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Preemptive problem solving with RFID

Preemptive problem solving with RFID

Editor / Provider: BY EIFEH STROM, a&s International | Updated: 7/18/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is commonly used to track items, but its usefulness in helping manufacturers prevent production errors is becoming more widespread. As more and more manufacturers begin to integrate RFID technology into their production processes, the RFID market is seeing growth. By using RFID for error detection and not just tracking, the higher price tag of RFID will prove its worth in overall savings.

The use of radio frequency identification (RFID) to track and tag objects dates back to the 1940s. Nowadays, not only does RFID help supply chain visibility, but it is also used to improve inventory management and operational efficiency, reduce labor costs, and enhance information accuracy. These benefits are helping to spur the growth of global passive RFID market, which in is expected to reach US$11.6 billion in 2018, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan. Continuous research and development in the RFID industry along with growing end-user awareness are thought to be some of the main drivers for growth. However, one of the main challenges facing the market is the hesitation of end users to invest in a technology that has a higher price tag than other systems such as barcodes. Without sufficient knowledge of the benefits of RFID and concerns that customer return on investment (ROI) does not match its startup costs, growth in the RFID market will be hindered.

One way manufacturers are utilizing RFID to not only improve their ROI but also the overall efficiency of their facility is by using RFID technology on the production line. Manufacturers are no longer looking to just track products throughout the production process, but use RFID to detect errors during the processes before they become major problems down the line. By using RFID for both error detection and production efficiency, manufacturers are able to save both time and money.

EARLY DETECTION MEANS SAVINGS
Not falling behind schedule on a production line is extremely important in a manufacturing facility. Manufacturers are on strict deadlines set by customers to get their products to them in a timely manner. One delay on one production line not only costs the facility time, but starts a chain of events that can end up costing the facility a lot of money. In order to stop problems on the production line before they get too far out of control, manufacturers across industries have begun taking advantage of RFID technology in helping to reduce errors.

Brian Ma, Sales Representative at GIGA-TMS, a manufacturer of RFID readers and antennae, pointed out that every RFID project is unique with its own set of challenges. “Every successful ultra-high frequency (UHF) project has three major components — the transponder, the antenna, and the reader. All three of them have to be carefully chosen and configured.” As such, finding the right equipment can be a RFID project's biggest challenge.

NOT ALL FUN AND GAMES
While RFID, whether it be active or passive, LF, HF, or UHF have many advantages, the technology is far from perfect with limitations like any other technology. RFID tags cannot be bent, nor can holes be punched into them without it damaging the data. Also, RFID readers are prone to being flooded with data by those RFID tags with longer detection ranges. Pallets full of RFID tags may get read every time it passes a reader if the sensitivity is set too high. Additionally, a general lack of know-how on how to properly, efficiently, and successfully implement specifically UHF solutions means that more time is needed before the use of RFID in manufacturing for more than just tracking becomes common place.

Vietnamese Textile Printing Factory Uses RFID for Error Detection
Textile printing factories receive large shipments of fabric bundles for printing. Several shades of the same color, which are difficult to distinguish, may come to a factory for printing. This can easily lead to errors if a worker is told to simply pull a general color and throw it onto the line. If a mistake is made and the wrong bundle gets put onto the production line, not only is precious time wasted, but money and resources as well. To cut back on errors, a top textile printing factory, which prints for internationally well-known brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap, etc., wanted to find a solution that would help detect errors. Ultimately, a passive UHF RFID solution by GIGA-TMS was chosen. 

A passive UHF RFID solution was chosen for this project for several reasons, as pointed out by Brian Ma, Sales Representative at GIGA-TMS. First, UHF RFID has a longer reading range than either low-frequency (LF) or high-frequency (HF) RFID tags, which is useful in a high volume industrial setting. UHF RFID is also highly configurable as well as reusable. In this particular case, the reusable nature of the UHF RFID tag was a deciding factor to whether or not the factory opted to deploy a RFID technology. Unlike barcodes that cannot be reused, some UHF RFID tags can not only be reused hundreds of times, but can also withstand extreme temperatures. In this case, the factory needed the tags to be able to be reused at least 700 times in extremely high temperatures. Another advantage is that UHF RFID has multi-tag detection capabilities, which can save a lot of time when dealing with large quantities of fabric shipments. However, these advantages do come at a price — at over US$1 per tag this technology does not come cheap. For this reason, UHF RFID tags are most often used to track items of high value, advised Ma. Despite this, ROI for this technology will come to surface as long as end users are willing to invest in the costs for initial implementation and time to figure out the best solution. Mistakes in the printing process can cost the factory up to $100,000, according to Ma. This is not because the fabric itself is expensive, but because one mistake pushes back the entire printing process. Reducing the amount of errors on the production line, as well as being able to track fabric bundles throughout the entire printing process allows management to make sure the right fabric is being printed on. In the event an alarm is set off, management is able to fix the problem before it's too late. Additionally, the RFID information can be used to see which employees are most efficient. Since tags also record the duration of an item at a station, management can see which workers work most efficiently and which workers waste the most time.

RFID Helps Cheesemaker Save “Cheddar”
The cheese making process is a time sensitive process. Any mistake in the amount of time a batch of cheese is heated, cooled, and soaked results in the entire batch being thrown out. This not only wastes resources, but time as well. Having already implemented RFID technology to track the cheese production process on the conveyor belt at one of their sites, Tnuva, a global dairy products company, wanted to expand their use of RFID to more of their sites on some of the more complex processes that the cheese must pass through before being shipped out. Logitag, a RFID company, who implemented the initial solution, chose to expand the solution by deploying active RFID tags on the carts that move cheese through coolers, heaters, and pools of saline water, and passive UHF tags to track the cheese post-production.

