By far, the most popular bullet resistant system is the humble pre-fabricated transaction window. These consist of a pane of ballistic glass mounted in a bullet resistant frame, with an integrated cash tray for passing money and paperwork. While many companies are content to outsource their trays, being able to fabricate high-quality cash trays themselves puts Total Security Solutions a notch above their competition.
TRANSACTION WINDOW CASH TRAYS
Although it’s possible to build a box-style transaction window cash tray in any old workshop using individual welded sheets of steel, this is far from the most secure solution: Each of those welded joints is a possible point of failure, and the welding process itself runs the risk of weakening the metal in unpredictable ways. A top-quality cash tray has the minimum number of welded joints, and is mostly fabricated from a single sheet of sturdy quarter-inch stainless steel that’s been bent to form, including the tray’s familiar curved “scoop.” Most shops use an industrial hydraulic press brake with a full set of interchangeable presses and dies to fabricate such transaction window trays.
Jim Richards is currently the vice president of Total Security Solutions, but he started out working on the factory floor, fabricating pieces for bullet resistant security systems. Back then Jim was eager to find a way for Total Security Solutions to make their own cash trays, improving both the quality and breadth of their transaction window line.
TRANSACTION WINDOW CASH TRAY SOLUTIONS
“We needed to make those transaction window cash trays,” Jim explains, “But we didn’t have the money for a press brake when we started.” So Total Security Solutions craftsmen built a set of custom jigs and dies suitable to a range of cash-tray configurations. They then retooled an old hand-operated box-and-pan brake, fitting it with several pedal-actuated pneumatic air cylinders in order to provide the power needed to bend sheet steel. In the end, their rig could punch out cash trays as fine as those coming from the largest sheet metal fabricators.
Today Total Security Solutions has a top-of-the-line computer-controlled AccurPress hydraulic press brake; nonetheless, they still rely on their homebrew solution for fabricating custom transaction window trays:
“For us, being able to make the entire tray at one station was much more efficient and faster than going to the press brake, doing all your bends, changing out your die, putting the radius die in there, and then bending all your scoops. What I could do here in 45 minutes took me two hours over there.”