News

A new website for Camlock Systems

The international locking security company Camlock Systems Ltd has launched its new website. The old site has undergone a complete overhaul.

Major new features improve every visitor’s experience, including a new product search function, a simpler way to request CAD files, a design contributing to easier navigation, and the availability of industry or market specific information.

Camlock Systems’ locking security experts work in partnership with customers to supply or to design, develop and manufacture mechanical and electronic locking security using innovative technology.

Camlock develops a range of solutions adapted to different needs. As a result, the new product search function enables visitors to apply multiple filters to narrow the product search and view relevant products. For example, physical attack resistance, pick and manipulation resistance, patent protection and weather resistance may be used among other criteria to refine product requirements.

Once registered, visitors can submit up to four CAD file requests at once helping to evaluate different options quickly and efficiently and visualise their final product better. The new website also enables visitors to get in touch with Camlock’s team of security experts easily.

The enhanced navigation makes it easy for users to find what they are looking for, whether browsing is undertaken from a mobile device or a computer.

Professionals benefit from information specific to their industry or market, which is gathered from Camlock Systems’ long experience of locking security. Camlock’s products are widely used in the self-service industries including vending machines, gaming machines and kiosk terminals, as well as infrastructure and utilities cabinets and enclosures.

To meet the needs of its many overseas customers, Camlock’s website continues to be available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

A key step to more profitable vending

In 2014 the British Transport Police reported an increase in thefts from vending machines of 34% over two years. This trend will have most certainly caused considerable financial losses and inconvenience for the operators concerned.

A former supervisor, Rory Luke, stole a set of keys when leaving Coca-Cola and used these to rob the company’s vending machines on 93 separate occasions before he was caught. This is unsurprising because no physical damage to the machines occurs if the thief holds the right keys.

Understanding what good key management constitutes and how it can be improved should significantly reduce the risks.

In this article, Martin McCaffrey, Technical Director of Camlock Systems Ltd, sets out what you should consider.

 

What key management involves

Good key management involves ensuring that you know how many keys you have, where these are and that these are only in the possession of authorised and trusted users.  Poor key management allows unauthorised users to be in possession of legitimate keys or even worse, to obtain illicit copies. Such copies may be used by the holder or undesirable associates for nefarious purposes, which are relatively difficult to uncover since losses do not involve criminal damage during any unauthorised access.

Wherever goods, cash or personal data is at risk, it is essential to employ robust procedures for recording key procurement, issue, recovery and storage. Using patented locks will prevent keys accumulating in an uncontrolled fashion, including from unauthorised/third party outlets such as High Street key cutters.  This is often augmented by the manufacturers operating a key registration system, in which records are maintained of whom in any particular organisation is entitled to order keys and only after their credentials have been checked rigorously.  Put another way, patented locks ensure that additional keys are only obtained from bona fide suppliers, by legitimate purchasers.
 

Label keys

Labelling of keys and corresponding machines or equipment will keep track of them and can also help to ensure users are only issued with keys to carry out their tasks satisfactorily and then only for the length of time required.  Labelling may take the form of simple alpha-numeric marking, colour coding or perhaps bar coding.  At the more sophisticated end, there are some GPS tracking systems that monitor the location of keys. 

Labelling may be used not only for the keys themselves but also for equipment/door codes, locations and route management.

 

Restrict access

Rather than issuing keys permanently, consider issuing to specific personnel for a restricted duration, to allow access at certain times or for set tasks.  Electronic key control cabinets or mechanical key tracking ‘pegboards’ will allow you to see which keys are in use and by whom.  

 

Record, monitor and control key issue and retrieval

This may be done simply via an in-house manual system, whereby keys are signed in and out, and held in a secure key cabinet.  At the other end of the spectrum are more sophisticated electronic key management or auditing arrangements, which require users to provide correct credentials before any key may be obtained, and will log all details regarding the user involved and the times the keys were removed and returned, similar to an access control system.

 

Obtain keys from departing staff

To avoid the example of Rory Luke repeating itself in your company, be sure to record all keys at the time of purchase. Subsequently, you should track whom each key has been issued to and when he or she returned it, using receipts or electronic auditing, also whether keys have been retrieved from departing staff. Correct disposal and recording of lost, broken or worn out keys will further improve your key management.

 

Make key holders accountable

Making key holders accountable for the keys gives them a stake in their safekeeping. Where keys are in the ongoing care or possession of staff members, regular checks or audits of keys for quantity and condition helps ensure that these are carefully looked after and can draw earlier attention to losses. Where losses occur through negligence, it may be worth considering charging key holders for replacements and even for replacement locks, where a serious or negligent compromise has occurred.

 

Benefits of patented keys

Patented locks and keys can prevent unauthorized duplicate keys being cut or blanks being made. You can test the security level of your keys by taking them to a local key cutting outlet. If they are able to cut a spare copy for you, they will be able to do the same for any other third party. Manufacturers of patented locks often regulate the issue of keys by offering a key registration service, selling registered keys only to the relevant customer. 

 

Benefits of changeable combination locks

These enable you to avoid much of the expense of changing locks if the keys are lost or stolen. Unlike other locks, changeable combination locks may be set to another key combination by using a special change key. Once a new combination is set, the lost or stolen key no longer operates the lock and security is restored immediately.

 

More information

Camlock Systems provides expert advice and a wide range of products developed specifically for the vending industry. Together, these will help to ensure your vending machines continue to do what you purchased them for, to make profits for you. Whether you have experienced theft from your machines or you would like to take preventative action to avoid your machines appearing in the theft statistics, we are here to help you. We can explain more about the benefits of patented locking systems, our online key registration service, electronic locks and bespoke locking solutions. 