Logitag had to deal with many challenges when choosing what type of RFID technology to use in the cheese factories. The harsh environment of the cheese manufacturing process posed a problem for RFID technology, as a large amount of metal and liquid are present in the factories. As a result, Logitag recommended different types of RFID technology to each of the different sites. Since both metal and liquid can compromise UHF RFID transmissions, both LF and active RFID tags were deployed. Using LF 125 kHz tags from HID Global to tag each box filled with cheese molds, Logitag's reader and software were used to read the information on the tag, which included time, date, and batch number. The tags are read along five different points throughout the production process. If any time abnormalities occur during the process an alarm is sounded, notifying management and giving them time to save the batch before it is too late. This has saved Tnvua money by reducing the number of batches that would have been discarded if Logitag's software had not detected the problem. With the information gathered from the RFID technology, Tnuva was also able to improve production efficiency by adjusting production processes, according to Shlomo Matityaho, CEO of Logitag. “There are many kinds of organizations where the production processes are not so organized. Cases like Tnuva are a very good example where RFID creates a very organized process. In this way RFID technology can create market change in production.”

 

mBank Poland deploys HID ActivID DisplayCard Tokens

mBank Poland deploys HID ActivID DisplayCard Tokens

Editor / Provider: HID Global | Updated: 7/16/2014 | Article type: Security 50

HID Global, one of the worldwide supliers in secure identity solutions, announced that mBank, a Polish Bank (owned by Commerzbank), has successfully deployed HID Global's ActivID DisplayCard Tokens. The tokens provide mBank's corporate banking customers with an advanced, multi-factor authentication solution to securely access their Internet and mobile banking accounts. Headquartered in Warsaw, Poland, mBank is amongst the pioneers for corporate banking services in the country. It was also recognized in 2013 by Efma and Accenture as “The Most Disruptive Innovation” for projects and initiatives in the retail financial services arena that radically change and redefine the way it does business.

mBank was seeking a highly secure, convenient and innovative Internet and mobile banking authentication solution that was easy to deploy. HID Global's ActivIDDisplayCard Tokens were selected by mBank based on these stringent requirements and HID Global's unique, patented algorithm that was interoperable with mBank's back-end system. Further, HID Global was recognized by the bank as a reputable brand that offered strong authentication and advanced fraud protection based on its long-standing relationship and successful implementations over the last 10 years.

“HID Global is a trusted and recognized brand that offers the best solutions in the market. The company's ActivID DisplayCard Tokens were easy to integrate into mBank's banking solutions,” said Aleksander Gawroński, Electronic Banking Director with mBank. “Thanks to HID Global, we are able to offer our corporate banking customers an improved, convenient and higher security multi-factor authentication method when accessing their accounts on the Internet and on their mobile phones.”

“We are very proud to have supported mBank, one of the most credible Polish banks, with an advanced and innovative authentication solution that enhances their corporate customers' Internet banking experience. HID Global's identity assurance offering has consistently proven to be the most reliable and trusted in the marketplace,” said Harm Radstaak, Managing Director, EMEA with HID Global.

The ActivID DisplayCard Token has enabled mBank to offer its corporate banking customers a customized, credit card style authentication solution. The token includes a touchpad for secure PIN entry that can fit in customers' wallets easily, making it highly portable and allowing access to their Internet bank accounts anytime, anywhere. Providing this enhanced customer satisfaction has resulted in mBank continuing to retain its customer loyalty. The ActivID DisplayCard also eliminates the need for special readers and is an all-in-one solution that delivers a cost-effective solution to mBank.

Based on its continued successful relationship with HID Global, mBank is looking to further collaborate with the company to extend its corporate banking offering to include new, advanced solutions for its retail banking customers.

Synectics supplies security solution for North Sea Clair oilfield

Synectics supplies security solution for North Sea Clair oilfield

Editor / Provider: Synectics | Updated: 7/16/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Synectics has designed and delivered an end-to-end surveillance solution for Clair Ridge – the USD $77bn second phase development project taking place in the North Sea's Clair field.

Located 75km west of the UK's Shetland Islands, Clair Ridge is the most recent high profile project to feature in Synectics' North Sea portfolio, which also includes developments such as Jasmine/Judy, Golden Eagle, Shell Gannet, Shell Clipper, Erskine and Elgin.

The Clair Ridge development, due for full platform topside installation in 2015, will consist of two bridge-linked platforms - a drilling and production platform, and a second for quarters and utilities.

Production is scheduled to commence in 2015 and continue for 40 years. It is estimated that the development will produce around 120,000 barrels of oil per day and will provide a vital ‘hub' for future expansion in the area. It will be the first time that BP's award-winning new LoSal EOR extraction technique for boosting oil yield – achieved by using desalination technology – will be used. This is expected to result in more than 40 million additional barrels being cost effectively recovered over the lifetime of the field.

Working in partnership with IT and telecommunications company Page Europa, Synectics' IP-based system - utilising Synergy integrated security management software - will provide complete surveillance across both platforms for safety and security processes.

Toni Partipilo, Sales Director from Page Europa, said: “As the main telecommunications and security systems integrator on this significant North Sea project, implementing a robust and intuitive end-to-end surveillance solution that would be flexible enough to provide reliable safety and security situational awareness was paramount. Synectics' solution fulfilled the brief perfectly.”

COEX C3000 PTZ hazardous area and safe area dome camera stations will be positioned throughout the development, all of which will be centrally controllable, allowing live, color footage to be viewed, played back and analyzed without any disruption to recording. H.264 encoding technology will also enable high-quality footage to be transmitted and stored with minimal bandwidth requirements.

Amedeo Simonetto from Synectics said: “As well as providing detailed coverage for both hazardous and non-hazardous platform areas, the system we've supplied is centrally controllable and will integrate effectively with multiple third-party systems including the Driller's CCTV system.

“Additionally we factored in remote viewing capabilities, to enable head office monitoring of the platform, and also future capacity. With plans to utilize Clair Ridge as a hub for further expansion and development of the field, the system we've developed is ‘future proof' as it is flexible enough to cope with additional demands.”

