Mekorot to install MekLock, an Innovative Access Control System

Author: Mr. Gil Groskop

MekLock is an innovative access-control mobile app with a sophisticated management system that integrates with electronic locking devices, and through which it is possible to track entry of authorized users and lock doors remotely.

Critical infrastructure companies all over the world are by nature required to maintain and operate multiples facilities that are widely spread over large geographically areas. Many of these sites contain multiple buildings, entrances and cabinets, and carry large quantities of expensive equipment that must be kept under lock and key, making them vulnerable to break-ins and sabotage.
Standard locking systems are generally mechanical, physical lock-and-key systems that are generally exposed to a greater risk of: sabotage and key loss which can entail high-cost replacement of the locking apparatus, and unauthorized keys and entries due to absence of tracking and remote locking capabilities.

Mekorot Central Region has initiated development of an application-based access-control system that combines a sophisticated back-end system with smart electronic locks made by Knock nLock Ltd in Israel. Aplicatzia software house has developed the software based on a detailed analysis of requirements and processes conducted at Mekorot.
The system allows authorized users to report entries and exits from Mekorot facilities without involving the control rooms, which reduces loads on the control rooms and boosts security on company premises.



How the system works
Authorized users receive an electronic key and an access-control mobile app. Access points are equipped with stand-alone smart electronic locks which are deployed across the facilities concentric rings of security, including external gates, doors, and equipment and communications cabinets. These locks communicate with the authentication and back-end servers at company headquarters via the authorized users mobile application. Using the mobile network obviates the need for conventional communications infrastructure at all the stations, as all communication is wireless.
When a user reaches his or her destination and activates the app, the system identifies the user and location and authenticates his or her credentials. Based on these the system allows the user to open the electronic lock using a code sent from the smartphone to the electronic key, and then deactivates the sites security system to allow the authenticated entry.
Control-rooms are equipped with a sophisticated back-end for controlling and viewing access, and producing reports and access credentials on demand, distributing cross-company announcements, and receiving panic-button reports on an interactive map.


Aplicatzia and Knock nLock have partnered with WaTech®, Mekorots water innovation & technologycenter, on a collaborative access-control project. Under this joint venture, Knock nLock electronic locks will be installed at Mekorot facilities, and Aplicatzia will be responsible for developing the access-control software for the locking systems. Mekorot will be providing the demo site and is committed to technologically supporting the access-control system as well as the projects future developments.
Knock nLock is an Israeli company that develops, manufactures, and distributes Outlock Systems, an innovative technological solution for remote locking and access-credential management. Their locking systems work well with the water infrastructure facilities, communications and power enclosures, safes, and many other types of doors.
Aplicatzia, the software house developing the application, specializes in back-end systems and applications that streamline business processes. Their fresh approach, dynamic development environment with highly appreciated technological capabilities have contributed to a true understanding of customer needs, accurate product analysis, and the final products compliance with the analysis.

System Benefits
There are several clear benefits of using the system:
1. Reduced infrastructure costs: using smartphone-based communications between the authorized user in the field and the control-room saves setting up dedicated infrastructure at all the facilities.
2. User friendly and flexible: the system has been designed to be very user-friendly and highly flexible.
3. Convenient navigation to facility: authorized users can find their way to sites they are unfamiliar with by scrolling to the desired site on a Waze or Google Maps interface, and then use these apps to navigate.
4. Standalone system: the locks at the end facilities are independent in that they do not require communications and their power consumption is low.
5. Panic button: the mobile app has a panic button function that will broadcast a distress signal to the control room with the users details and exact location.
6. Authorization circles: an option to configure authorization circles by site, so that it is possible to deactivate protection systems within a given circle

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