypads: Once installed a code is set and given to authorized users. Users gain access by entering this code into the keypad, the door unlocks and they are granted access. Codes may be changed on a regular basis to maintain security. The change needs to be made at each door.

PROXIMITY and CARDLOCK: You will be supplied with a pack of user tokens. The system is commissioned with the enrolment card, which is in the token pack. The enrolment card gives the reader a unique identity code. All of the user tokens in the pack are immediately valid. A token is issued to the user. The user gains access by presenting the token to the door reader, the door unlocks and they are granted access.

The token packs contain a shadow card, which is the 'twin' of the user token. When the user token is issued the name of the person should be written on the shadow card. In the event of a user token being lost or stolen, the shadow card is taken from the pack and presented to all of the door readers on the site. This immediately bars the lost user token. If found and presented to a reader it will not grant access. If required, the token may be reinstated onto the system by using the enrolment card.

More sophisticated features

In addition to only allowing authorized people to enter a building, our standalone PROXIMITY and CARDLOCK systems can restrict access to a particular area to a specified group of users. This is called 'controlling access by colour zone'.

PC based Systems

Another even more flexible system would be to have all the doors in a building controlled by a central PC with appropriate software installed. Here doors can be monitored in real time and cameras integrated into the system.

For more information on electronic access control please see the brochures below.

Readers and Keypads {PDF}

Access Control {PDF}