Access Control For Door Operators – Different Types & What To Know

Door operators, which automate the opening and closing of doors, are quite complex devices. They require numerous mechanisms, complex configurations, and difficult integration with standard access systems.

Door Operators Objective

Even the simple act of opening and closing doors requires the use of a high-tech device. A swinging or sliding door requires a strong operator that is precise, reliable, and safe.

Electrical operators are often smart devices with mechanical components and intelligent controllers. These controllers must coordinate movement in multiple door directions and sense when to stop to avoid harming users. Various components typically make up most operators, including levers, cylinders, motors, belts, and carriages.

It’s common for a door, frame, and operator to be designed and installed as a single piece. Especially when designed and installed for a specific opening. Each specific type of door will determine the particular operator to be used. 

Common door operators used:

  • Swinging: Door leaf movements are handled by swinging operators. These are mounted on pivots or hinges that open and close the door. (ex. Handicap / wheelchair access doors) These operators have to maintain the following:
    • Imparted Force: The sweeping edge of the door should not apply more than 15 foot pounds of force. Any more can result in hitting individuals or knocking them off balance.
    • Opening Speed: The opening of the door should take 3 seconds. The door should remain open for at least for 5 seconds, and take 5 seconds to close at minimum.
  • Sliders: Sliding operators are commonly used for high-volume openings. Their speed and ability to handle large sections while accommodating heavy traffic makes them very effective. (ex. big box retail or supermarkets)
  • Revolving: In high-end commercial spaces or high-security installations, revolving doors are used to control entry. This is specifically used in spaces where security or the environment is an important factor.

Door Operators & Access Control Integration

Two common methods of integrating operators with access systems readers are:

  • Activate Door Operators: Direct wireless impulses from the system trigger the opening of a door.
  • Activate Push Buttons: Pushing the button activates the access system resulting in the door opening.

Alternatively, an unpowered button can be activated in response to a valid card being read. This is typically used when the door is operational during the day, but controlled by a schedule at night or on the weekends. As a result, push buttons are required, however, direct integration with an operator is not necessary.

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