Archive for Electronic Locks

Buying Locks On-Line

Buying Locks On-Line is a very easy way to find the correct lock for you needs. However, there may be times that it might be better to call US. Such as if you needed locks for your house or business and you are not able to install these house locks yourself. In most other circumstances buying locks on-line is a very good way to find locks that serve your needs.

Not all On-Line lock stores are created equal. Some will take locks off the shelf and ship them. You can’t order anything special such as locks keyed alike or keyed different. Also, some lock stores are not “Lock People” in other words they really do not know lock security and won’t be able to offer you any real help selecting a lock.

Here are some things to look for when Buying Locks On-Line:

  • Can you call them and speak to a real “Lock Person”?
  • Do they offer all levels of security?
  • Do they offer custom lock assembly?
  • Can they cut the quantity of keys that you need?
  • Do they offer patented lock products?
  • Are they an authorized service center and distributor for major worldwide lock manufacturers?

So, the above statement “All On-Line Lock Stores are not Created Equal” is very true. If you go to a big box store to buy a padlock, you find the padlock shelf and pick out the padlock. You will not get any help as to the security level or special keying options. You will find the same problem with some On-Line Lock stores, no help in selecting the right lock for your application.

When you go to an On-Line Lock Store web site, it should be easy to find the type of lock you are looking for. From there you should find option selections such as; color, shackle length, keyed alike or keyed different, number of keys needed and other options. How many locks do you need? Let’s say you want to order 25 padlocks and want one key to open them all (keyed alike). You also want these padlocks to offer a patented keyway with the keys registered to you (high security). Can you get this from an On-Line Lock Store, yes you can from the right store.

If you are having a problem selecting a lock look for their 800 number, it should be easily found, and call them, you should be able to speak to a lock professional that can help you select the correct lock. If you can’t call them leave that site.

We can provide ALL of the above services, we are “Lock People”

High Security Lock Development The Process

High Security Lock Development can take two years or more.  Most will be patented to protect the key, keyway, and other novel operating features. Once the design of the lock and keys are complete and the initial patent search comes back clean, then these two will proceed together on parallel tracks. We at Locking Systems International has been through this process and succeeded in obtaining U.S. Patents.

High Security Lock Development

On the design track, a few locks and keys are handmade and tested for operation and function. Things that will be tested are how well does the lock hold up to environmental factors, cycle testing, key strength and other operational functions will be tested.  Cycle testing is where the key is inserted into the lock and operated many times.  This will make sure the key and lock will hold up to many real life locking and unlocking. If any breakage or excessive wear is discovered, then changes will be made to either the material or internal parts of the lock.

On the patent track, documentation is sent to the U.S. Patent Office. The application is assigned a patent examiner who will do a search to make sure that this new proposed patent is not like another.  Communications called “Office Actions” are sent to the Company asking questions.  This is where the Company will defend its Novel application with more documents or drawing showing exactly why their Lock and key are different than many other locks with patents. This back-and-forth process can go on for a year or more. When the examiner is satisfied that new lock and keys are a new and novel invention a patent is issued. Therefore, Companies spend a lot of money developing their locks and hire patent attorneys to help them search the patent office and prepare the documentation.

Back on the design track, after testing and modification, our engineers then figure out how to mass produce their new lock and key design. They also look at the different materials that can be used to make the product. This could range from stainless steel to a diecast material. The key material is important, it must work with the lock keeping wear down to a minimum.

Different materials will have an impact on the selling price of the product and must be carefully considered. Proposed pricing usually is discussed at the beginning of the development. A product must be made and sold at a price that the target customer will purchase.

I hope that this article shows just how long and expensive it is to develop a High Security Lock.

For additional informational please contact Locking Systems International.

Contract Lock Manufacturing

So, what is Contract Lock Manufacturing? The simple answer is where a customer has a lock manufacturer build a lock just for them.

It is a lot more complicated than the “Simple Answer”. It usually does not only involve the design of a new lock, but also a locking mechanism. A lot of the time an engineer designs a product for his/her company but fails to design an off the shelf lock into this new product. At this point it is often cheaper to get a manufacturer to design a lock and mechanism, rather than redesigning this new product again.

Most lock manufacturers must have commitment for a large number of locks or high dollar amount. At that point, a contract is usually made between the company and lock manufacturer, such as Locking Systems International. From here the engineering will begin which will end with design samples for fit and function. Then production samples will follow. When the company signs off on the new lock and or mechanism, production will begin.

How it gets from design to production is usually a long process and involves many details such as:

  • Agreement as to the quantity of locks and price.
  • Who pays for any tooling costs?
  • What is a reasonable quantity of design and production samples?
  • Material and security level of these new locks and/or mechanisms.
  • Is there any electronics involved in the new products?
  • Does the new lock and/or mechanisms need to communicate with the new product?
  • Delivery dates of this new lock.
  • Quality control throughout the process.

