Solve The Problem: Access Control A Forklift?

Here's a design problem for you. Describe how you'd respond to a request to integrate a card reader into a forktruck. The purpose of this integration is so individual operators can be logged as using specific machines at specific times. In order to keep reporting simple and costs down, you customer has asked if they can use their existing networked Access Control system.

This integration will not replace ignition keys, but the forklift should not be operable until the operator has scanned a badge to 'login' to the forklift.

The enduser would prefer to NOT use keypads, as PINs can be shared, and the reader is open to any combination of 125 MHz, 13.56 MHz, or 'smartcard' technology. Assume that you have WiFi in all areas the lift will be used so any truck mounted devices can talk to the 'access control head end'.

How would you solve this application problem?

Not expert in Access control but...

Get network ready reader with relay outputs plus IP radio

1.present card (data will be transmitted to "server" to get logged)

2.relay will "activate" ignition" or whatever

Just talking about concept

Am I on right track ? :)

There are systems out there that were made specifically for that application that work with standard access credentials: prox, smart. Simple search on the web.

Something like this? I came across this today from a company called Cypress Solutions:

This is from the company's "How it Works" brochure:

are we getting warmer?

That's a good find, but the solution uses a platform outside of the Access Control platform. Granted, it may use the same credentials, but everything else is separate from the existing platform.

Has anyone ever done it within an access platform? Alex has the right general idea, but any "I've done that before" experience?

Would they consider securing the keys to the forklifts in an access controlled key container (like keytel) on their network? That way you would meet the requirements of keeping the costs down and good reporting if thats that is the primary driver.

Excuse any typos, this hotel room is freezing!

Now I only have experience with Keyscan Access Control, so for my answer, I will assume the current networked Access Control System is a Keyscan system. Keyscan has four panel types (not including elevator controller) a single door, a two door, a four door and an eight door panel. Each panel cabe individually networked, or looped together with one panel have the network connection. The panels then communicate to a server for logging purposes, but keep minimal information to operate within the panel itself.

My solution to sugest, would be to place a single door controller (CA150, 7" x 7.5" x 1.75", requiring 12vDC input) and a wireless network bridge device, with ethernet input (sorry I can't think of the proper terminiology) Mount the card reader (Standard prox or smart card, your choice) and wire it into the panel. Wire the relay so it interupts the inginition, When active, ingition can be started. The panel communicated to the server via the wireless network bridge, over exiting wifi.

The relay can be set two ways, as a toggle, where you would have to swipe on, and then swip off. Or on a timer. Of course I don't have a copy of the software handy, I can't remember the maximum time, which could be the issue.

As I type this out, I realize it's not the most ideal set up, but one that I believe could function. The issue mostly being the time. Now the onboard relay could trigger a second timer relay that could keep it running longer then the software may allow.

How about this from ICT? The PRT-CTRL-DIN-1D is a 1-door IP controller that has an on-board relay for lock control. Pass the ignition wire through the relay and use one of ICT's RS-485 prox readers (many to choose from) installed in the cabin. These readers can accept a variety of card formats including HID 125 KHz or 13.56 GHz Mifare or DESFire if you want data-on-card capability and better card security. The readers are fully potted in epoxy (waterproof) and are rated to -40 degrees.

The 1-door IP controller is powered by 12 VDC so it could be powered by the lift's battery or through a separate onboard 12 VDC battery that you would install. The controller is DIN-RAIL mounted and is very small (3.07 x 3.54 x 2.36") and very light- it can be mounted inside a NEMA box to protect it from dust/water.

The only consideration would be getting the wired IP network of the controller converted to WIFI to get the events out of the controller (but the controller will function completely stand-alone when programmed, and will keep up to 50,000 events in its buffer). When connected to the network, it becomes a controller that is part of a larger enterprise-class Protégé GX networked system (unlimted controllers/cards/schedules/access levels).

I will have to dig for the manufacturer name for you but I ran into a very similar request about a year ago and nothing came out of it just yet. The difference was that we were not inhibiting the use of the lift by anyone, but we were identifying who was on the lift and since the site has many internal gates, the credential was required to move thoughout the facility. The operator would take his credential and insert it into an active credential on the lift. That would allow for both long read range (for the gates) and ID the lift itself. The access platform would report both the lift number and the credential holder. I believe all of this was done through Wiegand without any other controllers (assuming you access platform supports Wiegand).

It does not sound like it is the same thing you are looiking for, but maybe if I come up with the manufacturer they may have a slightly different otion to control access on the forklift.

remove the ignition switch - use a relay of necessary type to start/stop the engine with card presentation (present once to start and twice to stop) this covers and ties the duration of use to a specific user, simply utilize wireless reader/controller or one of the available POE readers with controllers built in and simply hook it to an AP on the forklift to trigger necessary relay setup - there are POE readers/controllers from HID that will work in most any access system and there are small 12v or POE controllers that can be hooked to any reader & wireless AP right on the forklift that will work with most any access system...

Assuming that they are using one of the 26 access system that use the Mercury hardware plateform they could get a wifi reciever such as Netgear WNCE2001 (or Similar) and connect it to a EP1501 or MR51e.

These panels have a onboard ethernet and buitl in reader and door control relays (whcih in this instance would control the ignition to the lift).

Power for the controler and wifi reciever would come from the lift and all hardware would be selfcontained on the lift. This controler would then be added to the exsisting access system as a stard reader with all the programing abilaties of a standard door.

If the system is not using the Mercury Hardware then the same configuaration can be made if it supports the HID edge devices in place of the EP1501 or MR51e (model # may vary between access systems but these are the original Mercury model #s).

