Willmott Dixon employs over 25,000 people and is a major UK contractor. In January 2010, they decided to specify a new biometric turnstile access control system on-site at one of their most important projects, the Beverley Tollesby School in Middlesbrough. They decided on a biometric system because of problems they had encountered in the past with proximity card and pin code systems that could be easily lost, stolen or corrupted.
The Beverley Tollesby School is a modern district school being constructed by Willmott Dixon for children with autistic and behavioural needs. The school is part of the government’s Schools for the Future programme or SF1 as it is commonly known.
Vanguard Security Services of Yorkshire tendered successfully for the installation of the biometric turnstile and other security services for the multi-million pound project. They decided to specify the ievo biometric reader because of its reliability as well as its use of a multispectral imaging fingerprint sensor which has been proved to solve the problems found in other biometric systems.
The reader is able to scan through levels of dirt, dust, high ambient light, water and even some types of latex gloves – it also proved ideal for contractors on-site who often had poor fingerprints through damage and dirt. The reader is fully IP rated and has a robust, user friendly design that made it easy for staff to use on-site, and integrated seamlessly with the Paxton Net2 ACU and software that both Willmott Dixon and Vanguard already used, making it the obvious choice.
It was estimated that the system would have up to 800 registered users and be on-site for a total of 86 weeks before being moved to another Willmott Dixon site. Site Secretary, Sue Robinson controlled the entire system from a single PC on-site.
Using the System
The set up of the biometric system on-site was a double turnstile located in a cabin at the site entrance with ievo ultimate readers on both sides. Construction staff simply scanned a finger in order to proceed if access was granted, this was recorded in real-time on the existing Net2 software and used later in administration.
“Being able to monitor when staff are arriving and leaving the site was really useful, particularly for sub-contracted workers. We could see which company has been on-site, for how long and of which trades. This ensures correct pay rates are used and that any disputes are quickly resolved because biometric evidence is irrefutable. We also used the anti-pass back facility in the software which means that the system would not allow personnel to scan off-site unless they have scanned on and vice versa. This is critical for health and safety because we knew exactly who was on-site and when we ran fire drills we compared the software report to the actual people on-site and they were always 100% accurate.” Sue Robinson, Site Secretary, Willmott Dixon
Best in Class
The ievo ultimate reader is much smaller than competitor products which often have large LED displays. Research has shown that the screens on access control equipment are often targeted by vandals – instead, ievo readers use a unique, intuitive LED and audio system to alert users to the reader’s state. For example, a green light and audible beep indicates that the user is authorised and has been granted access.
The smaller size of the ievo reader means that it can be installed in tight spaces such as turnstile column supports and other areas that would be impossible for its larger competitors. Unlike our readers, these competitors are not IP rated, so often need to be located within IP rated enclosures which need even more space. Another benefit is that the access control board, which determines who is granted access, is located away from the reader, so that in the unlikely event that a would-be intruder vandalised the reader from its mounting, access would still not be granted – which is not the case with other biometric readers – making the ievo reader by far the best in its class in terms of security.