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Access system in endurance test

ProLoop2 from Bircher Smart Access: Essential part of border facilities at San Ysidro Port of Entry

With the help of ProLoop2 from BBC Bircher Smart Access systems integrator GateKeeper Intelligent Security has optimized traffic flow at the largest border crossing between the U.S. and Mexico. The customized loop detector ensures reliable opening and closing of the barriers when crossing the border by vehicle.


Long lines of cars winding through the desert in the sweltering heat of the day or the starry cold of the night: It would be hard to find a better image of Mexico’s close economic ties with the United States than the San Ysidro Port of Entry border crossing in Southern California. In terms of traffic volume, it is the second largest in the world between two states. Traffic flows across the national border on 34 lanes – over 70,000 vehicles per day heading north alone.


The security and access systems at the border crossing were installed and implemented by Gatekeeper Intelligent Security. The U.S.-based systems integrator specializes in intelligent inspection, hazard mitigation and automated traffic management. In particular, the focus is on the ability to perform multiple safety-relevant functions as accurately and simultaneously as possible. Since 2005, Gatekeeper has implemented more than 1,500 projects in over 30 countries, many of them using Bircher Smart Access solutions.


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Stringent requirements for robustness and efficiency


Robert Rozploch is Senior Vice President of Engineering at Gatekeeper and explains the challenges of the Southern California project: “Like at other ports of entry, the reliable opening of barriers must be ensured when crossing the border, and this is usually done with intensive and often uninterrupted traffic. Add to that the wide temperature swings in the desert, with temperature differences between day and night of 50 degrees or more.”


Initially, the standard ProLoop2 loop detector from Bircher Smart Access was used at the San Ysidro Port of Entry with two loops, two relay outputs and 24V AC/DC input. Via the induction loops installed in the ground, the system detects metallic vehicles of all kinds – from bicycles to large commercial vehicles. ProLoop2 is designed to meet the highest standards for reliability and operational safety. Special attention was also paid to simple operation and rapid commissioning.


Direct access via PC for customer-specific settings


To further increase the temperature resistance of the ProLoop2, Bircher Smart Access engineers used highly temperature-stable components and developed the system accordingly. They provided a special cable for direct access via PC. This resulted in an even more powerful and flexible version of the ProLoop2 for Gatekeeper, which now meets the high requirements in optimal fashion.


The further enhanced ProLoop2 is now an integral part of Gatekeeper’s instrumentation at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Thanks to enhanced connectivity and direct accessibility, operators can make all desired adjustments to the device themselves. Not only can all values be read out live and transferred to connected systems, but the parameters can, if necessary, be changed in real time – for example for specific settings per vehicle type.


Successful project underpins partnership


“Bircher Smart Access responded quickly to our requests, showed itself to be very cooperative, and delivered exactly what we needed even as our requirements increased – that’s what we imagine in a good partner,” Rozploch sums up. Based on the positive experience with ProLoop2 in Southern California, Gatekeeper Intelligent Security has decided to use Bircher’s system for all other border security installations in the future.


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