Nedap releases parking license App

Nedap releases parking license App

Editor / Provider: Nedap | Updated: 7/15/2014 | Article type: Security 50

This mobile application is a new innovation related to Nedap's SENSIT system for monitoring real-time usage of individual parking spaces with ground sensors. The SENSIT Parking License app enables fast and easy checking in and out at a parking bay with just one click. Administrators can manage and distribute licenses online efficiently. Nedap has prepared the app for easy integration with third party mobile parking and enforcement applications.

Nedap is developer and manufacturer of SENSIT. This technology consists of wireless parking sensors which detect in real-time whether or not a single parking bay is occupied and how long it has been occupied. SENSIT has proven to be an accurate, reliable and robust parking sensor system for on and off street parking situations. Nedap integrates its parking sensor platform with third party systems for parking guidance, traffic management and parking enforcement.

How the App works
To enable identification of vehicles, Nedap now adds the Parking License app to the SENSIT system. This dedicated mobile app performs in a similar way as the previously released physical onboard device EPL (Electronic Parking License). This patented solution can be used to identify the vehicle and link the vehicle to a parking bay. In the SENSIT system individual parking bays or entire parking zones can be designated for specific audiences. And violations can easily be detected.

This solution monitors the legitimate use of parking bays digitally. The app is easily configured to get a unique identifying number. As soon as a permit holder parks, one click is sufficient to activate the app and have it connect to the SENSIT server. Using GPS coordinates and advanced matching algorithms, the location of the SENSIT Parking License is identified.

Benefits both motorists and administrators
Besides the user-friendly interface for (de)activation of the parking session, permit holders can also use the SENSIT Parking License app for additional parking services such as real-time information about the parking availability as well as a clever car finding assistant to keep track of where the car is parked. This application also improves efficient enforcement of the on and off street parking spaces. Through the SENSIT Administration Software administrators can simply manage their parking licenses.

The big advantage of using an app as a parking license is the fact that logistics and maintenance are easier. Since everybody nowadays has a smartphone, apps are easily distributed. This makes the related costs for a digital license low for all parties involved. The SENSIT Administration Software is capable of dealing with a mix of licensing devices and apps, which makes it a solution that can service permit holders with or without a smartphone.

Third party App integration
The first release of the SENSIT Parking License app is available for a selected group of existing Nedap partners and clients. Nedap expects to integrate this electronic parking license functionality into third party smartphone apps. The automatic license matching functionality is available through an open software interface of the SENSIT system. This enables third parties to easily create their own custom solutions. The app is currently released for Android and a version for other relevant mobile platforms will follow soon.

Axis and Genetec provide NEC with security and traffic management

Axis and Genetec provide NEC with security and traffic management

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 7/10/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Mission
The NEC is located on a 610-acre site, eight miles from Birmingham city centre offering more than 186,000 square metres of covered exhibition space spanning 33 conference suites and 20 interconnecting halls, in addition to over 160 acres of hard standing ground and 75 acres of woodland. The venue welcomes approximately 2.1 million visitors each year to over 140 diverse trade and consumer events - including long-standing shows like BBC Gardeners' World, BBC Good Food Show and Spring Fair alongside specialist exhibitions such as Clothes Show Live and Festival of Quilts - plus over 400 live events and conferences. The NEC has stated that it wants to be the ‘venue of choice' for the UK's leading events.

Solution
Axis partner Vindex Systems led a proof of concept trial which included camera shoot-outs using various manufacturers' cameras side by side onsite at the venue to see in a live situation which would be best for the challenge. The result being that Vindex selected Axis HD IP PTZ and fixed cameras to be installed.

Result
Thanks to Axis network cameras' ease of set up, highquality images and their ability to integrate with the Genetec Video Management Software platform, the NEC now has real-time high-quality information and the necessary communication tools to deliver ‘intelligence- lead safety, security and traffic management'.

Better utilising security and traffic teams to reduce incidents
The NEC is located on a 610-acre site, eight miles from Birmingham city centre offering more than 186,000 square metres of covered exhibition space spanning 33 conference suites and 20 interconnecting halls; in addition to over 160 acres of hard standing ground and 75 acres of woodland. The venue welcomes approximately 2.1 million visitors each year to over 140 diverse trade and consumer events - including long-standing shows like BBC Gardeners' World, BBC Good Food Show and Spring Fair alongside specialist exhibitions such as Clothes Show Live and Festival of Quilts - plus over 400 live events and conferences.
The NEC has stated that it wants to be the ‘venue of choice' for the UK's leading events. Paul Austin, director at Vindex Systems, an Axis gold partner, said: “We have worked with the NEC to deliver an integrated solution to improve the effectiveness of its security and traffic teams. We carried out a rigorous testing process of potential solutions to ensure an enhanced customer experience alongside increased safety measures. We chose to install over 200 Axis cameras within the fully integrated solution.”

The project was part of the NEC's wider objective to become the 'venue of choice'. Security solutions are key to achieving this; if customers and exhibitors are confident of the security measures in place at the venue they will select it to host their events. Vindex Systems acted as the principal contractor and provided all civil and electrical works. There was a team of 20 working on site. Paul continued: “The project was challenging as the site was continuing to operate during the installation. There were over 2 million visitors during the duration of the project so we had to ensure the work was well coordinated with the minimum of disruption. We also had to create a multi-point wireless network to ensure the infrastructure had the ability to support the new cameras and management software across the whole 650-acre estate.”


The Axis cameras selected by Vindex Systems were subjected to a camera ‘shoot-out', alongside other manufacturer's cameras on site to prove their effectiveness and quality in a live environment. The Axis cameras proved to be the best quality and most effective solution. Vindex selected to deploy 168 Axis cameras made up of 130 fully functional AXIS P5534 indoor 720P HDTV pan/ tilt/zoom cameras, five AXIS P3344 720P HDTV indoor fixed dome cameras, eight AXIS Q1755 720P HDTV cameras with integrated ten optical zoom lens. They also provided NEC with 25 AXIS M1054 HDTV cameras, made available to exhibitors to hire during exhibitions to provide them with real-time streaming of the event.

