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Minneapolis-St. Paul Int'l airport implements integrated security solution from SDI and Verint

Minneapolis-St. Paul Int'l airport implements integrated security solution from SDI and Verint

Editor / Provider: Verint Systems | Updated: 12/22/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

SDI (System Development Integration, LLC), a systems integrator specializing in airport security technologies, and Verint® Systems announced that together they will deliver the first phase of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport's (MSP) Integrated Video and Information Systems Network (iVISN) Surveillance System. The iVISN Program will replace its current CCTV system with advanced technology to help enhance and maximize security capabilities and improve the performance of security personnel.

MSP is located in Minneapolis and St. Paul near the suburban cities of Bloomington, Eagan, Mendota Heights and Richfield. Spanning over 3,400 acres, MSP has one airfield, four runways and two terminal buildings. Serving more than 32 million passengers a year, it accommodates over 430,000 landings and takeoffs annually, making it the 12th busiest airfield in the United States.

To implement the first phase of the iVISN Program, as well as provide ongoing support, MSP selected SDI. SDI has partnered with local firms Pro-Tec Design and Premier Electric, which will provide field implementation and integration services and electrical contractor services, respectively. Additionally, TRICOM Communications will deliver structured cabling and electrical services.

"SDI's intimate knowledge of the nuances of an airport's concept of operations, security protocols and underlying technology components will serve to drive the technical solution to the operational reality that MSP envisions,” said David A. Gupta, SDI Chief Executive Officer.

SDI will implement Verint's Nextiva® Video Management Software™ (VMS) and Nextiva Physical Security Information Management™ (PSIM), both of which MSP selected in August 2012. The Verint VMS solution will monitor both conventional and megapixel IP cameras across an integrated IP-based network. Bridging the video system to the airport's security and access control system, the SDI team also will deploy the Verint PSIM solution. Upon completion of what will be a multi-phased deployment, the system is expected to include more than 2,500 cameras, 100 workstations, and a variety of video analytic and informational interface programs, including license plate recognition.

“Nextiva Video Management Software and Nextiva Physical Security Information Management are part of Verint's fully-integrated IP security suite, which is designed to help airports—like Minneapolis-St. Paul—better protect facilities, provide greater situational awareness and optimize security operations,” added Steve Weller, senior vice president and general manager, Verint Video and Situation Intelligence Solutions™. “Once deployed, the Nextiva solution will support the airport in handling its operational complexities and security challenges even more efficiently.”

Around the world, airports and critical infrastructure organizations of all sizes count on Verint Video and Situation Intelligence Solutions to deliver advanced security and business intelligence. Based on years of experience, Verint has a proven track record of delivering scalable, fault tolerant, high-availability solutions designed to cover security and surveillance across an airport's entire network—from terminals and perimeters, to parking lots and other facilities. Today, airports across the globe use Verint Nextiva to enhance situational awareness, improve emergency preparedness and response, and provide authorized personnel with comprehensive security and operations intelligence.

Named as the integrator of record for the iVISN project, SDI has been providing delivery of robust VMS and PSIM design, implementation, integration and maintenance for airport and public safety clients since 1991. The firm has a well-established track record of deploying large-scale VMS within live, Category X airport environments, as well as integrating Cat X standard operating procedures into PSIM platforms to deliver enhanced airport security operations. Additionally, SDI has an in-house network infrastructure group to deploy necessary network infrastructure and storage components.

Vertical market: Hospitals combine forces and security

Vertical market: Hospitals combine forces and security

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, freelancer, a&s International | Updated: 12/22/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Hospitals are in the business of serving people and their families. Their primary goal is to provide patients with medical care, comfort, and peace of mind. Traditionally security systems in healthcare have been used for access control, providing forensic video and personal alerts for staff in cases of violence, and monitoring at-risk populations such as infants or patients suffering from dementia to protect against kidnapping or wandering.

“The purpose of healthcare security management is to contribute to the protection and safety of all those delivering medical service and safeguarding public and private assets against loss, theft, fraud, damage, and disruption, which could be detrimental and a risk to the continuation of patient care. Patients, employees, and visitors assume that since hospitals take care of the community they are immune from local crime and the ills of society,” said Nick van der Bijl, an honorary president of the National Association for Healthcare Security in the U.K. and former healthcare security manager. However, by their nature, hospitals are violent places, some of which are of a clinical nature — post-operative trauma, serious mental health, and pain. But there are also instances when violence is of a criminal nature, such as violence against others.

Behind the scenes, hospital security teams face numerous challenges that involve the safety and security of employees, patients, visitors, and confidential personal information, as well as safeguarding dangerous materials, pharmaceutical supplies, and more. A breach in any of these areas can cause financial, legal, and reputational damages.

