Automatic doors
Posted by: M. Waleed Sheikh

History of Automatic Doors

Modern automatic doors emerged in the 19th century with mechanical innovations like the “fly fan door.” In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, inventors like Lewis B. Ketcham and Theophilus Van Kannel developed pneumatic-based door-opening systems. 

The early 20th century brought further advancements to automatic doors. In 1921, Dee Horton and Lew Hewitt developed an electrically powered sliding door system called the “Horton Automatic Door.” This system used electric motors and gears to open and close the doors.

The introduction of radar and sensor technology in the mid-20th century revolutionized automatic doors. These advancements led to commercialization and widespread use in commercial buildings, public spaces, and transportation hubs. 

Automatic doors have evolved into sliding, swinging, revolving, and folding types, incorporating advanced technologies such as motion sensors and touchless interfaces. They promote convenience, accessibility, and energy efficiency in modern architecture.

Introduction to Automatic Doors

Automatic doors are a type of door that opens and closes automatically, without requiring any physical effort from the person entering or exiting. They are very commonly used in many commercial, industrial, and residential setup settings to improve accessibility, convenience, and safety.

Automatic doors operate using a variety of mechanisms, including motion sensors, pressure sensors, and remote-control systems. When a person approaches the door, the sensors detect their presence and trigger the door to open automatically. Some automatic doors also have safety features, such as sensors that detect obstacles and prevent the door from closing on someone or something.

Automatic doors come in various styles, including sliding, swing, and revolving doors made of materials including glass, metal, and wood. They can be customized to suit the aesthetic and functional needs of a particular building or space.

What is an Automatic Door System?

An automatic door system is a type of door that can open and close automatically without physical contact. It typically uses sensors or other detection devices to sense the presence around or within its vicinity and then activates the opening and closing mechanism accordingly. Automatic Doors Toronto comes in various types, including sliding, swinging, and revolving doors powered by electric motors, and hydraulic, or pneumatic systems.

Mechanism of Automatic Doors

Automatic doors utilize motion sensors, optical sensors, pressure mats, radar systems, push buttons, and safety and control systems. These mechanisms detect movement, interruptions in infrared or laser beams, pressure, or obstructions and send signals to initiate the opening or closing of the doors. The specific mechanisms depend on the door type, such as sliding, swinging, revolving, or folding doors.

Most automatic doors utilize microwave pulse sensors or passive infrared (PIR) sensors. Microwave pulse sensors emit microwaves in the surrounding area and measure the reflections of these microwaves. When a person or object moves within the sensor’s range, it causes a change in the reflected microwaves, signaling the presence of motion and initiating the door’s opening or closing.

The passive infrared (PIR) sensors detect any changes that may occur in the infrared radiation field of view. When a person or entity moves, it generates a temperature difference detected by the PIR sensor, triggering the door’s operation.

How do Automatic Doors Work?

Automatic doors typically work by using sensors or detectors to detect the presence of a person or object in the doorway and then activating the door to open and close automatically. When the sensor senses a presence, it sends a signal to the door operating mechanism. After receiving that signal, the mechanism opens the door.

There are various types of automatic door sensors that are commonly used to detect the presence of people or objects and activate the door to open and close automatically. But let us tell the three most frequently used three types of automatic door sensors:

  1. Pressure Sensors: Pressure sensors are commonly used in automatic sliding doors. They are placed on the floor mat before the door and detect when someone steps on it. When pressure is detected, the door opens automatically. Pressure sensors are ideal for use in areas with a lot of foot traffic, and the door needs to open and close frequently.
  2. Motion Detection and Optical Sensors: Motion detection and optical sensors are commonly used in automatic swinging doors. These sensors use a combination of infrared, microwave, or optical technology to detect motion in the doorway. When someone approaches the door, the sensors detect their movement and activate the door to open. These sensors are ideal for use in areas with less foot traffic, such as offices or conference rooms.
  3. Access Control or Video Intercom System: An access control or video intercom system is commonly used in automatic revolving doors. The system requires the user to present a key card and a code or use a video intercom to access the door. Once access is granted, the door will begin to rotate automatically. These systems are ideal for high-security areas like government buildings or financial institutions.

