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Australia's security industry

Australia's security industry

Editor / Provider: STEVE CHIN, a&s Asia | Updated: 8/4/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

In recent times, Australia has developed into a premiere market for the security industry, with both production and manufacturing at new highs. We take a deeper look into the Outback and examine why Australia is such a major player in this industry now.

Australia may be better known for kangaroos, koalas, and deadly animals, but it is actually considered a fully developed country and one of the wealthiest in the world, possessing the world's 12th-largest economy. As of 2013, Australia also had the world's fifth-highest per capita income and the second-highest human development index. It also ranks in the top 10 in many global international comparisons: quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights. Indeed, it has come a long way since the days of being a colonized penal colony.

These days, Australia possesses not just a strong technological industry as a whole, but researchers are also predicting continued growth in the Australian region in its security industry as well. Backed up by the fact that the country is arguably the second strongest market in the APAC region after China, Australia is a country that commands respect. Indeed, according to Rocco Palladino, National Sales Manager — Australia and New Zealand for Pacom Systems, “the Australian electronic security industry has continued to steadily develop and increase since 2011. We estimate that the market has grown approximately 2 to 3 percent on average every year since 2011.” However, growth is still relatively slow and stagnant in terms of market figures, especially when compared to other countries in the APAC region, like China and India. Some factors that can be attributed to this stagnant growth include a lack of a well-established infrastructure as well as a highly tech-savvy industry that puts high demands on value from technology.

In point of fact, when looking deeper into Australia's security industry, there are other signs that it has slowed down in terms of growth in the last few years. Because of recent issues regarding the Nationwide Broadband Network (NBN), some controversy has resulted in many security solutionsproviders being affected by its slowdowns in development. Coupled together with the fact that there just is not enough readily available, widespread bandwidth yet — especially outside of major cities, it further complicates the issue when Australia as a whole is trying to faster facilitate the transfer to full digital solutions.

SLOWER THAN EXPECTED IP ROLLOUT
IP infrastructure and a resulting slow adoption of IP-related products. Indeed, analog was still the leader by a significant margin, and the IP infrastructure was slow to develop and catch up to market demands. While by no means fully developed or ready, the IP infrastructure has still made significant leaps and bounds. However, looking at issues like the NBN that was rolled out in Australia in 2011, it's easy to understand why the country is both ambitious but still facing numerous hurdles to cross.

According to a 2014 report published by the Australian government, there are over 1.6 million premises across Australia that either have no access to fixed broadband or very poor quality broadband connectivity. The NBN aims to rectify this. At its core, the NBN is an enormous, large-scale project that is still under development in Australia with rollouts already happening in several trial locations. In practice, it is a national, wholesale-only, open-access data network that is in both fixed line and wireless forms. However, from the beginning, the NBN has been plagued by numerous construction issues and a too overtly ambitious goal. With that said, it is easy to see the numerous hurdles that the NBN still has to overcome. With a cost of nearly US$29 billion, all in public funding needed to tie over construction to 2019, the build cost has also been a huge point in debate. Nevertheless, the NBN still aims to reach approximately 22 percent of all premises in Australia by 2021(which is a huge drop-off).

According to a 2014 report, there are over 1.6 million premises across Australia that still have poor bandwidth access.

The reality, though, is that Australia, like almost all the rest of the major players in the industry, has already begun a gradual adoption of IP and the slow phase-out of analog systems. Australia has come a long way in these three to four years. As Nathan Walters, Sales Engineer for RhinoCo Technology put it, “A few years ago, IP was still a non-starter due to lack of knowledge and experience by integrators. But thanks to numerous companies providing training, there has been an increased uptake. Now, people not only realize the increased benefits of IP over analog, they see it as future proof technology.” He also said that there is evidence of this by the sales of IP equipment rapidly taking over those of analog.

SOLUTIONS TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF
As the Australian security industry looks into the next few years, so too does security solution providers and how they must observe and react to the various changes coming to the country. Of key importance is to keep a continual eye on the status of future NBN rollouts. As was stated before, reactions and feelings towards it have been lukewarm at best, if not outright against it. Furthermore, when it comes to solution providers, some key points to highlight in order to stay in the game are the changes regarding integration and unification across all solutions platforms. As Kobi Ben-Shabat, Founder and MD for OPS explained, “the ability to integrate between multiple systems, video, access controls, license plate recognitions, intruder alarms, and intercoms into a single vendor or a single platform is the trend today.” Another way to look at it would be because of the NBN fiasco, security solutions providers have had to look at other ways to be competitive and stay afloat. By unifying systems into a single platform, it is a way to battle costs and simplicity.

