Intrusion & Access Ring True for Toolmaker Echo

When Echo Inc. sought an integrated access control and intrusion detection solution to match the power and reliability of the tools it has become famous for, the manufacturer rekindled its relationship with a familiar security contractor. Prompted by the addition of a 127,000-square foot warehouse, the project illustrates seamless campus-wide integration.

[IMAGE]12290[/IMAGE]55-Door Access Integration

As an IDenticard Systems dealer, Beliayeu chose the company’s IDentiPass solution to prevent unwanted access into restricted areas. The system also keeps track of whom, when and for how long an employee has been in a certain area on the campus.

One of the solution’s features includes tabbed transaction screens that allow users to select specific information they want to view or print. Another capability is audio wav files that can identify incidents by linking sounds to particular events. Additionally, the software allows users to multitask and set time zones for employees who work at odd hours.

“We chose this system for Echo because it’s extremely robust,” Beliayeu says. “It’s almost military grade, and it’s spec’d for all the government facilities. We had installed the system for some attorney general offices and courthouses here in Illinois, so we knew it would work for Echo.”

With eight interior partitions between the two buildings, Beliayeu and Co. installed proximity readers to roughly 40 doors in the first distribution center and 15 to the second building, guaranteeing that emergency exits remained armed at all times. Because the IDentiPass system integrates with Bosch D9412 G Series control panels, Echo’s 670 employees can arm and disarm certain areas of the facilities using their ID badges, eliminating the need for employees to key in a passcode for access.

Additionally, Hilt and other authorized individuals can change and monitor the status of the control panels using the D1255B vacuum fluorescent display keypads.

“The Bosch system allows us to give addressable points instead of just bulk zones,” Hilt says. “It’s point-defined. It’s telling me that point one, two or three is the problem, and then we can go right to that location and assess it.”

Planning Minimizes Problems

Unfortunately, integrating the IDentiPass solution with Bosch’s control panels was not as easy as Beliayeu had hoped. Because of the layout of the warehouses, LaMarCo installers were not sure whether all pieces of the system would communicate to each other properly.

“It was a little tricky integrating the solutions because they were not made to work with each other,” Beliayeu says. “We had to figure out a way to integrate them. Fortunately, we figured it out for ourselves by going back to the design stage. We had to add some wiring and some special extension modules to make sure the system communicated properly. We also had to readjust the sensitivity of the detectors here and there and program it appropriately.”

Although the integrator solved the problem without assistance from the manufacturers, Mechler says that a Bosch telephone technical support team is available for troubleshooting. Additionally, the manufacturer recently introduced an online tech support program to help installers overcome any obsta

Of course, it also helped that Hilt expected a few hiccups during the project, and as a result, he planned well to avert any major problems. Realizing the old security system in the first warehouse needed to be replaced, he scheduled the job to take place during the weekend. To maintain building security, an onsite security team monitored the area to prevent theft.

“We were able to plan and schedule things accordingly, so when LaMarCo was going to pull wire in a particular area, we would do that when people weren’t around,” Hilt explains.

Addressing Human Error

Since the project’s completion in July 2010 (it started in April 2010), Hilt is pleased with the results. He does note, however, that there was a big learning curve for employees to learn the system. As a result, any problems the company has experienced with the solution have been entirely based on human error.

“It was hard getting employees to understand what is armed and what isn’t,” Hilt says. “But as more people were introduced to it and started to use it, they picked up on it rather quickly.”

Currently, the EST fire alarm system installed on the campus is not integrated with the system, although Echo is looking into that, as well as adding video surveillance in the future.

Satisfied with the finished product, Hilt attributes the majority of the installation’s success on excellent customer service. In a statement taken from LaMarCo’s Web site, Hilt commented:

“The team at LaMarCo … worked relentlessly to develop solutions that met our needs and our budget. Echo has been doing business with LaMarCo since 1999, and one of the reasons for this is because of the high quality of installation workmanship. It has been a great 11 years doing business with the LaMarCo team and I look forward to our next project together!”

Ashley Willis is Associate Editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.


Tagged with: Bosch Features

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