Integrated Systems

Depot key store

by Mark Rowe

In the west of Sydney, Blacktown City Council has its headquarters in the Civic Center, and a Main Works Depot in the district of Rooty Hill that has council vehicles, heavy machinery and trucks and an operational work site for crews.

To help keep account of use and eliminate the problem of missing or overdue vehicles, machinery and/or building keys, the depot recently began using a key control and asset management product from Morse Watchmans. The KeyWatcher Touch is designed to store physical keys in tamper proof cabinets, only allowing access to keys by those authorised with a verified code, badge, or biometric identification.

Access to the key cabinet and to keys is under the control of depot managers; the automatic tracking provides full accountability for who has which key at any time.

Joe Haddad, Facility Manager at the Main Works Depot, said: “We manage keys for at least 500 vehicles and machines here at the Depot and each of them has at least two to three sets of keys. Without the KeyWatcher Touch automated control and tracking, the job of accurately keeping track of these many keys would be almost impossible.”

An important part of managing the depot is employee productivity; the design of the KeyWatcher Touch aids this by making the process of accessing or returning keys faster and easier for employees. Keys can be returned to any of the several key cabinets on site rather than having to return the key to the cabinet from which it was removed. Biometric identification, by touch screens, voice cues, and status bar guides help when accessing or returning keys to the cabinet. Key reservations mean that staff will have access to a vehicle or machine when needed.

The product automatically tracks the location of each key stored in a key cabinet or, if the key has been removed, the system can determine who has it out. Access to live information via the desktop or mobile lets department managers see which keys are out, if any keys are overdue, and when keys will become overdue. And for immediate information about a key, alert notifications using email or SMS text provides the data.

The depot has network integration of the KeyWatcher Touch with the site’s access control and video system. User access programming including add/modify/delete cardholders and badge data is managed through the manufacturer Inner Range’s Integriti access control system. changes are automatically synchronised. Alarms and transactions are passed to the Integriti system via the depot’s TCP/IP connection.

Joe Haddad added: “The single platform for control of our video surveillance, access and key management streamlines the operation, keeps costs down and helps to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. We are very pleased with this state of the art system and it has more than met our needs both today and, we expect, going forward.”

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