Home Case Study Paxton’s Net2 installed at Newport Aquarium

Paxton’s Net2 installed at Newport Aquarium

by Geny Caloisi

There are thousands of exotic aquatic creatures at Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky, United States, including playful penguins, rare white alligators, and smiling sharks and stingrays. The aquarium decided to replace its old security system with an easy-to-use and high-security access control solution.

Sec-Tron, an experienced access control integrator, recommended Paxton’s flagship access control system Net2 to provide a simple and scalable security solution.

Net2 is an advanced PC-based access control system that offers centralized administration. It is also designed to easily integrate with other access control systems so site managers can enjoy more streamlined security for their buildings.

Tom Riegler, Sales and Project Manager at Sec-Tron said, “Pipes and tanks surround the whole aquarium, some full of chemicals. They needed access control at each area containing dangerous infrastructure to ensure only experienced employees could gain access and prohibit visitors from accessing those sensitive areas.”

The IT team at Newport Aquarium also wanted a system that uses access cards, allowing them to customize employee ID cards as access cards and increasing access convenience.

David Fortunato, Senior Regional IT Manager at the Newport Aquarium, said, “Most of our doors used locks and keys, and some had swipe card readers. At the aquarium, we have many doors and employees who need to carry equipment up and down stairs, so looking for keys in front of a door is not ideal.

“We really wanted to have one system on our exterior and critical safety doors and also make access convenient for our employees.”

The Newport Aquarium needed durable hardware when sourcing a security system because of its unique environment.

David explains, “Even though the products are installed and secured in cases and locked rooms, being an aquarium, we have heavy amounts of moisture and salt in the air. It can chew up the products.”

Another factor that needed consideration when designing the installation was the possibility of integrating the aquarium’s existing wired infrastructure and security products with the new system.

Tom said: “We did a Net2 product demonstration to Newport Aquarium’s IT team. We told them we could use all the existing cabling, readers, door handles and panels. We said we could retrofit the existing hardware with the Net2 door controllers and make it a clean installation.”

Tom and his team at Sec-Tron installed Net2 at the aquarium. Tom said: “The expandability of the new system was the customer’s main concern. They also liked Net2’s pricing structure.”

The Net2 software can manage up to 1,000 doors and 50,000 users and requires no license fees, making it a cost-effective and scalable security solution.

The Newport Aquarium now uses employee ID cards as Net2’s access tokens. The employees scan their IDs at the staff entrance and go through physical screening to enter the aquarium. Once they are in the park, they must present badges at each door to be given access for a certain number of hours, based on their roles and duties.

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