One buzzword floating around is the surge in PSIM solutions. Ben-Shabat elaborated, “we also see the beginning of a demand for PSIM solutions. The rise of the ability to provide single management tools either to the operator or to senior management attractive from customer standpoints. If I was to look towards two, three years, I would see PSIM solutions.” Palladino also same feeling, “another term starting to secure a position in the market is PSIM, although this appears to originate from video management system manufacturers moving into the alarm and access control areas.”

The future of Australia's security industry hinges in a large part on the future of the IP infrastructure.

GOVERNMENT STIMULATION AND HIGH-END SOLUTIONS
While there are usually a number of government stimulus packages that exist in a lot of countries around the world, things have relatively quiet on the Australian front. The one key stimulus to point out is the nationwide rollout of city-wide, street surveillance packages. With the Australian government promising a contribution of $50 million coupled together with local grants from state governments, it is obvious the government has taken notice of the issue of better security and better surveillance. One result to this fairly lackadaisical approach to security is a lack of market for high-end security solutions. Traditionally, a big market for solutions like video analytics, facial recognition, and smart security has always laid in government. However, it is not entirely accurate to state that no market exists either. As Ben-Shabat put it, “I think video analytics when it comes to solutions like facial recognition, the application is mainly at the government level, or when looking at prevention, in retail. The cost requirement is still a factor, when the cost is right, they will accept. I believe it still needs to be more cost efficient and reliable to be successful.” Another direction that high-end security solutions points at lies in retail solutions, in both SMBs and franchises. Again, the cost issue is a big factor, but there exists a market.

Unfortunately, “too many people advertise and supply analytics (or smart security), but unless you are in defense, or perhaps customs, then you really need to ask if you are really able to use it. It is an easy way to differentiate larger more expensive solutions. It is truly something that is requested more than it is used in application,” said Walters.


THE NEXT FEW YEARS

As we look into the next few years, the overall picture of Australia looks to be good. The single, biggest factor in the security industry is definitely reliant on the NBN rollout and how far it can reach.

Palladino put it as, “progress continues with the NBN and this will definitely impact the Australian market, as their rollout progresses. Faster, cheaper communications to more parts of Australia should give rise to more business opportunities for security solutions providers.” Walter also added, “the NBN progressing as quickly as possible will help, and will help ideally fund further R&D innovation in all of Australia.”

Other things to look forward to include the idea of open platforms. As we add in the inclusion of cloud, Australia should also look forwards to more unification across all platforms.

As the IP infrastructure continues to improve, cloud should become far more utilized as the digital world continues to impact the industry. Overall, the future looks bright, so long as the technological advancements don't pull the innovations down and the infrastructure improves.

Growing Potential of HD-over-coaxial Solutions
Another key point to zero in on is the fact that analog is really on its way out the door, albeit slower than people expected. Nathan Walters, Sales Engineer for RhinoCo Technology explained, “Analog TV has recently been turned off in Australia so more and more consumers have had to become familiar with HD, and they have begun to look for this as an essential part of their security solutions.” As a result, one more key area of focus would lie in HD CCTV. As Walters pointed out, CCTV has had a good track record in catching offenders. From a transition point of view, HD-over-coaxial solutions are another great interim technology to look at as solutions providers transition into the digital age. He further explained, “more importantly, it can take existing systems over to HD without replacing the existing analog infrastructure. We expect that as more consumers experience this, they will eventually demand it on future solutions and this will itself ultimately drive the roll out into newer IP systems and continue to drive the security industry itself.”

Bank SinoPac adopts integrated IP solutions from VIVOTEK

Bank SinoPac adopts integrated IP solutions from VIVOTEK

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 7/31/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Bank SinoPac, a wholly owned subsidiary of SinoPac Holdings, aims at providing the best financial services and innovative product line to customers through its intensive branch networks. The Bank realizes its vision of building a company that embraces “content shareholder, proud employees, happy customers, and public respect.” Statistics at the end of 2013 showed that Bank SinoPac accommodates approximately 5,500 employees, and possesses NT$59.6 billion in paid-in capital and NT$1,357 billion in assets. The bank has already established 129 branches in Taiwan alone, and further expanded operations into Hong Kong, the United States, Vietnam, and China. With such an immense operations network, the security of each and every branch has become an increasing challenge for Bank SinoPac.

