Steve Newman, Codelocks European Sales Manager, answers your questions about the latest addition to the KitLock by Codelocks range – the smart card operated KL1100 RFID.
Codelocks is probably best known for its digital, code operated locks. What prompted you to introduce a smart card operated addition to the range?
Codelocks is always looking to innovate and keep ahead of the curve. The addition of the KL1100 RFID lock allows us to add a whole host of features that just aren’t possible with code operated locks. The locker market is ever-changing, and customers require greater functionality from their locks now. This addition to our range means we can stay ahead of these demands – including the pressing current need for contactless solutions to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
The lock has a very sleek, minimalist look. Was this part of the reason for opting for a card operated version, or was it purely down to functionality?
This is the first KitLock product with a powered latch. The latch unit now houses the battery, so we were able to design a slimmer front plate and really focus on aesthetics as well as functionality.
What are the particular advantages of using card operated locks over digital locks for securing lockers?
The main advantage is the ability to add and delete cards from a PC without the need to go to the lock. Cards can also be made to be day- and time-specific, giving much greater control over locker and cabinet usage. The user doesn’t need to remember a code and, if they lose a card, an administrator can reissue a replacement remotely from their desktop. The smart card also eliminates the need to physically touch the lock, helping to reduce the spread of germs.
The KL1100 RFID operates in two functions – for Private and Public use. Can you give an example of how these two functions might be used in actual situations?
If you’re working in a hot-desk environment in a large open plan office, and you have your own personal locker, Private Function would be the most suitable. If you attend a gym class and want a locker for the duration of your workout or visit a spa and require storage for your personal belongings for the whole day, Public Function is ideal.
How does the KL1100 RFID powered latch feature work in practice and what are the advantages?
With the powered latch there is no need to worry about slamming doors and mistakenly bending cams. This leads to reduced maintenance costs. The latch is sprung, like you’d see on a typical door at home, so there is no need to turn a handle when closing the locker – making it’s easier to operate. If the locker door is fitted with a sprung hinge, the door can also ‘pop’ open when unlocked – leading to a better user experience.
The locks can be managed individually in Standalone Mode, which requires a portable keypad programmer, or remotely in Remote Card Authorisation Mode, which requires Codelocks Desktop Client software and a card reader. What should a facilities manager consider before deciding between the two options?
A lot depends on how many lockers the facilities manager needs to manage. If there are hundreds of lockers distributed throughout a building or estate, the Codelocks Desktop Client software will make it easier to administer customers’ cards. Similarly, a leisure centre that issues multiple day cards may find it easier to handle them using the Desktop Client. For smaller installations, the facilities manager may find it simpler to use the portable keypad to manage the locks.
Can you walk us through some of things that facilities managers can do when managing KL1100 RFID locks in Standalone Mode?
Facilities managers managing locks in Standalone Mode can program locks to open or close at a certain time of day. They would be able to add and delete card users, and gain emergency access to lockers even if the Master Card is lost. They would also be able to create Master and Technician Cards, and switch locks between Private and Public Functions.
RCA Mode allows administrators to manage groups of locks remotely. Can you draw a picture of how this works in practice?
Once a group of locks has been set up, an administrator can manage access to them from a PC. In the office, for example, an administrator can allocate a locker and issue a card to a new employee, from their PC. Replacement cards can be issued in the same way. In a gym, reception staff can issue cards for day guests or longer-term cards for members, all without the need to visit the locker itself. Administrators can also create cards that enable them to block particular users or to audit a lock – all from their desktop.
In RCA Mode it’s possible to manage groups of locks. What sort of changes can an administrator make to the locks in the group?
You can manage multiple groups of locks in RCA Mode, but each group has a maximum of 250 locks. There are multiple functions you can change. The main ones are;
- change the functionality of the group
- change the opening and/or closing time
- change who has access to the locks
- add and delete individual users and issue new Master and Technician Cards.
Are there any extra features or benefits of the KL1100 RFID that you’d like to mention?
One useful money saving feature is the battery level checker. It allows you to see if the batteries need to be changed on individual lockers. Some lockers are used more often than others, so not all locks periodically need new batteries.
What’s next? Can you give us a hint of any new products in the pipeline?
We’re working on a code operated version of the KL1100 with the same slim stylish front plate. We also have a new mechanical lock launching in October which can be flush or surface mounted and can be used to replace existing traditional key operated locks. Plus, we have an exciting new product launch planned early in the New Year.