Components of Automatic Doors

Automatic Doors for Home comprise several components that work together to provide a convenient and safe entrance and exit system. Here are some of the most common components of automatic doors:

  1. Door panels
  2. Sensors or detectors
  3. Control system
  4. Power source
  5. Door operator
  6. Safety features
  7. Guide rails
  8. Rollers or hinges
  9. Activation switches or buttons
  10. Weather stripping or seals
  11. Header or threshold
  12. Remote control or keyless entry system

Types of Automatic Doors

Let us tell you the Types of Automatic Doors.

i) Sliding Automatic Doors

These doors slide horizontally and are commonly used in supermarkets, hospitals, and other public buildings. They are popular due to their ability to maximize space and reduce the risk of injury since they do not swing outward.

ii) Automatic Swinging Doors

These doors swing open and close like traditional doors but are activated by sensors. Their common use is in offices, airports, and other commercial buildings with moderate to high foot traffic.

iii) Automatic Folding Doors

These Folding doors fold open and closed, similar to an accordion. They are commonly used in small entrances with limited space, such as retail shops or cafes.

iv) Automatic Revolving Doors

These doors rotate around a central axis and are commonly used in high-traffic areas like hotels and office buildings. They provide a large entrance and are often used in areas needing energy efficiency, such as in a lobby where heating or cooling costs can be high due to air exchange.

The Advantages of Automatic Doors

Automatic Doors for Home and commercial setups can make your life easier, more comfortable, and more convenient. Since automatic doors open without using hands, they offer convenience to everyone, even with baggage in both hands or carrying a cart. An automatic door is also known as Automated Door and effectively saves energy and reduces annual heating and cooling costs. Its advantages include;

  1. Automatic doors provide a hands-free way of entering and exiting buildings, making it easier and more convenient for people with disabilities, older adults, and those carrying heavy items or pushing strollers.
  2. Automatic doors close quickly, which helps to prevent heat or cool air from escaping from a building, thus reducing energy costs.
  3. Automatic doors comply with accessibility regulations, making them suitable for public and commercial buildings and more inclusive for people with disabilities.
  4. Automated Doors Systems are equipped with security systems.
  5. While automated door installation, it is integrated with an access control system, every activity and entrance is monitored via control access to a building, and it enhances security measures.
  6. Automatic doors are durable and require less maintenance than traditional doors, reducing maintenance costs and downtime.
  7. Automated Door Systems installation can add a modern and sleek look to a building, enhancing its overall appearance.
  8. Automatic doors reduce the spread of germs by eliminating the need for people to touch the door handle or push the door, reducing the transmission of germs and bacteria.

The Sensor System of Automatic Doors

The sensor system of automatic doors typically consists of several components that work together to detect the presence of a person or object and trigger the door to open or close. Here are the main features of a typical sensor system:

  1. Motion Sensors: Detect movement in front of the door. They use infrared or microwave technology to detect changes in motion or heat and trigger the door to open or close.
  2. Safety Sensors: Detect obstacles in the door’s path, such as people or objects, and prevent the door from closing on them. They may use infrared or laser technology to detect the presence of an obstacle and trigger the door to stop and reverse direction.
  3. Activation Sensors: Trigger the door to open or close when someone approaches or exits the building. They may use infrared, microwave, or touch technology to detect the presence of a person and trigger the door to open or close.
  4. Control Unit: This is the brain of the sensor system, and it processes the signals from the various sensors and controls the opening and closing of the door.
  5. Radar Movement Sensors: Detect when someone or something is near the door. It can also sense what direction they are coming from.

Applications of Automatic Doors

Automatic doors have a wide range of applications across various industries and environments, including but not limited to, 

  1. Commercial Buildings
  2. Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities
  3. Airports and Transportation Hubs
  4. Hotels and Hospitality
  5. Educational Institutions
  6. Residential Buildings
  7. Entertainment Venues
  8. Government Offices
  9. Parking Facilities
  10. Laboratories and Research Facilities
  11. Warehouses and Logistics Centers
  12. Museums and Historical Sites etc

How to Choose an Automatic Door Manufacturer and Installer?

It is really important to choose credible manufacturers and installers with a reliable track record and extensive experience in the industry. Always discuss with your installer and go for high-quality products and services. You may check for reviews, testimonials, and references for installers and products.

Evaluate the range of automatic door products offered by the manufacturer. Ensure that they offer a variety of door types, styles, and configurations to meet your specific needs. It is imperative to see if your installer provides customized doors to fit unique architectural requirements.

Verify that the manufacturer and installer adhere to relevant industry standards and regulations. Automatic doors should meet safety codes and accessibility guidelines in Canada.

Your installer must be able to provide comprehensive guidance and support throughout the entire process, from design to installation and maintenance.

