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Turnstiles are part and parcel of access control in public transportation and security at public places. But when you have to design a pedestrian entry point for your client, there are a few essential questions you need to ask to advise them on the right turnstile and access control technology. From standard versions to custom-design solutions, there are turnstiles suitable for use in any area, where there is a significant and constant flow of people.

Choosing the right turnstile gate obviously depends on the application environment. Some of the more common applications include access control gates at offices, transport stations, schools, stadiums, and parks etc. If you are a system integrator or security architect and turnstiles are part of your projects, then you will benefit from the information we gathered for this article.

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Turnstile Buying Guide 2020

Application

Ask your client, what level of security is required, if it is just individualisation they need without any authenticating the identity of the person, a manually rotating tripod turnstile or for a more secured entry point like full height turnstile.

But for more advanced security, the turnstile gates can be configured with IP based access control systems and unlocked through biometric or smart card credential authentication. The turnstiles can be integrated with payment systems for ticket validation, immigration, and identification functions.

Ask: Why is the turnstile being installed?

Individualisation or access control with authentication?

Installation environment

Turnstiles suitable for outdoor application come with all-weather protected materials and access control systems enclosed in high protection rated housing etc. Another essential requirement to note is how many people will be using your facility.

Ask: Where will the turnstile be installed?

How many people are expected to enter the gates in an hour? (ask the max number)

Turnstile controls and permissions

The turnstile gates, be it a tripod, swing/slide gates, or full-height turnstiles usually stay locked and operate either one-on-one basis or in free-flow mode. The level of security required determines the type of turnstile gate and access technology used.

More advanced turnstiles are integrated with a biometric, smart card, or proximity card operation. Electronic controls mean locking/unlocking is controlled remotely or by readers. These functionalities can be achieved with add-ons, like a card or biometric readers.

Ask: Does the gate needs to block the entrance?

Card, biometric or automatic operation?

Once you have the answers to the above questions, you would be able to determine if the waist-high, full height or optical turnstiles, or sliding/swing speed gates are the right fit for the project.

Types of turnstiles available

In areas where there is a massive flow of people, indoor tripods and speed gates provide security which allows authorized individuals to pass through quickly and unhindered with a ticket, token or card. Meanwhile, for a higher level of protection, full-height turnstiles are more appropriate. Automatic turnstiles and speed gates are controlled through sensors or biometric identification.

Tripod Turnstiles

Tripod turnstiles are suitable for both indoor and outdoor implementation and offer bidirectional passage. The tripod turnstiles can be easily integrated with any conventional access control system to allow free or controlled access. They mostly allow free exit in case of power failure or an emergency, or as required by the administration systems. They offer safe and practical passage at companies, plazas, factories, schools etc.

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Swing Gate Turnstiles

Swing gates are perfect for both internal and external applications and can be supplied with signs, including ”STOP,” “PASS” and “BLOCKED”. The motorised swing gates are designed for personal, and VIP passages and have an option for a wider passage for wheelchairs.

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Speed Gate Turnstiles

Robust speed gates that are best suited for aesthetically demanding spaces like bank headquarters, plazas and office buildings. The speed gate housing comes with built-in electronics that can be easily integrated with conventional access control systems to manage visitors. The speed gate comes with the plexiglass barriers, which comes in sliding and swinging motion or extra high glasses for safety.

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Full Height Turnstiles

Full Height Turnstiles are suitable for installation both indoors and outdoors at large facilities like stadiums, parks and prisons and ensure high-security and controlled passages at entry points.

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Factors to consider while choosing a turnstile gate

Number of turnstiles (lanes)

One of the most asked questions to ask end-users is how many lanes do they require. Basically, you have to look at the number of authorized occupants (cardholders) or the expected number of users to determine the number of lanes required. At the minimum, there will be two lanes for each direction or one lane with turnstile gate opening in both directions. The British Security Industry Association (BSIA), states that the number of turnstiles should be worked out using the following formula:

Total Installation Capacity (per Minute) = (Building Population x 15%) / 5

Consider 100 people entering a facility in five minutes and you are looking at specifying PERCo ST-01 Speed Gate which handles 60 people/ minute, the minimum number of Speed Gates recommended would be two lanes (100 people / 60ppm = 1.6 lanes). The two lanes can be created by installing two turnstiles side by side or one double sided section in the middle.

