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knitter-switch vandal resistant keypads offer reliable and secure access control

Globalisation of enterprise is moving the worlds of commerce and industry continually toward 24/7 operation. Employee and service access even to public buildings is now required all hours of the day. Manned security is now an expensive luxury only major institutions can afford leading to the rapid growth of unmanned secure access systems.

The first and possibly most important point of contact with an unmanned security system, the man-machine-interface (MMI), will in most cases now be a keyboard operated by a secure PIN-number. Key based systems are open to compromise and forgery and replacement of lost keys is costly, possibly also involving subsequent lock changes at all point of access. Exotic fingerprint and retina access systems are still evolving and are not yet environmentally hardened.

Vandal resistant keypads offer a simple access solution with the ability to easily change and renew entry codes as part of a regular security update process or in the event of a security threat. When manufactured from stainless steel they require no additional protection for outdoor use and are rugged enough to resist wilful damage and simple to keep clean. Most types of keypad will be waterproof and use high reliability built-in membrane switch pads with optional degrees of tactile response to suit the application. Today's rugged keypads can offer a lifetime up to 3 million cycles depending on the technology used.

Alpha-numeric and custom symbols may be etched on a stainless steel keypad and coloured to assist use in industrial control applications. Keypads offer square and round buttons which may also be specified with LED backlighting to assist use in low light environments or to signal activation.

For extreme outdoor environments very robust keypads can be manufactured with front panel and keys made from thick stainless steel and sealed up to IP 69K. Offering impact resistance of up to IK08 these keypads are ideal for use in public places and harsh industrial environments. In applications where regular and aggressive cleaning may be required, including medical facilities, chemical and food production it is possible to specify a completely sealed keyboard made from one piece of stainless steel.

Rugged vandal resistant metal keyboards have other uses than fixed secure access. Some indoor and portable applications also offer challenging environments where rugged keypads offer a solution. Examples include input to industrial automation equipment and automotive diagnostic systems. These may have to be operated in high humidity, dust laden areas or by operators wearing gloves which may be soiled or contaminated.

Outdoor information points, industrial computers and data-loggers may require high levels of data input. To provide operators with improved operating comfort 'soft-touch' tactile response keyboards are available without compromising environmental proofing and reliability. This type of keypad will also find uses for public internet access points, ticket and vending machines.

While many applications for rugged man-machine-interfaces will be satisfied with a standard alpha-numeric keyboard many security and industrial control systems may require a custom solution. Using readily available 'building-blocks' custom solutions can usually be created on short lead-times and with low minimum quantities offering designers complete flexibility design and response of their required keypad.

Rugged, vandal resistant keyboards now offer a wider choice of control and data-input options than ever before. The market for secure access, control and data entry continues to grow as risk and sophisticated control of industrial equipment increases and applications develop almost daily in every walk of life; secure access, customer service and help points, ATMs and ticketing machines, control and automation, manufacturing, medical and food production applications all use rugged keypads and the list grows.

knitter-switch offer a vast array of vandal resistant and rugged metal keypad options, Anglia are able to support customers in selecting the best product for each application, we can provide demonstration units, examples of material options and finishes along with access to advice on the key design considerations when specifying the user interface. To book a demonstration or to discuss your requirements in more detail please fill in the form below.




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