Access Control: The Human Interface

Part 2 of a 3-part series on Electronic Access Solutions

R4 Electromechnical LatchSo you’ve chosen the appropriate electromechanical lock or latch (EML) for your application. As we discussed before, your selection will dictate the ultimate design of the end product. As the heart of any system, the EML is critical to the overall quality of any Electronic System.

That brings us to the next step in the process: choosing an access control device to suit your application’s needs. Today’s marketplace offers a wide variety of devices— from simple standalone keypads to RF remote control systems. As the human interface piece of a complete Electronic Access Solution, the access control device holds great importance in both its benefits and styling.  It reduces costs associated with mechanical key distribution, tracking and replacement issues. It streamlines access control. And it provides the versatility of an electronic interface.

A self-contained solution, such as a keypad, can offer basic plug-and-play access control without the need for software or network administration. Users have the convenience of not having to carry a physical key or device, the ability to manage and monitor unique user access codes, and the flexibility to change codes without physically distributing new keys or access devices. Proximity based and remote RF control systems are wireless solutions that can simplify security for both large and small organizations. They offer hands-free convenience and the ability to open locks and latches without physical contact.

Southco’s latest access control option is the electronic key. This little device if especially useful with applications that feature many users with differing access privileges across a large number of enclosures. If you haven’t seen one before, it looks a lot like the key fob you probably use to unlock your car. It fits snugly in your hand, is easy to program and provides simple key code management without the need to stock multiple key codes.  Just press it against the remote sensor and the EML will open.  (We have a few demo panels of the electronic key system in the office and I have to admit…they are pretty fun to play with. Unfortunately this can be annoying to the EML design engineers so they deactivated my key to the demo panels!)

Whatever the need, there’s an access control solution suited to our application.

To share your thoughts on Access Control or learn more about Southco’s offerings, email us or visit our site at

Coming Next: Part 3—Remote Monitoring Solutions

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