Automatic Doors and Gates

Security is an important feature for any property. Building owners need to control the entry and exit points of their premises for the peace of mind of its occupants. Mechanized barriers can be used as the first line of defense against intruders.

 Most buildings are now equipped with automatic doors and gates to serve this purpose. Aside from security, the hands-free system also provides convenience and it helps

in keeping the indoor temperature constant, since the doors only open when someone is passing by.

 All automatic doors and automatic gates have sensors to trigger the door panels to slide or swing open. This technology has been around for over half a century. The sensors electronically communicate with auxiliary drive mechanisms, which regulate the motion of the panels or grills. Units can be customized accordingly, and there are a lot of types to choose from.

Automatic Gate

 Types of Sensors

 Before going through the different designs, let’s first talk about the three basic sensors which go with automated access systems.

 When automatic doors were first introduced, they used control mats to detect an approaching individual. These control mats are actually pressure sensors, which are triggered when there is a change in the weight of the areas at the front and back of the portal. The sensors are set at a limit which is below the average human weight. As long as there is significant pressure on the mats, the doors or gates remain open.

 Most contemporary designs, however, use motion detectors. They sense motion with a microwave beam that shoots from an antenna placed above the door. For the doors to open, movement must be perceived from the incoming/outgoing pedestrian. A person who is too slow or standing still may not be detected and can cause the door to remain closed or close abruptly.

 Another type of sensor detects the heat signature of approaching people. These sensors use infrared technology. Infrared is emitted from LEDs mounted on the door and get reflected back by bodies coming within reach.

 A door system may have one or a combination of these different sensors. The decision to employ any of these all comes down to functionality.

 Design Options

 Managing the flow of entry and exit dictates what type of door or gate is best suited. The following designs are commonly used.

 Sliding Doors. These doors allow access for foot traffic going both ways (ingress or egress). A single sliding door has one moveable panel which moves to the side of a fixed panel. Meanwhile, parting sliding doors have two moveable panels; and, as the name implies, they part in the middle to make way for pedestrians. If space is constrained, telescopic sliding doors are ideal. Just like a telescope, the panels slide and get stacked one in front of the other.

 Swinging Doors. This type only opens in one direction, so it either lets a person in or leads him out. It's available in single-leaf or double-leaf panels. A pair of doors may be installed, where one can be used as an entrance and the other as an exit.


ng Doors. These doors take inspiration from origami. The panels fold in on each other, requiring minimal space. Just like sliding doors, they allow single passage for people going in any direction.

 Revolving Doors. If you want to add a bit of character to your building, then consider having revolving doors. These classic portals have at least two to four glass cladded wings, which allow multiple people to enter and exit simultaneously.

 With the technology available today, designs are not only limited to the options mentioned above. Almost anything can be tailor-fitted to the needs and limitations set by the client.

 Integrated Security System

 Automated entry is only one of many elements for maintaining the security of your premises. Many properties also have video surveillance systems and card access control systems in place. All of these, if integrated together, creates a powerful security system that enhances monitoring and control.

 Having a single interface will consolidate and coordinate the various functions and settings of all the systems within the network. Having this will make customization easier and more convenient. Instead of juggling three different systems, you'll only need to take care of one.

 Preventive Maintenance

 Manufacturers and contractors usually provide warranties with their products. The American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers (AADM) provides guidelines on proper maintenance procedures. Annual inspections are recommended to ensure continuous reliable performance of automatic doors and gates. Standard maintenance work includes lubrication and replacement of minor parts. Always make sure that the service is being done by a trained engineer.

 To guarantee the longevity of the doors/gates, the panels should be kept clean and clear of any obstructions that may interfere with the proper functioning of the sensors. If the door is slow to react or suddenly malfunctions, it should not be forcibly opened. Signs and graphics should be provided to orient the users on how to properly access the door.

 Good Investment

 Having automatic doors and gates enhances security and adds a touch of modernity to a property. A discerning owner would recognize this as a worthy investment.


 External Links

Safety Standard for Automatic Security Gates

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