Mechatronics: Security designs for the future


Mechatronics is integral to the design of new intelligent products for the security industry, and a necessary discipline to move forward from traditional mechanical and adopt new technologies, says Russell Wagstaff, Technical Director of ASSA ABLOY Access Control.

Mechatronics has been described as a latest ‘buzz-word’ for the security industry, providing a trend product to bridge mechanical products with access control systems.

What is Mechatronics?
The concept dates back to 1969, as a simple portmanteau of mechanical and electronics.  It has since extended to be multi-faceted to incorporate control theory, product design manufacturing, software and firmware.  But the ideas have always remained the same.

Mechatronics aims to bring together branches of engineering that are normally considered in isolation, in the hope that resulting design solutions can benefit from the synergy of electrical and mechanical disciplines.

It is here where mechatronics meets the needs of the security industry, to produce products that go beyond the realm of electromechanical.

By incorporating electronic sensors and control into mechanical systems, we can greatly increase product performance and flexibility.  And as the need for functionality in these systems increases, so the reach of mechatronics can expand to cover more security solutions.

Mechatronic design introduces locking concepts that feature built-in intelligence based on computer software, mechanical and engineering design and electronics.

Mechatronics in Product Design
Innovative manufacturers in security, alongside all industries, have increasingly incorporated electronics and software into mechanical products, to deliver innovative features cost effectively.

As competition has intensified and market windows have shortened especially in the continuingly difficult financial climates, mechatronic technologies have become critical to success.

But to achieve maximum benefit from the opportunities in mechatronics, companies need to support business practices that transcend disciplines and transform product development, manufacturing and support.

Key to optimising mechatronic product development is to resolve design and integration issues as early as possible in the product development process by harmonizing mechanical, electrical, software and engineering systems.

And those that are successful, can boost their innovation through the integration of software that creates more distinctive products and enables product line extensions that directly lead to new opportunities, in new markets and new revenue opportunities.

Mechatronics in Security
ASSA ABLOY has embraced the concept of mechatronics, utilising the latest smart technologies to enable a wireless integration of mechanical locks into existing or new access control systems.

Aperio™ has as such been created through a skillful blend of engineering disciplines as a wireless access control solution that seamlessly bridges the gap between conventional mechanical security and access control systems.  Cont/d…

Available in cylinder and escutcheon versions to accommodate the majority of traditional physical security arrangements, the battery-powered Aperio™ devices combine wireless transceiver technology with built-in RFID readers.

At Aperio™’s heart is a short-distance, wireless communication protocol, designed to link with an online electronic access system once a mechanical lock has been Aperio™ enabled.

Aperio™ has been developed as an open solution that is easily integrated into 3rd party access control systems. So, with its evolving connectivity and developments in RFID technology, Aperio™ now has the capability to connect with almost any online access control system in the marketplace.

Features and Benefits
The Aperio™ system takes into account the existing and future needs of the security industry, enabling customers to conveniently increase the number of doors that can be monitored.

Aperio™ is quick and easy to install on both new or existing doors, enabling the doors to communicate with existing access control systems, via a hub platform, essentially instantly changing any ‘ordinary door’ into a ‘smart door’ through use of mechatronics.

For security installers, this means product concepts can be created as components that can integrate instantly into existing software systems to extend an access control unit already in place, retaining existing card credentials to be used on additional doors.

For building owners looking to upgrade their security, this means instead of having to replace an entire system, Aperio™ can be used to add doors to an existing system, and instantly achieve all the benefits of access control.

And for facilities managers and security specialists looking at whole life costings and energy savings, a smart door utilising Aperio™ only uses power once a correct credential is presented.  Cont/d…

As doors are closed for the majority of time, energy can be saved, with any extra cost at the installation stage more than covered by the potential savings in an average year.

Aperio™ is therefore a versatile component element, which can accommodate individual door specifications. By using existing systems in place, rather than adding completely new technology, Aperio™ offers a typical cost savings of up to fifty per cent compared to traditional configurations.

Mechatronics has certainly become more prevalent in the industry, as the need for security, monitoring and more flexibility has increased, alongside a need to product cost effective solutions to suit the new financial landscape.

What ASSA ABLOY Access Control has demonstrated in the development of Aperio™, is the need to focus on defining customers needs and the functionality required for each product component or subsystem.

Only this way has Aperio™ been able to accommodate our OEM partners desire for a product that’s easy to install with different physical security arrangements, and at the same time an end user requirement for a solution providing upward compatibility with the online world, instantly and cost effectively.

This clear positioning of Aperio™, right from the outset design processes, has most recently been recognised at the highest level, winning the Integrated Security Product of the Year at the IFSEC Security Industry awards 2011, an acclaim testament to Aperio™’s development from the ideals of mechatronics.

Aperio™ has been designed to work with a wide range of lockcases and cylinders. To find out more visit

ASSA ABLOY Access Control is a division of ASSA ABLOY, the global leader in door opening solutions, providing a single point of contact for well-known high technology, access control systems for commercial building projects.

ASSA ABLOY Access Control comprises the award-winning Aperio™ technology and is fully supported by the expertise of the new ASSA ABLOY Access Control division, providing technical support and advice, service and after sales care.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Don't miss new updates on your email
Scroll to Top