Biometrics Transforms Transformer Manufacturer’s Productivity


  • Outdated hardware created bottlenecks
  • Harsh, dirty environment that leads to high number of false reads
  • Constant maintenance of ageing technology
  • Authentication methods failed to suit working practices


  • Offered swift dual authentication to suit all working practices
  • Rugged terminal, purpose-built for harsh working environments
  • Durable solution that requires very little maintenance

ERMCO ECI, one of the largest producers of oil-filled transformers in the USA was experiencing a high number of false reads with their incumbent time and attendance palm readers, leading to bottlenecks at the beginning and end of shifts. This was partly due to a cumbersome time clock interface, but mainly because their manufacturing plants occasionally required employees to work without gloves to manipulate copper by hand, often leading to greasy, or burnt fingerprints. Swipe cards were considered as an authentication method but were discounted as the HR department was keen to prevent ‘Buddy Punching’ which is the practice of employees clocking in for late or absent colleagues.

The obsolete human capital management terminals also consumed management time through the constant cleaning and repair of hardware. In fact, on average three terminals were being returned for repair every month and even experienced a systems failure when an I.P address change was required.

Grosvenor Technology’s Professional Services Team along with Software Partner Optimum evaluated the issues experienced in ERMCO plants across Tennessee and created a solution that would suit their working practices, plus reduce downtime and ongoing maintenance. Grosvenor’s IT-51 was recommended as it is a purpose-built time clock designed to withstand the rigours of a manufacturing environment. Its modularity allowed for both a frictionless biometric reader and a keypad as an alternative authentication method for the 5% of the workforce that have burnt fingerprints.

The intuitive interface developed by Optimum, coupled with slick biometric readers cut through the dirt which, in turn, slashed read failure rates and queues for their 1,100 strong workforce by over 50%. It also meant that management spent far less time cleaning or returning time clocks to their supplier due to a build up of dirt and grease. Plus, Grosvenor’s remote terminal diagnostics allows additional features to be implemented and repair to be administrated without an IT-51 ever leaving the plant.

The new clocks are much easier to maintain, makes employee enrolment a breeze, and decreases clock in/out time for quicker processing during shift change. We previously had some struggles with biometrics for a select few of our employees, but the ability to clock in/out using a PIN was the answer we needed for these special cases. The remote interface gives you the ability to access the clocks at any time and allows full control of the clock allowing diagnostics as well as a virtual tutorial for employees that are off-site.