Room entry/exit tracking systems (for want of a sexier title)

I work in lab where we currently have card reader access at entrance/exit and for certain suites within the facility. For accounting reasons, I would like to be able to track employees’ entry and exit into each room. My boss has given me the OK to get quotes on this.

Does anyone have experience with this? Assuming we need to outfit 20 employees with cards and 30 doors with scanners, and purchase the software, etc., what ballpark budget would we be talking? Any companies or products you would recommend? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

No idea on cost, and no experience with this.

However, Honeywell Assset Locator might be something that would work.

Our corporate standard for this is Indala.

The cards themselves are about $60 for a pack of 25, and the readers are around $210 each. For 30 doors, you’re looking at over $6,000 for the hardware, plus about the same amount for installation. (Just a WAG, based on having to run cable to each location and the assumption that you want the cabling hidden.) Probably another $1500-2000 for the computer running it all, plus support. Don’t overlook that as an ongoing cost - our optical turnstiles seem to break down every other month, for example.

If I’m reading your OP correctly, you are saying that you already have a card reader system in place on some of the doors in your facility, but you want to expand it to all of the doors? In that case, it would seem to make sense to go with the existing vendor and just add more card readers. You already have the software and other infrastructure set up, but you just need to expand it. Or am I missing something?

We had them at my warehouse for 3 years with no problems and then we moved to a new warehouse and used a different (new system) for 2 years also with no problems… (and they were working fine when I left the company so I can’t speak for their future)

Gigi - You asked for a reccomendation for a company. I can reccomend an excellent company in the Boston area. You don’t have your location in your profile, but if you want it, E-mail me (in my profile) and I’ll let you know.

The card readers in place now are for security access and central security (which monitors access throughout the larger facility) doesn’t release who goes in and out, except for in case of illegal activity. My purpose would be to be able to count how many hours were spent by how many people in each room, for billing purposes.

So my assumption would be that it is a separate system held in our department.

“Optical turnstiles”, eh? I guess I have something to google. :wink:

Had you considered finding out if “central security” would be willing to charge you money in order to do all the bookeeping, providing you a periodic filtered report for access to your various doors, and installing more card readers on your internal doors, and monitor those as well? I mean it couldn’t hurt to ask and since they have so much infrastructure already in place, they might be competitive, especially when you have to figure in the IT cost of your company maintaining all the hardware itself, hardware which “central security” basically already has set up and working.

I may not be clear on the role of “central security” and its relationship to your department or organization.

I don’t know what your corporate culture is, so I may be off base here. IME this type of thing would not be reliable for that kind of application unless your administrators are anal about enforcement to the point of incurring rebellion among the staff.

For example, two employees leave at the same time for lunch. One of them swipes his card to open the door and holds it for the other person. Or if two people go to enter the room at the same time. Does person A have to slam the door in person B’s face so that B can swipe her own card?

Also, I have worked in many places where a card is required to enter a room/builiding, but never have I seen one required for leaving. Is that even legal under fire regulations? I thought that all exits were required to be unlocked in the event of an emergency evacuation.

FatBaldGuyI’ve worked in places where you had to swipe in and out, but a fire-door bar could be used to go out- it just set off the fire alarm.

But the problems of multiple people going in and out with one swipe totally skews your results. The example mentioned above is only one example. What about:

B enters room at 10am where she meets A.
At 12:00 A & B leave on A’s card.
Both return using A’s card at 2pm.
B leaves at 3pm.

Total time B’s card shows she was in the room? 5 hours, not 3.

There are thousands of combinations that could really mess you up. Are you sure this is a good idea?


Absolutely issues of “tailgating” are a potential pitfall, but most people are used to swiping individually wherever they go. Even if they go out the same open door, they can both swipe at the reader and it will “count”. Currently a requirement of the job is to manually tally your hours per area so I am hoping people are so excited about not having to do that anymore that they will be happy to swipe everywhere they go. :stuck_out_tongue: I can dream…

The rules are to swipe as you leave (so there is an accurate record of who is in the facility in case of illegal activity) but you can open the door without swiping (no fire hazard). Presumably an alarm goes off at security but I have never seen them follow up on such a thing.

The other issue that was brought up is privacy, even in a workplace. My intent would be to put readers only at the doors I cared about, not the rest rooms or something, but apparently it’s still an issue.

I think you can do this with RFID proximity cards. It doesn’t seem like it would be too hard to do, provided you can get the hardware.

A quick search found this site. A search of that site for ‘proximity’ brought up quite a few results.

Preventing tailgating is the primary purpose to optical turnstiles. You badge as you enter, and if it detects two people passing through, it beeps. Most of the ones we have are open - there are no gates or barriers, and they can be used in either direction as there’s a badge reader at each end. The downside is their size - around ten feet long. They work well on either side of a guard station in the lobby, but would be awkward at a door. Also, if someone’s got a rolling briefcase/backpack/suitcase in tow, the optical sensors usually mis-read it as a tailgater.

If you really want tight tailgating control without the paranoia of mantraps, there are turnstiles that look like transit faregates. When I was at the Federal Reserve, they had these. Probably more than you really need, and they’re noisy as the gate opens and closes.

For this application, market the thing to death as a way to make everyone’s life easier as the system will automaticall track their attendance and take care of their time sheets. Tell them that if they don’t badge in and out that their time sheets will not be accurate and they won’t be paid.