Enclosures

EMKA Smart lock management for SICHERT outdoor cabinets

12th May 2022
Kiera Sowery

SICHERT is a company that produces outdoor and multifunctional enclosures as part of a secure system for complex infrastructures.

They focus on development of intelligent enclosures that are individually tailored to their customers, and are specialists for Serving Area Interface (SAI) cabinets. That is to say multifunctional cabinets (MFC), pop systems and fibre optic network distributors. One focus is on establishing future-oriented market trends such as the construction of fibre optic, 5G and LoRa networks for the integration of future smart cities.

To achieve proper access control, SICHERT and EMKA have combined their know-how - resulting from many years of good cooperation between these two partners. Fundamental to the development was considering how to combine EMKA’s locking technology with SICHERT enclosures to increase the security of the outdoor enclosures without affecting the convenient operation “look & feel”.

The result of this development was KeyLoS, short for KeyLocation System, which allows the enclosure to be locked mechanically without a physical key. It is an electronic access system consisting of three components and the enclosure: Hub, electronic swinghandle and power bank. Since the FCC series are purely passive fibre optic network distributors, inductive charging is particularly important here.

These systems are referred to as fibre to the home (FTTH). The aim is to ensure fast data rates for consumers and businesses in the long term. Fast internet and interference-free telephony: ensuring this is again the work of outdoor switch cabinets or multifunctional cabinets. The physical infrastructure required for connection of companies and households to the fibre optic network consists of a digital network of nodes. More precisely, key locations such as data centres, PoPs and outdoor enclosures in the field. These enclosures are part of a vital infrastructure: their network covers telecommunications – telephone, internet and TV for individual households – in large areas.

With its FCC system family, SICHERT addresses the expansion of FTTH networks. The company has developed six housing sizes for pre-assembled fibre optic network distributors: a uniform series for any expansion with just one system. Having thus created the standard for network distributors, the company has now added the KeyLoS solution to the system family. KeyLoS is a stand-alone product that can be used in all types of enclosures - including infrastructures such as server cabinets, for which EMKA also manufactures smart handles.

The idea behind KeyLoS emerged from a fundamental problem: ­because the maintenance of distribution cabinets depends heavily on their security which includes dangers such as vandalism and damage through accidents, thunderstorms or floods. The management of the associated physical keys is of crucial importance. This is complicated for staff as well as for service providers and causes problems time and again. Monitoring the enclosures does not occur and represents a massive security problem for the critical infrastructure. These manual systems are very labour-intensive and costly and can be a significant challenge for the company.

The KeyLoS HUB provides the connection to the management software. Access rights are managed centrally in these systems, locations are monitored, and all activities at the enclosure are registered and reported. In addition, administrators can issue and revoke keys in real-time. The enclosure is accessed via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE 4.0). The app is used to request keys and to open and lock them digitally.

The responsible employee can monitor the status of all cabinets via real-time monitoring, manage central access rights, create all locations, monitor these systems, and receive an immediate notification of activities at the cabinet. Keys are also issued and revoked in real-time. Another highlight: as the power supply for passive locations is induction-based from the outside, there is no need for a battery in the enclosure that has to be maintained and thus no physical key to open the enclosure when the battery is empty. In addition, as a white label solution, the system is open to other applications.

The result is an outdoor lock management system with huge potential. Thomas Fila, CEO of SICHERT, explained: “In the future, SICHERT would like to use KeyLoS as a universal management system to drive forward topics such as sensor technology and the Internet of Things – for example, for air quality measurement.” Andy Billingham, MD EMKA (UK) agreed: “We are always delighted to partner on large scale projects such as this wherever they are”.

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