In parking lots and vehicle parking premises, it is common to use automatic barriers as access control equipment. These devices can be used to regulate the flow of vehicles or to simply allow or deny access to certain users. Thanks to the versatility of these devices, they can be used either in the simplest private parking lot or even for toll management on highways.

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Automatic vehicle barriers usually consist of two parts: the cabinet and the arm. The cabinet is the part that contains the motor, the electricity, and the electronics of the system. It consists of a prismatic metal structure, which must be firmly anchored to the ground. It is common to find these parts made of stainless steel or galvanized steel, with special paint coatings for outdoors, since they are equipment that are usually installed outdoors.

The arm or pole is the characteristic piece that raises or lowers, allowing or hindering the passage of vehicles. It is usually white with red stripes, to be easily identifiable as an automatic barrier, and may also contain LEDs to indicate the status of the system or a rubber edging to protect objects in case of collision. Its construction is usually made of aluminum in order to be lightweight and suitable for outdoor use.

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Types of automatic vehicle barriers

This equipment is usually divided into two main groups, depending on their purpose:

  • Parking barriers: These barriers usually have a mechanical or electromechanical arm drive system. They are intended for moderate use, as well as medium operating speed. As their name suggests, they are used in vehicle parking facilities or for private enclosures.
  • Intensive use barriers: Also called high-speed barriers, they are mainly used in tolls or borders, where a continuous, intensive use and high operating speed are required. They use an electromechanical arm drive system, with brushless electric motors or servomotors

Depending on the space to be covered, as well as the place of installation, barriers can also be classified by the type of arm they use:

  • Straight arm: This is the most common type of barrier, usually between 3 and 6 meters long. Generally, this equipment is installed in places where no specific requirement is needed, since it is the simplest arm. For 6-meter-long arms, it is required to install a vertical support at the end of the arm to allow the arm to rest when the barrier is in horizontal position, due to the great weight of the arm and the movement it generates on the cabinet.
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  • Telescopic arm: This is a variant of the straight arm. In this case, the arm has several sections, which are inserted one inside the other, thus being able to regulate the length of the arm. It is usually used in installations where the characteristics may change, or to reuse the arm in installations with different requirements.
  • Angled arm: This is the most used type of barrier in subterranean parking lots. Due to the limited height available in this type of installation, the use of a straight arm is usually impractical to cover the necessary space. Although there are arms that bend at different angles, the most common is to find arms that bend at 90°, since this is the way in which they are folded more compactly.
  • Parking barriers integrable with any access control system

It is of great importance that these devices can be integrated with the different access controls available on the market. Visiotech's ZKTeco parking barriers are prepared for these integrations since they have an opening control board in which any relay output from different access devices can be easily inserted without any problem.

automatic vehicle barriers

The installation of access control systems in barriers is quite simple: they come prepared with enough space inside, sometimes even with DIN rails, where access controllers of any manufacturer can be installed, although it is also possible to install other types of devices, such as LPR cameras or UHF detectors. In addition to this, the interior space of this equipment is usually large enough to also introduce backup batteries.Parking barriers usually incorporate radiofrequency modules in their control boards, so that they can be operated by remote controls, providing greater versatility in their operation.

In terms of safety, automatic vehicle barriers are expected to be able to stop the arm when it is lowering, and even raise it again, in the event of a collision with a vehicle or pedestrian. This can be achieved in two ways: by electronic adjustments on the barrier plate itself or by pneumatic sensors located in the rubber strip on the arm. In addition, in the event of mechanical failure, the barriers are prepared for manual operation.

It should be noted that automatic vehicle barriers can be opened from the left or right, depending on the direction of traffic to be controlled. In addition, all of them are bidirectional, and access control can be installed both at the entrance and at the exit. In addition to this, they can have different functionalities in terms of opening. Depending on the type of installation, this can be configured as:

  • Free entrance and exit 
  • Entrance and exit controlled by an access control system. 
  • Entrance through access control system and exit free, and vice versa. 
  • Entrance only or exit only. 

To complete the installation of access control with automatic vehicle barriers it is necessary to use different types of sensors, so that the arm opens when the target is at a certain distance or does not close if it detects something passing underneath. The most common are the following:

  • Infrared cell: This type of detector is usually placed in the barrier cabinet, pointing in the same direction as the arm. It is activated or deactivated depending on whether an object cuts the infrared light beam emitted by the sensor itself. It is the simplest of all, since its detection angle is very small.
  • Radar: This equipment is installed in the same way as the infrared cell. However, its operation is much more powerful, since it can detect objects at a greater distance, which can be adjustable, and with a wider opening angle.
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  • Magnetic loop:This type of detector is used exclusively for vehicles. It consists of a metal rope that must be installed in the ground, in a position before the barrier. In this way, when the vehicle passes over the loop, it activates the corresponding sensor of the barrier

In conclusion, the range of ZKTeco parking barriers, together with their accessories, available from Visiotech is the best option for creating and managing parking facilities, offering an unbeatable price and the highest level of quality.