Move from analog to IP
The previous surveillance solution adopted by SinoPac was primary based on an analog surveillance framework. Following the advancement in surveillance technology, the demand for video clarity and recognition capabilities have become increasingly apparent, especially around the teller area in banks where the bulk of transactions are handled. For SinoPac, a new solution was required that could seamlessly integrate with its extant analog framework. VIVOTEK surveillance products, with outstanding image quality were therefore adopted. In this project, Seventy-five VIVOTEK's IP8362 Network Bullet Cameras were suggested and installed. The project was comprehensively implemented in April and May 2014, and is now set up in 15 Bank SinoPac branches.

Bullet Network Camera – IP8362
IP8362 bullet network cameras were installed in the teller area of each Bank SinoPac branch to achieve a comprehensive coverage of the designated area. Both money transaction and the legal document process can be recorded precisely and clearly. The camera comprises a 2-megapixel CMOS sensor capable of producing a video resolution of 1080p Full HD at 30 fps. Designed with a removable IR-cut filter and built-in IR illuminators, the camera can adapt to constantly changing lighting conditions, making it a true Day & Night camera. Moreover, VIVOTEK's IP8362, with WDR enhancement, can clearly capture detailed features when an object of interest appears in locations like bank entrances where there is intense backlight.

The adoption of IP solution is on the rise in banking industry
William Ku, Vice President of VIVOTEK's International Business Division, stated, “Because of the nature of legality and huge bulk of money transaction, the banking industry spares no expenses in its security system to reduce security risks. Taking into account the increasing demand for clear and detailed video footage, centralized security management of branches in various locations, intelligent video analysis for strengthening daily operation or suspicious object detection, and governments' regulations, the investment and deployment of IP-based security solutions is on the rise. In the past years, we have accomplished several IP surveillance system implementations for banks in several countries in Asia and Middle East. We are pleased that Bank SinoPac adopted VIVOTEK's network cameras for enhancing the security in its 15 branches. We look forward to extending the installation to other branches of Bank SinoPac around the globe in the future. ”

Bosch MIC IP 7000 HD family goes IP

Bosch MIC IP 7000 HD family goes IP

Editor / Provider: Bosch Security | Updated: 7/24/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Bosch Security Systems offers the MIC family of ruggedized pan-tilt-zoom cameras for reliable surveillance in the most difficult outdoor locations and other challenging environments, combining high-quality HD imaging with an IP68/NEMA 6P-rated IP architecture. The new MIC IP 7000 HD family delivers the highest quality of IP video surveillance images everywhere, even in areas with extreme conditions like roads or highways, transportation facilities, city surveillance and critical infrastructure sites. The cameras withstand a wide range of harsh conditions – from -60 to +60 degrees Celsius with up to 100 percent humidity, as well as rain and snow, high wind gusts and significant vibration.

The new MIC IP starlight 7000 HD camera delivers HD video images in extreme low light situations and captures moving objects in 720p HD resolution at up to 60 frames per second. It delivers video images where others fail, even down to 0.01 lux. Clear HD images are captured in color down to 0.05 lux – when others switch to monochrome – to reveal accurate color details that support significantly in security event identification. Its ability to capture fast moving objects and excellent performance in extreme low light situations make the MIC IP starlight 7000 HD ideal for securing, for example, areas along highways.

The MIC IP dynamic 7000 HD offers 1080p resolution and captures multiple exposures of the same scene to provide maximum detail in areas with both bright and dark lighting conditions. The wide dynamic range and intelligent backlight compensation ensure that moving objects or specific objects of interest are enhanced and can be easily identified in scenes with simultaneously bright and dark areas, which typically challenge standard cameras.

Both cameras also feature intelligent de-fog technology to dynamically adjust camera contrast settings to deliver the best quality in scenes affected by fog, smog, mist or other low contrast scenes.

Detection of objects of interest in complete darkness is ensured by the optional MIC illuminators. These illuminators consist of both IR and white light LEDs, and operators can switch between the two light sources with a single click. This enables detection of objects up to a distance of 175 meters.