40 AXIS P3367-V fixed dome cameras were deployed to cover the exhibition center's main entrances in order to meet the challenging light conditions due to the amount of glass used in the lobby. Axis solutions were also deployed to enable seamless integration with the chosen Genetec VMS Platform, which is vital in centrally managing the security and traffic operations for the site from a newly created ‘Venue Operations Centre'. The integrated solution provides all operators with intelligent, high quality, intuitive information in order for them to make informed decisions based on the time of day and activity on site.


Gary Masters, the NEC group security and traffic operations manager concluded: “The centrally managed and integrated solution provided by Vindex Systems has already proven to be an effective tool. The high quality images that the Axis cameras provide are vital in our efforts to reduce incidents of crime and ultimately helped to improve the effectiveness of our security and traffic management team.

Milestone CEO: Canon acquires Milestone Systems to expand the open platform

Milestone CEO: Canon acquires Milestone Systems to expand the open platform

Editor / Provider: Lars Thinggaard, President & CEO, Milestone Systems | Updated: 7/9/2014 | Article type: Security 50

On June 12th we finalized an agreement for Milestone Systems to be acquired by Canon Europe, in which it was defined that we will be an independent, standalone company within the Canon Group. This deal closed and became a legal reality on July 7th.

This is a major next step for both companies, and it makes me very proud that Canon - a respected global technology leader - has chosen to acquire Milestone. I am extremely excited about this move and believe that being part of a larger group will be advantageous for our partners and customers. Milestone will continue as an independent company within the Canon Group, operating as we do today. There will be no change in our business model, and the Milestone management will continue under the new structure. We are taking this step to accelerate the growth of our entire VMS ecosystem of partners and customers. Our open platform strategy is firmly supported by Canon for the success that it brings all of us.

Canon's business motivation for this acquisition is growth. With Milestone they will establish a significant footprint in the Network Video Surveillance (NVS) market, and together we will be a much stronger partner to work with. Canon sees the need for advanced software capabilities and a strong partner network to accelerate the expansion of NVS business.

As a key element in our success, maintaining our partners' relationships for the long run is a priority for both Canon and Milestone. Canon is committed to Milestone continuing to provide open platform solutions to the market, and appropriate measures will be taken to safeguard the integrity of all our partner relationships.

Canon has a successful history of managing acquisitions this way; for example, they have proven this with their acquisitions of Onyx and I.R.I.S. We see this as a good way to grow our business together. As a standalone company within the Canon Group, we will continue the development of new products.

Canon understands that the open platform is the key to Milestone's success - and to our partners and customers who are realizing its advantages - so they support our open culture and business model. Customers and partners will continue to enjoy the freedom of choice in hardware and other systems to integrate with Milestone VMS.

Canon's network camera business has relationships with other VMS providers, just as we do with other camera manufacturers. These will continue in parallel. We have a long-standing relationship with Canon as one of our camera partners, and Milestone's support of the other 100+ camera manufacturers we work with will stay in force, as well. Canon confirms that they will respect the confidentiality of our partner relationships as a cornerstone in our continued success.

As part of the Canon Group, Milestone will accelerate the growth of the VMS business through maximizing expansions into new market sectors and geographies, and by harnessing both companies' heritage in R&D and innovation. Did you know that Canon is Number 3 in the world for patent registrations? In the last year alone: more than 3,800! The global resources of the Canon Group can only open up broader opportunities to explore, and Milestone is always looking at new options to improve video surveillance and its many applications, convergence with business systems and processes, and new technologies that can be applied.

Finally, I would like to thank all of our partners for our collaborations over the years and the commitment to Milestone that has made this new stage in our journey possible. We have built this company together by combining our excellent products with your outstanding support towards customers; we have created an exceptional symbiosis in the industry. Canon choosing Milestone is an endorsement of our partner ecosystem achieving such success together.

Canon is a highly respected, multi-national corporation with a well-known brand name that stems from a tradition for quality and excellence. Check out The Canon Story here to learn more about the organization. They have exciting strategies for progress in the future, which we look forward to sharing with you. Our open platform vision continues!

Access control management empowers verticals

Access control management empowers verticals

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 7/3/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Regardless of the vertical, end users can benefit from access control management software, which not only helps keep companies/organizations safe but also contributes to more efficient operations and workflow. Determining what end users' primary focuses of management are and what they look for in their access control solutions is the first step towards successful deployment.

 

 

Education
Education, whether at a primary, secondary, or higher level, is often cited as one of the vertical markets that needs cutting-edge access control solutions the most, especially after campus violence has become more rampant in the U.S. A NAPCO Security Technologies white paper on school security points out that since 1980, there have been 137 fatal school shootings that killed 297 victims in America. However, safety aside, schools are also looking for ways to extract the potential of their students' ID credentials by integrating them with more functions. This is especially the case in colleges, where students are faced with the need to enter or exit school buildings or dorms as well as borrow books, make cashless payments, and reserve equipment. “They want to integrate all the above mentioned features together into their campus card,” said Tom Su, Sales Manager at Hundure Technology.

To achieve those objectives, schools are looking to integrate a variety of subsystems into their access control management software. “For higher education institutes, integrated subsystems include meal plans, vending, video, distress systems, and mass notification. For K-12, cost-effective lock-down capabilities and visitor management are also required,” said Richard White, VP and GM of Electronics at Allegion.

Integrating these systems into a seamless whole can result in many benefits, said Harm Radstaak, MD of Identity & Access Management for EMEA, HID Global. “They significantly improve safety and security for students, staff, faculty, and visitors. They also deliver cost savings and an easy migration path to future capabilities when needed,” said Radstaak, whose company was responsible for helping the Academy of Art University in San Francisco transition from a lock-and-key environment to an integrated access control system, which enables students to use their ID cards to not only open doors but also make secure purchases and gain access to Urban Knights athletic events.

“The university has realized a number of important benefits from its new access control system, including documented reductions in theft even as enrollment has increased, and an improved campus experience,” Radstaak said.

