Southco helps to secure self-service postal system

When aCon was looking for a latching system to meet the precise security requirements of its new Swipbox indoor parcel terminals, the Denmark-based supplier of self-service systems to the postal sector turned to global engineering access hardware specialist Southco to deliver the optimum product.

Since its formation in 2004, aCon has a number of postal self-service units across six European locations. Already a well-respected name in the postal world, aCon is enhancing the postal customers' experience at every stage of their journey - from the first to the last mile. aCon offerings include the Self Post Unit, designed to supplement or replace personal post office services, and the Self-Service Post Office, which combines a Self post Unit and a Self Post Locker. Together, these latter two units can perform virtually all first and last mile functions.

Allan Kaczmarek, founder of aCon explains: "The idea behind the post office unit was to transform the postal experience, with users able to do everything they would at a post office - without queues and with more flexibility and privacy". But this wasn't enough, so aCon launched a new product in Spring 2013 specifically developed for e-retailers. Branded Swipbox it consists of a network of indoor parcel terminals, designed to offer an enhanced delivery which would bring e-retailers and their customers closer together and make delivery a value-added part of the buying experience. The Swipbox units are designed to deliver a high-quality, environmentally efficient system which uses pre-established networks, in turn minimising complexity.

Allan Kaczmarek continues: "With Swipbox, we also wanted to offer retailers a completely secure delivery concept where they could be confident that high-value items purchased by their customers were not at risk of theft or vandalism. An optimum latching system was absolutely crucial to this security and Southco, who was already a supplier to self-service giants, including NCR and Wincor Nixdoff, provided us with the R4 EM electronic rotary latch, the perfect latching system to meet our demands."

Easy to install and maintain, the R4 EM delivers the convenience of electronic access control with the security of proven, metal rotary latch design in a compact, integrated package. Its electric gear motor delivers major advantages over solenoid-driven latches in terms of efficiency, through low electrical power consumption and high working and ultimate load capabilities. A convenient mechanical override feature also enables manual or emergency release in the event of a power failure.

Embedded microprocessor

The R4 EM offers excellent vandal resistance and long-term durability and reliability. Its embedded microprocessor enables signal conditioning for added security. Furthermore, it will accept signals from access control devices, such as numeric keypads or swipe-card reader, smart card reader devices, biometric devices, and remote computer.

Kaczmarek notes: "Previous locks failed us on durability and we wasted money on repair and maintenance costs. The Southco lock is extremely durable, which has minimised our service costs dramatically. The quality and reliability of the product and the Southco service has made it easy to offer a real value added product to e-retailers customers."

There are many parcel terminals on offer in the postal locker market place and all have great qualities. However, the efficient Swipbox design enables aCon to pass on cost benefits to its e-retailer users and ultimately their customers. More importantly, by involving Southco, aCon has invested in an intelligent locking mechanism to ensure traceability and security for all parcels.

Swipbox is already enjoying success across Denmark, with popularity at major public hotspots such as universities and supermarkets. Ultimately, the end customer stands to benefit from the industry's efforts into last-mile efficiency. Minimal delivery costs and free shipping will be the norm and aCon, supported by specialist suppliers like Southco, is proud to be playing a part in developments that drive the industry forward.

To learn more about latching systems from Southco, please visit

Southco Manufacturing Ltd

Touch Point, Wainwright Road

+44 (0)1905 346722

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