Biometric Access Control
Few topics are more important in operating a vivarium than facility security. The vivarium is not only home to animals and support staff but, it typically houses controlled chemical compounds as well as invaluable research data. Threats to the above can be as benign as accidently disturbing a light critical study to malicious intruders out to destroy a lifetime of work. Whether accidental or intentional, a compromised access control system could pose immediate and profound consequences.
While there are many different forms of access control solutions; the question is, what is the most reliable way to keep your facility safe and secure?
The oldest and most universal method for securing a door is by using a key. You probably have a dozen of them in your pocket right now, for your house, your car, and maybe even your office. Though common and typically inexpensive, keys open your facility to risk. Keys are easily lost, often forgotten, easy to duplicate and share. The bottom line is that keys do not offer adequate protection for a critical environment.
Another long established solution for security is the use of magnetic stripe and RFID proximity cards. More common than keys, magnetic stripe and RFID proximity cards offer the user a fairly simple access control system. They allow one card to open any number of doors throughout a facility. Similar to keys though, proximity cards can be shared or stolen therefore defeating the sense of security they provide.
The best way to control access into a critical environment is through three factor authentication: what you have, what you are, and what you know. At AALAS in November, Edstrom introduced a revolutionary Biometric Access Control system that contains all three authentication methods. It accomplishes this by using:
What you know – PIN
What you are – Finger Print Recognition
What you have – RFID Proximity Card
Each door unit within the system comes complete with all three-features already available. The customer has the option of choosing any combination of these features to be active at any door throughout their facility. The system also allows for flexibility; a system administrator is allowed to change the people and their entry criteria at any time, as often as you like. In most cases the units will work with your existing RFID cards, saving you hundreds of dollars annually. Unique to this product, is an additional distress feature. If desired, the system will issue a silent, distress alarm to the authorities while continuing to grant access to the person under duress.
Designed to Department of Defense standards, all communications are encrypted. There are no fingerprints scans stored in the system and the software cannot be accessed without fingerprint verification. Even the hardware itself is secure, with functionality split between the head unit where the user is authenticated, and the controller where the door open command is actually given. Unlike other access control solutions, there is nothing that can be done to the head unit to force it to open the door.
The Edstrom Biometric Access Control system is a scalable solution that can be placed on one door or throughout an entire facility. Customers can add Biometric Access Control to the perimeter of their building, refrigerators/freezers, and any other critical storage location. This cost effective solution is exceptionally user friendly, will reduce annual operating costs, and provide you with the peace of mind of knowing that your facility, your animals, your employees, and your research are all secure.
How Do You Improve Communication? With SmartLab
When you look at different ways to improve communication around animal management you must start with reliable information. You also need to consider the ability to maintain data integrity and the means to view it quickly and easily.
SmartLab offers you one location for information on your animals. A single location is extremely beneficial because different users only need to enter and retrieve information from one system. Users can retrieve information on everything from protocol management, to tracking animal movement, animal records, task completion, and colony management.
SmartLab is built around the following philosophies:
• Operational consistency utilizing processes considered "best practice"
• Data integrity through real-time information entry
• Improved communication by ensuring global access at any time
For example, a researcher has a study that requires surgery for the animals. The animal care staff can be assigned clearly defined tasks to prepare the animals for surgery such as fasting the day prior to surgery. The veterinarian and/or researcher can set up a treatment plan for the weeks following the surgery so those animals are taken care of appropriately. The clearly defined individual tasks for the treatment plan are assigned to an individual or group of individuals in real-time. There is no guessing of what needs to be done and who is responsible for getting the job done. The veterinarian can confirm the tasks are being completed and the expected results are occurring with the animals. The improved communication between the animal care staff, veterinarian, and researcher is facilitated by the use of real time data provided by SmartLab. This improved communication benefits the facility with work being completed in a timely manner, reduced confusion, improved morale, and money saved. Additionally, all tasks described above, along with the per diem rates are automatically tracked in SmartLab. This provides the facility an accurate way to generate cost reports for the researcher. The facility has the option of having the researcher review the costs and apply the appropriate grant number prior to invoicing. This process improves the flow of grant money and increases researcher satisfaction.
