Audi AG employees have gone from six cards to one, thanks to Legic’s smart card system that merges parking, access control, time and attendance, and cashless payment ability at vending machines or in the cafeteria. The card also has room for future biometric applications.
Europe’s AUDI AG uses smart card technology from LEGIC for multifunctional employee cards
For many large companies the ideal form of ID security control would be to implement a single uniform, multifunctional employee card that covers all internal applications – ranging from parking, access control, time & attendance, IT access, cashless payments in the cafeteria and at vending machines or gas pumps through to incorporating tomorrow’s biometric high-security applications.
For AUDI AG this ideal has now become a reality. Together with Volkswagen, AUDI AG has introduced a LEGIC-based, multifunctional employee card across the entire Group with great success, and now uses all advantages of its highly secure and flexible smart card technology platform throughout all parts of the company. LEGIC partners Winter AG, Automaten-Seitz and Interflex are also involved in the project.
“The comprehensive venture initiated by AUDI AG and also implemented at Volkswagen locations in Germany as well as at several locations abroad required the two companies to refine and develop an architecture that would fit in throughout the Group. In other words, one that is tailored not only for Volkswagen and AUDI AG, but also for Skoda, Seat and Lamborghini” said Christina Schlichting, head of the ‘Multifunctional card’ project at AUDI AG. She continues “Within the framework of a complex internal Group agreement, a universal company-wide card structure had to be developed that is valid in all companies of the Group, compatible everywhere and yet still take into account company-specific and geographical factors.”
The need for such a system was clear. Over a period of years, employees at AUDI AG had amassed as many as six separate cards and IDs which covered access control, time & attendance, cashless payment, refueling and various other applications. However, the overloaded card systems in place no longer offered an economically justifiable option for additional functions such as access to data and networks or the use of digital signatures, because of the various outdated technologies involved, technologies that were also susceptible to wear. In addition, high maintenance costs were also arising from the continued use and maintenance of the multiple ID systems.
Such costs could be clearly seen simply by taking a look at the time expenditures caused by the internal organization of existing parallel-run identification systems alone. General studies in this area revealed that most companies with more than 10,000 employees have a time expenditure for making an ID of at least 4 minutes per employee and per ID. This means that for every replacement (e.g. approximately every two years for magnetic cards) 4 x 10,000 minutes, i.e. 40,000 minutes or approximately 667 hours of purely internal work time are accrued in each case. For two systems with contacts it is then 1,334 hours, for three IDs 2,001 hours and so on. And these are regularly recurring costs!
To implement a new, more comprehensive and efficient technology therefore a clear set of objectives would need to be achieved. Important selection criteria for the project team were multi-application capability, integration during ongoing operation, flexibility and scalability for continual set up/upgrading, security against tampering through verifiable copy protection, independence from system providers and ease of use and maintenance.
“We decided on the contactless Smart Card system from LEGIC because their technology platform fulfilled our most stringent requirements. Especially important was its security package with the LEGIC Master-Token System Control Ô concept which enables the design of a security and control concept at the highest level while providing substantially more security than systems that are just protected by passwords. In addition, this platform had the desired flexibility and scalability to adapt all applications to the future requirements of the company at anytime – even during ongoing operations”, comments Schlichting.
The new LEGIC contactless Smart Card technology platform provides AUDI AG with An integrated, uniform platform for modern authorization management for everything from parking, access control, time & attendance, cashless payment at food/beverage vending machines and in the cafeteria to possible future biometric applications that would be conceivable in highly sensitive areas such as design. The modular based system solutions can be assembled and upgraded according to individual requirements and needs. Also, so-called hybrid solutions, i.e. a combination of the contactless LEGIC technology and systems with contacts, are also possible.
The AUDI AG multifunctional ID is one such hybrid solution. The LEGIC chip that functions contact-free is, together with the antenna, concealed on the inside of the ID card. The chip with the contact is attached to the back of the ID. This solution is then used to give certain cleared employees access to IT systems and E-business applications for example.
Today, over 100,000 employees within the Volkswagen Group now enjoy the advantages of the uniform, LEGIC-based, multifunctional Group ID. Employee acceptance is high due to the ease of use and convenience of its contactless operation. To ensure smooth processing of entry control, time acquisition and cashless payment with the minimum of delay, approximately 2,000 terminals have been installed at AUDI AG, spread throughout various production locations and at other Group premises.
Total investment in the project to date has been several million euros but there is no question as to the quantifiable benefits. Savings have already been achieved by AUDI AG because employees now require only one ID instead of six. However, as far as the company is concerned, the real economic benefit is that within the Volkswagen Group, a level of security has now been achieved that does not even allow major losses to occur in the first place.
LEGIC Identsystems Ltd, with headquarters in Switzerland, is a world leader in the design and manufacture of 13.56MHz contactless smart card technology. Their product portfolio includes highly integrated LEGIC RF Standard and ISO 15693 and ISO 14443 compliant read/write chip sets. Security Modules and transponder chips for integration into third party products.
LEGIC Identsystems currently work with over 150 external co-operation partners world-wide who offer compatible LEGIC based applications including access control, cashless payment, parking, e-ticketing and other multiplication’s in both workplace and leisure applications.