A major new division

John Crittenden, managing director of Carl F Groupco, explains how markets are opening up for SmartSecure, the company’s Smart Tech electronic locking and access control technology.

Representing the biggest investment ever made by the company, SmartSecure was no leap of faith. The solutions incorporate Fuhr’s multitronic door lock – these have been distributed by Fuhr within Europe and they are already widely adopted in Italy and Germany. Other European countries are following the Smart Tech trend with Carl F Groupco championing roll out of the technology in the UK.

The traditional key is replaced with a range of access control options. ‘SmartTouch’, where entry is made by touching a sensor, was particularly popular with stand visitors at the FIT Show. Access is simple, it is facilitated if an active, moving transponder is within range – it means that you can walk towards your door with your key in your pocket, touch a sensor and the door will automatically unlock. For a stylish, concealed solution, the sensor can also be fitted within a pull handle.   

The SmartSecure brand also includes ‘SmartConnect easy’ an access control package using a smartphone: an intelligent WLAN-based system that provides keyless operation and monitoring. Sensor monitoring of door leaf and bolt position ensures complete peace of mind as locking status can be verified from any location, whenever required.  

Radio-based access control systems are also available including a radio keypad, transponder and fingerprint scanner for keyless biometric access control.

Early interest in SmartSecure in the UK is coming from care homes, residential and housing association organisations, and this is where the first contracts have been won.

The appeal to housing associations comes from the safety and access features afforded by Fuhr’s multitronic locking system. This is a very neat product which, although it can be described as hi-tech, it is by no means complicated.

What we are selling here are solutions. We’re not promoting the Fuhr multitronic per se, we are providing an answer to controlled access. This means that only authorised visitors, such as care staff, can enter. And access is easy; the person in the home doesn’t even need to go to the door.

People reading this might think that all this is great in terms of access and control, but what happens in the event of an emergency escape. That is catered for very efficiently, and very simply, with a door handle over-ride all to EN 179 and EN 1125 emergency and panic escape standards.

And, aside from care home organisations, this solution has individual appeal. If anyone is worried about an elderly relative, SmartSecure will give peace of mind. The door lock automatically throws all locking points and fully secures the door on closing, meaning that the door is safe from opportunist burglars.

Both Carl F Groupco and Fuhr recognise that the potential for Smart Tech is huge and that care homes are just the tip of the iceberg. Around the corner are the ‘Grand Design’ opportunities where, increasingly, people with the aspiration for home improvements are looking for state-of-the-art solutions to advance controls and enhance their door locking technology.

Supporting the company’s promotion of SmartSecure is a permanent stand at the National Self Build and Renovation Centre (NSBRC) in Swindon. The display presents the solutions, and their advantages, to the self-build, renovation and home improvement markets.

The potential for SmartSecure is such that the brand has become a major new division for Carl F Groupco supported by specially commissioned marketing materials including a video, website, literature and showroom at the company’s Peterborough distribution and administration centre.

A dedicated business development manager, Phil Rice, is managing the sales in this growth market, and he is supported by the company’s technical and sales teams, all of whom have been fully trained in the products to provide the answers and support that are needed to support the electronic evolution.


Carl F Groupco Limited
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