Intelligent Video Analysis
Another differentiating feature of the MIC IP 7000 HD family is built-in Intelligent Video Analysis (IVA). It helps to focus on relevant situations by alerting you when needed, or automatically tracking objects of interest. IVA also adds sense and structure to video data by adding metadata already in the camera. This allows the quick retrieval of the relevant images from hours of stored video. Metadata can also be used to deliver irrefutable forensic evidence or to optimize business processes based on, for example, people counting or crowd density information. By smartly using the camera's ability to simultaneously combine 8 of the 15 available IVA rules, complex tasks are made easy and false alarms are reduced to a minimum.

Among other uses, IVA can assist in monitoring unmanned stations or pipelines where people are not expected during normal operations, and since security guards cannot be everywhere all the time or watch everything at the same time, IVA alerts can also be sent to mobile devices when needed.

In addition, intelligent Tracking (iTracking) automatically tracks moving objects based on predefined alarm rules or a simple click. By intelligently distinguishing between single and multiple reference points, iTracking will provide uninterrupted tracking. Optimal capture of the object of interest is assured by dynamically adjusting the field of view. With intelligent tracking, it becomes easier never to lose track of objects of interest.

24/7 remote access and camera control
Limited bandwidth makes it impossible to stream HD video on mobile devices whereas Dynamic Transcoding delivers both smooth live video streaming and instant access to HD (1080p) images when needed, regardless of available bandwidth. Combined with the Video Security app, users are allowed access to camera controls, live video streams and HD images via a mobile device anytime and from anywhere. It also enables you to instantly retrieve the correct video data from hours of recorded material. The new MIC IP 7000 HD family is fully supported by Dynamic Transcoding in combination with either one of the Bosch DIVAR IP recording solutions or a Bosch VIDEOJET transcoder.

Lower storage costs and network strain
To reduce storage costs and network strain the new MIC IP starlight 7000 HD and MIC IP dynamic 7000 HD cameras feature intelligent Dynamic Noise Reduction (iDNR). The benefit of this intelligent technology is that it leads to bandwidth only being used when needed. When there is little or no movement in the scene, less bitrates is required. Therefore, iDNR actively analyses the scene distinguishing between relevant information such as moving objects and image noise artefacts. The degree of noise reduction is adjusted accordingly so that important objects are captured and image noise artefacts suppressed, optimizing the camera's bitrates. Thus, iDNR saves up to 50% on bitrates and hence storage and network strain without compromising video quality. Local storage on the camera further enhances network performance by compensating for short network outages, so ensuring that video data is continuously available in VRM systems without breaks.

Dependable operation and easy installation
Using the VIDEOJET connect 7000 with MIC and other Bosch IP cameras provides high Power over Ethernet support and added flexibility in network configuration and remote video access. Its built-in network switch supports connections to multiple IP cameras, which makes it an ideal configuration for installations along perimeters or highways. Smooth live video streaming and instant access to HD (1080p) images within limited bandwidth connections and full access and control of HD video images from anywhere at any time is made possible through its built-in transcoder which supports the Dynamic Transcoding technology.

Bosch IP standard-definition and high-definition cameras, encoders and analytics work seamlessly with a wide range of security software and recording solutions from Bosch and many other industry providers. This is backed by ONVIF conformance (Open Network Video Interface Forum) and the Integration Partner Program (IPP), which gives developers immediate access to software development tools to easily integrate Bosch products with third-party systems.

Hikvision launched 6MP IR fisheye camera

Hikvision launched 6MP IR fisheye camera

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 7/24/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Hikvision is set to reveal its newest edition: the DS-2CD6362F-I(S)(V) 6MP IR Fisheye Network camera. This 6MP IR Fisheye features a 1/1.8” progressive scan CMOS sensor to provide high-resolution images of up-to 3072 x 2048, 30 frames-per-second, and a 1.19 mm fisheye lens for a 360° panoramic view.

Choice of 3MP Model with WDR
A 3MP model of the WDR Fisheye Network Camera is also available - the DS-2CD6332FWD-I(S)(V). This 3MP model features a 1/3” progressive scan CMOS sensor, 120 dB WDR (wide dynamic range), and streams video of up-to 1536 x 1536 resolution at 30 fps.