In addition, hospitals have to work under a strict regulatory environment complying with numerous standards. First and foremost is of course safeguarding patients' medical information. Many other regulations influence a hospital's daily operations: from financial regulations (for example in case the hospital accepts credit card payments) to regulations regarding the storage of hazardous and radioactive materials. The need for compliance is a significant factor for the performance of healthcare providers. “Healthcare by nature is a very open environment so any security systems put in place must work within this construct, providing a secure environment to patients, employees, hospital property, and regulated health information while having a negligible impact on the flow of patients, visitors, and staff,” explained Drew Neckar, Director of Security Services at the Mayo Clinic Health System.

With many different departments, entrances, elevators, parking areas, etc., and a constant flow of staff, “hospitals are ultimate high-traffic sites,” explained Courtney Dillon Pedersen, Corporate Communications Manager at Milestone Systems. “Monitoring all of these scenarios can be aided by comprehensive video monitoring and access control, which today is in hot demand as a unified solution for greater efficiency.”

Frequent M&As Creates New Demand
Recent changes in the healthcare business environment in the U.S. have led to a series of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) between healthcare providers. These are driven by regulatory changes and strategic initiatives. Hospitals merge to gain economies of scale and deal with reimbursement cuts, to get a better strategic position in the market or purchase smaller, less profitable hospitals that became too strained financially as a result of high compliance costs.

According to a report from strategic advisory and investment banking firm Hammond Hanlon Camp, in 2012, more than US$143.3 billion in healthcare M&As took place in the U.S., one of the highest volumes recorded in a decade. The U.S. is the global leader in healthcare M&As; however, this trend is not limited to the U.S. and appears also in Europe (mainly the U.K., Germany, and France) and APAC (Thailand, China, India, and Australia).

From the security perspective this convergence has had two implications. The first is overcoming the challenges of managing a multi-site environment often with different systems that now need to work together. A second implication is a growing need for security systems to show a return on investment (ROI) that will justify their expense.

“Security nowadays is turning into an ROI perspective — security managers need to prove they have a benefit and contribute financially for example through loss prevention,” said Sean Ahrens, Security Consulting Services Practice Leader at Aon Global Risk Consulting Security Practice. One way of achieving loss prevention is by preventing theft. In addition, the data collected by security systems is also useful. For instance, access control systems can provide information about how many people pass through a certain door. This data too has implications, if more people than planned pass through the door the hospital might want to schedule maintenance or re-plan emergency evacuation routes. This way the hospital can avoid potential bottle necks because too many people pass through one door.

A major challenge in multi-site management is interoperability, an issue presented by M&As that requires the merging of several facilities. “Each one of these hospitals has different systems and the challenge is how to combine them successfully. This raises many issues — how to register all the employees to the system quickly and efficiently and how to prevent them from using multiple cards. Another key issue is employees or contractors not removed from the systems in time. For example, in one hospital I encountered 3,000 active cards in the system for only 700 employees,” said Ahrens. An additional constraint is that oftentimes hospitals do not have situational awareness in mind. There is no dedicated area to set up a control room and this hurts the efficiency of security operations.

“In healthcare's current climate of acquisitions, reorganizations, and uncertain finances, a security professional rarely has the opportunity to choose a single new security system as a solution for a new installation in multiple sites. It is more often the case that they are tasked with allocating resources to integrate existing, often outdated, systems to work in parallel while trying to provide a seamless user experience at all facilities,” added Neckar.

Placing More Emphasis on Training
As in other verticals, the proper use of security systems and achieving their full potential is a challenge. All too often users fail to understand a system's capabilities and therefore underutilize the system. “The pressing problem about security systems is that we don't know what we are buying. We install them, but don't fully use them to their full potential — it's more of a ‘check-the-box,'” said Ahrens.

Apart from the technological challenge, the human factor is important. “When integrating hospitals and other healthcare facilities, sometimes the technology isn't the problem as much as the psychology of the people involved and their different approaches to security,” explained van der Bijl. For example, employees of a mental health institution will have a more pro-security culture as opposed to a community care facility where employees have lower security awareness. In this case, the integration of the two facilities is more complex than just integrating the security systems. Van der Bijl recommends making security a concern for all hospital staff and not just security officers. “One of the roles of the security function is also to make sure security is visible and promoted among the employees. Reporting security incidents should not be in a stand-alone system but should be part of the hospital's reporting system,” noted van der Bijl. At the end of the day, a lot still depends on the quality of the security officer. “Smart security officers are highly critical, they are the face of security and should have the proper training on how to behave in a hospital,” he concluded.

Choosing the right security system seems like the biggest challenge, however, healthcare operators should also emphasize education and training for their systems to ensure its proper use.