Understand the warranty terms offered by the manufacturer. A reliable warranty demonstrates their confidence in their products. Additionally, it would be best if you looked for after-sales support and the availability of spare parts.

NetraClos offers free site visits with an estimate for all installations of automatic doors. For more information, call us at +1 647-725-9693 or contact us via our query form. 


What are the Objectives of Automatic Doors?

Automation reduces human efforts by enslaving technology for good. The objectives of automatic doors are to enhance convenience, improve accessibility, promote energy efficiency, and ensure user safety.

What is the Physics of Automatic Doors?

The physics of automatic doors involves motion and pressure detection via sensors. The automatic doors operate on the application of force and torque for door movement while improving the energy efficiency of the system and the implementation of safety features to prevent collisions.


Many automatic doors rely on motion-detecting sensors for their operation. Two common motion detection types are microwave pulse sensors and passive infrared (PIR) sensors.


Both types of sensors effectively detect movement and are commonly used in automatic door systems to provide convenient and touchless operation for users.

What are Automatic Doors Called?
Automatic doors are a type of door that opens and closes on its own without the need for human intervention. They are often called Automatic Slide Doors, power doors, or motion-activated doors. These doors use sensors, motion detectors, or push buttons to detect the presence of people and initiate the opening and closing mechanisms. With their convenient and efficient design, automatic door installation has become popular for many businesses and organizations. They are commonly found in many settings, such as commercial buildings, hospitals, airports, shopping malls, and other public spaces.
What is Automatic Sliding Door Called?
Have you ever noticed those doors that slide open automatically as you approach them? They’re called automatic slide doors, sliding door operators or just sliding doors. The great thing about them is their design that opens and closes automatically using sensors or motion detectors; this makes them perfect for accommodating high volumes of foot traffic and ensuring smooth traffic flow. Plus, they save space, which is always a good thing! Automatic Sliding Doors are convenient and the best choice in many public areas like commercial buildings, retail stores, hospitals, and airports.
What are the Different Types of Automatic Sliding Doors?

Several types of automatic sliding doors can be used in various settings, each with unique features and benefits. If you’re looking for reliable Automatic Doors Toronto, let us make you understand first which automated door system is best for you. Here are a few of some of the most common types:

  • Standard automatic sliding doors are widely used in commercial and public buildings. They typically consist of two sliding panels that open and close automatically in response to sensor inputs.
  • Telescopic automatic sliding doors expand to create a larger opening than standard sliding doors, making them ideal for use in buildings with limited space.
  • Hermetic automatic sliding doors provide airtight and soundproof seals, making them ideal for hospitals, laboratories, and other settings where hygiene and privacy are critical.
  • Curved automatic sliding doors fit curved or arched openings, making them ideal for modern architectural designs.
  • Breakout automatic sliding doors provide an emergency exit by allowing the door to swing open in response to a manual push, providing a quick and safe entry in an emergency.
  • Bi-part automatic sliding doors have two panels that slide apart to create a wider opening, making them ideal for use in buildings with high foot traffic, such as airports and train stations.
What are the Disadvantages of Automatic Sliding Doors?

While automatic sliding doors offer numerous advantages, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider:

  • Cost: Automatic sliding doors are more expensive than traditional manual doors. The initial installation cost, as well as ongoing maintenance and repairs, can be higher due to the complexity of the system and the need for specialized equipment and expertise.
  • Dependence on Power: Automatic sliding doors require a continuous power supply. In the event of a power outage or electrical malfunction, the doors may not function properly or open, creating inconvenience and potential safety concerns.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: Automatic sliding doors consist of components such as sensors, motors, tracks, and control systems, all requiring regular maintenance and occasional repairs. Malfunctions or breakdowns can disrupt normal operations and require specialized technicians to resolve, leading to potential downtime and added expenses.
  • Safety Concerns: Although automatic sliding doors are designed with safety features, such as motion sensors and safety sensors, to prevent collisions, there is still a possibility of accidents or injuries. People may only sometimes be aware of the doors opening or closing, and there is a risk of entrapment or impact if proper caution is not exercised.
  • Limited Security: Automatic sliding doors, particularly those with standard glass panels, may be more vulnerable to forced entry or break-ins than solid manual doors. Additional security measures, such as electronic access control systems or security cameras, may be necessary to enhance security.
  • Environmental Considerations: Automatic sliding doors require a constant flow of energy, contributing to increased energy consumption and associated costs. Additionally, the frequent opening and closing of the doors can lead to heat loss or gain, affecting the energy efficiency of the building.
  • Noise and Air Infiltration: Automatic sliding doors can generate noise during operation, which can be a concern in quieter environments or places where noise reduction is desired. Moreover, these doors may allow air infiltration, potentially impacting indoor climate control and energy efficiency.

