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Campus security system includes cashless payment

Salto Systems : 09 June, 2009  (Application Story)
The University of Wales Institute, Cardiff is using XS4 access control for students and staff with ID cards which can be used for cashless payments on campus
Campus security system includes cashless payment
The technology behind a new multi-application security solution for the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC) is built on Salto's XS4 proximity system and integrates access control with ID card and cashless payment functionality into a single campus wide security system.

UWIC operates four primary campuses and one residential site within the city of Cardiff, and has in excess of 12,000 students and 1,500 staff. Its five academic schools consists of the renowned Cardiff School of Art & Design; the Cardiff School of Health Sciences - with the recently launched £4.3million research centre; the Cardiff School of Education - one of the leading providers of teacher training in the UK; the Cardiff School of Management - which offers the largest on campus MBA in the UK; and the Cardiff School of Sport which has an international reputation for student sport and research.

It offers an extensive range of programmes that are career focused and which have been designed in conjunction with business and industry and provides education and training opportunities that are accessible, flexible and of the highest quality, and has been independently acclaimed for its high academic standards and for its high level of student satisfaction.

UWIC has a policy of installing appropriate security throughout its campuses that not only supports the securing of areas, but also the provision of greater access to its facilities in a controlled and managed way. To achieve this the University required a full upgrade of its networked and offline magstripe access control system to a modern, state-of-the-art product that would provide networked access control and cashless functions via a single card to all staff and students as well as to a number of external users.

Employing the EU 'Competitive Dialogue' procurement procedure, they carried out a comprehensive tendering and evaluation process to source the best available supplier/solution mix to not only deliver the improved secure environment they wanted, but one which could also seamlessly integrate with their existing Magna Carta Facility Pro Smart Campus system.

The result of this process was the selection of Salto Systems as the most technically advanced product manufacturer/supplier, comprehensively meeting the University's technical specifications, and local Salto Inspired Business Partner Lock-Tech being appointed to carry out the installation, simplifying overheads and arrangements for both end users and system administrators.

Phil Harvey, Lock-Tech's Managing Director, explains the challenges involved: "In the early stages of negotiation for this project, it soon became very clear to us that UWIC knew what they wanted out of an integrated access control system and that we, as a Salto business partner, had the product to meet their needs.

But delivering that product and working with the other system integrators to meet UWIC's expectations was the daunting part, especially as the boundaries of what would be required of the technology would be pushed forward into to new areas.

The principal objective was to replace three existing systems in use across all sites - the magstripe access system, primary system and third party system interface - with a single user card solution to standardise administration processes and make them suitable for use in a multi user application environment.

To achieve the access control element of this requirement, we've installed 450+ Salto Mifare proximity units including XS4 handle sets, and off-line and on-line proximity wall readers. These allow students and staff to use their cards - which also serve as their University ID credentials - to not only gain access to controlled doors, car park barriers and external metal gates but also to use the same cards to make purchases in the catering outlets, vending machines and print studios, as well as for any photocopying and printing requirements.

The combination of the Salto product together with competent installation engineers and clarity of direction from such a professional client ensured we had nothing to worry about. The installation was straightforward and this ensured we delivered the project on time and fully met UWIC's expectations."

Smart, secure and innovative, XS4 provides a totally wire free networked electronic locking solution. It is designed around state-of-the-art electronics that use distributed intelligence to pass information between microprocessors in the electronic handle set and the key card.

This enables XS4 electronic handles to be easily added to almost any existing door, and also allows UWIC to benefit from the many advantages of the Salto Virtual Network (SVN). This enables locks and key cards to be updated remotely and access profiles to be changed rapidly adding real value to the access management of the campus. It also eliminates the physical restrictions of traditional stand alone Electronic Locks and can seamlessly integrate with other third party systems to allow ID cards and locks to be updated, restricted or deleted remotely. The Salto wall readers linked in to the handle sets spread the access control system further into the site whilst still allowing for on-line access provisions where needed.

The 'smart' ID cards build up 'on-card' audit trails through normal use giving the University complete control over access and enabling them to track the movement of students, staff and visitors through both the off-line and on-line parts of the system if required. This enables a complete access profile of each individual to be established and updated as necessary at the updater or 'hot spot' wall readers.

Any ID cards that get lost or stolen can be quickly and simply deleted from the system just by visiting the readers with up-dated cards. The system also greatly reduces the number of visits necessary to off-line doors, since user data is simply transferred on cards by normal use. This eliminates the traditional need to replace locks if security is breached due to the loss or theft of an ID card.

Another highly flexible function of the SVN system is its departmental operation. This allows each faculty across the UWIC campus to manage only their own doors and/or users, while certain other doors and users can be simultaneously shared with other faculties, for example main entrance doors etc. This provides maximum security for each faculty with the convenience and flexibility of shared main access control.

Since installing Salto, UWIC has found the flexibility and capability of the new access control system has given them the opportunity to look at the stand alone applications of other buildings on campus, chiefly its student residences.

David Clarke, Residences Manager UWIC Cyncoed Campus, says: "The Salto electronic access system fitted to our front doors by Lock-Tech has proven to be ideal and fit for purpose. They advised us without prejudice on the type of lock/reader to use; and gave fully comprehensive training on the maintenance of the locks and readers.

Professional at all times, their work has been of a high standard, and in coordination with the door installation team we experienced a very smooth transition from using keys to switching to Mifare access cards. As the provider of the Salto solution, Lock Tech was perfect for the needs of UWIC. Flexible and effortless to work with, they provide UWIC with the highest level of support throughout the year. '

Ramesh Gurdev, Salto Systems UK Sales Manager, concludes: "In its original iteration access control was conceived as a way to help minimise the problem of lost keys but now it has grown into much more. Today customers want a seamless access solution that can fully integrate with a myriad of other systems as well as save them money and increase security. Salto can do all of this and more.

Such has been the success of the installation at UWIC, where our SVN capability means they no longer have to update handle sets and control units every week or so, they now have the ability to remotely manage up to 64,000 users and up to 64,000 doors in a single system if required, securely controlling who has access to what, where and when at all times."
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