Role of Video Analytics in Healthcare
In the open and busy environment that exists in the majority of healthcare facilities, traditional analytics such as line crossing or license plate recognition have provided limited benefits. “Analytics are still at a price point that healthcare institutions can’t justify,” stated Drew Neckar, Director of Security Services at the Mayo Clinic Health System. “However the next generation of ‘smart’ analytics that rely less on a set of pre-programmed rules and more on providing alerts when situations vary from the ‘normal’ conditions show significant promise.”

A robust video surveillance set-up combined with powerful video analytics can alert security staff to incidents before they occur by flagging anomalies in movement or behavior. “Certain behaviors can be indicative of imminent criminal activity or an incident; intelligent video solutions can recognize these actions and alert security personnel, freeing up their time to respond to incidents rather than monitoring banks of screens,” said Daniel Wan, UK Channel Marketing Manager at Honeywell Security. Additionally, integrated systems with access control can let teams know who is entering premises and more importantly who is leaving and with what.

Potential Role of PSIM in Hospitals
Physical security information management (PSIM) solutions have the ability to overcome the obstacles of separate access control systems and integrate multiple disparate security systems. They can also add multiple sub systems in addition to video management software (VMS) systems and access control such as public announcements, patient tracking, equipment traking, panic buttons, IT systems and building management systems. “The benefit of PSIM is that it answers the requirement for standardization, however it should come after a thorough evaluation of pros and cons,” said Sean Ahrens, Security Consulting Services Practice Leader at Aon Global Risk Consulting Security Practice.

PSIM can also help make sure the proper procedures are followed. “For instance, if equipment is tracked by RFID sensors and if it is not properly sterilized, the PSIM can alert to this missed step, allow for a corrections to be made, and save the hospital non-compliance fines. This is one way PSIM results in a strong return on investment (ROI) for healthcare customers,” explained Ellen Howe, VP of Marketing at Vidsys. Though its potential is recognized, PSIM in hospitals is still not widespread. “Many hospitals postpone decisions due to price concerns, but there is definitely a significant ROI when comparing this to running separate systems, for example in monitoring and auditing access logs, or in the case of an alarm,” said Ahrens. For example, if there is an alarm for an abducted child, the security officer can immediately see what the perpetrator looks like and take action instead of searching for footage in different systems.

Suprema's biometric access control system deployed by Pakistan's Karachi airport

Suprema's biometric access control system deployed by Pakistan's Karachi airport

Editor / Provider: Suprema | Updated: 12/22/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

Customer Background
CAA is a public sector autonomous organization works under the Ministry of Defense of the Federal Government of Pakistan. CAA handles all kinds of civil aviation related activities including regulatory, air traffic services, infrastructure and commercial development of the airports. In response to recent international regulation and security requirements on transportation and aviation industry, Jinnah Airport, the busiest airport in Pakistan, planned to enhance its RF-card based access control to more sophisticated and convenient biometric system.

Jinnah airport is the nation's largest airport with annual capacity of 12 million passengers and 50 thousand flights. With its fast- growing traffic, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (hereafter ‘CAA') required a more efficient & scalable solution that could meet the airport's growing operation while develop the highest level of security and safety for the staffs and travelers.

As CAA also involves commercial development and management of the airport, improving airport employees' management was another issue at their airports. As airport service is typical labor- intense industry, CAA required highly efficient & invulnerable biometric time attendance management system.

The Challenges
High level of security and safety were the highest priorities at Jinnah Airport. The access control system at Jinnah handles considerable size of facilities including 60 check-in counters, 12 gates, 12 air-bridges, two terminals with restricted back office areas.

The access control & time attendance system should be well integrated to the airport's existing surveillance and alarm systems and also to be inter-connected to enable real-time monitoring and staff management.

As for the access control, the system should feature fingerprint identification for high-level security area and also support RF card feature for contractors and special occasions. And it needed be flexible and open solution to keep pace with the airport's growing needs.

SUPREMA Solution
For Jinnah Airport's biometic access control system, Suprema provided over 120 units of BioStation and BioEntry Plus fingerprint systems for the implementation.

Suprema's BioStation™ fingerprint time attendance terminal can verify, record and transfer the sign-in/out records simultaneously over IP connection. The device also features user-friendly GUI hence operation managers and employees can easily adopt the device as their timesheet with simple instruction only. Then the work hour records from the BioStation™ can be directly transferred over IP connection to the payroll system at back office.

BioEntry Plus is a simpler biometrics access controller featuring multiple RF card option and IP connectivity. The device can directly control door and 3rd party devices to give customers significant benefits in cost and flexibility in system design.

Jinnah Airport's benefit were not only limited to enhanced level of security and safety. The solution also improved its operational efficiency in staffing by reducing its labor cost and internal processes.

