M&C’s fully modular cylinders – what are the benefits for locksmiths?
by Nigel Tolley, M&C UK Technical Lead
We’ve all been there – your customer wants some new euro cylinders, so you explain to them the risks of snapping and bumping, and upsell them to a high security cylinder. But of course, no-one can afford to carry enough variations of different sizes to get high security cylinders exactly correct on the first go. Most of us take the measurements, order from the wholesaler and then return another day to complete the job. This is especially true if the job involves the nice upsell of ‘wouldn’t it be nice if all of your locks worked on the same key?’ After all, no-one wants to do repinning on site, certainly not for 5 high security cylinders.
The M&C range neatly sidesteps this pitfall by allowing you to carry a range of high security cylinders in the most compact yet flexible format
imaginable. Using the build-it-yourself Modulock system, you can create on-site, in under 5 minutes, a pair of keyed alike thumbturn cylinders of any length, from any other regular M&C euro cylinder you have in stock. Or by selecting the correct box of pre-keyed alike cylinder heads (1 through 5 double euros, with extra keys included!) you can make multiple cylinders to the correct length on site, on the first visit, in 5 minutes, saving you time, fuel and money.
So how does it work?
The obvious answer is to come and try it for yourself at Lockexpo on stand B16! If you can’t make it, though, rest assured it’s not that hard to figure out. Even Mick managed it without any hints: Tried and Tested – Tried and Tested A Bit More
Using an extensive range of different sized inserts and highly snap resistant steel support bars, the flexibility of the system is unparalleled. For instance you can key one end of the cylinder to a completely different lock to the other end of the lock – even to the extent that you could have a dimple key working one end, and a regular(ish!) key working the other. Yes, a traditional pin tumbler key on one end and a high security multi element dimple lock with sliders on the other, in a different finish! All cylinders come with a emergency function clutch to prevent lockouts from the key being left in the other side, and in a bizarre length like 45/120. Imagine being able to do all this, on your first visit!
Yes, but how does it actually work?
Each of the cylinders comes preassembled as a 32/32 double euro and so, with a few tools that are supplied in the kit, you can remove the retaining screws from the base which allows you to drive out the retaining pins and disassemble the lock without ever touching the barrel itself. Next you select the parts required for the length needed, and then assemble each end with a single screw through the length of it, which locks the whole stack into place. The two ends are then connected to the Puma steel snap resistant bar with the cam in the middle, and aligned. The pins are driven home and finally the two hex head screws are replaced. All that remains now is to check the cylinder for smooth operation and install it in the door.
Other options include, as mentioned, the thumbturns (which again can be any length) and single sided cylinders, which use the same resizing system and parts. Rim cylinders and screw-in cylinders are also available, with new formats coming out for the UK market such as oval and round faced “bullet” locks for roller shutters, and an extra short 3* cylinder for our 44mm wooden doors, which will protrude just 1.5mm each side, is in development.
Job done in just a few minutes, and you only need to carry a fraction of the stuff. It’s a huge weight saving, and a major time saving.
Obviously the range of options and possibilities for master keyed suites and large systems is vast.
The Matrix features a patented keyway, as well as an undercut that prevents Easi Entry type machines from copying them, plus the blanks being restricted to locksmiths by the pre-cut snake. With the main pins and the snake, there are plenty of differs for regular security – 3.5 million – but it isn’t recommended for other than keyed-alike systems. Extra keys can be cut on any regular cylinder key machine though, again making life easy for the locksmith on site, as the snake is pre-cut.
For a strong masterkeyed system to be any use, the possibility of someone having an unauthorised key must be kept to a minimum, and the number of key differs must be as high as possible.
The Condor dimple key system has over 5 million differs, meaning even large and complicated masterkeyed systems can be accommodated. The keyway is both patented and trademarked, and also cannot be copied by the Easi Entry type machines. Blanks can be supplied only to the authorised locksmith and these are also pre-cut with the snake for the system, so that even other locksmiths cannot cut unauthorised keys. Certainly it prevents students walking into Timpsons for a bump key! (which couldn’t work anyway, due to the sliders).
Should an even higher level of security be required, the new Move, with a patented key and interactive element as well as the pin and slider system, offers an even higher level of key control.
Nigel Tolley is M&C’s UK Technical Lead. Talk to him on stand B16 at Lockexpo on the 2nd and 3rd of March, or visit the M&C website.