EducationHow automatic doors work - Automatic door installation methods

How automatic doors work – Automatic door installation methods

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Nothing is more inviting than doors that open specifically for you. It is not necessary touch them for them to close or open. Automated doors are an amazing convenience not only for those with disabilities and help to maintain the necessary standard of hygiene and offer general ease.

They first appeared as a commercial item in 1960, just six years after their creation in the hands of two Americans, Dee Horton and Lew Hewitt. The invention quickly grew into widespread usage. They’re particularly helpful in areas with high traffic, or in times of emergency however, they also function well for traffic control by removing obstacles individuals face when trying to get around.

In addition to making it easy for people to move to and from buildings, the change in the way doors open is a great way to minimize the area they take up. Doors that are automated usually open in a sideways fashion with panels sliding in a series. They can be replaced by swinging doors. they enable smaller structures to make the most of space, and without needing huge doors. There are many kinds of doors that are automated, and all depend on certain signals to indicate when they are ready to open. Even though these approaches differ but the fundamental principle remains the same.

A automatic door system analyses light and sound, as well as weight, or any movement within its range to determine if it is time to open. Sensors are designed to match the various environments that they’re required in. For instance, a busy street might not be suitable for an entrance with a motion sensor because of the amount of people passing by. A mat that is pressure sensitive will be better suited for limiting the space to be monitored.

Components required for automatic doors

Active infrared

Any object that produces heat emits the off of infrared radiation and the role of sensors is to recognize it. The use of infrared instead motion makes the system ideal to detect human body heat in relation to other objects. Systems that are active emit receive signals distinct from passive systems which only receive.


Microwave sensors utilize electromagnetic radiation to detect the movement of objects. They are not just become open when they detect motion, but thanks to microwaves the direction of movement is able to be identified to increase the accuracy.

Method of combining

Utilizing microwave and infrared technology, you can increase the amount information that is captured from the door. Combining these two technologies can improve the accuracy and efficiency, while also reducing the chance of being in the middle of a door which doesn’t move.

Activators (sensors)

Activators are devices that transmit messages to the unit controlling motion in the automatic door. This function is carried out through sensors (microwave) devices – either normal that respond to any motion, or directional, that detect if the object is moving towards and/or moving towards the door. Utilizing directional radars ensures the speed of opening the doors. The door opens prior to the entry of the user and closed when the person is exits (less cold air coming in during winter, smaller dimensions for your vestibule). The downside for radar detectors is the fact that they can only respond to objects that are moving.

To stop the door to close when a person passing by comes to a stop and is in the line to close in the closing line, lighting obstacles (so-called photocells) are employed. They are devices that create a bright light which if interrupted, is an indication that the door has to return to its open position. For hinged doors the detector needs to be placed at a certain sufficient distance to ensure that the door will not open accidentally. To keep those who are not planning to enter the detector area, special barriers such as flower pots, fences or other barriers. should be utilized.

Infrared strips that are positioned above the door are designed to avoid collision with the leaf of the door while people are in the vicinity of closing or opening the door. Infrared sensors are passive sensors which monitor the changes in heat that is emitted by individuals in the field of detection.

There are optical sensors that can scan the space adjacent to the door, and then react to the area in accordance with (they also recognize the presence of stationary items, e.g. when a flowerpot is placed within the door’s area). These are active infrared gadgets that are fitted with a diode which continuously or infrequently emits light infrared. The receiver is able to monitor the reflection of the light. Any shift in reflection is interpreted as a change to the condition of the detector field. In the case of automated doors, this could cause the door to be opened. The active infrared curtains detects the movement as well as the presence of objects within the detection zone.

In sliding doors that rotate (at between the housing and door) the safety contact bars are set up to prevent fingers, for instance, from getting trapped in the gap between moving components of the door as well as housing. To achieve the same purpose over-stress switches (closing forces up to 150N) are used within sliding doors. The door is also operated by various kinds of floor and wall pushbuttons (for emergencies, or for opening sliding doors that revolve) Pressure mats, Induction loops and radio remote controls (by remote controls) and pull-rod switches. access controls (magnetic reader or proximity cards Key switches or keypads) or an indication coming from the panel, if the door is part of an intelligent building system.

