Turning to turnstiles for enhanced security

Automatic Systems - turnstiles at entrance

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Why so many security teams are utilizing turnstiles as a vital part of their infrastructure, Kevin Rutledge, Regional Sales Manager for Automatic Systems reveals.

The access control market

Access control is not a new concept. Practically since time began, even in the most primitive of civilizations, people have been staking claim to and protecting their property.

From prehistorical times when intruders were warded off with clubs, straight to the present, access control solutions have continuously evolved and matured in sophistication.

Access technologies over the last several years have advanced in ways never seen before.

There’s been a significant increase in demand for new mobile access solutions, cloud-based solutions, multi-factor authentication and biometric technology solutions.

In addition, a segment of the access control market that is absolutely booming is the global turnstile market.

Business Research Insights, an organization that offers expert analysis and accurate data-based market intelligence, reports that the global turnstile market is expected to grow from $284.4 million in 2022 and to touch $345.6 million by 2028, with a growing compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.3% from 2022 – 2028.

Pedestrian physical access control turnstile systems span a wide array of offerings.

These include pedestrian products ranging from small manual swing gates to elegant automatic speed gates to high security revolvers and portals.

Options abound, including glass optical barrier turnstiles, double swing obstacle turnstiles providing a high bidirectional throughput, sliding retractable glass door turnstiles, tripod turnstiles, full height security turnstiles, circular, semi-circular or square security portals and even more.

Today’s turnstiles are designed and built to deliver reliable and long-lasting performance in high traffic volume settings.

They enhance security by controlling the number of credentialed people who enter and exit a location and they also control the direction of the passage.

Turnstiles equipped with electronic access control sensors can prevent tailgating and piggy backing.

When combined with ID readers and biometric systems, an even more enhanced security solution is available.

Vehicle barrier products are also expanding and delivering higher levels of security.

Used to manage parking lots and perimeter access, they can include parking gates, long span barriers and fenced barriers, which are used to close off access to secure sites and can restrict both vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Security technologies across the board have advanced markedly across all product categories – video surveillance, intrusion detection, AI and analytics, cyber, etc. and turnstiles are no exception.

Some very high security physical entrance securityofferings have hit the market and are delivering benefits and capabilities to an ever-broadening range of end users.

They vary in type and applications, and here we take a closer look at some of the newest, high security technologies available that are answering the call for elevated access control security.

Fenced vehicle gates

These barriers are put in place to close off access to secure sites and restrict both vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Sought after automatic vehicle gates are designed for intensive use, are highly reliable and can operate optimally even in the harshest of weather conditions.

These gates can serve a wide array of purposes and provide an added layer of access control security to a property.

Security gates are used in a variety of industries, including commercial and government properties, where access must be regulated beyond a certain point.

They are typically deployed at locations such as parking lots, construction sites and demolition sites, as well as at limited access concerts and outdoor events.

Medium to high traffic sites requiring a mid to high level of security especially benefit from the protection that fenced vehicle gates can provide, such as those within the energy industry (oil fields, hydro, nuclear, etc.), Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT)-certified manufacturers (which can include importers and exporters), US, Canadian and Mexican highway carriers, rail, sea and air carriers, licensed US customs brokers and US marine port authority and terminal operators, as well as logistics, distribution and data centers.

The benefits of pivoting versus sliding fenced vehicle gates include:

  • Rapid opening/closing
  • Small footprint
  • No hydraulics – minimal moving parts
  • Low maintenance – reduced down time
  • Spring balanced to ensure gate arm remains level

High security vehicle gates

A high-security, heavy duty crash gate or beam is a barrier that opens and closes manually or automatically to permit entry and exit at high-security facilities.

Any property or premises where there’s a need to control vehicles from accessing can benefit from the security of a crash gate or similar barrier.

These applications include but are not limited to airports, seaports, courthouses, correctional institutions, military bases, logistics, distribution centers and data centers.

High security vehicle gates are a key component in extending the secure perimeter by preventing unauthorized people and vehicles from accessing restricted areas.


Short posts that are installed and embedded into a street or sidewalk, bollards are becoming increasingly common sights in city designs and at building perimeters.

They are earning their place as strong defenses in protecting pedestrians, buildings and properties from vehicular collisions and attacks by attempted breakthroughs.

Bollards are proving to be a practical and affordable means of protecting pedestrians, cyclists, property and other vehicles from crashes as well as a viable way to manage traffic, security, access and parking.

They come in a variety of sizes and impact resistance levels and are ideally suited to applications in the financial, government and retail sectors as well as for manufacturing plants to prevent theft of inventory, courthouses, city municipalities and more.

Access control applications span a wide gamut for enterprises across all industry sectors. It iscritical to find the right product to meet the specific need for each application.

Some applications require a mix of different high security products to deliver the best, high security results.

Key points to consider that will help you choose the right product for your application are:

  • Throughput (amount of traffic)
  • Passage width
  • Security (threat level)
  • Price
  • ROI (a cheap product will require more maintenance, cause more down time and interruptions in service and won’t last as long – it will need to be replaced regularly). Look for products with published mean cycles before failure (MCBF). Manufacturers that are confident in the quality of their products offer longer warranties
  • Ability to integrate new technologies
  • IP capabilities
    • Remote monitoring and control
    • Diagnostics from remote location for gate status

As security technologies continue to advance, turnstiles, gates, barriers and fencing continue to evolve as the physical access control solutions of choice.

They are proving instrumental in elevating the level of security for end users across a myriad of sectors.

About the author

Kevin Rutledge has over 25 years of experience in the security industry. Kevin has been the Regional Sales Manager for Automatic Systems in Central Canada since 2003.

Automatic Systems is a manufacturer in physical entrance security for pedestrians and vehicles with turnstiles, speed gates, security revolvers and portals as well as automatic parking, high-security vehicle gates and bollards.

For more information, visit the company’s website.

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