The following variables should be considered when choosing how a turnstile should function based on your project needs:
How should the turnstile mechanism be configured:
Turnstile mechanisms can be configured to act in a number of different ways, so it is crucial to configure your turnstile in conjunction with your specific project needs.
- Directionality: First, you should decide whether you need turnstiles that spin in one or both directions. For entrance-only or exit-only access points, single direction mechanisms are suitable. For access points that have both entry and exit traffic, a bidirectional turnstile mechanism is recommended.
- Handedness: Once direction is determined, turnstile handedness should be considered. With waist high turnstiles, handedness is defined as the side a turnstile cabinet sits in relation to a person when they enter a facility from the outside. So, if a waist high turnstile is on your left side when you enter a building, that turnstile is left-handed and vice versa. For full height turnstiles, handedness is determined by rotation direction upon entry into a facility. Thus, if you enter a full height turnstile and the arms rotate clockwise (from a bird’s eye view), then you will be guided through the turnstile cage to the left of the center post- this is a left handed full height turnstile. If you enter a full height turnstile and the arms are rotating counter clockwise, you will be guided through the turnstile cage on the right of the center post- this is a right handed full height turnstile.
- Locking: With entrance and exit sides established, it is time to decide whether a turnstile should be locked on entry, exit, neither, or both. Any combination of locked and unlocked for entry and exit can be configured for specific project needs. For example, a project may call for credentials to be checked upon entry, while allowing free exit. This situation calls for a locked entry free exit bidirectional turnstile mechanism configuration.
What additional options are needed:
There are also many additional options available for turnstiles that should be considered before you buy. Modern technology allows you to retrofit many helpful add-ons to further customize a turnstile to your specific needs.
- Admission Counters: Counters utilize switches inside of a turnstile’s mechanism to record the amount of turnstile rotations. These counters can be set up to record the amount of entries, exits, or both, and are a very useful source of admission data. These tamper proof admission counters have large six-digit crystal displays and are powered by a 10-year lithium battery. Since they are battery powered and gain information directly from mechanism movements, counters do not require electronic operation to function. Counters are capable of being reset with a key (optional).
- Electronic Operation: This option includes a locking/unlocking solenoid that can be controlled remotely or by readers. This option allows for the use of powered add-ons, like readers and status lights. Because of this option, turnstiles can be locked and unlocked on the fly.
- Fail Safe/Fail Secure: If electronic operation is included, a turnstile needs to be configured to act in one of two ways in the event of a power outage or emergency: fail safe or fail secure. Fail safe configurations are designed to unlock in the event of an emergency or power outage to allow safe exit for occupants. In certain high-security situations or in locations with alternate emergency exits, fail secure configurations may be used, which lock a turnstile during power outages and emergencies. Electronically operated turnstiles can be integrated with alarm systems, like fire alarms or full-building security systems, to further aid these configurations.
- Readers: Readers are used in conjunction with turnstile electronic locking solenoids. They read information from a card, fob, or other credential containing device to determine if a user should be granted access through a turnstile. If access is granted, the reader unlocks the turnstile and allows a user through. This technology eliminates the need for an attendant by automating the credential checking process. Readers can be installed for one or both directions on electronic operation turnstiles.
- Status Lights: These red and green high intensity LEDs provide lane status indication and are mounted onto either turnstile lids or cabinets. These lights can be set up in conjunction with a reader to indicate a turnstile’s status (locked and ready for credential/unlocked and ready for passage). Alternatively, the red light can be used to indicate when a turnstile is out of operation and the green light for when a turnstile is in operation (see Out of Service Lock below).
- Out of Service Lock: This option allows attendants to manually place a turnstile out of service using a key lock. With a simple key turn, a turnstile can be locked, allowing for easy control over which lanes are open and when.
- Custom Engraving: Some turnstiles allow for custom engraving. This option further customizes and personalizes your turnstile with branded imagery.
- …And More