ACT Docks at Dublin and Cherbourg with Irish Ferries

911 Security Systems have installed door controllers, proximity readers and cards from Access Control Technology (ACT) as part of a marine access control solution with 3,500 users. A unified system is operating internationally across 40 doors, with ferry staff at the ports of Dublin, Republic of Ireland, and Cherbourg, France, using their access control cards in both countries.

The equipment is at buildings run by Irish Ferries, and crew with appropriate access rights can simply present their credentials at the ferry company’s facilities in Ireland and France.

The access control system relies on ACTpro 1030e proximity readers and ACTpro 4000 door controllers. The readers are slim-line (a concern at any transport hub where space is limited) and they support Wiegand/Clock-and-Data output. Crucially, the readers’ IP67 rating offers protection against ingress of water, salt and other contaminants likely to be found at a port.

ACT’s Irish Sales Manager, Grahame Browne, spoke to SecurityNewsDesk and explained that this protection was one of the most important aspects of this installation. He said, “One of the things we are most proud of regarding this installation is the ability of our hard hardware to withstand the harsh coastal environment and continue to function effectively. Being used in such an exposed area could result in intermittent performance, but our readers are built with marine use in mind.”

The harbour terminals are also using ACTpro 4000 two-door controllers that are designed for high-traffic volumes where changes to the cardholder database are a regular occurrence. Networkable up to 4,000 doors via door stations, the ACTpro 4000 can manage up to 60,000 users. These controllers excel in data reading and encoding which allow ACT’s control software to function alongside an organisation’s core personnel/enrolment system.

“This feature is crucial to Irish Ferries,” said Browne, “there are massive numbers of people moving on and off the ferries at any given time, and it is vital that Irish Ferries are able to keep track of who is on and off site. ACT not only provided the ACTpro 4000 two-door controllers, we also established a system that can be completely managed from one central location. From the control centre in Dublin, Irish Ferries can remotely manage and monitor all access control points, even those in Cherbourg, making the control of such high volume traffic hassle free.”

ACT’s access control management software is giving Irish Ferries a system with a hierarchy of access rights for staff members according to job profile. The database allows distinctions to be made between crew responsibilities, areas of onboard and land-based activity as well as basic criteria such as seniority and likely shift patterns. User data and access privileges are recorded on ACTProx Duo Cards, which can be used on a proximity or mag stripe basis.

Browne added, “The ACT system also has fundamental features that enable Irish Ferries to integrate access control with the rest of their security solution. For instance, every time an access card is swiped it is time stamped in the system. This means that whenever necessary, security managers can match up access control records with CCTV footage.”

Paul Keegan, Operations and Sales Manager at 911 Security Systems, said, “Timed zones and role-specific access groups have been set up in both Dublin and Cherbourg with distinctions being made between office areas, workshops and the secure side of the port which includes turnstiles. ACT’s anti-passback measures give additional protection and all the controllers have individual IP addresses.”

He continued, “The upgrade from a previous ACT system has been smooth and in addition to securing the two harbour sites, the end-user can generate reports on staff movements across vast quayside areas as well as the logistics of employee activity in the passenger terminals. There is potential for using these movement reports for time & attendance purposes.”

Dublin-based 911 Security Systems operate in sectors including access control, intruder alarms, CCTV and intercoms. The company is active in areas including education, transport, retail, youth custodial, healthcare and pharmaceuticals with products and services complying to E.N. 50131-1 Standard.

Irish Ferries has operations including passenger and freight routes between Ireland and the United Kingdom (Rosslare to Pembroke and Dublin to Holyhead) as well as the continental route described here, Dublin to Cherbourg, which is served by MS Oscar Wilde, a vessel with a dead weight tonnage of 5,250, length of 166.3 metres and draught of 6.5m. Maximum speed is 26 knots and capacity is 1,440 passengers and 700 cars.


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