Healthcare

Another vertical that highly demands cutting-edge access control management software is healthcare, which is also faced with the need to secure a diverse group of people including patients, doctors/nurses, administrators, and volunteers, against a variety of emergency situations such as fires, earthquakes, or fights that break out from time to time at hospitals. Other focuses of management include granting emergency personnel expedited access to patients' wards or intensive care units, and protecting patients' data from theft or leakage to other parties.

Subsystems integrated into access control management software vary based on end users' specific needs and requirements. For example, access control integrated with visitor management makes sure that those without access rights stay away from critical areas such as radiology, pharmacy, and pediatric wards. Elevator controls, meanwhile, are valuable in allowing medical staff to reach certain floors in the quickest manner.

“Saving lives has absolute priority and requires unhindered access, and the access control management system must therefore be prepared for this eventuality,” said Nancy Wanders, Sales Manager of Global Clients at Nedap Security Management, adding with her company's solution, “the ER team has its own special cards. Held in front of any card reader they initiate elevator priority control. The elevator that is especially reserved for the emergency team is ordered to the appropriate floor. Only when this card is used, the elevator will go to the selected floor with priority.”

“The ER team often has its own special cards. Held in front of any card reader they initiate elevator priority control. The elevator that is especially reserved for the emergency team is ordered to the appropriate floor. Only when this card is used, the elevator will go to the selected floor with priority,” she said.

At the same time, the access control management system must converge with logical access control to make sure there is no theft or leakage of patients' data, which has become mostly digitized in an increasingly digital world. “With the right infrastructure in place, healthcare institutions can meet today's security and compliance needs while continually improving security and convenience, protecting patient privacy, and increasing the ongoing value of their investment,” Radstaak said.

 

Government

For government agencies, the focus of access control management is high-assurance and multi-factor authentication. “This would include technologies such as biometrics and encryption,” said Jason Ouellette, Product Line Director for Access Control at Tyco Security Products. “The need is to be highly secure and highly protected by nature of what is physically being protected.”

Among subsystems typically integrated with government access control management software are HR, visitor management, video, alarms, and encryption devices for communications that need to comply with FIPS standards. According to Ouellette, government users look for software that can handle high-assurance government credentials such as PIV, CAC, and TWIC, along with intrusion zone support. “The ability to handle high-assurance credentials allows highly important facilities, such as government buildings and embassies, to put into place an extra layer of security to keep the wrong people out while allowing the proper people access,” he said.

Users also want their management software to be able to change authentication levels based on the imminence of danger faced by government personnel. “Buildings such as government and municipalities require a high-assurance badge, but when the threat level is moved up, there is opportunity to increase the level of authentication as required to include a second factor such as a PIN or a biometric. Access control authentication changes as the need/threat changes,” Ouellette said.

All this contributes to a safer and more secure environment for government personnel, said Daniel McVeagh, Senior Product Manager for Access at Gallagher. “The benefit is ensuring government facility security cannot be easily compromised. We support a wide range of security and interoperability standards, ensuring government sites are well protected and can leverage their security system investment with integrations into others,” he said.

 

Corporate
In today's corporate world, companies are increasingly setting up offices and branches in multiple regions or even countries around the world. The need for multi-site management therefore arises. “They are looking for the ability to have local access control but with a global view. Typically they are set up so a central security station can see what is happening anywhere in the world,” said Tyco's Ouellette.

According to him, this type of installation gives users the flexibility to either own the security operation or outsource the monitoring through a managed access control offering. “Customers can determine what works best for them and determine what level of capital investment vs. operational cost is appropriate for them. Some customers may want to spend the money upfront, while others may find more flexibility with spending the money over a period of time,” he said.

A critical element for success in the corporate arena is the ability to tie access control management software with multiple subsystems including elevators, video management, RFID, key management and more, he added.

“With so many disparate offerings in the field today, the more options that can be supported, the better value the access control platform can provide to the end user,” Ouellette said. “A unified customer experience by offering a unified security platform from which to manage all of the security applications is quickly becoming a requirement for many customers looking for an easy way to manage their holistic security infrastructure. Toggling between multiple applications like video, access control, and visitor management is quickly becoming a thing of the past.”

 

Industry
Access control is vital in ensuring staff safety in an industrial setting, for example a factory or plant. “Securing critical areas is not just a security issue but also a life safety issue,” said Jeremy Krinitt, GM of Frontier Security.

For critical infrastructure such as power generation plants that may be the target of terrorist attacks, integrated access control and video systems are key. Other technologies that may be integrated with the access control management software include time and attendance, public address systems, perimeter protection systems, payroll systems, visitor management systems, wireless locking systems, and parking controls.

In an industrial setting, users often look for technologies and solutions that can withstand harsh environments, Krinitt said. Another user demand is access control management software with viable anti-passback technology to prevent misusage that is prevalent in this sector.

“They want a solution that does not allow any buddy clocking,” said Hundure's Su. “Our finger vein device has a high security feature that makes ID theft and buddy clocking impossible. After all, no one can copy finger vein patterns.” Users are also looking for software that can help enforce health and safety compliance, record employees' time of entry of exit, track their locations, and gather them in the event of emergency.

“If a machine explodes during maintenance work, our solution enables you to instantly activate the predefined settings and procedures you've defined for this type of situation,” Nedap's Wanders said. “You can easily control who's allowed access to the incident area. And you can get a quick overview of where your health and safety officers are and direct them to where they're needed. The solution also immediately blocks any zones that people shouldn't enter so everyone's led to the right assembly area, and you can quickly identify if anyone's missing and take appropriate action.”

 

Port Fourchon deploys Milestone IP solution to manage operations

Port Fourchon deploys Milestone IP solution to manage operations

Editor / Provider: Milestone system | Updated: 6/25/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Port Fourchon in Louisiana plays a strategic role in supplying the United States with nearly 18% of its oil supply, servicing over 90% of the Gulf of Mexico's deep-water exploration and production. Securing this essential coast area requires a hands-on team of security professionals to watch for unauthorized activities and safety matters. When evaluating options for a surveillance system to feed its new maritime domain awareness platform, the port chose Milestone XProtect Enterprise video management software (VMS).