With these examples you can see how different people are engaged and communicating by entering information, looking at to-dos, completing tasks, evaluating trends, verifying information, and reporting. SmartLab is an effective communication tool that your entire staff would utilize each and every day.
Improved communication would enable your entire staff to focus on your core mission: Delivering animal care and scientific research efficiently!
Edstrom at 60th AALAS National Meeting
What an AALAS meeting! With a high overall attendance and increased international attendees at the 60th National AALAS convention in Denver, you would have never guessed that these are challenging economic times in the US and abroad. The Edstrom booth, was particularly busy with customers as new products were on display and with it being Edstrom¹s 40th anniversary, Edstrom showcased the following innovative solutions:
SmartLab improves operational efficiencies with animal management software for your animal facility.
Pulse is a new vivarium management software solution that provides real-time environmental data, time-saving automation and an intuitive user interface.
If you did not have the opportunity to see these products during the National AALAS Meeting, they are featured in this issue of the Update newsletter.
For those of you who visited our booth in Denver . . . Thank you! We will see you in Atlanta.
Water Purification Spectrum
Reducing or eliminating variables that can impact research is a continuing trend in the medical research industry. Water is one key variable that continues to draw attention in research facilities, not only can water supplies vary from region to region but seasonal variations in municipal supplies. Edstrom offers three levels of water purification depending on the needs of your animals and facility. The water purification spectrum chart above depicts the varying levels for water filtration that can be achieved utilizing various methods of filtration from particle filtration to Reverse Osmosis.
1. Particle Filtration (Filter Bank) will remove undissolved particles in the water down to 0.2 microns. This includes some bacterium such as cryptosporidium and e-coli.
2. Biological Filtration (Ultrafilter) removes up to 99.99% of all bacterium and viruses. It will also remove undissolved particles down to 0.02 microns.
3. Reverse Osmosis is the utmost form of filtration. It will remove up to 99.99% of all biological and elemental contaminations. Reverse Osmosis will give you the most consistent water quality, no matter what may change with the source. Reverse Osmosis is the only proven treatment for removing pharmaceutical contaminations that may be in the water. There are several post-treatment options available with Reverse Osmosis including chlorination and acidification as well.
For more information on Edstrom water purification go to or contact your Edstrom Sales Consultant.
Edstrom Celebrating 40 Years
This year is special for Edstrom as it is our 40th anniversary. We would like to take this opportunity to say "thank you" to all of our customers who have contributed to making Edstrom into the company that it is today. What began as a modest home business for Bill and Sylvia Edstrom with the mission of manufacturing a better animal drinking valve for their chinchillas, has grown over the past 40 years to a global company, focused on protecting animal health and valuable research.
Although initially started as an animal watering company, Edstrom has grown over the years to include software and hardware solutions for the research facility. These solutions encompass environmental monitoring and water purification as well as animal management systems. With these products and services, Edstrom is a company that employs over 250 people and has installed systems in over 40 countries around the world.
Our global presence has continued to expand with increased interest from our established European and Asian markets. Recently, Edstrom added sales consultants to the China/Southeast Asia market, France, and the Australia/New Zealand regions. Expansion into these markets allows Edstrom to provide our international customer base with unparalleled service and support. We are proud to be a strong part of the research community and we look forward to being your partner in the years to come. From Edstrom and all of its employees worldwide, thank you.
Who's New At Edstrom
Megan Bathurst joined Edstrom in July 2009 as the Sales Consultant for Australia and New Zealand. Megan is a former Animal Facility Manager most recently at the University of Queensland where she was also the staff trainer. She has a BS degree from Griffith University and a number of certificates in Animal Technology and Training.
Megan is passionate about research to improve the lives of animals, plants and humans. Over the years she has developed a particular interest in animal ethics and welfare issues. By providing better quality outcomes to the lives of reearch animals and the staff, Megan feels strongly that Edstrom products and solutions can impact both of these areas.
Megan was born and raised in Australia and currently lives on the east coast in Brisbane. Contact Megan at: firstname.lastname@example.org