Building Automation: Paxton10

Demands from end users are adding a need for integration with a wide range of building and site management systems. Whether these relate to the automation of site systems, business intelligence or interoperability, the degree of added value on offer from a solution can be the difference between winning and losing contracts. Paxton10 has been specifically designed to offer simpler integration.

The security industry has, for many years, been somewhat insular with regards to the influences that other industries and sectors have on it. This did deliver some benefits, but did also raise a few negatives. The most significant one was that the industry was, at times, out-of-step with user demands. Whilst the customer-base would see developments in other industries and want them implemented into the systems at their sites, the sector was often slow to adopt new approaches.

In many instances, end users seeking systems were told what they could buy, rather than being offered a solution that specifically met the needs and requirements of their businesses.

Today the systems sector increasingly embraces new developments, and as such is able to deliver solutions which not only exploit all that the new technologies offer, but also which meet – and at times exceed – user expectations.

Current influences are varied, and include ever increasing processing power in accordance with Moore’s Law, cloud-based services, wireless connectivity, mobile computing and wearable smart devices, the Internet of Things, green power and the introduction of feature-rich programming languages such as HTML5.

Paxton believes that in Paxton10 it has developed a system which allows the advanced integration, flexibility and ease of use that not only meets today’s customer needs, but also equips installers and integrators with the ability to create innovative and bespoke solutions.

A modular approach

Paxton10 brings together access control, video surveillance and building management to deliver consolidated functionality from a single solution. The system is made up of a number of hardware modules, and control is via an intuitive software GUI. It can also interface with intruder alarm and fire detection systems to provide complete coverage of a site.

At the heart of each system is the Paxton10 server. This is a dedicated unit with a very small footprint, and it includes an embedded switch. One unit is required per system, and it is preconfigured. This means that once it is installed on a network, the installer or integrator simply navigates to the unit via a unique address, using the Google Chrome web browser.

The server hosts the GUI. Because this utilises HTML5, there is no need to install add-ons, plug-ins or ActiveX elements. All functionality and interaction is handled by the HTML5 code, making the installation simple. Additionally, security of the unit uses SSL certificates, so there is no need for VPN configuration.

The server is fitted with a USB memory stick and regularly makes a back-up of the system configuration to this. If an error occurs, or the server fails, the configurations can be reinstalled, or the USB key can be removed and set-up details transferred to another device.

The server is connected to Paxton10 controllers. These units are distributed around the site, and support connection devices. Each controller can support two doors and two video sources. The controllers are PoE enabled, allowing 15.4W, 25W and 55W+ supply.

Using peer-to-peer communications and distributed intelligence, the system architecture ensures that there is no single point of failure. The controllers also feature a Bluetooth Smart gateway to allow wireless connectivity.

In turn, each controller can support two Paxton10 connector modules. The connectors come in two variants. The first, the door connector, supports a single door and up to four readers. It also features a lock relay output and two additional outputs.

The second, the input/output connector, supports five digital inputs and four relay outputs. It allows the creation of triggers and actions via the software, and can be used for a wide range of applications.
The controller can therefore manage two doors with up to eight readers, one door with four readers plus five inputs and four outputs, or ten inputs and eight outputs, dependent upon the connector configuration. A unit is available which contains the two discrete modules.

Additional system elements include Paxton10 readers. These are multi-protocol devices; protocols do not need to be selected, as Paxton, Mifare, HID Prox, EM and FeliCa credentials are all supported simultaneously.

There is also a desktop reader. This works in the same way as the desktop reader for Paxton’s access control systems, and is a quick and simple way to add and manage credentials.

Smart credentials

The Paxton10 family includes the Smartpoint unit, which allows the use of Bluetooth Smart devices as credentials, and an alarm connector which allows linking with fire and intruder alarms via two inputs and a single output.

The Smartpoint unit enables mobile devices with a compatible app to function as access tokens. Whilst the app resides on the mobile device, control is retained by the Paxton10 software. The system manager can still bar the any user or device without communication to the app, if necessary.

The alarm input/output device can be used in a similar way to the I/O connectors. It allows a straightforward connection with alarm and fire systems, thus enabling integration with standalone standards-compatible systems. These can simply report status and alarm information to the Paxton10 software.

The hardware modules utilise IPv6, allowing automatic discovery without configuration when attached to the network.

Self contained

The system is controlled via the dedicated software which is hosted on the server. This is HTML5-based, which means there is no requirement for plug-ins, ActiveX elements or translator software, and all upgrades are automatic.

Paxton recommends the use of Google Chrome, a free-of-charge browser that is fully compliant with the latest variant of the code. The GUI can be viewed on PCs or mobile devices, and is compatible with touch-screens.

The software allows simple configuration of device parameters, as well as full management of user information and site-specific peripheral systems that might be integrated. Rules and actions can be established, along with full reporting to deliver relevant information to authorised users. The graphics-based interface simplifies use for customers by enabling a good degree of intuitive operation.

Benefits-based

Paxtont10 delivers a platform that brings together access control, IP-based video and building management, along with linking to intruder and fire alarm systems. Devices are automatically discovered on the LAN, and can be securely configured via a simple browser-based GUI.

In short, this means the system is simple to connect and configure, and requires no software or plug-in installations.

Bringing together diverse system elements, and creating rules which define events and actions is a simple process, and can be driven by security incidents, user-defined activities, site conditions, system status, etc..

The implementation of deep-level integrations enables the delivery of bespoke solutions which in turn can add true value to the user’s solution. Whilst security is enhanced, the everyday management of the business is also strengthened.

Because Paxton is setting out to create a platform rather than a product, future developments will support emerging technologies within the wider security and building management landscape, thereby future-proofing any system investment.

For the user, control of a wide range of systems on a site, or across multiple sites, is not only seamless and intuitive, but it allows data collected by the systems to be shared. For example, data from the access control system can inform energy control devices when areas are unoccupied, allowing lighting and/or air conditioning to be switched off. Conversely, in hazardous areas, the presence of personnel could cause important ventilation systems to be started, or trigger other health and safety devices. The ability to generate events and actions can be extended beyond security applications.

Trigger events are reported and can also be supplemented with video footage, site data and even mapping. Multi-layer maps allow operators to ‘drill down’ in systems covering large geographical areas to identify specific devices and events, all via the GUI. The graphical element allows this even where an operator might not have a full working knowledge of a specific site.

Indeed, Paxton10 offers flexibility with regard to how the system is controlled and which elements and devices create events or handle actions. Triggers can vary from intruder detection alarms or access control violations through to changes in environmental conditions such as temperature or humidity, occupancy levels in a specific area or scheduled work shift patterns.

In summary

Through the deployment of a platform designed to share selected data, Paxton10 can deliver security, safety and site management. It has been designed to offer flexibility for end users, whilst also retaining an effective and efficient architecture to allow installers and integrators to deliver additional benefits.

Paxton has built the system on a framework that exploits the benefits of emerging technologies, and this effectively future-proofs any investment. It also ensures that end users can utilise technologies which are common in other business systems. This makes the decision to buy a simpler one because much of what is on offer is already proven in the field, albeit in different solutions.

Benchmark Smart Solutions
Benchmark Smart Solutions is dedicated to supporting those seeking innovative and bespoke value-added solutions for business and the home environment. Through real-world field trials it assesses the potential available from current technologies and integrated systems. Benchmark Smart Solutions is produced by the team at Benchmark magazine.