Automated high security delivers fast employee throughput with reduced guard interaction

Since 1995, Fastlane products in America have been offered and supported in co-operation with our US partner, Smarter Security. In 2021, we were given one of our most interesting challenges – increase throughput at a major distribution centre, through automation of the security around metal detectors.

What was in place?

The customer is a leading logistics company, listed in the top 100 of America’s Fortune 500. Traditionally, a large security team was present at the entrance metal detectors. Four detectors were in place, with four bi-directional lanes of traffic flow.

Six guards were needed to control entry, and another six for exit. A further four guards waited to the side, ready to deal with the case of a generated alert, one pair for entry, one for exit. That’s sixteen personnel needed at all times at this 24/7 facility. The challenge we were given was to propose a system that required no employee-guard interaction unless an alarm went off on one of the metal detectors. The customer also needed to decrease inventory shrinkage, despite the staffing reduction.

What was proposed?

The turnstile proposed to permit automation was the biggest in our Speedgate range – the Glassgate 400 Plus. Each lane would have a turnstile at each end. At a fundamental level, the logic flow would work as follows:

  • The employee presents a valid credential to a turnstile on one or other side of the metal detector
  • That turnstile opens, and then goes into No-Entry mode, as does the one at the opposite end, stopping anyone else entering the lane
  • The employee walks through the metal detector and, if there is no alarm, the lane lights on the receiving turnstile go green and it automatically opens, allowing them to continue on their way
  • If there is a metal detector alarm, the turnstiles stay closed, the lane lights turn red, and the employee is directed to the side for secondary screening by guards
  • After the employee has been screened and removed from the lane, whether an alarm has been generated or not, the turnstiles at both ends return to a normal state in readiness for the next user

This was a complex installation. Smarter Security’s SmarterLobby access control system would be needed. Once operational, Fastlane and Smarter Security systems would need to be integrated with the facility’s existing overall access control solution, provided by Keee. The Keee system remained in place at guard interface screens, as well as continuing wider functions such as report generation.

What was the result?

One advantage we enjoyed was that employees were well trained, and knew not to carry metal through the detectors. We were able to leverage this, and improve throughput rates while cutting the demands on guards significantly.

Only those few users who generated an alarm needed human attention. The secondary screening stations, and associated four guards, were retained, with shift presence reduced from sixteen to four, and with improved outcomes.

The Senior Director for Security happily described the solution as having “worked exactly as designed, providing fast employee throughput with reduced guard interaction”, and added: “In the short time since it was installed, it has saved countless hours of security guard manpower at this site.”

To get in touch to arrange a demo, or a tour of our London facility where we design and manufacture all Fastlane products, please call +44 (0)20 8890 5550 or email You can also use our contact page.

For more information about Smarter Security, please visit their website.