Independence thanks to standard segments

The company ZF Friedrichshafen AG has opted to use the advantages of LEGIC technology and standardized access and payment segments with its new group ID system.

ZF is a world-leading technology group in the field of driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive security technology. It employs 138,300 staff at approximately 230 locations in 40 different countries. The previous staff ID cards differed at every location in terms of technology, programming and design. ZF wants to strengthen the company’s identity and to bring the different locations together, initially in Germany and subsequently worldwide. The uniform group ID card will have a technical basis which enables the location-spanning use of the ID functions such as access and payment.

Decision for LEGIC

In 2012, ZF decided to gain its own operator license. The main reasons were independence from manufacturers, the use of the existing standards for access, time & attendance, and payments, as well as Master-Token System-Control (an authorization management concept). LEGIC was also already in use at several key ZF locations and accepted as a well-established system.

Thanks to LEGIC and its Master-Token System-Control, ZF is now able to define data structures on the ID cards and to determine the specific functions that are associated with the ID cards. These include, for example, (offline) access, time & attendance, gastronomy and secure printing. This has the advantage that open standards can be used and ZF therefore gains independence from manufacturers. In the current version of the group ID card specification, it has been possible to store an open standard for the access, time & attendance and gastronomy functions on the basis of the data structure in the chip. A proprietary data structure is being used for the offline access function, however. The future vision is to transfer this function across to an open standard. This would now appear to be possible with the Open Security Standard (OSS). The independence which occurs due to the open standard is that different manufacturers which offer an implementation of the standard become potential service providers for ZF. Furthermore, ZF can also use products from different manufacturers.

Support from Blaser Consulting

With the gain in control that has been achieved, the tasks that are not being completed by the manufacturers anymore, but in-house at ZF have become more sophisticated. To be able to handle the complex nature of these tasks, ZF was supported by the LEGIC certified consulting firm Blaser Consulting. The “ZF ID Card” project team put the differing functions and accompanying reference systems at the Friedrichshafen location to a detailed test. First of all, a lab test was completed with 26 employees, at which a medium and the accompanying technology were news 2016 defined. For the subsequent field test, 395 new CTC ID cards (cross standard transponder chip) were issued containing both the new and the old technology. All of the functional tests proved successful. As a result of this, starting in January 2015, around 10,000 ID cards were rolled out at the Friedrichshafen location, with more locations to follow.

“Thanks to our neutral consulting we are using standardized segment structures as far as possible. The use of the LEGIC access and open- Cashfile standards from Common Smartcard established in the market, satisfies our requirements in the area of access and payment in full.”

Achim Genannt, Technical Building Services Planning at ZF

Benefits for the end-user:

  • Control of the security and function of the in-house system
  • Manufacturer independence
  • Support by LEGIC certified consultants

 LEGIC Products and Services:

  • CTC & advant smartcards
  • 4000 series reader ICs

LEGIC Partner in this project:

  • Blaser Consulting (Consultant)