Filing Cabinets That Use Electronic Access?

I have been looking for years for any vendor that makes a high quality
office filing cabinet that allows access by a programmable passcard system.
Keyed access as a backup is fine.
I want this because keys get lost, and you end up with so many keys for so
many cabinets that it becomes hard to track them all.
As obvious as this application is, I have looked for years for this and
cannot find it. I have tried various locksmiths and asked them to
retrofit Hon brand lateral cabinets, but all of them claim they don't know
how to do it and the locks are hard to match to the cabinet.
I want to check back once a year to see if any manufacturer has decided to
enter the 21st century yet. Does any manufacturer have a unit close to
what I describe?
Reply to
W
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It's called a BANK Vault...
or a smaller version GUN Vault..
I have been looking for years for any vendor that makes a high quality office filing cabinet that allows access by a programmable passcard system. Keyed access as a backup is fine.
I want this because keys get lost, and you end up with so many keys for so many cabinets that it becomes hard to track them all.
As obvious as this application is, I have looked for years for this and cannot find it. I have tried various locksmiths and asked them to retrofit Hon brand lateral cabinets, but all of them claim they don't know how to do it and the locks are hard to match to the cabinet.
I want to check back once a year to see if any manufacturer has decided to enter the 21st century yet. Does any manufacturer have a unit close to what I describe?
Reply to
RockyTSquirrel
Schwab/SentrySafe or whatever they are called have some keyless locking options for their fire rated filing cabinets, not sure if it's what you are looking for.
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Doug
Reply to
doug
How about a thumbprint + code?
FireKing 2-Hour UL Fire Rated Data Safe
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Reply to
G. Morgan
This is not an "electronic" cure but if security is required, both keyed and keyless locks are not that secure. Some one can always copy a key or pass the digital code on to someone not authorized. I've seen some of my clients have removeable metal bars with lock hasps welded to the front of the cabinets and padlocks are used to lock up. Every so often the padlocks are thrown out and replaced with new ones. Don't know if this would apply to you or not.
Reply to
Jim
Jim, we don't want padlocks and we don't want electronic locks where a single set of digits are typed in to enter. It's hard to secure keys and codes.
We do want a true passcard system where each employee carries a card with a unique ID embedded on it, and a central computer system is programmed to say which locks that unique ID is allowed to open.
If the employee's card is lost or stolen, you can instantly invalidate it.
Reply to
W
We definitely don't want vaults. We want office *filing cabinets*. They don't need to have thick plates of armor. They need to be ordinary office cabinets, and it's only the locking mechanism we want to secure by passcard.
Such an obvious commercial application....how can the world have missed this?
Reply to
W
I can't get into the idea of a real-time software development project and custom hardware retrofit to prototype a commercial project, just so we can have 20 office filing cabinets with passcards for internal use.
I toyed with the idea of using CyberLock - which puts intelligence into the lock and cleverly powers up the lock with a battery in the key. But even with the dozens of locks that CyberLock offers, none of those apparently fits off the shelf onto a standard Hon or other popular brand lateral filing cabinet. I contacted CyberLock specialists, and none offered much hope of retrofitting a Hon lateral filing cabinet.
Reply to
W
Let me understand this a little better.
You want to have a $129 - $199 file cabinet protected by a $500 or more card access system to stop a would be individual from accessing the contents of said file cabinet to potentially gain knowledge of what???
With out spending the time on a no return on investment brain phart, just place all of your inexpensive file cabinets with the very important stuff inside in a secure room with one steel door and put the card access control on that door and you are done.
As for this statement.
That is not possible. From the time that the card is REALIZED by the person that can invalidate the card can it be disabled. Otherwise it will be anywhere from minutes to days or more before anyone actually knows that the card is either lost or stolen.
Life can be much easier and with less stress when practical thoughts are implemented.
Les
Reply to
ABLE1
We know enough to stay away from Rube Goldberg contraptions when possible.
How about moving the files into a closet with an access controlled door and camera?
Reply to
G. Morgan
Door access control systems (more and less secure and some pretty inexpensive) that work with cards are readily available. They work by activating electric door strikes or large magnetic locks. The only thing that is not available for your project off the shelf, is the means to add a controled lock to the filing cabinet. Filing cabinets with keylocks control a bar that rides along side of the drawers that is lifted when you turn the key. Since it seems that there is nothing on the market as far as controlled access file cabinets and you're intent on doing this, all you would need, is to find someone who would be willing to modify and add a solinoid on the filing cabinet to activate the locking bar on the file drawers. The access control system could be as simple or as complicated as you wanted to invest in. By the way, the locking bars on the Hon cabinets is not very secure.
Reply to
Jim
Here's my two cents:
Back in the late 1950/60-'s there was a Bostn MA alarm company that provided very good protection to safes typically found in supermarkets. Around the safe on all sides and top they would build a frame and cabin struture what was laced and foiled on the inside of the cabinet walls to thwart acces to the safe. In the front they fabricated a door and lock, with a magnetic contact/lacing, etc on the inside of the door. Attempts at accessing the safe after the alarm system was set for the night would trip the alarm and call the central staion/police.
This gentleman here could have a carpenter do the same thing: With or without the lacing and foil, a cabinet could be built around a row of file cabinets, with electric door strikes/access cards mounted in the usual manner, a door in front of each file cabinet, which when opened would allow access to the cabinet.
Reply to
chasbo
So let me ask does *any* third party make an office filing cabinet that has a solinoid activated locking bar that we could wire into?
I asked multiple alarm companies and locksmiths to give me estimates on how much it would cost to do this and no one could even figure out how to do it.
I also get the feeling that doing this in a custom way be hugely expensive.
