Assa Abloy's Innovation Corridor

Normally, I'm pretty loathe to travel to Connecticut - there are more cars on the 10-mile stretch of the Mass Turnpike I have to cover than there are in the whole state of Maine - but I spent a day earlier this month at the Sargent manufacturing facilities to see the new Assa Abloy Innovation Corridor, built under the direction of Stacey Callahan, who heads up marketing for the Door Security Solutions division and is working to bring together all of the many Assa Abloy brands: Sargent, Securitron, Yale, McKinney, HES, Adams Rite, etc. They've put together a nice facility. At the open, you get a demonstration of their evacuation products, like Beacon, which combines strobes, white noise, spoken instructions and lasers to get you to the door pretty quickly. There's also a comparison of photoluminescent vs. electroluminescent technology, which becomes quite interesting when the smoke machines get going and you can't really see a dang thing. Then you move into the electrical access control section, and they've got a nice demonstration area for their locksets with keypads and RFID, etc. This is where the special sauce is, too, that I'm not allowed to talk about. But trust me they've got some interesting stuff to bring out in about a year. Finally, you get the door area, which isn't the most interesting thing you've ever seen, but does at least make you think about what your doors are made from. Then you move into a training area. Seems Assa Abloy's forays into electronic access control has led them to develop a certified dealer program, and soon training will be required before installation of its products. Looks like they've spent a few bucks to make that run smoothly. Maybe the best thing about the tour through the corridor was the obvious pride Assa takes in its products, and the seriousness with which it takes life-safety and security. Too many manufacturers seem to be commoditizing and commercializing security and safety and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Not so, here.