How many automatic doors have you walked through today? We’re willing to bet it’s been quite a few!

In this blog, we give an overview of automatic doors (their history, how they’ve evolved and their benefits), followed by an explanation of how they work. If you’re looking for automatic doors installation and/or servicing, find out how we can help.

An overview

Automatic doors are so commonplace in today’s world, you probably don’t even notice them! They’re prevalence is due to their many benefits, including:

  • Energy efficiency.
  • Hands-free experience, which is both convenient and hygienic.
  • They help to manage building traffic.

The first (modern) automatic doors were invented in 1954 by Americans Dee Horton and Lee Hewitt. Since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength in terms of popularity and can be found in most commercial buildings including offices, hotels, healthcare facilities and educational institutions.

As their popularity has grown, so too have the varieties. The different types of automatic doors include:

  • Sliding doors (great for two-way traffic)
  • Swinging doors (better for one-way traffic)
  • Folding doors (ideal for small entrances)
  • Revolving doors (good for controlling high-traffic areas by allowing visitors to exit and enter simultaneously).

How do automatic doors work?

Automatic doors open when their sensor detects a cue. An activation signal is sent to the door operating mechanism which then opens the door.

There are two different types of sensors: trigger sensors and safety sensors.

Trigger sensors

  • A pressure sensor, normally in the form of a mat or pad on the floor which detects weight or pressure and signals the door to open.
  • A motion detector which opens the door when someone approaches it.
  • Push button: the door opens when the button is pushed by a visitor.
  • Access control: a visitor inputs a code or uses a fob or remote control to activate a code reader to open the door.

Safety sensors

Have you noticed automatic doors rarely come into contact with visitors? This is because of their safety sensors which prevent the doors from closing into an obstacle.

Safety sensors come in two types: those fixed to an opening door which will detect anyone within the sweep of the door as it opens and shuts- incrementally; and those fixed to the wall adjacent to the doors (or the door frame) which constantly monitor for persons within a pre-ordained area. Device selection will depend on the size and design of the door together with the amount of traffic within its vicinity.

How we can help

Automatic doors enhance your property by providing convenient and secure access.

WLS install and service a variety of door automation equipment from leading manufacturers including Record, BFT and FAAC, and we are DHF registered.

Our experienced team of engineers are able to install door automation to new or existing doors, complete with controls and integration to third party access control and door entry systems.

Interested? Call our team on 0208 676 4300 for an initial consultation and to arrange a free site survey.

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