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Ethernet-Enable Access Control Panels

Companies around the world utilize access control panels to regulate building entrances. Many of these systems were implemented before Ethernet networks were commonplace. They relied on a serial connection to a dial-up telephone line to send data from one point to the next. Now, companies rely more and more on the Ethernet to manage real-time security data, but replacing legacy equipment with network-enabled access control panels can be a costly endeavor, both for the end user and the manufacturer.

An access control panel manufacturer wanted to find an easy way to add network connectivity to its products, without going through a complete re-design.They found a serial-to-Ethernet product and began shipping it to their customers. Feedback was not good. Installation was difficult and customers complained about the external power supply, or “wall wart”, that the device required. The manufacturer immediately began looking for an alternate solution to network-enable its products.

The manufacturer tested the Digi One® SP, a fully customizable device server. The company was impressed with the installation wizard, which enabled them to set up the device in minutes. Unlike the first product, the Digi One SP can draw power directly from the 12-volt access control panel, eliminating the need for the external power supply, thereby eliminating a potential point of failure. Its small form factor enables the Digi One SP to fit inside the control panel enclosure, another key selling feature for the manufacturer. 

Digi not only met this customer’s immediate requirements, but also offered a migration path to an embedded solution with the Digi Connect ME® and Digi Connect® EM solutions. When the time comes to manufacture the next generation access control panel, adding on-board Ethernet functionality will be easy and cost-effective.

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Ethernet-enabling legacy access control panels

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