If the access control system does not suport either type of hardware it is time to ditch it and joing the 21 century as any acccess control platform worth buying today will have one of these two options.

If this does happen, please let us know. We have heard of a lot of oddball things secured by our equipment...for example a jewelry store using elevator select access for card access to drawers of diamonds.

One problem no one has discussed here....upgrades: Every time you upgrade the system, it will be a "forklift upgrade".

This is the pun of the year. And it's only January. February.

Well done.

I'm on cold meds so this may not be saying much, but I laughed at that joke way too loudly. Well played.

A member mentioned TruckStop Express from Cansec claims to do something like this.

Disclaimer: I work for Paxton

Based on the assumption that the vehicle needs to be driven around a wide area and that they key would periodically need to be removed and then engaged again, while it's outside of the docking area, how about this?

So, for $344 MSRP you get a 4" x 4" wireless controller, in an 8" x 8" plastic enclosure (the board is wireless). For $440 MSRP it includes the PS (battery is extra) (in a 10" x 12" enclosure), assuming the forklift is normally plugged in, providing daily charging for the controller & reader, with a battery providing 4 to 24 hours (depending on its amperage) of run time. Or, like with vehicle video recorders, provide power to the battery while it's in operation. You might also consider a potted and vandal resistant reader. Each proprietary wireless USB bridge ($168 MSRP) connects with up to 10 Forklifts.

Further, in case the customer has a Milestone system, all the Paxton events are integrated into their event monitor and their relays can be controlled as well having a tagged video record.

Though it is obviously not the same access system as the facility has, it might still make sense, as it's possibly the most pre-packaged wireless choice, and there are likely only a few cardholders that need to be entered.

Wiring from the enclosure to the reader (maybe mount it on the enclosure), power source and ignition will be an issue, regardless of the product you select.

Depending on the customer's needs, you could also adjust the valid-read relay time according to a shift duration, or for mandatory breaks, though that would add a load to the battery (if it's not connected to the vehicle battery).

Thanks for all the responses on an interesting niche design issue!

So was this a real requirement from a real customer or just something to kick around or just curriculum compiling?

Was there an actual solution, or better yet what's your solution Bri, you access control god you?

In this case, it was based off a keyword search that brought someone to the site. It was not a direct question, but an interesting problem.

I have seen the '3rd party' systems in use before, but have never directly tied an existing access system into forklifts. Other industrial machinery for sure, but not prime movers that are mobile. I wanted to see if someone's done this before.

Presenting a niche design problem like this is helpful all away around. Anyone in the future surfing for this type of application problem will see that it is viable with an access control system.

This was just something for you to ponder, Jim.

But, from what little I know about your specific need, it sounds practical and has similarities to a solution I did for Baxter in LA to lock and unlock arrays of remote flow valves. There, we used two 8 door controllers and mounted all the readers on the Nema 4X cabinet doors in the secure area near the valves. The valid reads unlocked the appropriate flow valves to allow different chemicals to be connected and then the tubes\channels to be cleaned. The valve locks were only energized for a limited number of minutes and could not be unlocked unless the door entering this area was sealed and locked and the blue flashing strobe was on, outside the secure area. Also, the operators could not leave the room unless all the valves were connected (fuzzy on some of the operational details here). We didn't secure the rest of the facility there either and duplicated the entry of aobut 10 names in this system. So, it's just another unorthodox application for off the shelf security equipment.

Then there was the British American Tobacco project, where we put a reader on the door of the small opening to the back of their cigarette delivery trucks in Sau Paolo (we actually made a loop of wire around the opening to extend the read range to cover the entire opening), which they correlated the GPS location to the store location, along with the driver's card and a prox tag inside of the pre-packaged box of deliverables for that store. This way, the door only opened at the right locations and only the proper boxes were removed for that store (the box checking was verified at HQ after the shift). The driver took the tag back once inside the store when the box was opened. The vehicle battery was used to power the controller, which was fine for this application, since the conroller had time to wake up and check in before it was needed. Your application requires the unit to be powered\awake from the get-go.

I think we used InfoGraphics for both these projects.

Hmmm.If you could freely insert and turn the key, providing power from the vehicle to the controller battery for a few seconds to wake it up (assuming the data remains in non-volitle memory) but still have the signal to the ignition interrupted before a valid read, then external power is no longer an issue and this is a piece of cake ;).

Assa Abloy has a product called Traka. If you think about it, why put these complex controls in the forklift that need to communicate back to a head end. It is just a giant asset. Why not just modify when a person can have access to the key (or Traka iFob). Traka makes a small electronic device that immobilizes the machine until the valid iFob is inserted. The operator then has to present an iFob and push a button to enable the machine. The iFob (or keys) are controlled in a box. The box will release the specific set of keys based on a number of ways (card reader, biometric, keypads etc….). So the operator has to use a credential to obtain the key (or iFob)... Done.

iFob Forklift Interface

Here's a data-sheet on this solution.

I think Mike's on to something there with the Traka.

The other thought I had is that, as others have noted, site-wide wireless access could be a problem on larger sites, not to mention expesive... so how about a stand-alone reader/controller that can run autonomously on the lift, log the cards/fobs internally, and someone either off-loads them via flash drive (either as necessary, or on a scheduled basis). or a single WAP is positioned in a central parking area, and the logs are uploaded when the lift is in proximity, or parked at night (any programming changes could be downloaded at the same time).

I have no idea if such a thing exists, just throwing the idea out there...