Increasing Security

According to Mike Austen, national sales manager at Powell Tronics, there is no doubt that biometric access control hardware and software is playing an increasingly important role in the mining sector. The significance of carefully monitoring and managing the access of employees and visitors into mining facilities has resulted in the adoption of biometric readers at general as well as sensitive, high-security entry points and corporate head offices. Biometrics solutions enable mine management to know exactly where each miner is, thereby allowing tracking of individuals. This is a particularly useful tool, not only for security purposes, but also for identifying the location of miners in the event of an underground accident. In addition, with stringent OHS regulations on the mines, biometrics assists in adherence to safety procedures. This includes integration with ERP packages to ensure that pre-validated personnel comply with site-specific medical or operational skills management criteria. Powell Tronics is able to provide an integrated solution that includes the use of Safran Morpho biometric fingerprint readers, with emphasis on the Morpho’s Sigma range and 3D face technology. The Sigma Lite devices have the world’s number one fingerprint technology inside, providing 1:10 000 user identification in 1 second. They are characterised by their high-capacity flexibility and tough design. Specifically designed to equip narrow mounting surfaces, the MorphoAccess SIGMA Lite terminals are IP65 rated and vandal resistant (IK08).
Added to this is the use of Impro access control products such as the IXP400 system and the Impro Portal range of products. Portal’s web-based access technology for multiple users in a mining environment allows for more flexibility, greater functionality and a more cost-effective solution.
Complementing these third-party products is Powell Tronics’ locally developed ATOM time and attendance (T&A) web-based software. The software allows managers to effortlessly monitor shifts and to roster duties. ATOM not only allows for the use of static biometric and RFID terminal points but can also be used on a range of portable biometric devices, which are ideal for managers on the move or dynamic working environments where clocking data needs to be gathered in remote areas that are not supported with networks, Wi-Fi or 3G capabilities.
Contractor and visitor management is often a challenge for very large sites such as on mines but PT-GUEST allows for pre-authorisation of visitors and contractors. A recently added feature is the inclusion of the ability for visitors to read and sign the mine’s rights of entry on a portable device.
“We devise customised solutions that suit each individual client’s application to ensure maximised productivity and containment of costs,” Austen concludes.