Security boost for traffic light man

London, UK

Ampelmann GmbH branches are spread over Berlin, and to reduce the burden of employee and staff key assignment, the company sought to optimise access rights management. At the same time, branch security needed to be state-of-the-art and the Cliq access control solution from Assa Abloy was selected to meet all these requirements.

The Ampelmännchen (“little traffic light man”) from the former GDR is a cult figure around the globe.  Founder and owner Markus Heckhausen sought a locking solution for eight Ampelmann GmbH branches and a 2,200 m2 logistics centre, to meet the needs of a decentralised branch organisation. They did not want a complex system suited only to large companies with thousands of employees, it needed to be a practicable and fast system designed for a company with around 150 employees, yet still able to secure branches reliably.

For retailers, key management is often an elaborate, time-consuming process, even more so when keys are lost or stolen. In such cases, all locking systems must be replaced, which requires more effort and significant costs.

Ampelmann GmbH in Berlin also faced these issues. Its eight branches are located in the best shopping areas in Berlin, each staffed by several employees. External service providers such as cleaners also need access to the building. A large staff roster and significant distance between branches create a major key management workload.

Together with the Berlin locksmith Hinz, Ampelmann owner Markus Heckhauen found a solution in the flexible, decentralised and reliable electronic locking system from Assa Abloy. Uli Hahn, Managing Director of Hinz, has been providing security in and around Berlin for more than 50 years. He says: "The Ecliq locking system is very powerful and safe compared to conventional systems. It is easy to handle and to assemble. Above all, it enables quick and easy administration of access authorisations, making it the perfect choice for medium-sized companies such as Ampelmann."

Ecliq comes as a "plug and play" solution and is ready to use immediately after installation. The system works without cabling, so the extremely compact Ecliq cylinder can be used in a wide variety of doors at any location. Power is supplied by batteries in each programmable key, which can be changed easily and without tools. A built-in chip makes every electronic key unique. Keys can be programmed directly on the cylinder, remotely or with easy-to-use Ecliq Manager software.

In addition to compact design, the system is characterised by robust, durable and safe components. An integrated lubricant reservoir ensures the cylinders remain maintenance-free for up to 200,000 cycles. A high-quality processor protects the locking system against manipulation and intelligent attacks. Keys are also highly resistant and waterproof (IP67). Ecliq cylinders and keys are VdS-certified (BZ +) and comply with the DIN EN 15684 standard for electronic locking systems. A wide range of different cylinder types makes the system suitable for many applications — from the company's entrance gate to securing alarm systems, elevators, doors and cupboards.

"Decisive in our choice of Ecliq was that we could control access authorisations easily and flexibly at any time," explains Markus Heckhausen. "If a key is lost, we can easily deactivate it and disable it."

Ecliq even makes time- and location-limited authorisations easy — for example, to allow cleaners to enter only at certain times. The allocation of access authorisations can now be coordinated conveniently by individual branch managers, within a system that ensures maximum security for all Ampelmann GmbH shops.


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