Full deployment for the fire brigade
Winkhaus blueSmart secures buildings of the Upper Austrian State Fire Brigade Association
When firefighters grab their tools, the materials and equipment must be able to withstand this. Because there is no time for gentle handling in an emergency. This is one of the reasons why the Upper Austrian State Fire Brigade Association in Linz decided for a second time on a Winkhaus locking system in the building complex of the Regional Fire Brigade and the Regional Fire Brigade School.
The first system was installed in 2012. Even back then, the Winkhaus technology impressed with its robust and reliable operational readiness. Because the system delivered what it promised, more and more buildings on the site were converted from mechanics to electronics in the following years. The second generation of electronic locking technology was introduced in 2019 with blueSmart. Since then, both systems have been running in parallel.
Heavy duty operation
The complex, which houses the umbrella organisation of all fire brigades in Upper Austria and the Regional Fire Brigade School, is around 20,000 square metres in size. In addition to large numbers of pupils, who also stay as overnight guests, more than one hundred employees enter and leave the complex. "It’s as busy as a medium-sized hotel here", reports Karl Altmann, head of the architectural hardware department at the fitting retailer Schachermayer, who supplied the system and helped with the installation. High flexibility, quick programming of identification media and the option of disabling them immediately if a key is lost are therefore basic requirements for a locking system here. "And since the colleagues at the fire brigade train in uniform, a robust key was required, which can also be operated in protective clothing," explains Altmann. Winkhaus blueSmart offers these advantages, "conventional card systems would have quickly reached their limits here."
Key with waterproof housing
Around six hundred electronic keys are in use in total and lie comfortably in the hand. The keys allow users to continue their usual closing performance: The stable identification medium is inserted easily into the electronic cylinder and rotated – the latch is then retracted. What is more, the maintenance-free, handy blueSmart keys are resistant to hand disinfectants and can even withstand being washed in the washing machine thanks to their waterproof housing (IP 68).
Programming of the keys is simple and, like the administration of the entire locking system, can be carried out professionally by the company’s own IT division using the Winkhaus blueControl software. Student keys are granted access to a limited number of rooms – such as their guest room and teaching rooms. And if a key is lost, it can be deactivated on the PC with just a few clicks.
Disabling a key takes effect quickly because the blueSmart network works virtually. The offline, cable-free system consists of built-in electronic components which communicate with one another. Unlike conventional online access control systems, there is no need for extensive cabling for the electronic locking cylinders on the doors, or a large number of converters or interference-prone radio links. With blueSmart, locking systems with up to 196,000 components can be implemented in this way. The system is installed quickly and easily as, with this virtual network, only the upload readers, which automate and distribute the information and commands for the user in the background in the virtual network, are conventionally wired.
Keys play a key role
The blueSmart electronic keys play a key role in the literal sense. They are also responsible for transferring information quickly and wirelessly between the electronic components of the system. Every key has an RFID chip inside, which stores user rights and transports commands in the virtual network as well as data read from door components.
If someone then tries to obtain an access authorisation using a blocked key via the upload reader mounted on the outside, they will be identified as unauthorised by the reader. It is then no longer possible to upload access rights.
Fast conversion during operation
In addition to keys, the buildings are secured by over four hundred electronic cylinders, sixty smart door fittings and nine readers. The conversion to electronics was carried out quickly during operation, as only the upload readers had to be wired. The electronic blueSmart door cylinders have the same dimensions as mechanical cylinders, are flush-mounted and do not need to be wired, so there is no need for complex door conversions during installation.
A long battery service life guarantees reliable operation of electronic components on a continuous basis. This means maintenance requirements are very low. “We are notified by the system when a battery change is required,” says Benjamin Söllinger, who is in charge of building services and manages the locking system, describing one of the many convenient features of the technology.
The cylinder events log is also considerably larger than in previous systems. In the event of theft, for example, the last 2,000 locking events can be displayed with the date and time if events logging is enabled in the door component.
With its wide range of functions, Winkhaus blueSmart reliably secures the buildings as well as the technology stored in them and also supports the work of the firefighters. Full deployment for those who fight to save others!