As the first land point of contact for the Gulf's activities including more than 600 rigs and platforms within a 40-mile radius, Port Fourchon has unique safety standards to handle potentially devastating issues that may damage vessels, equipment, products and people. Obsolete surveillance equipment previously used to monitor the area was not sufficient; a new video system was required to provide clearer imaging, improved storage capabilities, wider coverage and flexible video management.

Milestone XProtect Enterprise software was therefore deployed by Convergint Technologies to manage cameras from Bosch and Pelco. With Milestone's ability to display video in real time and its open platform architecture for integration with analytics from BRS Labs, the port benefits from comprehensive and responsive surveillance. Alerts from the video analytics are fed through XProtect.

“The video surveillance system has been taken to an entirely new level, integrating multiple systems for complete coverage. Milestone's open platform allows us to feed video analytics and disparate cameras through it, and the entire port is benefiting immensely,” states April Danos, Director of IT, Port Fourchon.

Several strategic elements work in unison to create complete behavioral analytics. The biggest advantage is the ability to have the dispatchers pull up all camera views needed to address an alert or an incident. It is easy to add more cameras to the surveillance network (which the port did in conjunction with the installation of a new radar system), since the Milestone open platform supports the largest choice of manufacturer models.

Key points in the port's request for proposals included a system with minimal maintenance requirements, video display in real time, user-friendly operation and the ability to easily integrate a variety of components.

“We all agreed that our new video management system should be easy to integrate and allow us to dovetail with our legacy equipment while having an opportunity to shop around for upgraded hardware without any proprietary restrictions,” says Danos. “The ability to scale up over the years to increase the port's protection was very important.”

Developed in response to requirements by the Department of Defense, the platform aligned with Port Fourchon's vision for a centralized system into which all elements would be integrated, providing directors and police with full coverage of the analytics, radar, access control and security systems. This provides wide area situational awareness and response capabilities to Port Fourchon's Harbor Police dispatchers, Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office, the parish Emergency Operations Center,LOOP, and the Port Administrative, Operations and IT departments.

“Many companies claim to provide an integrated system, but what they deliver is more likely a large number of windows scattered on a screen, without any data integration,” noted Danos. “Milestone's integration of video management and very detailed analytics gives our operators one single data feed through which the port's entire surveillance system can be readily accessed. We don't miss a beat, which is priority number one.”

All of the port's surveillance systems work in unison with the behavior analytics system. Milestone is the only interface that can process this large amount of information, according to Bruce Whitaker of BRS Labs: “Alerts come right through the port's Milestone XProtect setup. We can provide a brief clip of any target, time-and-date stamp it and inject it into the alarm. The users are looking at real-time video with the alerts built right in. No event goes unseen.”

“We are very pleased with the way Milestone's open platform enables us to explore multiple opportunities without worry of technology being rejected or reworking our entire system,” continues Danos. “Milestone has been very impressive as we adapt our system to improve operations every day.”

How big data and IoT revolutionize the security industry (Part 1)

How big data and IoT revolutionize the security industry (Part 1)

Editor / Provider: Jill Lai, a&s International | Updated: 6/24/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Big data is a buzz word. Many industries have tried to reply by analyzing big data to make good predictions on everything ranging from weather forecasts to decision making in different forms and subjects. However, why has the security industry also become so fascinated by “big data?” The reason could be traced back to the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing investigation. The United States successfully crowdsourced information from social media, like Twitter and Facebook, and multiple video surveillance cameras to quickly identify and locate the criminals. This lesson opened the eyes of the whole world to learn the power of using mass data provided by the public, and more importantly, the different resources from security systems.

However, many experts also pointed out current security systems do not provide much information before an event even though they are connected to an IP network. Therefore, the industry has been trying to figure out how to make security equipment get involved in pre-event management and also play an active role in preventing crimes or disasters, instead of merely acting as a tool for post-event investigation. Of course, first of all, networkability is definitely a must in security devices, then, each device must be connected, like multiple sensors, to provide data. Then, there is intelligent video (or VCA), which is getting more important since it helps to make security information meaningful. By using intelligent video, security systems can produce loss prevention data or heat maps for retailers. Whenever the video security systems are connected with “external” WiFi-enabled tracking devices, the shop can better prevent perspective shoplifters and plan their marketing campaigns. Secondarily, it needs a proactive situational awareness tool, something like physical security information management software (PSIM), to seamlessly integrate different security and non-security equipment and further provide an immediate response to events.

In addition, through cloud computing, all the data is processed in the cloud; therefore, people are starting to wonder who is able to access this data and how to protect the integrity of the data. In the physical security world, we may also care about who is in my space and where these visitors are going and what they are doing. Therefore, identity management may play a vital role in the trend of big data.

To sum up, when the world starts to look into “big data” and how IoT can benefit everyone, the trend forces the security industry to gradually switch their attention to data and content beyond product specifications to better fit the needs of a connected world. Major technologies providers have started to add more value to security information/ content with their unique approaches.

Ultra-high 4K Resolution and Wide-angle Cameras Provide More Details
Although the improvement to 4K resolution seems very natural in consumer electronics and security technologies, 4K-resolution, ultra-high HD security cameras still captured the limelight at major security shows this year. Whenever 4K starts to become the mainstream in the industry, security cameras can be expected to provide more detailed and clearer video images of the environment, events, and subjects than the past. More importantly, 4K resolution cameras can largely reduce the total cost of ownership of a project by doing more with less, compared to low resolution cameras. Companies such as Axis Communications, Arecont Vision, Bosch Security Systems, Hikvison Digital Technology, IQinVision, and Sony Electronics all pre-announced 4K cameras last month. Performing at 30 frames per second makes 4K cameras stand out. “Arecont Vision 4K camera produces high-quality image at 30 frames per second and delivers about 8.3 megapixels. Arecont Vision‘s10- megapixel camera delivers 7 frames per second. When it was released in 2010, it was the first dual mode 10-megapixel and 1080p camera in the industry,” said Scott Schafer, Executive VP of Sales, Marketing, and Service at Arecont Vision. It can be predicted that all these companies should have their 4K cameras ready for the market later this year. However, some experts still warn that 4K camera users need to pay extra attention to selecting compatible 4K NVRs and monitors. Without using a 4K monitor, the video quality might be compromised.

