Exclusive: Keeping up to speed

September 24, 2021

Matthew Batson, a Director at Bft Automation, explains why there is a lot to consider when choosing the right gate for a property.

Automated gates remain an increasingly popular security choice in commercial environments, from shopping centres to office blocks – anywhere where full control over access is needed.

There is a lot to consider when deciding which solution is best for any particular site, such as the size, weight and cost of a gate system. Being aware of the latest developments in the market can help security professionals to find the right options to fit their needs.

A faster choice

There are many factors to take into consideration when deciding on whether to use sliding or swing gates. However, as swing gate motors tend to be slower than the speeds achievable for sliding gates, the latter are usually more popular – especially for commercial sites where timing can be among one of the more important factors.

One of the most recent developments in the sliding gates market is the introduction of faster motors which allow for opening and closing at a quicker speed than has previously been achievable. From a security point of view, the ability to allow people and goods in and out of a property at a quicker pace reduces the risk of unauthorised entry while waiting for a gate to close. This is an important consideration in commercial contexts.

Other benefits of a faster motor include reduced waiting times. This can be particularly useful for properties in busy areas where a vehicle could risk blocking traffic while waiting to turn into a site controlled by a slower gate.

Additionally, a faster motor could potentially reduce the risk of an accident from vehicles entering a property at speed. For example, this might happen if someone was making their first visit to a property situated off a fast road in an unfamiliar area.

Beyond these practical considerations, in today’s fast-paced world, people aren’t as used to having to wait for things – and this applies to the time it takes to get in and out of a property. So, security benefits aside, faster motors are likely to be more appealing for premises where convenience is prioritised.

The choice of which of the new faster motors to use will be impacted by a number of factors, including the weight of the gates.

And, as always, it’s important to make sure that any installation complies with safety regulations.

Exposure to the elements

The environment at a particular site may well influence which gate and motor is best to use. For example, will it be situated in an exposed area subject to the elements? A further development in access control technology includes intelligent torque management systems which update the level of torque required to perform the gate’s operation, allowing it to work at the optimum level regardless of weather conditions, temperature or the degree of wear and tear on the device.

Depending on the typical weather conditions experienced at the site and the anticipated frequency of use, it’s worth looking at options that take these factors into account.

Taking control

There are a range of options available for controlling automated gates, from intercom systems which allow the user to vet visitors to remote controls that allow an oncoming driver to open the gates without getting out of the vehicle. There’s even the possibility of using vehicle detection loops that are installed discreetly under tarmac, allowing the presence of vehicles to open the gates and prevent closing while obstructed.

In some scenarios, it is important for particular individuals to have security rights. In which case, there are motors available that come with personalised keys; these are unique and provide an additional level of security.

The right fit

Installation teams often face the challenge of fitting gate motors in confined spaces, potentially making for a time consuming and technically demanding task.

When you only have a small space to work with, simple details can go a long way to helping you. For example, by putting the fastening screws on the front of a motor’s casing, installation and maintenance are easier and more convenient – even in particularly compact areas.

There is a lot to consider when choosing the right gate for a property; working with suppliers that offer more than just a manual means you will have access to advice and support on how new products work in practice and what you need to consider before embarking on an installation.


This article was originally published in the September edition of Security Journal UK. To read your FREE digital copy, visit: https://digital.securityjournaluk.com

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