It’s essential to carefully weigh these disadvantages against the benefits and specific requirements of your business or facility when considering the installation of automatic sliding doors. Conducting a thorough cost-benefit analysis and consulting with experienced professionals can help you make an informed decision.

What are the Sensors of Automatic Doors?

Sensors are responsible for detecting any signal that leads the door operation to open or close. The automatic doors use many sensors that detect force, pressure, temperature, infrared radiation etc., to trigger the door operations. 

Here is a list of sensors commonly used in automatic doors:

  1. Microwave Motion Sensors
  2. Passive Infrared (PIR) Sensors
  3. Optical Sensors
  4. Pressure Mats
  5. Radar Systems
  6. Ultrasonic Sensors
  7. Capacitive Sensors
  8. Touch Sensors
  9. Proximity Sensors
  10. Photoelectric Sensors
How does a Sensor Make the Door Open?

Automated Door Systems are equipped with sensors that detect the presence of a person or object and trigger the door to open or close. Here’s how a typical sensor makes the door open:

  • When a person or object enters the sensor’s detection range, it sends a signal to the control unit, indicating that motion has been detected.
  • The control unit receives the signal from the sensor and processes it, determining whether the door should open or remain closed based on the programmed settings and safety features.
  • If the control unit determines that the door should open, it sends a signal to the motor or operator that powers it, causing it to slide open automatically.
  • When the person or object passes through the door, the sensor sends another signal to the control unit, automatically closing the door.

The specific details of how the sensor makes the door open can vary depending on the type of sensor and the design of the automated door system. However, the basic process involves detecting motion, processing the signal, and triggering the door to open or close in response.

How do Automatic Doors Enable Touchless Entry?

Automatic doors enable touchless entry by allowing people to pass through the entryway without touching the door. Apartment residents appreciate touchless access because it eliminates the need to touch high-risk surfaces, making your property safer for all.


Suppose you want to implement touchless entry at a multifamily building or a commercial property with restricted access. In that case, you’ll need an automatic door and an access control system or video intercom.

What are the Different Types of Automatic Door Openers?

Several different types of automatic door openers are available, each suited for specific applications and requirements.

  • Electro-Mechanical Doors: These doors use an electric motor and mechanical mechanisms to open and close. Their everyday use is in various settings, including commercial buildings, retail stores, and hospitals.
  • Electro-Hydraulic Doors: Electro-hydraulic doors combine electrical and hydraulic systems for operation. They use a hydraulic mechanism powered by an electric motor to open and close the door. These doors are often used in heavy-duty or high-traffic areas requiring a more robust system.
  • Automatic Sliding Doors: As mentioned earlier, automatic sliding doors feature panels that slide open and close horizontally. They are popular in many commercial and public spaces due to their convenience and ability to handle high foot traffic.
  • Automatic Swing Doors: These doors swing open and close on hinges, similar to traditional manual doors. They are commonly used in areas with limited space, or a sliding door mechanism may not be suitable.
  • Automatic Folding Doors: Folding doors have multiple panels that fold and unfold to create an opening. They are well-suited for areas with limited space or where a wider opening is desired.
  • Automatic Revolving Doors: Revolving doors feature multiple wings that rotate around a central axis, allowing for continuous entry and exit. They are often used in high-traffic areas such as hotels, office buildings, and shopping malls.
  • Handicap Automatic Doors: Handicap or accessible automatic door system installation accommodate individuals with disabilities. They are equipped with motion sensors, push buttons, or touchless sensors to provide easy and barrier-free access for people with mobility challenges.
  • Low-Energy Automatic Doors: low-energy automatic doors can be beneficial in specific environments. These doors are designed to operate at a slower speed and with reduced force, making them safer for areas with a lower risk of collision or injury. Low-Energy Automatic Doors System Installation is particularly useful in healthcare facilities or places with a predominantly elderly population, where safety is paramount.
Are Automatic Doors Ideal for Disabled Access?

Automatic doors are ideal for disabled access in Canada as they adhere to accessibility standards, such as the AODA and CSA B651 Accessibility Standard. 

Ensuring they meet specific size, clearance, controls, and safety requirements. These doors eliminate physical barriers and offer hands-free operation, allowing differently-abled individuals, especially those with limited mobility, to enter or exit the premises independently.

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