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There are several different types of automated gate available to meet the individual needs of the end user.

There is a variety of access control methods, automation methods and numerous safety devices available for use on powered gates depending on the specific requirements of each site. Specialists in powered gate automation are best placed to advise you on the preferred option for your situation.

 Swing Gate or Hinged Gate


There are numerous automation options for swing gates, ranging from very small units for pedestrian gates, to large electro-mechanical or hydraulic operators. There is an argument to be made that swing gates tend to be a better option for small to mid-sized entrances while larger entrances can be better served with a sliding gate. There are of course instances when a Swing gate would be preferable on larger entrances.

Automated hinged gates, or swing gates as they are also known, are designed to provide automated access within a fence line (for example, where the runback required for a sliding gate is not available). The positioning and setup of drive any unit is critical to ensuring correct and safe operation of the gate. When specified and installed correctly to suit the size and weight of gate and the required duty cycle, this should ensure ongoing reliability in operation.

Some of these drives are more suitable for retro-fitting to manually operated gates, in particular above-ground drives.


Automatic Sliding Gate


Sliding gates are often specified where space is a limiting factor for swing gates or where the entrance area is large and a swing gate would be impractical. Automation allows the sliding gate to be opened and closed from a location remote to the gate. There are several common hazards which are specific to an automated sliding gate and there is a need to risk assess each gate and apply the appropriate control measures.

Some possible advantages to installing a sliding gate are that they can provide access control across large entrance areas and rapid operation combined with high duty cycles for busy commercial and industrial applications.


Tracked & Cantilever Sliding Gates


A tracked gate works by running on a metal rail set into the ground immediately below the gate. The base of the tracked gate has wheels mounted on it, and these run along the rail. This is a simple option for an automated gate. It is ideal for wide access locations (25 metres plus).

A cantilever gate offers a further degree of sophistication compared to tracked sliding gates. It operates by using an extended section of gate to counterbalance the actual gate leaf that spans the access. So, in effect, the gate is suspended and does not need a track below to run along. The balance is provided by a runback track, which enables the gate to be fully projected across the roadway without tipping.


Bi-folding Gates (Speed Gates)


This design offers the opportunity of having an automated swing gate in a confined space into which a standard gate would not fit. It is primarily designed for sites with limited space or where rapid opening is an important factor. Bi-folding gates are available in manual or automatic tracked or trackless versions. 


PAS 68 Vehicle security barriers

(Note: - PAS 68:2010 is the publicly-available specification for impact testing on vehicle security barriers)

PAS 68:2010 is a classification for vehicle security barriers and gates. It provides a comparative method of assessing the performance of any system designed to stop vehicles. It gives requirements and specifications for security barriers to assist in the prevention of terrorism and crime.

It provides a comparative method of assessing the performance of any vehicle barrier system designed to stop vehicles travelling at speed. As a result of the impact test, the vehicle barrier is given a classification code to identify the product's ability to mitigate the effect of impact by hostile vehicles.

Access controls

  • This is an integral part of any automated gate automation system for sliding swing gate and bi-folding gate installations, for both commercial and domestic sites. The design and installation of access control systems need careful consideration to ensure they meet the safety requirements of the gates. The main types of access control are:

    • radio remote control
    • proximity detectors
    • number plate recognition
    • digital keypad
    • intercom
    • magnetic card reader
    • induction loop detector
    • push button (local or remote)
    • HMI (Human Machine Interface) – computerised push button control system
    • audio or CCTV remote control
    • integration into existing access control system


The motor is at the heart of every automated gate. Types of motor include hydraulic or electro-mechanical. Both types of operator have their strengths and both are available for a wide range of gate weights and sizes. The type and specification of the motor should take account of matching power rating to size/weight, wind loading and use of the gate.

Safety Edges

Pressure sensitive safety edges are used to provide protection at the closing and opening edges of automated gates and at potential crushing or shearing points to minimise the risk of injury that could be caused by a moving gate. Safety edges are usually installed on both sides of the gate frame.  Additional safety edges can be fitted to provide protection at the electric motor case and other shearing points, depending on the individual gate design and position relative to other fixed points such as walls etc.

Photo Cells

Standards require that safety edges are used in conjunction with infra-red photo electric beams which send an invisible light beam between each sensor. When the beam is broken the system can be affected in a number of ways to provide different levels of safety.

Pedestrian Gates

Use of automated or manually operated hinged or sliding pedestrian gates adjacent to vehicle gates can reduce the exposure of pedestrians to the hazards of vehicle access and any hazards associated with these. Where these gates are automated, the same health & safety requirements apply.

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