Volume 34, Number 8, August 1999

The New Hardware Horizon

A variety of new products will shape tomorrow’s hardware industry

by David Schwartz

The glass shop owner, much like all business owners, must continuously try to expand his or her horizon. It may not be a case of grow or die, but it is certainly a case of don’t grow and don’t flourish.
Today, if your world only includes the traditional hardware types such as locks, closers, hinges, exit devices and strikes, it will behoove you to expand your horizon by getting a head start on the future. Tomorrow’s hardware includes smart cards, multiplexers, electronic access control systems, motion detectors, video controls, shear locks and much more. If you’re intimidated by all this, you’re taking a short-sighted view of things. A door of new potential will open when you expand your product line and knowledge. You will provide customers with more extensive compatibility, build stronger relationships and increase sales immeasurably. The difference between capitalizing on offering more to customers, or not, is the difference between growth or the status quo.

Broaden Your Horizons
In a recent education class on the subject of new developments in access control hardware, I advised glass retailers to, “Spread your wings by offering logical and complimentary products. You amplify your sales and your significance as a supplier and build a more permanent foundation for your own company’s growth.”
Consider just a few of the possibilities:
•     Motion detectors;
•     Expansion of types of exit devices for full glass or partial glass doors;
•     Keypad access systems;
•     Electrification of existing openings;
•     Diversity of entry control devices;
•     De-handing and re-handing of doors; and
•     CCTV systems.

What’s New, What’s Here and What’s Coming
Keypad Access Systems—For all environments where maximum anti-element reliability is required.
Magnetic Exit Control Locks with Time Delay—For use where egress delay is required to counteract unauthorized use of remote emergency exits.
Programmable Pushbutton Lock Sets—Are stand alone or powered by batteries. Access codes can be programmed right at the lock. Security levels are changeable in seconds.
Shear Locks—Magnetic mortise locks that provide 3,000 pounds of holding force.
Motion Detectors—An expanding area whose scope and importance increase daily.
Proximity Card Readers—Small and thin, these have multiple read rangers and are compatible to standard access control systems.
Intercom Systems—Are more and more important. For maximum assurance use video systems.
Exit Devices with Latch Retraction Option—Permit remote unlocking and the ability to flip a switch or swipe a card to retract latches and change the exit door to push-pull.
And that’s just the beginning. Where the end is, no one knows. But, there are unquestionably major changes on the hardware horizon.

Your Distributor Can Help
It used to be you called your distributor to place an order, which was sometimes in stock and sometimes wasn’t. Distributors functioned as suppliers, nothing more, and were just a voice on the other end of the phone. How times have changed! Distributors, such as our company, are computerized, maintain huge, in-depth inventories, deliver overnight and have an on-premises technical advisory group that will answer questions ranging from ANSI functions and audit trails to proximity readers and sophisticated locking systems. A good distributor can be your partner in getting ready for the new millennium. In addition, hardware, life safety and security products can be a ticket for a successful year 2000 and on.   

David Schwartz is vice president of Security Lock Distributors, based in Needham Heights, MA.


Copyright 1999 Key Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.