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Web/IP Connection

It is vital to check if the turnstile gates are integrable with existing or future third-party access control systems. This allows for an immediate connection with company networks and information systems.

If the customer requires integration with automatic Time & Attendance and payroll accounting, automatic issuing of permanent and temporal access authorization cards and other processes, IP based turnstile gate is a must.

Passage Directions and Throughput rate

Most of the optical turnstiles allow passage in both directions once the user authenticates identity via card reader or biometrics etc.

Turnstile gates can be configured to allow access from both directions depending on the client requirement. Another essential factor to look for is the per-minute throughput rate required per lane. For busy transport hubs, you should choose turnstiles that offer more than 40 people/minute.

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Motor Drive

Most of the automatic speed gate turnstiles, tripods and full-height secure portals come with a motorised drive unit. They are operated with an electromechanical or electric motor.

Inquire about the power consumption and motor capacity to your supplier. The motor offers the one-way or two-way operation, which allows tripods of full height turnstiles to change entry direction as required.

Industry Standards and Warranty

Turnstiles should meet industry standards, minimum industry regulations and safety standards. Check ISO quality standards and IP standards for enclosures and electronic parts.

Most of the swing/slide/tripod gates we offer are from PERCo and comply with ISO 9001:2008 international standard. They also come with five years of manufacturer warranty. While choosing a turnstile gate, make sure you ask your supplier for these certifications and available warranty.

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Wheelchair access (extra width)

While installing turnstile gates it is important to know the required passage width, for example, if you are installing a speed gate at an airport immigration gare, it has to be wider than standard gates to fit the luggage as well. Another important application is for accessibility entrances to hospitals, govt offices and other facilities.

Fail-Safe functionality

An important security feature of turnstile gates, the fail-safe operation provides gate unlocking in case of a fire alarm or if the electricity is down. One should also be mindful of the technical specifications of the turnstiles, anti-panic feature for the turnstiles allows free flow in case of power failure or emergency. For tripod turnstiles, an anti-panic barrier arm automatically drops to offer free passage.

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Mechanical anti-panic feature

The mechanical anti-panic arm in the tripod turnstile allows security personnel or users to lower the foldable arm of a tripod in case of an emergency or power failure. Unlike fail-safe features, the anti-panic operation does not have to be integrated with the fire alarm system.

Built-in Sensors

Through the use of infra-red sensors incorporated within the speed gate turnstile or optionally supplied ones, you can accurately detect a person, when they attempt to follow the person in front.

It enables the glass wings to close swiftly in automatic gates. Access control turnstile gates also use these intelligent sensors that detect when an unauthorised person attempts to enter a building. The sensors are installed at two levels on the turnstile pole.

Aesthetics and accessories

Turnstile is installed considering the surroundings and required level of access control. Creating a bespoke turnstile entrance system is a great way to accentuate the design aspects of the building. Ask your supplier for colour options, bespoke finishing, LED wing, and relay signal option etc.

Turnstile Buyer’s Checklist

You can find a checklist with the most important questions below:

Type Value
Application Why is the turnstile being installed?
Individualisation or access control or authentication?
Installation environment Where will the turnstile be installed?
How many people are expected to enter the gates in an hour?
Turnstile controls and permissions Does the entrance need to block the entrance?
Card, biometric or automatic operation?
Number of turnstiles (lanes) How many lanes are required?
Web/IP Connection What kind of access control is required to the facility – biometric or card & fob reader or barcode?
Wheelchair access (extra width) Will a wheelchair or people with luggage be entering the gate?
Mechanical anti-panic feature and Fail-Safe functionality Can the gate be integrated with fire alarm
Built-in Sensors Do you need to detect and stop the unauthorised entry of the second person?
Aesthetics and accessories Does the supplier provide customisation?

Let Stebilex Systems help you

There is a myriad of solutions types and technologies available in the market when it comes to turnstile gates, so calling upon experts is a really good idea. Stebilex Systems provides the best price on Turnstiles, Speed Gates, Swing Gates, Tripods, Full Height Turnstiles etc in UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt. You can buy Perco Turnstiles and Magnetic Turnstiles ranges at great prices from us. The popular physical security brands Stebilex Systems distribute, include, PERCo, Magnetic, FAAC, Armakontrol, and Hormann. Talk to us today.

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