Pelco is focusing on a different approach to provide more details to situational awareness video with their latest 360-degree camera, which is a joint venture combining OnCamGrandeye's technology and Pelco's video managment applications. Coupled with Pelco's customer support and service, this adds an important tool to the market, said Craig Dahlman, Director-Analog Video Products of Video Line of Business at Pelco by Schneider Electric. Similar products can also be seen at other major network video surveillance vendors, like Panasonic System Communications. Panasonic‘s 360-degree cameras enable several different viewing options. For example, diverse image distribution modes, including four independent video streams for maximum flexibility.

Intelligent Vi deo Helps Deliver Meaningful Messages
It is not enough to have a high-resolution video only for generating data. In order to acquire meaningful information, rather than just raw data, and even provide timely diagnosis/response to an event, intelligent video is the best candidate, when talking about big data. What it influences in the security field now is how to use the accumulated data from intelligent video for different purposes. “The focuses of video surveillance innovations have evolved from video functionality, to video integration, and now to video enabling. By enabling processes with video, the open platform fosters many innovations to optimize business operations in different verticals,” according to Karl Erik Traberg, Head of Corporate Communications and Business Development at Milestone Systems.

For example, “A retail store uses multiple cameras enabling real-time analytics such as traffic counting, queue management, heat maps and demographics. The system accumulates all the information by date and time, and if associated with the POS information, can deliver key information, such as average sale and conversion metrics. Ultimately, and depending on the information, retailers can leverage these insights to adjust their marketing strategies and even staffing for different time periods,” said Masa Karahashi, Senior VP, Engineering at 3VR.

Hank Monaco, VP of Marketing at Tyco Integrated Security also further explained in a big picture, “For many retailers, we are also seeing a big move now toward leveraging multiple technologies working together to help drive higher store performance. For instance, retailers are finding that leveraging video services to gain visibility into POS activity helps to drive improved customer experiences and manage more accurately what is on the shelf which also can lead to higher sales. We see technologies working together, such as EAS used byond loss protection, and tied into POS register, RFID for inventory tracking, and also analytic video to understand customers‘ behaviors, such as dwell time — how much time a customer stands in front of the stock display without making a purchase or how fast a customer picks up a product(s) from a shelf and then makes a purchase. Essentially, retailers are seeing that technology that does more can also help them make decisions in the store on a more predictive basis and allows them to see farther ahead. This drives the store performance which helps them gain competitive advantage and improved bottom line results.”

We can imagine that, if the information is also shared with or connected to other non-security, external systems, it could be something really valuable even to city surveillance or other researches. However, how to reduce false alarms in intelligent video is always the focus for security. The latest motion sensor detection sensors by Mobotix are able to filter the objects according to directions of movement. Therefore, it only records video or triggers an alarm if an important event actually occurs. Interference caused, for instance, by trees moving in the wind, shadows, passing clouds, or snowfall is consistently ignored.

Thermal Comes to Intelligent Video for 24/7 Detection
In some particular scenarios, intelligent video might meet certain limitations and challenges. “The main drawback of standard CCTV systems arises from their reliance on reflected light — inability to operate at night, adverse effects due to shadows and lighting changes,” according to the research paper titled “Thermo-Visual Feature Fusion for Object Tracking Using Multiple Spatiogram Trackers,” by Ciaran O Conaire et al. For a critical environment, the combination of thermal cameras and intelligent video is a good match for 24/7 detection. After the partnership of FLIR Systems and VideoIQ in 2010, FLIR also recently partnered with PureTech Systems for wide area surveillance solution.

Another piece of good news for the industry is that the falling price in thermal technology will allow more security cameras to enjoy the benefits of thermal. FLIR announced the release of three new lines of its thermal security cameras starting at economical prices, which further demonstrates how the combination of thermal cameras and intrusion video analytics can actually be an affordable and also effective solution, said Andy Teich, President and CEO of FLIR Systems. At the same time, DVTel also announced its thermal cameras at an affordable price, also featuring intelligent video analytics.

FLIR also launched its cloud-based platform for users to remotely access their security cameras. In the future, thermal with intelligent video cameras will also start to provide more meaningful data to make our environment safer.

 

* Take a look into How big data and IoT revolutionize the security industry (Part 2)

 

 

How big data and IoT revolutionize the security industry (Part 2)

How big data and IoT revolutionize the security industry (Part 2)

Editor / Provider: Jill Lai, a&s International | Updated: 6/25/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

"Big data" and the "Internet of Things"(IoT) now are not only discussed in the IT and communications idustries, but they are also ready to influence and even upturn the securiy industry. While we anticipate a connected society, the world is also vulnerable to malicious physical and cyber security attacks. Fortunately, security technologies have evolved and developed to prevent any disasters from happening.

When the world starts to look into "big data" and how IoT can benefit everyone, the trend forces the security industry to gradually switch their attention to data and content beyond product specifications to better fit the needs of a connected world.

Open Platforms Drive Total Integration
Integration has been an unstoppable trend in all industries, especially when it comes to IoT. Eventually, in a connected world, every system will be connected in a single network. The security industry will also continue to evolve. To build up a future-proof solution, integrating different systems through proprietary SDKs and APIs no longer seems like enough. Companies now concentrate on how to construct a more open platform in order to seamlessly manage and utilize different resources in different security equipment. According to Genetec's white paper, it suggests that a truly unified platform in video surveillance can optimize resources by sharing common servers and databases for authentication and permission, licensing, configuration settings, alarms and evens, audit and activity log, video recording, and access logs.