Nedap helps Geberit to optimise freight registration

Nedap helps Geberit to optimise freight registration

Editor / Provider: Nedap | Updated: 12/22/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

Geberit uses SAP as its main system for handling business processes and customer relations. ‘It's extremely important for us that other systems can be integrated into SAP, because we want our employees to always work with one central system,' Mr Reck, Geberit's IT specialist, explains. ‘We also want to be able to install and configure updates and modifications to the system ourselves - something that wasn't possible with our previous access control system, Kaba. That's why we turned to ACEA and they recommended the AEOS access control system. They promised me that, with AEOS, they'd only need to send the hardware and we could do everything else ourselves. They weren't exaggerating – we installed and service the entire system on our own.'

Easy expansion of AEOS access control
Geberit has been using AEOS for several years now and is very satisfied with its flexibility and open architecture. Mr Reck confirms this: ‘We've secured more doors with AEOS than with our previous system because AEOS provides us with a considerably more cost-effective option for adding doors to the system. As our logistics centre wanted to optimise its loading and unloading procedures, we didn't hesitate for a second in incorporating AEOS access control in that area too.'

The challenge in the logistics centre was to optimise the freight registration process, which was entirely manual before the installation of AEOS. The drivers had to park their trucks on company premises and report personally to the warehouse's reception desk, where they were assigned a free dock for loading and unloading. If all the docks were occupied, the driver had to take a beeper and wait until this told him a dock had become free. All the processes involved had to be carried out and recorded manually by reception area staff who were also responsible for checking and preparing shipping documents.

As this multitasking was increasingly overloading Geberit staff, it became clear that the entire freight registration process urgently needed to be improved. So Mr Zimmerman, responsible for the group's project management logistics, turned to Mr Reck and suggested automating the system.

After an in-depth analysis of all the processes involved, the two experts came to the conclusion that AEOS would be ideal to help improve the freight registration process.

Optimisation of the registration process
‘We not only wanted to be able to handle and monitor processes better, we also wanted to know and control who was stopping where and when on our premises, ' Mr Zimmerman explains. ‘In the past, drivers simply drove their trucks onto company premises and parked them close to the logistics centre until they were assigned a free dock. So we didn't know exactly who was on our premises when and where. This situation was becoming increasingly untenable for all concerned.'

Mr Reck adds: ‘Our staff record all freight-related processes with SAP. So we needed a solution that would allow us to continue using SAP and not have to retrain staff or have them switching constantly between programmes. This requirement was met fully with AEOS, which we were able to integrate with our SAP system ourselves.'

All-round control with minimal effort
Each day, around 220 trucks arrive for loading and unloading at Geberit's logistics centre – that's one truck arriving and needing to be dealt with approximately every four minutes. All the related processes that used to be carried out manually were significantly improved by integrating AEOS into the SAP system.

When a driver arrives at the plant, he now waits in a parking space outside the gate until a dock becomes free. He then enters his details in a terminal and receives a ticket, which shows the dock number he's been allocated.

He has to scan the barcode on the ticket to gain entry to the plant and to exit it. AEOS then immediately transmits the relevant information to the SAP system, which records when the truck arrived at the logistics centre and when it left. So Geberit always knows who has been on the premises, and where, and can retain continuous control over all related processes.

‘This improvement has already saved the staff responsible for truck registration a considerable amount of time,' says Mr Zimmerman. ‘The automated freight process also means that, outside of our 5am to 10pm shifts, our guards can now handle any night collections.

One solution for several locations
Geberit's main logistics centre is at Pfullendorf in Baden Württemberg, Germany. This is where all of the company's European freight movements are coordinated. Geberit also has branches in Switzerland and Italy. ‘We prefer our operations to all use the same systems and technical equipment whenever possible - the same card readers, for example,' explains Mr Reck. ‘That's why we've also installed AEOS in our Swiss and Italian plants.'

Geberit installed AEOS at each plant itself, ordering the necessary components from ACEA and calling on its remote support services where necessary. The system in Italy was installed and up and running without problems in two days. Implementation in the Pfullendorf logistics centre also went without a hitch. The system underwent six weeks of testing, during which numerous suggestions for improvements were incorporated, before it was launched officially.

AEOS greatly improved Geberit's freight registration process right from the beginning. It saves staff a significant amount of time and has increased their productivity enormously.

Station security stays on track thanks to ASSA ABLOY security doors

Station security stays on track thanks to ASSA ABLOY security doors

Editor / Provider: ASSA ABLOY | Updated: 12/22/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

Approved supplier to the London Underground, ASSA ABLOY Security Doors has helped to keep the Bond Street Tube Station upgrade on track with the installation of its specialist steel door sets.

The £300m revamp of the famous tube stop, due to be completed in 2017, will see the incorporation of a new Crossrail station, helping to service more than 225,000 passengers per day.