High security lock wins US patent

Camlock Systems Inc of Southington, CT, is pleased to announce that a utility patent for its Series 35 range of high security locks, has been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The mechanism of the Series 35 features a unique asymmetrical warded keyway. Seven stainless steel elements (sidebars) provide the locking. That makes it bump proof. The manufacturing tolerances and technology make it virtually pick proof as well. The Series 35 provides a high degree of resistance against physical attack. The hardened steel body and center post offer protection from drilling. An additional hardened roller inside the lock spins freely should a drill bit come into contact with it. All keys are cut by the factory and there are no other key blanks in distribution. The patent virtually eliminates the possibility of thieves gaining access with an unauthorized duplicate key.

The patent, obtained on the 1st July 2014, is now protecting the integrity and cutting edge design of the Series 35, including its locking mechanism and key. It is valid for a period of 20 years and is registered under patent number US 8,763,435 B2.

The lock is available as a ‘Bullet’ type locking insert for T-Handles, and as a cam lock in three different body lengths. It can be supplied ‘keyed alike’, where all locks in one set are made to the same key combination or ‘keyed different’ where each lock in a set is operated by its own individual key. Camlock has already had much success with the lock in vending, kiosk, self-serve, and ATM markets. Each end user receives a registered key code that is exclusive for their operation.

Martin McCaffrey, Technical Director at Camlock Systems and one of the inventors of the new lock, says: “The Series 35 is a unique high security concept which can easily be retro-fitted for upgrade or designed into new equipment. The patent enables us to offer our customers even more peace of mind.”

​More information on the Series 35 can be found on the Series 35 web page.

Superior security for enclosures, cabinets and panels

Mesan, the manufacturer of enclosure and cabinet fixtures, has launched fourteen new ranges of high security swing handles and multi-point locks. At the heart of the products is a lock manufactured by Camlock Systems that features a patented mechanism designed to prevent unauthorized duplicate keys being cut in key cutting outlets.

Mesan believes that it is the first manufacturer to offer high security ranges of enclosure, cabinet and panel fittings. The move is in response to users becoming concerned that the relatively low security lock types sold by nearly all OEMs offer insufficient protection for many indoor and outdoor applications such as 19” rack server cabinets, telecommunications centre enclosures, high value electronics enclosures, highway control cabinets and high value tool cabinets.

The new ranges come in industry-standard body and mounting hole sizes. This makes it easy to upgrade existing applications and requires minimal changes to drawings and specifications. Low profile closures are available, together with both cylindrical and Euro profile locks. Weather resistance to IP65 standard is provided on all the ranges. There is a very wide choice of materials and finishes.

​The new high security locks have excellent resistance to picking and an anti-drill centre for added security. The mechanism offers over 500,000 different key combinations, allowing unique combinations on batches of keyed alike locks. The all-brass lock construction and polished chrome finish provide superb durability.

Tony Dent, Sales Director of Camlock Systems Ltd, says: “These new products combine Mesan’s manufacturing excellence with Camlock’s security expertise and represent a breakthrough in the industry. What’s more, the much greater security comes at marginal additional cost for the OEM.”

Patented lock gets thumbs up from operators

Bulk vending machine operators have nothing but praise for the new high security BV90 lock from Camlock Systems, Inc. The ability to lock and unlock each vending machine lid with a very quick quarter turn of the BV90 key has been especially welcomed.

A typical reaction to this innovative locking system is that of John Honeycutt, Owner of Great Dane Cranes in Clearfield, Utah, which also operates in Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Nevada and part of Oregon. John says: “Originally, I was sceptical about whether it would be worth upgrading the original locks so I tried just a few of Camlock’s new BV90s. I am really impressed with the product and I have now ordered more.”

A patent has just been awarded on the new BV90 range. Commenting on the news, General Manager Dale N Padjen says: "The ingenious design of our BV90 saves bulk vending operators significant time on every service call. It also provides a much higher level of security than the factory fitted locks due to the award-winning 'Octagon' mechanism, hundreds of thousands of possible key combinations, excellent resistance to picking and an anti-drill center. Octagon locks virtually eliminate the problem of thieves using unauthorized duplicate keys to open machines."

The BV90 offers key assignment, which ensures keys are only issued to the relevant customer. Operators that have this free added protection no longer need to worry that other operators may be able to access their machines. Further information can be found here.

All-new lock type from Camlock Systems combines strength and enhanced protection

Camlock Systems Ltd has launched a new generation of locking device known as the
Series 35.

Developed over two years, the all-new mechanism features a revolutionary and unique asymmetrical warded keyway. Seven stainless steel locking elements fasten the central core to the outer body and it has a hardened steel anti-drill centre post. Further protection from drilling is provided by a second hardened roller inside the lock, which spins freely when a drill bit comes into contact with it.

The new mechanism and construction stands up to the ever-increasing threats from criminals. These range from opportunistic crimes using brute force to carefully planned attacks by organised gangs employing more insidious methods such as picking, bumping or unauthorised key duplication.

Initially, the new range comprises three body lengths of camlock in the conventional 19mm x 16mm ‘double D’ profile and a ‘Bullet’ type locking insert.

The Series 35 will afford a simple retro-fit upgrade for most popular styles of specialist locks or can be designed into new equipment where high security and peace of mind is paramount.

Over 750,000 different key combinations are available, allowing an exclusive key combination to be allocated to the user or purchaser. This combination can be registered online with Camlock Systems, to ensure that only authorised personnel can obtain extra keys.

The Series 35 can be supplied ‘keyed to differ’, where each lock in a set is operated by its own individual key, or ‘keyed alike’, which offers the convenience of any key within a set or suite operating any or all of the locks. A wide range of cams is available, allowing the lock to be used on many applications.

Patents have been applied for internationally to protect the lock’s integrity and its cutting edge design.