Ready Made Access Control Entrances

By Brian Rhodes, Published Sep 10, 2012, 08:00pm EDT

Some projects only need access control points for a few months, while others cannot tolerate lengthy installation timelines. In the physical access control market, 'temporary' and 'quick to deploy' do not often go hand-in-hand, but a company has designed a product that satifies both. In this note, we examine an unique modular turnstile product and compare it to traditional options.

MAC Overview

MSSI's "MAC - Modular Access Control" units are prefabricated steel structures that contain turnstilles. Thes units are designed to be trucked to a jobsite, unloaded with forktrucks, and quickly made operational within hours. The image below shows the typical design built for all MAC units:

The basic offerings are customized according to the customer's choice of EAC and video surveillance platforms, and a shipped completely configured so that power and data is all that is need to integrate into existing security systems.

  • Truckable: Since the unit shell is a modified shipping container, it is designed to be durable and transportable over roadways with no special permits.
  • Flexible: Designs are available from one to six single/double turnstile units, and include 'guard room' or gate arms.
  • Turnstiles: While Boon Edam and Alvarado turnstiles are commonly used, MSSI will design according to whichever unit customer specifies.
  • Turnkey Project: Quote includes MAC unit, site prep/civil engineering work, Freight, Installations, and electrical hookup on customer's location.
  • Pricing: Starts at $20,000 USD for Single Turnstile (MAC-1) up to $100,000 + for 'triplewide' fully enclosed (V-MAC) units.

The Manufacturer's promotion video gives a good overview of the modular productline and the advantages compared to 'stickbuilt' installations:

Temporary Access Point

This solution is an ideal solution for sites where temporary access control points are needed, like construction sites, or where 'stick building' onsite is costly and subject to strict regulation, like power plants or military sites. The units are designed to be quickly installed/uninstalled as required by site conditions, and the units can be relocated as the phases of a construction project progress.

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Pre-Fabricated/ Pre-Engineered Units

The modular construction provides a novel solution when open gaps in perimeter fences cannot be tolerated for more than a few hours. Multiple turnstile installs often require several days of work, over which time fence gaps may need to be actively guarded with a dedicated security guard. Using a MAC module takes only a few hours to install by comparasion, where as soon as fence is opened a module can be forked or craned into place and no overnight guards are needed.

Especially for integrators or end users who do not specify, engineer, and install turnstiles access points frequently, the MAC products mitgate the risks that unfamiliarity can bring about. The specifier needs only to understand the traffic flow through the turnstiles in a given period, and MSSI will recommend a product for the job. In addition, the company offers a turnstile flow calculator [link no longer available] as a starting point for proposed designs.

In addition, the pre-engineered construction can be approved in advance of install and be ready for immediate use. For sensitive job sites like Miltary bases or power plants, traditional "Stickbuilt" turnstiles may be subject to inspections or qualifications after installation onsite, and may remain out of use , even if fully completed, until approvals are cleared. MSSI's MAC units are fully assembled and can be tested offsite, and only installed when qualified for use.

MSSI Installated, but Integrators Welcome

While MSSI takes ownership of the product installation, since no 'standard' turnstile, access control, or video surveillance products are selected by default, MSSI includes those customer preferences as part of the design process. The company works with a customer's existing security integrator partner as required to build out the units per customer's specification.

Comparison

The $20,000 USD 'base price' of a single turnstile unit (MAC-1) can best be compared to the equivalent 'stick built' project involving the following pieces:

  • Single Station Aluminum Full-Height Turnstile: $6,600 [link no longer available] - $ 10,000
  • EAC Integration (Controller, Readers, Status Lights, Cabling, Licensing): $1,000
  • Site Prep (Fence cuts, dirt work, concrete pad, and general labor): $4,000
  • Installation Labor (2 men, 16 hours each @ $65/hr): $2,080
  • Electrician sub-contract to connect power (1 man, 1 hour @ $125): $125
  • Engineering Drawings and Stamps for Installed Project: $500

The 'Ballpark Pricing' total for the work above is $14,000 - $18,000 and omits potential costs like equipment rental, overnight security guards, and freight costs.

While MAC option will not be such a close price comparison for every turnstile application, it may provide a more efficent and quick means of installing turnstile controlled access points for high-value, miltary, and critical infrastructure projects.

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