The prestigious contract, which forms part of significant changes to the central London Underground service, was awarded to Costain Laing O'Rourke Joint Venture, with ASSA ABLOY Security Doors' products specified by Halcrow Atkins.

The installation of ASSA ABLOY Security Doors' high specification door sets, which comprise high performance Stainless Steel, London Underground approved ironmongery and hold a 60minute fire rating audited by Exova Warringtonfire under the Certifire Compliance scheme, were crucial in enabling further work to continue on the £multi-million development.

Many of the double action high-security doors were fitted with electro-magnetic hold opens, helping to ease authorised access on high traffic and fire escape routes.

Costain Project Director, Clive Loosemore, said:

“This Costain Laing O'Rourke Joint Venture is a high profile project, involving many elements and suppliers. It was, therefore, crucial that all aspects of the development were delivered on time to enable its continuation and successful conclusion.

“I personally visited the ASSA ABLOY Security Doors manufacturing site in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, to oversee the programme and was delighted in its progress and final success, with all door sets delivered and installed to plan.”

Chris Cole, Sales Area Manager for ASSA ABLOY Security Doors, commented:


“ASSA ABLOY Security Doors were very pleased to be specified on such a high profile project, working with some of the most respected contractors in the industry.

“Due to the nature of this project internal high security fire doors are an essential safety feature within busy public developments. Compared to alternative materials, steel doors can provide a higher level of fire protection, helping to prevent the spread of fire and maximise evacuation times.

“Plus, steel doors demonstrate superior strength and durability, combined with relatively low maintenance requirements making them an ideal choice for high traffic areas.”

Synology announces Surveillance Station 7.0 Beta

Synology announces Surveillance Station 7.0 Beta

Editor / Provider: Synology | Updated: 12/22/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Synology announced the beta availability of Surveillance Station 7.0, the latest version of its popular video management system. Surveillance Station 7.0 Beta delivers a completely redesigned interface, customisable event linking rules, integration for physical access controllers, as well as support for more specialised IP cameras and ONVIF 2.4 compliance. “With Surveillance Station 7.0, we aimed to create the most flexible, yet easy to use version of Surveillance Station ever,” said Alex Wang, CEO of Synology. “Users can enjoy a familiar desktop experience with the redesigned interface, while also taking advantage of more camera features and built-in support for physical access controllers. These features significantly boost versatility and installation options.”

Surveillance Station 7.0 Beta introduces new and advanced features, including:

Brand new design emphasizing ease-of-use: The user interface in Surveillance Station 7.0 has been redesigned and rebuilt from the ground up. The intuitive design emphasizes ease-of-use, multitasking, and handy organization. Design tweaks deliver the smoothest and most responsive experience yet. The new Alerts Panel for Live View Analytics lets users easily review, play back, or save suspicious events.

Automated event linking for dynamic surveillance environments: To facilitate task automation, Surveillance Station 7.0 significantly expands the functionality of action rules, making it possible to automatically perform a wider range of tasks, either according to a schedule or when pre-defined events occur. For example, if one camera goes offline, another camera can start patrolling a specified area in response.

Physical access control and video monitoring in a single pane: Surveillance Station 7.0 moves beyond video surveillance and into the real world of physical access control. When paired with the AXIS Network Door Controller solution, surveillance personnel can monitor, lock and unlock, or view access logs of connected doors — all from the familiar Surveillance Station interface.

Ever-expanding integration for specialized IP cameras: Surveillance Station 7.0 delivers even more integration for specialized camera features, such as object tracking, digital output, and two-way audio, allowing users to deploy a flexible surveillance system perfectly tailored to their individual environment. In addition, Surveillance Station 7.0 includes expanded, software-powered dewarping for wall mount and ceiling mount fisheye cameras.

ONVIF 2.4 compliance: With support for ONVIF 2.4, users and system integrations can take advantage of boosted interoperability and more flexible installation with standard features like multiple stream, in-camera motion detection, digital input/output, audio output, NTP synchronization, or day/night exposure modes.

Amthal Fire & Security is a top achiever at the Marlborough Science Academy

Amthal Fire & Security is a top achiever at the Marlborough Science Academy

Editor / Provider: Amthal Fire & Security | Updated: 12/17/2014 | Article type: Education

Amthal Fire & Security has upgraded the fire and security measures at The Marlborough Science Academy to feature high performance IP CCTV, access control and automatic fire detection systems to provide ultimate peace of mind for staff, pupils and visitors.

The Marlborough Science Academy, situated in St Albans, is a specialist science secondary school and sixth form, educating approximately 1,200 students and employing over 80 staff. The school is increasingly being used by the local community out of school hours and so the site required a general upgrade to its security and fire detection systems.

