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October 2, 2007

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College gets £0.5m RFID access system

Over 30,000 staff and students now use the TCP/IP enabled system to gain access to Waterfront, Doncaster Education City’s latest learning facility.

The system comprises 660 card readers – 102 of which are ‘in and out’ readers – and is linked to 63 local control units. These independent computers control all access within specified zones and feed real time data to 13 communications rooms. This up-to-the-minute information could prove valuable in an emergency, allowing rescuers to quickly locate students and staff.

Installed by BLE Security, the ARX system has been specially configured to allow physically disabled students easy access to the building through 70 automatic doors. Designers said local RFID readers were set up to differentiate between cards and will automatically open doors when a ‘disabled’ card is presented.

The college’s director of IT, Graeme Tizard, said RFID offers other benefits, too.

“Using RFID will eliminate the need for time consuming manual registration by lecturers and also gives us the flexibility to extend the application of a single smart card to cover printing, photocopying and cashless vending.”

ARX runs on the college’s own IT network and is populated with student enrolment data. Abloy claims the ‘plug and play’ system can be linked with a fully-digital, IP-based CCTV system and fully be integrated into a single network.

College staff can also employ ARX’s audit trail facility, which interrogates individual cards and doors in order to see who has gone – and tried to go – where.

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