The pace at which latest technologies travel across the globe is mind boggling to say the least. Something that is launched in one corner of the world, almost invariably finds its way into another market in another corner of the world nowadays. This is especially true in the case of India, which has emerged as a key market globally for quite literally anything and everything related to the construction industry. Take the case of doors for example. No longer are they the humble piece of wooden furniture, which are meant to offer some security and privacy. Thanks to the development in technology, doors have become hi-tech gizmos in themselves. Terms such as access control systems and entrance automation systems have transformed the way doors are perceived nowadays. High security doors have become mandatory, whether it is the residencies, commercial buildings or industrial premises, given the heightened threat perceptions, to any of these segments that are growing by the day.
It all began with the arrival of specialized, high security, industrial doors that are designed for providing tightness of all accesses. Built with heavy duty parts and counter balance systems, these doors have become a common sight in several types of industries nowadays. The growth in numbers of such doors has been steady, given the rapid pace of industrialization and the increase in the number of commercial buildings in the country. Then came the specialized access control systems for residencies. The mushrooming of apartment units and gated communities has been behind the rapid increase in demand for specialized security doors meant for individual residencies and villas. With the real estate sector growing at a fast pace, the demand for such access control systems is on the rise.
While the market for security doors may still be at its infancy, there is no denying its growth prospects. Global manufacturers are now looking towards virgin territories like India to further their growth prospects. The market in India, as of now, remains very fragmented, with only a few top players in fray. The rest of the market is catered to by the unorganized sector. However, with demand fast picking up, it could be only a matter of time before the entire market segment gets organized.
The technology behind access control systems seems to be improving by the day. Broadly speaking, the types of access controls are the standalone systems and the networked systems. In the case of the standalone systems, the access is controlled on one or many independent doors in a residential or commercial building. Such systems are used in small to medium building premises. The larger corporate, commercial building or industrial premises use the PC based networked systems, wherein greater control over access is possible. For example, different permissions can be given to different people or groups to access certain sections. Such systems also allow for the generation of reports using which it can be determined as to who went where and when.
A lot of technology also goes into the reading mechanism of the access control systems that make for the high security doors of today. The most common way in which access control is achieved is through the use of proximity or smart cards. These cards have pre-programmed computer chips inside them, which the system reads and allows or disallows for access accordingly. These days a lot of access control systems also use biometrics to control access, the most common among them being the use of fingerprint information. The system captures the biometric data during registration and uses the template later on for subsequent authentications. These access control systems in a good majority of the cases are part of the building management systems that have be-come so commonplace these days, especially in the case of gated residential communities and commercial buildings.
The requirements for a security door in an industrial environment come with its own set of challenges. Manufacturers need to first of all come up with a door to suit the specific industry’s needs, while also taking care of other aspects, such as the speed with which the door operates. These days several manufacturers offer such high-performance doors meant specifically for various types of industries. High security industrial doors usually feature the “roll up” system. They are usually made up of composite materials and designed for frequency of openings. A powerful motor would be part of the system. As mentioned earlier, industrial doors not only have to take care of access control, they also need to provide other kinds of security too. For example, in the food and beverage sector, the doors need to secure the control of temperature. The doors in such sentences are designed in order to maintain a particular, ambient temperature. Similarly, there are specially designed fire doors that are used in several industrial sectors, commercial buildings and warehouses.
Manufacturers on their part are trying to come out with security doors that are not only high on technology, but also blend seamlessly with the rest of the building’s architecture. In industrial settings automated overhead doors that can be cleverly camouflaged are widely being used. The doors that slide vertically are the most widely used. Along with security, they are easy to operate, and offer excellent insulation and soundproofing properties.
High-speed, fold-up doors, featuring modular sections are also popular options as security doors in industrial and commercial building settings these days. Composed of flexible curtain, consisting of several modular sections, they are easy to maintain and repair too, apart from offering excellent security.
Security door models that fold horizontally are also finding an increasing number of takers these days. Whether it is the traditional bi-folding type or the ones featuring several sections joined together, they are a popular option. Manufacturers are also experimenting with a variety of composite materials for making these high security doors too.
There is no denying the fact that India has emerged as a key market for security doors. The market though, is still at a very nascent stage. A huge part of it is still untapped. The entry of globally well known brands could be the game changer in this market segment. This would herald the entry of the latest technologies and make the market more organized. Big name players with deep purses who could set up distribution and sales network throughout the country could be garnering the maximum share of the market pie. The signals are already evident. Several top players in the field are reportedly eyeing this lucrative market.
Some recent developments in the field of security doors have been interesting. Product designers have taken the concept of ‘intelligent doors’ to the next level. New models of security doors are available, which are even able to point out to repairs, if any on any of the parts, on their own. With the rapid pace at which software technology is developing, things hitherto considered impossible, are all now within the realms of reality. Newer, sleeker, more intelligent security door models are on their way.