As you see this process is not an easy one. This is a reason why many large lock manufacturers will not go through this process unless the quantities are extremely large. However, there are many smaller lock manufacturers that specialize in “Contract Lock Manufacturing” One such company is Locking Systems International, they can design these locks and/or mechanism is the United States, then manufacturer in their factories is Asia. There still must be enough quantity to make the process worthwhile for all those involved. However, they can deal with lower quantities as their overhead is usually smaller.

If your company needs a custom solution to your locking and product security, you should first decide what type of locking mechanisms that you need, and the quantity needed. When you have a clear understanding of what you need then start to contact Locking Systems International.

Cam Locks—The Locks You Use Every Day

What are Cam Locks?  The fast and simple answer is a small lock that has a “Locking Cam” attached to the back.  These are the locks you use everyday. These locks come in a variety of sizes, shapes and configurations and prices from about $.80 for a small mechanical cam lock to $150.00 for an electronic cam lock.  Where have you seen or used a cam lock: tool boxes, mail boxes, vehicle glove compartments, vending machines, slot machines, desks, cabinets and lockers, to name a few.

Cam Locks

That’s a lot of information in a few sentences.  Let me explain this a little further.  The Locking Cam on the rear of the cam lock is usually made of steel and can be straight, offset or hook.  It can really have any design so that when the key is inserted into the lock and turned the locking cam will lock or unlock whatever it’s mounted on.

Below is a list of some popular cam lock styles:

  • Single Bitted – this is where the key is cut on one side
  • Double Bitted – this is where the key is cut on two sides
  • Tubular – this is where the key has a round or tubular design
  • High Security – these are cam locks manufactured by CobraLock, Abloy or Medeco and have a lock and key design that hold a U.S. patent
  • Electronic Cam Lock – the lock and key are electronic which provide a much higher level of security

Cam locks are very versatile.  They can be made out of many different types of materials and come in different configurations and sizes.  I will list some of these features below:

  • Can be made of steel, brass, zinc alloy and plastic
  • Come in sizes ranging from 3/8” to over 2” in length
  • Can be constructed so the lock core is removable
  • Can turn either left or right, either 90 or 180 degrees
  • Multiple diameters can be made (the standard is ¾”)
  • Can be keyed alike, keyed different or master keyed
  • Can be made in electronic versions
Cam Locks

As you can see, the cam lock is probably one of the most versatile locks ever made.  Over the years, the designs have changed and evolved, the materials have improved and the security has increased.  One thing has remained the same; all cam locks operate a locking cam: this is the definition of a cam lock.

 The Cam Lock really is the Lock you use every day. Find out more by going to LsiDepot.com.

Security Check for 2020

It’s time for your Security Check the new year. In January every year I write a Blog to help you think about your Home, Electronic and Personal Security. In 2019 new advances in electronic locks and Alexa® and Google® Assistant trying to help us with our everyday lives.

Home Security:

Purchase Locks On-LineMake 2020 the year that you invest time and money in securing your home. Do all your doors have deadbolt locks? What about the door going from your garage into your house? ALL doors going into your house should have quality locks and you should know who has keys. You must maintain key control. Does your home have an alarm system? They have come down in price consider getting one installed this year.

Locks:

Security CheckDoor locks made big advancements in 2019. Most of these came in the way electronic locks communicate. Physically these locks should be up to the standards of at least a Grade 2 lock. The manufacturers have made it easier to set up and control electronic locks with your smart phone or through your smart assistant. It is now easier to control these locks from a distance through Wi-Fi. Later this year I will be writing a Blog detailing the new advancements in electronic lock technology.

Smart Assistants:

Security Check your Smart assistants like Alexa® and Google® Assistant are appearing in more devices, such as smart lights, speakers, thermostats, electronic locks, and automobiles. These are just a few, there are many more. I don’t think that this trend is going to stop. They are getting better at understanding humans and anticipating what us humans want. I believe that these advancements in smart assistants are good. They will spear head advancements in AI. We just have to make sure that we control and secure smart assistants. They mostly work through Wi-Fi, so make sure that your Wi-Fi is secure with a strong password. Make sure that your routers, modems and switches have been configured with strong passwords that you have provided. If you don’t want them listening for their wake command, you can always shut them off. They all have an on/off button.

Make sure that you all travel safe, especially if you go out of the United States. Always leave your itinerary with someone back home, along with copies of your passport and drivers license. Buy travel insurance that can help pay for any medical emergencies or emergency transport back home. And finally, be aware of where you are, if your gut tells you not to go somewhere, don’t go.

As usual if you require additional information your can get our contact information HERE.