It's something that many of us do a daily basis, and never think twice about.
"You pull out your key card and swipe it to try and get into the building. Most people take for granted that they have a badge inside their pocket. We're doing all the stuff behind the scenes to allow for that door or gate to open," said Project and Production Engineering Director Clinton Bolinger.
Cypress Integration Solutions in Lapeer is about to celebrate its 35th anniversary. The electronic manufacturing company specializes in making point of access security systems.
"All the stuff that makes it worth it is all kind of in this little chip inside. To everyone else, it looks like a little board that makes flashy lights and little beeps," said Bolinger.
Cypress first made a name for itself by creating a system for one of General Motors' plants.
"They needed to have a product designed and developed especially for them to allow for them to control a building that was two miles away," said Bolinger.
Those flashes and little beeps produced in Lapeer are now opening doors and gates all over the world.
"Throughout Europe, the Middle East, here in the United States our products can be found. Most times, we're going through buildings that we don't even realize that our equipment is in that building," said Bolinger.
In recent years, Cypress's staff of fifteen or so have managed to position the company as a true innovator in safety technology.
"We don't have a ton of people. It's a small company, but at the same time, we're doing a lot of big things inside that building," said Bolinger.
Devices start at around $100 dollars and stretch into the thousands. Unfortunately, many of Cypress's 'big things' become necessary, when bad things happen in the world.
"Every year, people are looking to try to have more secure buildings, facilities, that kind of stuff. The security industry is just growing in general and we hope to be on the forefront of it and making new products to help it to grow," said Bolinger.
One of those new products is a handheld, wireless mobile device. It's designed to help security officers when approaching people while out on patrol.
"I would present my badge. It would give you an indication that I am allowed to be in this area and I'm okay. If it gives the rejection, you can choose to hit the blue button there and it sends a signal back to the security office, and call for backup," said Bolinger.
As for the future, a new wave of devices are in the pipeline, aiming at protecting military members.
"On the battlefront, if someone is injured and how to get that information relayed back to the command center so they know what to do with that individual, so there's stuff in the works that we're working on," said Bolinger.
While Cypress's vision is worldwide, the staff is proud of the fact that it's impact comes right out of the Mitten.
"The hope is that we'll continue to grow and be able to provide more jobs in Michigan for more people and who knows where the future will lead us and what other products we'll design," said Bolinger.
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