Automatic Systems (company)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Automatic Systems
IndustrySecurity equipment manufacturer
HeadquartersWavre, Belgium
Key people
Company founder Michel Coenraets
CEO: Maxime Boulvain
ProductsAccess control systems
Number of employees
348 (2016)
SubsidiariesAutomatic systems SAS-France
Automatic Systems Española SAU
Automatic Systems Equipment UK Ltd.
Automatic Systems America Inc.
Automatic Control Systems Inc.
Suzhou Automatic Systems Entrance Control Co., Ltd.(ASS)

Automatic Systems, a subsidiary of Bolloré Group, is a company, specialising in the automation of secure entrance control.[1][2] The company designs and manufactures vehicle, pedestrian and passenger access control equipment. According to the IMS research, titled "The World Market for Pedestrian Entrance Control Equipment" (2013), Automatic Systems is ranked No. 1 as speed gates supplier for Mass Transit Applications in the world and for Intrabuilding in EMEA.[3] Headquartered in Wavre, the Belgian province of the Walloon Brabant situated close to Brussels, the capital of Belgium, Automatic Systems operates through its subsidiaries located in France, the UK,[4] Spain, Canada and the USA.[5] and a network of worldwide distributors. The company exports 90% of its production through a network of international distribution partners. Its net sales topped €71.9 million in 2016.[6]

Its production sites are located in Wavre and Gembloux (Belgium), Persan[7] (France) and Brossard (Montreal-Canada).[8]


Automatic Systems is a Belgian company founded in 1969 by the Belgian entrepreneur Michel Coenraets.[9][10] With the help of friends and family and 1 million BEF as start-up capital, Michel Coenraets started Automatic Systems in a 15m2 garage in the suburbs of Brussels. It is in this small garage that the first vehicle barriers were developed using the crankshaft-rod principle, a reference in the barrier and gate sectors ever since. These barriers equipped the parking of the newly inaugurated site of the Department Store Innovation in Brussels and the new off-street Parking 44 site in 1969. That year, the company also supplied a prototype of the pedestrian turnstile to the Brussels metro. Within 2 years, all new Brussels metro lines were equipped by Automatic Systems turnstiles. At the end of the first fiscal year, the company employed 5 people and generated a revenue of 4 million BEF.

1971 marked the beginning of Automatic Systems’ international expansion with the supply of 101 vehicle parking barriers to the new Frankfurt Airport in Germany, followed by various important French contracts with the French railways SNCF, and the prestigious Centre Beaubourg in Paris which chose Automatic Systems to equip its parking.

In 1974, the company moved its production and offices to Wavre (Walloon Brabant-Belgium), from where it still manages its business,[11] and opened its first subsidiary in Paris. Montreal in Canada and Barcelona in Spain followed in 1986. The UK subsidiary was opened in 1994.

In 1998, Automatic Systems bought the barrier division of ASEA-ABB known under the name of BCA. In 2002, Automatic Systems was acquired by Bolloré thus reporting to the IER Group.[12] Every day more than 90 million people use Automatic Systems equipment worldwide.[13]

Crankshaft-rod principle[edit]

Automatic Systems has been the first company to use the principle of the crankshaft rod (movement transmission by crankshaft-rod) in the development and manufacturing of automatic barriers and gates.[14] This system, already in use in numerous applications, has become a reference in access control equipment for many years ahead.[15] The advantages of a movement by crankshaft-rod are twofold: it allows a perfect mechanical locking of the boom in both end positions (open and close), thus preventing any external influence (e.g. attempt to raise the boom...); it ensures a smooth speed acceleration of the boom till 45° and a speed deceleration up to 90° avoiding shocks at the beginning and the end of the movement (see below sample of mechanism with crankshaft - rod device.)[16]

Products and markets[edit]

Heathrow Terminal 4 ePassport gates
Vehicle access control

Rising barriers, road blockers and bollards are mainly installed in toll stations, at the entrances and exits of parking and for traffic management and perimeter access.[17]

Pedestrian access control

Turnstiles, swing gates and security doors are installed in the hall of office buildings, public and private administrations, industries, leisure and sports centers.

Passenger access control

Automatic access control gates, ePassport gates and anti-reflow doors are mainly installed in Metro/Tram stations,[22] airports, railway, bus and ferry stations.


  1. ^ Slits Vincent, "Automatic Systems", La Libre Belgique, 4 February 2014.
  2. ^ "The EMEA and Americas markets for Entrance Control Equipment", IMS Research, 2007
  3. ^ Omar Talpur, "The World Market for Pedestrian Entrance Control Equipment ", IMS Research, 2013
  4. ^ "The UK market is now the focus for a Belgium based access control manufacturer", Perimeter Systems, 2008
  5. ^ "The key for the best", Chinese magazine in Belgium, Summer 2013
  6. ^ "Made in Belgium: Automatic Systems contrôle le monde depuis Wavre", Radio Télévision Belge Francophone, 14 April 2013
  7. ^ "Automatic Systems opens a new industrial site un Persan, France" Archived December 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Fire and Security News, 5 Septembre 2013
  8. ^ "Automatic Systems", Top Security - Vie des entreprises, September 2008
  9. ^ "Automatic Systems celebrate 40-year anniversary", Security World Int'l, 2008
  10. ^ "Champions du monde", Télémoustique, 2008
  11. ^ Amandine Cloot, "Automatic Systems, from Wallonia to the rest of the world!", Gate, February 2014
  12. ^ "Industry News in Brief". Railway Gazette. 1 April 2002. The IER subsidiary of French group Bolloré, has become the main shareholder of Belgian access control supplier Automatic Systems, which has been part of the German Plettac group since 1999. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  13. ^ Waitt, Tammy (11 May 2017). "SlimLane Competes in 'ASTORS' Homeland Security Awards". American Security Today.
  14. ^ "Innovator in access control systems", Business Day, 18 October 2013
  15. ^ Gille, Bertrand, "A History of Technology and Invention, Progress Through the Ages", ed. Maurice Daumas, New York, 1969
  16. ^ Ritti, Tullia, Grewe, Klaus, Kessener, Paul, "A Relief of a Water-powered Stone Saw Mill on a Sarcophagus at Hierapolis and its Implications", Journal of Roman Archaeology , 2007
  17. ^ "Automatic Systems donne accès aux premières autoroutes chinoises à péage", Vers l'Avenir, 2008
  18. ^ "A Sotchi, les barrières de sécurité sont “Made in Wavre",L'Avenir, February 2014
  19. ^ "Automatic Systems is one of eight Belgian companies supplying equipment to the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia" Archived 2014-12-24 at the Wayback Machine,In Security, February 2014
  20. ^ "Aux J.O. de Sotchi, les barrières d’Automatic System sécurisent le périmètre",L'Info Expoprotection, February 2014
  21. ^ "Automatic Systems aux JO de Sotchi",Canal Z, February 2014
  22. ^ "La Stib fermera ses portillons dès 2010 (The Stib close its doors in 2010)",La Dernière Heure, 2 April 2009

External links[edit]