Amthal Fire & Security worked closely with the Estates Management team to provide a comprehensive security overview and offered a number of innovative ideas to ensure complete perimeter security and a smooth operating system throughout the Academy.

The electronic security solution specified, incorporated state of the art IP CCTV together with access control and automatic fire detection systems, all integrated into existing platforms. The structure was installed in just three weeks to ensure minimal disruption to learning timetables.

Says Chris Paice, Estates Manager at The Marlborough Science Academy: “The school is committed to offering staff, students and the wider local community a vibrant, happy and nurturing learning environment. So that we can do this as safely as possible, we ensure the fire and security systems, right from the entrance to the school and throughout the site, are all maintained to a high level.

“Amthal Fire & Security has consistently been highly professional and knowledgeable, going above and beyond the call of duty to provide a complete solution that was even installed at a much faster rate than we had scheduled.

We would not hesitate to recommend Amthal Fire & Security to any educational facility looking for guidance and expertise on all aspects of site security.”

Jamie Allam, Commercial Director of Amthal Fire & Security added: “The Government’s continued pledge towards the extended schools agenda means educational premises operate today on a much more ‘open’ nature with either full public access or permitted group access increasingly required.

“This places added pressures on fire and security measures to ensure even out of traditional school hours, the site is carefully monitored. Here, The Marlborough Science Academy has shown how working with a trusted brand as Amthal Fire & Security right from security specification throughout the process, can ensure a bespoke security system is created to operate with existing site technologies to keep disruption, cost and install times to a minimum.”

Independently owned, Amthal Fire & Security is dedicated to satisfying end user needs for security safety and convenience offering design, installation, service and remote monitoring of advanced electronic fire & security solutions, including intruder, Fire, Access and CCTV systems.

Amthal Fire & Security is accredited by the Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB) United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS) and British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE.)

Smooth vehicle access at retirement villages in South Africa

Smooth vehicle access at retirement villages in South Africa

Editor / Provider: Nedap | Updated: 12/17/2014 | Article type: Security 50

The security and care provided are important reasons why elderly people live in gated retirement villages. Recently Nedap's long-range vehicle identification system uPASS was installed to provide safe and convenient vehicle access at the two retirement villages Amber Valley and Amber Ridge. Windshield mounted tags enable residents, staff and contractors to have automatic convenient vehicle access. This ensures a smooth the traffic flow for all permitted vehicles.

Impro Technologies, Nedap's South African business partner, installed the uPASS system at the two newly built retirement villages. uPASS Reach readers are installed at all entrances and exits of the villages. Every vehicle is equipped with a UHF Windshield Tag that contains a unique identification number. The uPASS Reach allows a consistent reading of up to 5 meters. Without the need to open windows to present a badge. AVI (Automatic Vehicle Identification) ensures a smooth throughput of authorized vehicles and increases safety of residents, staff and contractors.

The uPASS system is integrated with Impro's access control system. This solution increases the security which is of value for residents who would like to live in gated living environment which offers them the facilities, security and care they require in later years of retirement.

In the security industry, AVI is the solution for fast, secure and hands-free parking and vehicle access. Nedap is the leading specialist for long-range vehicle and driver identification. Using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and LPR (License Plate Recognition) technology, Nedap systems automatically identifies approaching vehicles at entrances and exits of commercial and corporate parking areas, gated communities and airport, university and hospital car parks worldwide.

It is the most frustrating part of driving in a city: trying to find a parking space. Did you know that about 30% of all traffic in cities consists of motorists searching for a parking spot? However: new and clever technology is available to make these parking spaces easily findable. This results in less congestion, reduction of emissions and safer streets and thus a more attractive city for visitors and citizens.

TOP10 most popular security products for November 2014

TOP10 most popular security products for November 2014

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu | Updated: 12/15/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

 

A joyful festival atmosphere pervaded the whole Taipei city, as Christmas vacation is only couple weeks away. Before we hit the end of this year, let's go over the most-popular monthly product rankings one last time!

 

 

In total, as the last six months, a prominent amount of the click frequency comes from American areas. In November, 40.53% of the click-through rate comes from American countries, and 35.57% from Asian. Interestingly, this is, perhaps, the only month in this year that Asian manufacturers took 9 out of the 10 seats – mainly from Taiwanese and Chinese manufacturers, and a few from German, Japanese and Korean suppliers.

Overall speaking, most of the most-popular products are IP-based surveillance cameras, with a remarkable amount of them featuring high resolution image quality such as 4K, HD, and Ultra HD, and smart functions such as facial detection, intrusion detection, just to name a few.