See All Around with Only One Eye
It's all about seeing more with just one camera than with multiple cameras. Case in point, a single 6MP/3MP IR Fisheye Network Camera does the work of multiple cameras in both indoor and outdoor surveillance environments. Hikvision's unique fisheye is designed to capture images from every corner of a particular location and eliminate blind spots with only its single camera. Both models are equipped with IR functionality, offering up-to 15m IR distance of visibility under low or even zero-light conditions. Features such as these make both Fisheyes a great choice for detailed coverage of wide, open areas like airports, shopping malls, parking lots, retail stores, offices, restaurants, classrooms, and more. Furthermore, a state-of-the-art housing unit and IP66 rating protect the camera against outdoor elements like rain and dust, and allows it to confidently withstand temperatures ranging from -30°C to 60°C.

Multiple Display Modes
The 6MP/3MP IR Fisheye Network Camera supports several viewing modes, including the aforementioned 360° overview (in 6 megapixel resolution and 3 megapixel resolution, respectively), a horizontal panoramic view, PTZ quad window, and PTZ multi-window modes. Customers can also utilize this smooth PTZ functionality to easily zoom, and focus, on any region of interest (ROI).

Multiple Compression Formats
MJPEG and H.264 video compression formats are supported. Additionally, these cameras feature multiple H.264 compression profiles, allowing users to optimize bandwidth and storage without compromising image quality. Furthermore, supporting ONVIF, PSIA, and CGI standards, both Fisheye models offer the ability to easily integrate with other video surveillance equipment and systems.

Other features include a built-in micro SD/SDXC slot (with a total capacity of up-to 64GB), a DI/DO interface to connect to alarm devices for further security control purposes, and an inbuilt high-quality audio intercom that allows two-way communication.

Fisheye Camera Combines with PTZ Dome
To further benefit the users, Hikvision has launched a Fisheye Camera and IP PTZ Dome Camera combo which elegantly provides a panoramic's 360° surround view while offering the capability for a detailed regional view from a speed dome. A perfect solution to monitor wide areas in the greatest of detail!

HID Global teamed Eid Passport supplying identity management system

HID Global teamed Eid Passport supplying identity management system

Editor / Provider: HID Global | Updated: 7/22/2014 | Article type: Security 50

HID Global announced that it has teamed with Eid Passport, a market leader in high-assurance identity management solutions and the largest commercial provider of vendor credentials at military facilities, to supply Eid Passport with its ActivID Credential Management System (CMS) for Eid Passport's new Personal Identity Verification – Interoperable (PIV-I) managed service.

Eid Passport's service is targeted at commercial, government and military organizations that require the highest levels of identity assurance to secure sensitive physical and logical assets. Recently, the U.S. Navy awarded a contract to provide credentialing support for the Navy Commercial Access Control System (NCACS), its contractors, vendors, suppliers and service providers who seek entry to naval facilities. To meet the needs of the U.S. Navy and other customers for its PIV-I service, Eid Passport has worked with HID Advantage Partner Axiad IDS to integrate ActivID CMS into its service for secure provisioning of the cards.

“We look forward to working with Eid Passport, which is a Level 4 PIV-I issuer – the highest level of identity assurance possible,” said Eric Widlitz, managing director of Identity and Access Management, North America with HID Global. “With the integration of HID Global's pivCLASS credentials and ActivID CMS with the Eid Passport's RAPIDGate Premier solution, Eid Passport is able to ensure that third parties working at high-security government installations have been thoroughly screened, vetted and issued a PIV-I credential before they arrive on site.”

Provisioning the cards using HID Global's ActivID CMS makes it easy to define and apply policies to manage data, applets, and digital certificates across the entire lifecycle of a card. ActivID CMS is easily integrated into an existing security infrastructure, and can scale to millions of credentials in complex, distributed environments with multiple user groups.

Top 3 myths of physical access control technology

Top 3 myths of physical access control technology

Editor / Provider: Ola Jonsson, Business Development Manager, Axis Communications | Updated: 7/21/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

It is no exaggeration to say that network video has revolutionized the video surveillance market. Now the access control industry is on the verge of a similar development. Once again, it is the transition from analog to IP-based systems and with it the adoption of open standards which provides new opportunities and stimulates market growth.

Since the introduction of the first network camera in 1996, the market share of IP-based video surveillance systems has increased year by year. Today, network video solutions offer a host of benefits and advanced functionalities that cannot be provided by analog video surveillance technology.

There are a number of common misconceptions as the physical access control industry undergoes a similar transition from analog to IP-based technology. In the following, I will address the top 3 of these myths.

