Access control system for elevators

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Source: Pedro Martinez, Schaefer GmbH, CAN Newsletter

KeyCard in use

Schaefer offers, in cooperation with Böhnke + Partner, an access control system, which allows an inexpensive and reliable realization of demands in apartment/office buildings, banks, hotels, hospitals, etc. The employed RFID technology is distinguished by high-level data security and state-of-the-art security. The system consists of a reader unit, a lift controller with USB transponder reader, and of transponders. The communication as well as the control of the installation is realized via CANopen. The EKS compact reader unit from Schaefer is an electronic device, which identifies electronic keys (transponders). This device replaces conventional key switches, instead of using transponders for contactless access authorization. Generally, the reader unit does not decide on access, but transfers the data of the identified transponder via CAN to the lift controller, which browses the database and initiates the actions configured for this particular transponder. Each access attempt is optically and acoustically signaled to the user. The EKS reader unit is available in various styles of the range of products and can also be mounted in a vandal-, splash- and dust-proof way on demand. Each key transponder is a unique specimen with a non-recurring and unchangeable identifier. In case a transponder gets lost or is not returned when a tenant is moving out, it can be deleted or can be replaced by a new transponder. The new key is integrated into the system through the control device and the data of the previous transponder is overwritten – thus the costs are lower than those of a conventional steel and sheet locking system. Furthermore, additionally required transponders may be added easily. Transponders are available in four variants: as key ring pendant “Blue Tag”, “Key Tag”, “Strong Tag”, or as ISO card “Key Card”.

The transponder identifiers and the control concepts/ actions must be stored in the lift controller; which is done by a matching USB transponder reader does this. The following actions can be configured through the controller: individual release of the authorized floor buttons, release of all floor buttons (up to eight floors, door selective), time-controlled floor locking and floor release, priority calls, rides for transport of chemical products and beds, rescue ride, and emergency ride. Table 1 shows an access control concept for an apartment/ office building with five floors and floor occupancy.


Etage Door Side A Door Side B
5 Apartment Apartment
4 Apartment Apartment
3 Apartment Dentist
2 Apartment Apartment
1 Apartment Oculist
0 Exit Exit

By default, all floor buttons are locked. The floor buttons for access to the dentist and oculist are only released during their opening hours, which are set in the lift controller, and so that the patients only have access to the relevant floors (1 and 3, door side B), which allows a smooth handling of visitor traffic. The release of the apartment floors, however, is only possible by means of individual transponders held by the respective occupants and if necessary by further authorized persons (e.g. technicians). Occupants’ guests can use the lift by means of a visitor ride function, which is initiated by the occupant. Using the access control system from Schaefer and Böhnke + Partner, almost all access control concepts can be realized – thanks to the intelligent combination of reader unit and lift controller. Response to retroactive modifications of the building profile is effortless, inexpensive and fast.