Reply to
W
Life can be easier when the reality matches the simple solution, but in this case it does not.
Let's consider what your solution entails. For accounting alone, we have these classifications of files, each with a different list of personnel who has access:
- payroll - current year income and expenses and assets - historical filings - legal contracts
So in your solution I need to dedicate four private offices to holding four office filing cabinets? We only have six private offices in the entire space, and I have to dedicate four of them to holding individual office cabinets?
Yeah, this is plenty simple for the implementer. For everyone who works here that solution would look wacky. We basically turn the company's space utilization plan upside down because it makes the alarm guy's job easy. Great.
And I haven't even started to discuss the requirements for warehouse, which are far more complex and extensive than the above, and simply cannot be implemented with the "separate rooms" concept easily.
I'm willing to accept that no office filing cabinet can be economically retrofitted to use a solenoid locking system. That's a shame if true but that is life.
Reply to
W
Well sir, you keep adding more details to the project. I feel real bad that I proposed something that would not work give the limited amount of space available in your office.
If you truly want to pursue this project and as you say your local alarm dealer don't know how, I would be willing to give it a serious look. I will need to know the exact model filing cabinet you want to secure. It may be necessary to choose just one model so that what I design can be cloned for the additional.
I have 22 years in industrial manufacturing, with 14 of those year as a Maintenance Supervisor. I have designed numerous machines for specialized operations and see no reason this can't be accomplished. I have been in the alarm business since 1989 and it seems a perfect match of experience to work on your project.
Just so that we are on the same page a retainer will be required in advance for the R&D work to come up with a conceptual plan. Additional fees would be required for machining of a working prototype and to cover purchasing a certain file cabinet, shipping, etc. I could go on but we would need to sign some legal documents to cover all aspects of what we are discussing such a proprietary information, confidential information, non-disclosure, compensation, liabilities, design rights, etc., etc., bla bla bla.
Where are you located?? Country, State, City?? It would be cool if you were just across town from me.
If you are serious please post contact info and we will start the process.
Les
Reply to
ABLE1
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Gee whiz Bill, you might have drawn up the plans and schematics and emailed them to him. Now that he as all the information on how to do it for FREE he will never want to contact me to do the work!!!
Bummer!!! It would have been a fun project for the winter.
Les
Reply to
ABLE1
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While this would be a fun project for someone, I really did not want to do an R&D project. R&D projects are both very expensive and also have a very high chance of failure. Further, without a lot of testing I would expect reliability problems. It's just not the path I wanted to go.
Reply to
W
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LOL
Your choices are as follows.
1) Find a file cabinet that already has a card access system built into the unit.
2) Find a file cabinet that can have a proper system designed and retrofitted.
3) Forget the project and go on with what ever security controls you are presently using.
Now since #1 has been proven to be non-existent and #2 has just been shot down by you as being too expensive then I would guess that #3 is your only option.
Should you change your mind and would like to consider #2 my offer still stands. May not be as difficult as you might perceive. R&D can be involved or just a matter of looking at the details of the project and make a determination in a few minutes. I only used the term it indicate that what you desired was not going to be like screwing in a light bulb. This hole thing comes down to what amount of dollars are you willing to invest into a finished project that will provide the desired end result. It really depends on you and your perception of what is needed.
Les
Reply to
ABLE1
I don't think it would take more than a couple of days actual work on the cabinet to get this to work. The hardest thing would be finding the proper parts to do the job. The waiting time for parts delivery would take the most amount of time. Hmmmm .... maybe a few more days combining the solinoid and access reader in a chassis. (see below)
One would just have to determine the distance the locking bar had to travel and the amount of weight the solinoid would have to move. Order a solinoid with those spec's that would fit in the space allowed ( by the way, if it couldn't fit below the bottom drawer it could always go in a metal chassis mounted to the top of the file cabinet .... in fact, that would be my prefered placement.in a retrofit project like this) I think it would be a pretty easy task to provide a link between the solinoid and the locking bar from the top of the cabinet. If you've ever used a Hon manual locking cabinet, when you unlock it, the button in which the key cylinder is contained pops out from the cabinet. When you want to lock it again, you just push the button back in. That's all the pressure it takes to move the bar back to the locked position. Each file cabinet could have the card reader and solinoid in the metal chassis on top of each cabinet. The solinoid would activate once for a few seconds, moving the locking bar while a drawer was pulled out. When the solinoid de-activated , the rest of the drawers would still be locked. When the person was done with their filing, just pushing the opened drawer back in would mechanically momentarily move the locking bar and then that drawer would be locked again.
If this were being designed for a marketable product, I would put the mechanism on the inside rear or side of the the cabinet with just a card reader on the top of the cabinet.
I don't think it's as complicated as you might see it. I actually think that the expense of doing this part would be less than the card access system.
I don't have any locking cabinets but I've "fixed" them for other people and they're not all the complicated nor are they actually very secure. If it's actually "security" that you're looking for ..... this is not going to provide it. If it's simply "control" and keeping track of who uses the file cabinets and when, then this would do it, using the proper access control system.
The more I think about it .... I'm thinking I should go out and buy a locking cabinet, make this thing work and become a millionaire. .... I can see it all now ..... JIM's, ACCESS CONTROL CABINETS & ASSO.. LLC.
It'll be traded on Wall Street as JACASSOL.! adding to a long line of people on Wall Street with similar monikers.
Reply to
Jim
It's not a crazy idea to turn this idea into a product. If you made it right you would allow any pass card system to interface to it, then you do marketing distribution deals with the vendors who make any passcard system. They create all the customer demand for the product, and customers who buy your product in turn need to buy more components from the passcard vendor.
The idea has legs, as they say.
Reply to
W

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