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Electronic tool cabinet locking for aerospace manufacturers.

Intellikey : 15 May, 2007  (New Product)
Electronic locking system provides access audit trail to tool cabinets containing high value specialist aerospace tools.
Intellikey is supplying its electronic key-based access control systems with full audit trail accountability to Bott for installation into specialised tool drawer cabinets for use by one of the UK's leading aerospace manufacturers.

Bott Ltd is the UK's leading manufacturer and supplier of workplace furniture solutions and is part of a global group of companies. Designed specifically for the manufacturing environment, the tool drawer cabinets are available in a wide variety of sizes in both static and mobile varieties, typically feature 6 or 7 slide-out drawers with a cupboard unit, and provide secure, safe and clean storage for tools and components.

One of Bott's customers is a leading aerospace manufacturer producing a modern family of airliners, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 550 seats. Manufacturing is a trans-national process, structured around key manufacturing units at different sites in Europe, each of which is responsible for producing a complete section of the aircraft for delivery to the final assembly line. In the UK, fully complete and tested wings - equipped with all moving flying surfaces, electrical, hydraulic and fuel systems are manufactured ready for delivery for final assembly.

Mark Sinden, UK Sales Director of Bott Ltd, explains: 'Our tool drawer cabinets are used during the single isle stage one part of the manufacturing process - building spars and ribs for use in the wings. This process uses some highly specialised and extremely expensive calibrated tooling and it is not uncommon for one of our tool drawer cabinets, worth around £1000, to contain tools valued in excess of £200,000.

With this in mind, and although all our tool drawer cabinets are fitted with a single central lock so that all drawers can be secured with one key, we wanted to increase the security of the unit by installing a lock system that offered full traceability. We wanted to be able to input date and time zones to restrict access, for example to normal working hours with weekend and holiday periods blocked, and to be able to issue individual key identities only to authorised users. We also wanted to record any unauthorised attempts at entry into the tool drawers and automatically shut down the lock where this should happen.'

Our search for such a product led us to Intellikey and together we were able to configure a high security system that offered all the elements we wanted plus gave us the flexibility of being battery powered which removed the need for any overnight charging. One key requirement was also that the lock had to be mechanical as our customer had experienced a number of problems with card swipe access systems.'

Bernard Morton, Managing Director of Intellikey Ltd, said: 'Calibration is an important issue in the aircraft industry as well as in other sectors. Bott wanted a mechanical lock but with a key based access control system. The answer was to supply an intelligent key working with our electronic lock and controller which is extremely rugged and not susceptible to strong magnetic fields or other environmental influences that can often incapacitate card based products - as Bott's customer had already discovered.

The key obtains its operating power from the lock, so there are no batteries to wear out.

The key's memory carries the access control and personal identity information for the key holder and the intelligent lock controller consists of a circuit board with a microprocessor and associated circuitry. This miniature computer reads access information from an intelligent key, compares this information with the data programmed into the controller's memory, and determines if the key should be granted access to the tool drawer cabinet. Each controller operates as an independent, stand-alone unit. The controller makes all access control decisions right at the point of access, eliminating the expense of wiring to a central control unit.

The Intellikey key cannot be copied or forged and thanks to its unique AREST® feature will automatically recognise when it is being inserted into the wrong lock and instantly disable itself when used in an unauthorised tool drawer cabinet or refuse access if entry is attempted outside an authorised time, giving Bott and their customer exactly what they wanted for the tooling - total security.'
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