Volume 14 | Issue 1 | Year 2011

Kaba Access Control products provide customers a technological guardian at critical entrance points. Its proffered technologies – comprised of advanced electronic and hardware components – satisfy safety and security needs for the military, government, health care, financial and educational institutions, as well as retail, senior living centers and apartment centers – essentially, just about anywhere entrance needs to be controlled.
The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company’s roots date back nearly 150 years, indicates Mark Allen, marketing manager for Kaba Access Control. Today, it’s part of the Kaba Group. Based in Rumlang, Switzerland – and employing more than 8,000 people in more than 60 countries – the company has always focused on security. Roots date back to 1862, when Franz Bauer established a locksmith shop factory in Zurich, Switzerland.

An evolving and expanding enterprise, Kaba bolstered its portfolio and presence first throughout Europe and then in North America. It gained entrance into the U.S. market in 1978, when it established Kaba High Security Locks Corporation in Connecticut. In 2001, Kaba acquired the North American-based Unican Security Systems Ltd., which included Ilco keys and Simplex locks. The pioneering Unican was noted for introducing the first mechanical pushbutton lock in 1964. Later, it engineered various electronic access control products.

From these acquisitions, the parent company established Kaba Access Control, which focused on selling access control products for just about every vertical market segment except for hotels/resorts.

Applications are numerous – doors, parking gates, server cabinets. Depending on needs, the company provides an electronic lock with card access, or a mechanical push button lock, or a controller for an electro-magnetic lock. “For customers who still use keys, we offer Peaks® patented key systems, which involves a tightly controlled key blank,” says Allen. “No one could go to the local hardware store and make a duplicate. But if additional keys are needed, we supply key blanks to a source designated by the end-user for their specific keyway.”

Kaba also offers a variety of electro-mechanical access control solutions that secures an entrance point. Valid credentials – such as a PIN code or ‘smart card’ – are required.

This relates to Kaba’s technologic ken: “Some competitors grasp the electronics manufacturing involved, but they don’t fully understand the door hardware application and the problems involved with doors hanging on hinges, being slammed, doors swelling [humidity] and other issues that affect success in the field over time,” says Allen. “Other companies know how to make the hardware, but they don’t completely grasp the access control application, and the functionality necessary in software and electronic firmware to meet the needs of the enduser,” he adds.

Conversely, Kaba fully understands both elements, underscoring the difference with branded products (E-Plex®, Simplex®, Peaks®, SAFLOK® and ILCO®) produced at its four facilities (Winston-Salem, Rocky Mount, N.C., Montreal, Canada, and Madison Heights, Mich.) Brands have been certified by a third party to meet BHMA (Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association) Commercial Grade 1 standards.

Another Kaba differentiator: the company is the only lock manufacturer that offers an electronic lock – the E-Plex 2000 – that doesn’t require wires or batteries. Each lever turn generates enough power to operate the lock.

The E-Plex line – which ranges from simple programming at the lock to more advanced applications – also includes the patent-pending Lectrobolt that eliminates any wires to or through the door, and the only standalone lock certified by GSA (General Services Administration) to meet the Federal Information Processing Standard-201, which evolved from Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 signed by President Bush following 9-11.

Security products still sell well in a recessionary economy, as organizations seek to carefully guard their assets. Kaba has always been is well positioned to serve. “We have a long history, we’re reliable and we’re credible.”

Indeed, credibility is crucial when one of your customers is the Department of Defense.

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