Dahua IPC-HF81200E 4K 12 MP Ultra HD Network Camera
Hikvision DS-2CD4232FWD -I(Z)(H)(S) 3MP WDR IR Bullet Camera
LILIN IPC0122 1080P HD Covert IP Camera   >>> Product Video
VIVOTEK IB8367-R bullet network camera
Geutebruck G-Cam GNSD1882

Other than video surveillance devices, several new faces that just made their debut on asmag.com in the late November had also made their way into the ranking! We have the latest model for IP camera for commercial and home sector, access control systems, test monitor, and touch screen alarm:

Sony CXD4145GG camera system LSI for IP security camera
Climax VL touchscreen alarm
Acula Test monitor - 4.3" IP cam tester
FUJICA FJC-Z2368 Swing gate

Last but not the least; we cannot underestimate the ever-growing popularity of HD-over-coaxial technology which has been staying at the first place on TOP10 for three month in a row.

Nextchip AHD (Analog High Definition)

 

 

* Please note that the above statistics are not based on the sum of clicks but the accumulation of IP addresses.

Top10 Rank for September and October 2014

Oil and gas fuel up on safety

Oil and gas fuel up on safety

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, freelancer, a&s International | Updated: 12/9/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

From a safety and security perspective, oil and gas installations are among the most critical and challenging environments. The speed in which an incident can escalate to adisaster means that operators need to get information quickly to be able to react and minimize damages. Advances in video technology and video content analytics have great potential to assist oil and gas installations in detecting fires, leaks, and security threats, as well as help make operations more efficient.

As oil exploration moves to new regions across the world, so does the need for better monitoring of remote facilities, increased protection against terror threats, and pipeline and leak detection monitoring solutions. Exploration and drilling security systems will be the largest segment in terms of spending and adoption followed by refineries and storage facilities. According to research by Frost and Sullivan, the global oil and gas infrastructure security market was estimated at US$19.6 billion in 2013 and will grow to $24.7 billion by 2021. Including network and cyber security, the combined oil and gas security market will reach $30 billion by 2018.

Any damage to an oil and gas facility has grave consequences. Incidents have implications on employee safety, environmental damage, cleaning costs, damage penalties, equipment replacement, and the list goes on and on. This becomes even more challenging when considering the nature of these installations. There are hundreds of potential breach points for leaks and damages: numerous valves and pumps, meters upon meters of pipes. Even within the facility, environments are not the same. A refinery for example will include various types of oil, transported at different temperatures and pressures, from ambient temperatures and pressure up to 130 bars at 100°C.

In addition, sites are often located in remote and harsh environments. All these make the oil and gas industry one of the most demanding clients for safety and security products. One of the limitations of the oil and gas sector is the stringent regulations regarding equipment. For example, equipment for Class 1 Zone 1 areas — the areas closest to the drill site — needs to be explosion proof, making sure it will not cause an explosion in high risk areas. There are similar limitations on mobile devices since cellular radiation can also cause an explosion.

“If you are looking at a typical oil and gas plant, there will be between 300 to 500 cameras to monitor the perimeter and inner workings of the plant. In addition, there will be thermal cameras to monitor flames and detect leaks and specialty cameras for class and zone areas. In an ocean rig there are 16 to 20 explosion proof cameras and 40 to 50 standard cameras,” said William Moore, Senior Account Manager for Pelco by Schneider Electric.

With so many cameras involved, it is impractical to monitor them all the time; therefore, the cameras are monitored based on an alert rule-engine. In case of an event, whether security or safety related, the proper camera will be triggered and brought to the attention of the operator.

The second line of defense: Video analytics
Typically, video analytics are most appropriate for outdoor and wide-area use, when it is impractical to place sensors (i.e. outdoors or in a warehouse with high ceilings). Common analytics in use are smoke and fire detection, leak detection, gas leak detection, flare-size monitoring, and slip and fall (used for employee safety). In addition, more security-oriented analytics such as perimeter protection and theft detection are also used.

Despite technology advances, video surveillance and video analytics alone cannot replace traditional fire detection systems. Usually both are implemented as standalone systems. Analytics are however beneficial for verification and supplying secondary visual inputs to an alert triggered by other sensors. For example, a combination of a thermal camera and a visible spectrum camera can give a better understanding of a situation. “We use the video analytics only as a second layer of detection and we do not trust it to be the first line of alarm. The reason is due to the day camera sensor's capabilities. Our first line of detection is the thermal vision sensor,” explained Tomer Dadon, CEO of Ex-Sight. “The flame detector camera is normally packed inside the pan tilt video surveillance system. This system can connect directly to a video surveillance control center or a SCADA system.” Flame detection analytics enables the user to continuously assess and monitor target sites in the range of a few kilometers. While scanning the target area, the system identifies when a designated preset reaches a threatening temperature threshold. Once a flame is identified, the camera uses multiple alarm mechanisms, including transmitting the fire's coordinates. The specialty of the system is its ability to distinguish between flame and smoke sources which are part of the industrial environment and those which pose security risks.

