Schneider Electric: Harmony Biometric Switch
As biometric technology grows more popular and proven, Schneider Electric reportedly is the first automation manufacturer to introduce a fingerprint reading device designed for industrial environments. The Schneider Electric Harmony Biometric Switch is a more effective tool for security than passwords or swipe cards that can be lost, shared or stolen. This is a January 2010 Control Engineering North American print edition Product Exclusive.
As biometric technology grows more popular and proven, Schneider Electric reportedly is the first automation manufacturer to introduce a fingerprint reading device designed for industrial environments. The Schneider Electric Harmony Biometric Switch is a more effective tool for security than passwords or swipe cards that can be lost, shared or stolen. It also saves money long-term by reducing calls to IT help desks and helps ensure that only authorized people can access sensitive areas and machine functions.
The new biometric switch can remember up to 200 fingerprints, including several fingers from the same operator, for additional flexibility and precision. The stand-alone device needs no supplementary interface. It’s compact and easy to install. It can be mounted in a standard 22 mm cut-out and connected quickly using bared wires or an M12 connector. A protective cover and guard are optional.
The Harmony Biometric Switch is similar to a key operated selector switch because it has two operating modes. It can be left in on-off mode, or pulse mode for momentary action. Authentication takes less than one second, and the false acceptance rate is less than 0.1%. The entire process is anonymous, because the fingerprints only authorize access, not confirm an individual’s identity.
The Harmony Biometric Switch resists mechanical shock and vibration, protects against EMC noise and UV light, and meets IP65 and NEMA 12 standards.
It’s designed specifically for environments where it’s common for equipment to be exposed to extreme temperature variations, dirt, oil, water and corrosive chemicals, lift trucks and other mobile machines, as well as other factors that require security systems to be “industrially hardened.”
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