Ariel Corporation, based in Mount Vernon, Ohio, is an innovative and rapidly growing manufacturer of gas compression equipment. Quality of design and manufacturing is a priority for the company, and Ariel compressors are considered the world standard for performance and reliability. In 2016, Ariel decided it was time to improve the safety and security of both employees and visitors.
“Our outdated guest registration process required a refresh, and we also wanted to improve the security surrounding guests in the facilities,” explained Brian Bell, project manager at Ariel. At this point, Ariel was still using a manual, paper-based system to manage and account for visitors.
Ariel reached out to its access control integrator, Vision Concept Technology. “We already had access control in place and visitor management was the next evolution of physical access control,” said Vision Concept’s Lafe Brownfield, business relations manager. Brownfield determined Ariel needed a visitor management system that would integrate with its fairly large existing access control system. “They are a higher-end, larger enterprise company with 1,000-plus employees and multitudes of visitors; physical security is a big thing for them,” he said. “They also have several different sites, and needed a solution that could handle multi-site with single point integration.”
In addition, the solution Ariel was looking for needed to be scalable and flexible. “Being flexible and customizable was key,” Brownfield explained. “We did not want to fit the customer to the product, but the product to the customer.”
Multi-functionality was another aspect that had to be kept in mind, because Ariel was looking for a solution that could eventually grow from visitor management to handling employee tracking and more. An immediate component of this was to incorporate photo IDs for staff members. “Our employees had badges without photos, and weren’t even required to wear them,” Bell said.
Keeping all of Ariel’s requirements and goals in mind, Vision Concept Technology suggested a solution from Savance, Brownfield said. The fact that Savance already integrated with Ariel’s infinias access control system was also one of the reasons Vision Concept first contacted Savance. They called infinias, now owned by 3xLOGIC, and told them what they were looking for. Infinias referred them to Savance.
The availability of an emergency mustering solution was yet another benefit, as one of Ariel’s main goals was to improve the safety and security of employees and guests. Emergency mustering added another piece to the puzzle.
The Savance team proposed a solution with 16 kiosks, divided among the various facilities. Each podium-style kiosk was outfitted with a printer, a 2D barcode license scanner, and a camera. The 2D scanner would be used both for signing in with a driver’s license and for signing in or out as a visitor using a Savance-generated barcode. Savance also custom-tailored the visitor management screens as well as the kiosk itself to match Ariel’s branding.
The implementation phase did not come without its challenges and issues to be resolved. “Many challenges came up with implementation and configuring the system to work with our existing door access control system,” Bell said. “However, the team was diligent to get it figured out and worked with our team to make the solution work.” Ariel’s IT staff also did their part for the complete system to function at its best for Ariel’s needs. They even improved on Savance’s existing infinias integration by adding some enhancements to the scripts, and then sharing these enhancements with Savance for future infinias integration projects.
Since the implementation of Savance solutions, and the integration with its infinias access control system, Ariel has seen an increase in both visitor and employee security. “Our visitor security has increased and we have better visibility on everyone who is in our facilities at any time,” Bell said.
Overall, Ariel’s entire visitor process has been automated and streamlined. When visitors arrive and sign in through a visitor kiosk, Ariel is now able to show them a required safety video. Visitors also sign a non-disclosure agreement and acknowledge reading it over, as well as get their picture taken.