We offer a wide range of commercial physical access control systems, locks and equipment to a variety of industries including technology, industrial, financial, communication, government and healthcare institutions. The seamless product mix we offer enables us to create total solutions for integrating access control systems with other products such as:

  • CCTV
  • Digital Video
  • Card Readers
  • Door Hardware
  • Printers
  • Time and Attendance Products

As part of our service, we will work with you to design a custom access control system for your business premises providing the best security for you. Whether you need to control access a single door or your entire business premises. We can also train you and your staff fully in the use of the access control equipment and locks so you can manage your access control system easily.

Our team of experts, which share over 70 years of experience in the security industry, can advise you on the best electronic locks which are suitable for your business requirements and fully integrate them with your company’s existing access control equipment.

What does Physical Access Control do?

Access control limits access to campuses, buildings, rooms and physical assets. An access control system is a computer based, electronic card and/or keypad based system. The electronic card, which is often referred to as an “access card”, acts like a key to permit access into the secured area.

Access control systems are commonly used to control entry through exterior doors of buildings. They can also be used to control access into certain areas within the interior of a building. It provides quick and convenient access to persons who are authorised whilst at the same time, restricting access to those who aren’t.

How does Physical Access Control work?

There are a number of ways access control can work in order to authenticate the person attempting to enter an access controlled zone, such as:

  • Authorisation
  • Identification
  • Authentication
  • Access approval
  • Personal identification numbers (PINs)
  • Biometric scans
  • Physical or electronic keys

Although access control systems vary in type and complexity, most access control systems consist of at least the following basic components:

  • Access Cards
  • Card Readers
  • Access Control Keypads

Access Cards

An access card is an electronic key. The card is used by persons to gain access through the doors secured by the access control system. Each access card is uniquely encoded and are approximately the same size as a standard credit card which allows them to be carried in a wallet or purse.

Card Readers

Card readers allow the access card to be electronically read. There are two types of access cards; insertion and proximity. Insertion type access cards need to be inserted into the reader whereas proximity type access cards only need to be held within a short distance to reader for it to be scanned.. Card readers are usually located on the exterior side of the door that they control.

Access Control Keypads

Access control keypad devices may be used in addition to or in place of card readers. The keypad has numeric keys which look similar to keys seen on a touch tone telephone. An access control keypad requires a person who wishes to gain access to the restricted area in question to enter a correct numeric code. When card readers and keypads are used in conjunction with each other, a valid access card and the correct code must be presented before entry is allowed.

In order for an access control system to operate, it requires the following hardware:

  • Electric Lock Hardware
  • Access Control Field Panels
  • Access Control Server Computer

Electric Lock Hardware

Electric lock hardware is used to electrically lock and unlock each door which is controlled by the access control system.

There are a wide variety of different types of electric lock hardware, including:

  • Electric locks
  • Electric strikes
  • Electromagnetic locks
  • Electric exit devices

The specific type and arrange of the hardware to be used on each door of your premises will be determined based on the construction of the door. In almost all cases, the electric lock hardware is designed to control entrances into a building or secured area. In order to comply with building and fire regulations, electric lock hardware never restricts the ability to exit the building or area at any time.

Access Control Field Panels

Access control field panels, which are also referred to as Intelligent Controllers, are installed in each building where access control is to be provided. The card readers, electric lock hardware and other access control devices are connected to these panels.

The field panels are used to process all access control activity at building level. The number of field panels to be provided and installed in each building depends on the number of doors to be controlled. Access control field panels are usually installed in telephone, electrical or communication cupboards.

Access Control Server Computer

The access control server computer is at the centre of the access control system. It serves as the central database and is responsible for recording system activity. It distributes information to and from the access control field panels. One access control server computer can be used to control a large number of card reader controlled doors.

The access control server computer is usually a standard computer dedicated for full time use which runs an application to control the entire access control system.

Why Minerva?

We’re proud to offer a clear, independent, advice-driven service to our clients, delivering an end-result which is truly the best fit for their business.

We’re free from any constricting partnerships and offer equipment from a huge range of manufacturers, allowing us to approach each client individually, and provide a tailor-made solution to suit. We promise you won't get 'bounced around' - our process ensures that we'll get straight to the heart of your problem, and work with you to find the perfect solution. We are London and the South East's trusted commercial supplier, installer and maintainer of a wide range of alarm and security systems.

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