"Because of the open and standardized features, IP-based video surveillance has become more accessible and affordable. End users in small-scaled market sectors, such as SMBs, now are willing to consider IP-based products. We do see an increased demand for these types of products from the education sector in K-12 schools, retail and even residential sectors are picking up," said Kostas Mellos, product marketing, video, Interlogix and Lenel.

Looking at the access control market only, it has been actively developing with the introduction of different new technologies. The market's high growth still mainly comes from the migration from mechanical locks to electronic locks. However, what is really driving the growth of the market is the need for open platforms. Access control systems, in the past, were very closed, simply for restricting entrance to a building, room, and property. Until recently, users have started to realize the benefits whenever it links with other systems. “What really differentiates us from other companies is, in our hardware and firmware. We develop to an open platform and protocol, which is very critical for the credentials and access control systems for future expansion or integration of other future technologies. That is why we are chosen for replacement projects and also big projects, like One World Trade Center,” said April Daltron-Noblitt, Director of Vertical Marketing at Allegion. Both the access control and video surveillance markets are developing their solutions very fast in open platforms, which also is closely tying both sides together. Companies, like Axis, Avigilon, and Genetec have developed their own integrated systems. The partnership of video and access control companies has become basic to form an integrated system. “Genetec offers its end users a unified security platform, which seamlessly integrates video, access control, and license plate recognition. The open platform supports a vast ecosystem of cameras, access control edge devices and third party software tools, including analytics, biometrics and perimeter detection hardware.

Genetec's IP access control system is also increasing its compatibility with other access control hardware products. The most recent ones are our partnerships with ASSA ABLOY and Salto, who produce quality WiFi, PoE wireless locks,” said Andrew Elvish, VP of Marketing and Communication at Genetec.

On the other hand, PSIM is not only able to supervise multiple distinct systems and further manage information coming from these systems, but also presents all the information in a single user interface, which plays a vital role in big data and IoT. “Verint recently launched a new situation management platform that allows users to integrate a variety of systems providing real-time intelligence to respond to events,” said Courtney Mamuscia, Global Communications Director of Verint Video & Situation Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems. “This new solution expands our current PSIM application that has experienced significant growth in the critical infrastructure sectors and city-wide surveillance.”

However, some experts also warn that some PSIM products might have problems in lacking a built-in video, access control, and event integrated solution, which should be the key for selecting a “real” PSIM.

Social and Business Identity Takes Shape
While IoT gradually takes shape in the access control industry, end users have become more comfortable with making online payment via cards, PCs, tablets, mobile phones, and other wearable devices. Paym, a UK-based company, announced in April that consumers can use their mobile to make bank payments in the country. This trend is also going toward granting physical access control remotely via mobile devices, making access control as a service (ACaaS) gain more adoption. Furthermore, Brivo Labs claimed itself an IoT company, which launched its and also the industry's first social access management solution this year. Its main objective is to use social identities to “develop innovative applications that connect virtual communities with physical spaces,” said on Brivo Labs' website. According to Lee Odess, VP of Marketing at Brivo Systems and GM of Brivo Labs, by using Brivo Labs' API platform, physical access authorization now can be granted by using your profile on social networks, like Facebook and LinkedIn, on mobile devices and wearable computing devices, such as Google Glass. It is truly a revolution in the physical access control field. Next, Brivo will develop their solution to adopt Bluetooth devices to provide end users more convenience to remotely access and manage doors.

Identity Management Spurs Growth of Biometrics
When we, as end users, start to enjoy the freedom of multiple ways of payment and easy access to a space, worries about the security mechanism in these solutions arise. What makes things worse is when we lose our credit cards, with tap-andpay- on-the-go feature, or mobile phones or devices, it also means we lose our credentials and even precious money. On the other hand, for enterprise users, especially multinational companies, how to well secure their physical and intellectual property, help workers make mobile offices work more efficiently, and get easy access in these spaces without spending extra time and paper work becomes their top priority in access control. A robust identity management solution becomes prerequisite for users ranging from public to enterprise users. For enterprise users, multi-factor identities for both physical and logical security could be the best choice; biometrics is an important factor binding all these together.

HID acquired IdenTrust to expand our identity management and secure authentication solutions offering, and enable us to provide banking customers with a trust network for issuing, authenticating, and using digital identities based on open standards,” said Jeremy Hyatt, Director of Global Public Relations of HID Global. “Our Lumidigm acquisition extends our multi-factor authentication portfolio with biometrics for high-security environments, while positioning us to deliver a variety of new secure identity solutions.” Besides, biometrics also becomes a unique selling point for different fields because of its unique identification feature, according to Bill Spence, VP of Sales of North America, Europe and Australia at Lumidigm. In amusement parks, biometrics has attracted many return customers. Lumidigm's solution was adopted by amusement parks, where parents' fingerprints had to match their child's RFID wristband when collecting them from the park grounds. On top of that, the system can also ensure that only one person uses each ticket. To prevent ticket fraud, parks today can link each ticket to a specific customer with the touch of a finger.

The demand for identity management provides new startups with pretty big business opportunities too. Bionym developed the first wearable authentication device that utilizes a user's electrocardiogram (ECG) to validate a person's identity, according to their company website. Zwipe, a new, next-generation biometric card, a contactless smart card credential with on-card fingerprint reading, eliminates the problems of solely deploying PINs and standard cards. The contactless Zwipe biometric card lets users authenticate themselves directly on the card through something they are, a fingerprint, using their already installed card reader. Only then will the card system activate the lock. This is much more secure than simply using a standard card, which verifies only something they carry, the card. Also many companies, which develop NFC rings and bracelets, intend to provide more flexible and innovative solutions to secure our access to either the virtual or non-virtual world.

A Connected World Makes a Safer Environment?
Thanks to IoT, we can expect a connected world in the future. Although new technologies bring us more convenience in terms of mass information and life comfort, do these also help us construct a safer environment? Without making security the priority, I am afraid that all these new and innovative technologies would be in vain. If the aforementioned developments in the security industry can cause everyone to be more aware of security, I would say the future of this connected world will be bright

* Take look into How big data and IoT revolutionize the security industry (Part 1)

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