“We see a strong trend for coupling video analytics with thermal video surveillance cameras,” said Laurent Assouly, Marketing Manager for Evitech. This combination enables a volume protection instead of line detection. Thermal cameras enable long range detection, such as 600 meters or one kilometer, while color cameras usually cannot see beyond 130 meters at night. Detection over color images would possibly raise more false alarms due to moving lights, flashing lights, etc., and would not reveal many details at the end of the fields of view at nighttime.

Video Analytics for Operations Monitoring
Video analytics can also be used for process monitoring and ensuring the facility is functioning properly. “We monitor pump jacks to detect any problems with their operation. By monitoring the cadence of the pump we can detect if it stops moving and alert the operators immediately,” explained Michael Von-Hauff, CEO of Osprey Informatics. This makes analytics exceptionally useful for remote sites that are not manned permanently. Without this capability, a malfunction can sometimes be detected only after hours, or even days if the pump is located in a remote location, when a human inspector visits the site. Such a solution, therefore, saves lost production time and helps turn video into actionable intelligence. Video monitoring can also be used to audit employee behavior during alarms and other safety events — it allows the relevant officers to check if all employees are following the relevant procedures.

Connectivity and systems integration
A growing market trend is connectivity and systems integration. “There are thousands of land rigs, gated and sensed-in, the clients are asking for the possibility to integrate cameras and access control,” explained Moore. “For example, we implemented such a solution in western Texas. A FOB key card swipe at the gate pops up the picture of the truck to the administrator.” The system is also integrated with LPR cameras, cell phones, and iPads and is used for site management and monitoring site visits. “Another thing the customer is looking for is a common platform such as ONVIF,” added Thomas Soderlund, Business Development Manager for EMEA at Bosch Security Systems. “With the old analog systems it was easy to pick any camera and plug it in and it would work due to the 1 volt peak-to-peak signals. With IP devices it is not always that easy since a new firmware or change of model mean additional programming of the main system is needed to be able to provide functionality.”

SCADA Integration
There is a benefit in connecting different systems to the SCADA system. The benefit of an integrated system is to have one common interface for alarm handling and monitoring, compared to moving between multiple systems in order to then build up the picture of the event. In addition this integration can help in halting delivery and limiting a leak's consequences. However, most platforms need to use SDKs to integrate with the SCADA systems, which is often a costly and complex solution.

Avoiding false alarms
There are several options to reduce false alarms. One is to install multiple different sensors for verification purposes. A second system for avoiding false alarms is to calibrate the system against an existing database of detections and false alarms. Tests can be performed using high pressure water cleaning tools, which deliver varying temperatures and pressures. These simulate various sorts of leaks in the different pipes (themselves at different temperatures). These tests can be used as a benchmark for the analytics and then need to be carried out at regular intervals to ensure the continuity of service of the solution. Artificial intelligence analytics check alerts and reduce false alarms by differentiating between real objects and other objects that might cause false alarms such as changes in lighting (e.g., a cloud passing over the sun or a light being switched off or on, long evening shadows, and bright lights pointed at the camera).

Not just video: Other senses take part
Dedicated sensors and video analytics are not the only features used for leak detection — there is also an audio-based detection method. “In a southern Louisiana installation, the cameras have the audio option turned on and in the case of an alert the operator can listen to the pipe to hear if there is a high pitch whistle coming out, indicating gas is leaking from the pipe,” described Moore. “This is already an automatic feature in the non-class and zone cameras. For class and zone areas it is more complicated due to technical reasons. The external microphone has to meet the safety criteria and not cause explosions.” iOmniscient combines with its video analytics smell sensors that can detect gas leaks and audio analysis to identify sounds. “When combined with the analytics from video these systems can provide an enhanced understanding of what is happening in an environment,” explained Dr. Rustom Kanga, CEO of iOmniscient.

Automated response
Information integration from various sensors into one platform is usually described as PSIM (physical security information management). Kanga described a solution where the information is not only pulled together but is also responsible for automated response. “The system, without human intervention, will find the nearest appropriate first responder and provide him with detailed information,” said Kanga. Relevant information can be pushed to the user's cell phone, turning the user's smartphone into a mobile control room. The user can use the phone to perform all the operations that he could have performed in a control room. However, the quality of the entire system depends on the quality of the core analytics. Automated responses reduce reaction time and as such are beneficial for both safety and security but also for operational efficiency — making sure malfunctions are treated fast.

Future trends
As oil and gas exploration continuous to expand further to more difficult environments so will the demand for video surveillance systems. The future calls for durable and reliable systems, able to withstand harsh field conditions and connect with other systems that will be able to give operators more than just security and also optimize operations. The future will no doubt involve more and more integrated systems, making full use of technology for both safety and security.

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