A “self-learning” microprocessor that controls the door’s movement also plays an vitally in ensuring security.

Let us illustrate this by using an illustration of the most renowned sliding doors. When an obstacle is identified when closing the door, in order to make sure that the doors are safe, the leaves immediately open, and then gradually close in order to determine if the obstacle has gone away. In the event that an obstruction is found while opening the door the door immediately stops and then closes after a specific duration. The next door opening motion takes place at a slow speed, which allows the microprocessor to determine the presence of obstacles.

Modern, well-chosen sensors offer not just security but also longer-lasting durability of doors that are automated and lower maintenance expenses. One advantage of having an “intelligent” device for sliding doors is the reduction of signals (signals to the automated opener) that are caused by movement around the door’s entrance, and the ability to instruct the device to avoid the impulses generated by objects that are put for a prolonged period in the detection zone. The reduction in the number of open doors that are caused by the movement of people who walk past the door, and decreasing the length of time that the door is closed can also decrease the loss of heat in the building.


These are used to determine the purpose of the door, the speed of closing and opening as well as the dynamic of door movement , etc. The functions of each are described in the explanation of various door types.

Power backup in case of emergency

A specific battery is designed to allow the emergency option of opening (in the event an emergency fire) as well as the ability to close (at midnight) when there is power loss. Some companies offer an electric battery that will operate the door for as long as 100 cycles of open/close. Fire versions also come with an electromagnetic clutch as well as an expander that can be flexible, which allows for that the leaves are opened in the event of an emergency should there be battery malfunction. Certain companies also have drives that have double power supply for fire models.


Electronic and mechanical (with hook or bolt which is recessed to the ground or the lintel) locks stop unauthorised entry.

Automatic door installation

The automatic door installation requires experience in this field. It is best if the company which assembles such solutions is also the manufacturer of doors and components used to automate opening.

Erreka is one of the companies that provides complete solutions in the selection, installation and production of automatic doors.

Erreka is a member of CHAS and also holds their accreditation. Every member of staff is trained to BS EN 16005 to meet CITB requirements. In addition, every installer is ADSA qualified. As you can see, the company provides the competence required for its staff to carry out demanding jobs 100%.

The range of solutions proposed by Erreka

Aluminium Doors

The company provides production, sale and assembly of aluminium doors. Thanks to this solution, we increase safety in facilities which decide to install them. They are supplied to shops, hotels, schools, office buildings or even medical facilities.

Automatic Sliding Doors

The manufacturer provides the highest quality when it comes to the automatic door installation of Sliding Doors solutions. Before carrying out the installation, the team carries out a short audit from the customer in order to be as prepared as possible for the order and to avoid any mistakes. The quality guarantee is what sets Erreka apart.

Automatic Swing Doors

Automatic swing doors are installed in facilities such as shops or hypermarkets and shopping centres. They can be used both indoors and outdoors. The biggest advantage of this product is the very silent work of automatic opening/closing and the durability of the product. Both advantages are very important when used in facilities with a very high throughput of people.

Automatic Revolving Doors

The main model proposed by Erreka is the Bira E22 and E23. Both products guarantee a very high throughput of human traffic. This reaches up to 80 pedestrians per minute, which is a very exemplary result. The extra space designed in this model makes it possible for pedestrians to carry extra loads.

Erreka provides a 12-month warranty on all new installations including updates to the automation and control systems. The manufacturer will supply any defective component during the warranty period. As we are dealing with a manufacturer, there is no risk of production or component shortages.

We suggest to see the full offer of Erreka company:

Michal Pukala
Electronics and Telecommunications engineer with Electro-energetics Master degree graduation. Lightning designer experienced engineer. Currently working in IT industry.