Myth #1 - It's not worth upgrading existing analog systems to IP-based technology
A typical analog access control system is dependent on having each device – card reader, handle, door lock, door position switch, etc. – hard wired with RS-485 cable into one central unit or central server. Besides being proprietary systems, which confines the end user to one single provider of hardware and software, these solutions often tend to be very complex and require expert personnel to handle installation and configuration.

Furthermore, when expanding analog systems the process is complicated by the need to consider that a typical central controller is built to accommodate a certain maximum number of doors, normally 4, 8, 16 or 32. Not only does this limitation make the system inflexible but also makes it difficult for the end user to match his requirements with products available, e. g. if there is a need for access control at for example 9 or 17 doors. This lack of flexibility also brings high marginal costs, which can make the addition of one extra door unjustifiably expensive.

Upgrading an analog access control system to IP-based technology therefore allows for more flexibility while lowering costs as the system needs to be expanded to include additional doors. IP networks can be used for more than one application. This way different security systems can use the same infrastructure and can be integrated with each other. Often remote monitoring and management of security systems is a key requirement. This can be easily implemented with IP-based solutions which feature web-based console access.

Myth #2 - Access control systems are only for large installations
Analog access control products and systems are normally designed and optimized for large installations with a lot of doors and maybe thousands of credentials (cardholders). The actual market looks very different. According to the Security Sales & Integrator Gold Book 2013, the average installation consists of 7 doors with less than 130 credentials. Only about 20% of the installations have more than 10 doors.

Without the need for hard wiring to a central control unit or central server, IP-based access control systems enable installations that are very flexible and scalable. This means not only a more versatile solution, but also a more cost efficient one. Freed from the constraints of enlarging the system in certain multiples, a network-based solution can – should it be necessary – be enlarged by one door, and one reader, at a time.

Additionally, IP-based technology enables “edge” solutions. An edge solution has one controller for each door, which is then connected to the existing local Ethernet through a regular network switch without the need for a central server for management. Since IP networks now are ubiquitous in offices, stores, factory plants and similar facilities the cost of adding an IP-based door controller would be minimal, as opposed to multiple serial connections wired back to a central server. Cabling work can be even further facilitated. By employing a PoE (Power over Ethernet) supported controller at each door the need for a separate power cable is eliminated, thereby reducing the total installation cost and time compared to that of an analog access control solution.

Myth #3 - Access control systems are proprietary solutions that can't be integrated with other security systems
Very much like in the video surveillance market the shift from analog to IP-based technology in the access control industry will cause a transition from proprietary systems to open solutions. And these solutions will most likely be based on international industry standards.

Open solutions and standardized interfaces are a prerequisite in any industry that wants to establish its own equivalent of "plug-and-play". There are many gains from such a development also in access control. It will allow end users to freely pick and choose between components – reader, door controller and software – that best satisfy their needs and preferences. This freedom of choice makes the system future-proof and means the end user no longer has to rely on a single brand or supplier. Equally important, it can also enable integration with other security related systems and third party applications, without the need for costly hardware boxes to provide the “bridge” between the different systems. For example, a very common request is to integrate physical access control with video. People entering a building will automatically trigger a camera; the live images can then be used for investigation of incidents or identity control.

In the network security systems market there is already a clear trend to develop open or standardized application platform interfaces (APIs), which can be used by all competing market participants on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. Naturally, this will increase supply and promote competition and bring a new level of innovation to the industry, while simultaneously making it even easier for end users, system integrators, consultants and others to take advantage of the different possibilities offered by IP-based solutions.

For example, the Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF), which is a global and open industry standards body with the goal to facilitate the development and use of IP-based security products, announced in 2010 an extension of the organization's scope of standardization to cover physical access control. Ideally, access control devices from manufacturers that comply with the ONVIF standards will in the near future interoperate effortlessly and seamlessly with each other, as well as with other video surveillance products and systems conformant with the standard.

Future outlook
According to a market forecast by analyst firm ARC Advisory Group, IP-based access control systems will comprise more than 35% of the market in terms of shipments by 2016. A key factor will be that new buildings are increasingly being equipped with IP-based building control systems. This provides the basis for integration of previously often separate systems such as access control, intrusion detection, fire alarms or video surveillance.

Open standards and the ability to base different security systems on the same IP network architecture allows installers to build solutions based on products from various manufacturers. This way they can better meet customer demand, price projects more competitively and offer custom solutions to particular installation challenges and requirements. End users benefit from a future-proof and adaptable technology that can easily scale to their growing needs without being locked into any one manufacturer.

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.

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