Pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer employs more than 8,000 people at its manufacturing facility in Sandwich, Kent, England. When the company investigated access control alternatives to better secure facilities and protect staff, they looked to contactless technology to provide the solution.
A team of vendors joined forces to deliver a multifunction system to the company. Swiss RFID manufacturer, LEGIC, supplies 13.56 MHz contactless chips to the project while its partners–Time and Data Systems Ltd., Core International, Initial Systems, and Kaba Benzing–each provided essential pieces to the solution.
Time and Data Systems Ltd. provided the finished cards (using the LEGIC chips) and the system integration and project implementation support. Core International was responsible for the access control software, while Kaba Benzing and Initial Systems provided readers for the installation. To date, more than 500 readers have been deployed.
But the project does not stop at access control. The contactless card serves as the key to a range of applications on the Pfizer campus–a facility that serves as the European headquarters for Pfizer’s research division. In addition to secure access control, the cards are used for time and attendance tracking, emergency head counting, visitor and contractor access control, and employee rewards programs.
According to Stephen Neff, LEGIC’s Sales and Marketing Manager, “the Pfizer employees enjoy the convenience that the contactless technology affords, and they like using the same card for the multiple functions on the Kent campuses.” The system, first installed in the summer of 2002, operates on both the Sandwich and neighboring Walton Oaks facility.
In some parts of the world, the use of 13.56 MHz contactless technology for access control is still in its infancy. LEGIC and its partner network, however, have been deploying the technology throughout Europe and in other parts of the world for nearly a decade.
With more than 300 client sites already deployed, the company’s contactless technology for both cards and readers is well established. Major companies including Daimler Chrysler, BMW, Audi Volkswagen, Bayer, Deutsche Bank, and Opel use LEGIC contactless technology to secure employees and facilities.
When asked why Pfizer elected contactless cards for the project, Mr. Neff replied, “company executives recognized that it was the best technology choice for access control because of the end user convenience and the low maintenance requirements and costs” He adds, “they selected LEGIC technology because of our superior security.”
The 13.56 MHz chips used by Pfizer utilize LEGIC’s proprietary operating system and mask. Company representatives confirm the pending release of a new chip, called LEGICadvant?, that complies with both ISO 14443 and ISO 15693.