Problem: Oswestry-based IN2 Access & Control Ltd. helps a UK business in the hospitality sector with a common problem that needed a creative solution. As part of ensuring their pub was COVID-secure and safe to welcome back customers, ensuring social distancing was maintained whilst queuing for the toilet (restroom) was understandably an important issue and a top priority. Like many properties, the entrance to the single-use restroom is located at the end of a long narrow hallway. The business needed a way to make sure queues were not forming in the hallway where social distancing would be difficult.
Solution: Derek Foreman, Sales Director at IN2 Access & Control worked with the pub owner to devise a system using a two-colour LED traffic light and photocell switch. The red/green traffic light was placed at the front of the hallway facing the customers (fig. 1). An RP25 reflective photo-electric switch was placed just inside the hallway, casting an invisible beam across which would be broken by customers heading towards the restroom (fig. 2). That would cause the switch to activate turning the green traffic light to red, indicating the restroom was in use.
A flip flop relay (fig. 3) was also used to keep the light red until the customer walks back out of the hallway, breaking the photocell beam and switching the light back to green, indicating the restroom was available again.
In cases where a parent is taking their child to the restroom (and thus the beam could be crossed twice in a short space of time –switching the light back to green prematurely), a further refinement was made. A timer (fig. 4) was integrated to avoid the traffic light turning green if the beam is broken twice within a five second interval.
“It was a simple but effective solution to a problem that many businesses might be facing,” Derek Foreman, Sales and Marketing Director at IN2 Access & Control said. “Businesses want to make sure their customers stay safe and we were happy to help. We can see this type of system work for a variety of situations where you want to avoid people queueing in confined spaces. ”
For additional information regarding this case or for bespoke solutions to a unique problem, contact IN2 Access & Control via email firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 01691 655150, or click the Live Chat link below.
This article can also be seen on the Door Industry Journal website.