Row of apples with lemon inserted and hand holding lemon

Turnstile costs. Are you comparing apples to lemons?

Cost considerations of an entrance control turnstile should take in more than just the purchase price, if you want to avoid selecting the lemon!  In the same way that UK estate agents detail out the energy efficiency through Energy Performance Certificates, or a car dealer will use MPG provide insights into fuel economy, when making an investment in a security system, we recommend delving into what the total cost of ownership is.  It is this that gives a holistic view of the better value purchase.

Investopedia defines ‘total cost of ownership’ as the purchase price of an asset plus the costs of operation

There aren’t many customers who come to us with no fixed budget in mind, pretty much everyone has an idea of what they are able to spend, but it’s rare that questions relating to total cost of ownership (TCO) are asked – however it’s something that we think should be integral to a choice, although that could be because Fastlane turnstiles tend to do very well in a TCO comparison because of quite a number of factors.

Electricity usage

Our products consume little energy, only 337kW hours per annum on average, and this clearly will have an impact (or not!) on your energy bills. They can also play a role in intelligent building systems such as lift destination controls and so can further contribute to savings throughout the building.  When you incorporate technology such as FastCount, which gathers data using the Fastlane Connect ethernet interface, you can access real time building population information whilst logging entry/exit counts which can offer accurate data for space and energy usage.

Maintenance requirements

Prevention is always better than cure.  We rarely provide preventative maintenance schemes directly for our turnstiles, as this is often supplied through your contract with your installer or integrator, but we do our bit by investing in the quality of the build before they even get on site.  It’s because of this quality that we hear stories such as the one where our Japanese distributor recently was made aware of an install in Tokyo, made by others without their knowledge, which had been in place for 12 years and was still working perfectly without any maintenance as far as we could tell.  Not an ideal situation but nice to know that the turnstiles were still doing their job.


Cheap products often fail because the different iterations aren’t designed from scratch and instead are put together from generic components which sometimes creates unnecessary friction in the build process.  As a manufacturer rather than just a supplier, all of our products are built on-site, using our unique designs and components in our UK facility.  Aside from the extensive R&D testing phase, every Fastlane turnstile is subject to soak testing and all the functions are thoroughly tested before they are shipped to the customer.

As a consequence, it is incredibly rare for one of our turnstiles to fail and thereby doesn’t cause problems with either downtime, which can have a cost to the company through lack of security, or needing to be replaced, causing potential floor damage to a finished environment.  Fewer failures mean lower repair costs.


Coming off the back of the previous two topics, you can probably guess that we don’t receive many warranty claims!  We’d always suggest that it’s better to have it in place, and we’re happy to offer cover for all components for up to two years, or more by arrangement, but in general you can expect to see 5 million cycles before any major assemblies require replacement as part of the maintenance program.


Breakdowns incur costs for organisations in many different ways.  First up is the obvious cost of repair, but this could  also run to replacing floors and restoring interiors.  Potentially not such an issue if you are still under warranty but what if they fail in years 3, 4, 5…  Investing in cheap products make it much more likely that they will need to be replaced more quickly than your interiors wear out so this will incur additional cost.

Faulty processing

Cheaper products can cause issues with recognition of what is in the lane – causing pedestrians with baggage, pull-alongs or wheelchairs to either raise alarms or, worse, get caught in the closing action.  This can cause damage to property and even people, both of which can result in expensive claims against the business.

And, let’s not forget the massive downside of a faulty turnstile – security.

There’s a saying – “buy it cheap, and buy it twice” – and that’s something we see often when people ask us to replace their existing, failed turnstiles.  We can help you to make the best decision with the budget you have available, a decision which draws on knowledge about the long term needs for your business, call our sales team today to find out more and to avoid choosing the lemon!