9 Jul 2012

Installers Ninehundred Communications are securing The Sheffield College with door controllers and software from Access Control Technology (ACT).

This is a multi-site campus with a student population of 23,000 spread over three locations with courses including entry level and higher academic education as well as vocational study.

The ACTpro 3000 controllers have been installed on more than 150 doors, primarily in building entrances. ACT has not only shown their open-system credentials by integrating with third-party readers from CardPOS Europe, but has also customised the ACTWin pro software to function alongside the college's enrolment system.

ACT's developers created a synchronisation tool which has facilitated an XML drop by which the college enrolment database populates ACTWin pro without any re-keying or risk of duplication. Even a conservative estimate indicates there has been a saving of 23 man days per year which would otherwise have been spent on data entry.

Installation of the ACT door controllers is ongoing and the units will be used extensively at the newest location, the £60m Sheffield City College supported by funding from the Learning and Skills Council. The new building, which features a striking seven-storey tower and glass atrium, has more than 50 teaching rooms including training hair and beauty salons, science laboratories, a catering wing and restaurant for the public, student refectory and a learning resource centre The building will be completed in September 2010 and has been praised for green energy usage based on solar panels and wind turbines.

Mark Jackson of Ninehundred Communications said: "Educational establishments frequently have a large flow of enrolment details in a short period, with even students who are simply progressing to the next year needing to be re-registered. ACT proved responsive with business rules, bespoke data mapping and programming that was tailored for this application. The solution was a collaborative process between all the stakeholders and has resulted in accuracy and traceability."

Students with impaired mobility are able to activate the door controllers through proximity scanning of their cards at turnstiles. The project is IP-addressable throughout and Ninehundred Communications has also installed networked CCTV, the cameras being a mixture of static and dome units from Dedicated Micros and Eneo. There is a dedicated 24-hour CCTV monitoring centre at Hillsborough College to the north of Sheffield city centre. Like all crucial site areas, this is fitted with the ACT door controllers.

The ACTpro 3000 two-door controllers used here are expandable to 16 doors using ACTpro door stations. The units are networkable to 2,000 doors and can be used with ‘Clock & Data' and ‘Weigand' format readers.