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Geutebruck video supports Gerolsteiner Brunnen in a refreshing approach to security

Geutebruck video supports Gerolsteiner Brunnen in a refreshing approach to security

Editor / Provider: Geutebruck | Updated: 11/29/2011 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Known in Germany as ‘Water with a star' the naturally sparkling Gerolsteiner mineral water is a premium brand product with a world-wide market. It comes from the Eifel area of Germany where the volcanic geology provides the natural carbonic acid and dolomite rock which give the water its sparkle, high mineral content and unique flavour. Gerolsteiner Brunnen's approach to security is pretty unique too as its latest security concept has dispensed with routine video recording and instead uses a Geutebruck video system to optimise and support operations.

The company's relationship with its employees is based on trust and its stated principles relating to security are: (1) The company's aim is profitable growth and safe and secure processes are fundamental to that. (2) Its focus is on supporting processes and organizing them to be safe and secure. (3) Every worker and visitor, whether from Gerolsteiner or an outside company, should feel comfortable at Gerolsteiner and the rules which are applied should assist in shaping this togetherness.

Defining functions

When new buildings and operations needed to be secured and the company's old video system was no longer up to the job, Gerolsteiner set out to look for new systems to help staff do their jobs better and more efficiently. Under the guidance of Bonn-based consultants VzM Beratung GmbH a special project group including people from Gerolsteiner's electrical systems department, its IT department as well as its security staff, visited other users to see a variety of systems in operation, and together worked out a full functional specification. - Their final choice, an all-in-one solution with hybrid video from Geutebruck, voice communication from Schneider Intercom and access control from Kaba now provides seamless support for many operational processes as well as security. Take the control room for instance…

Located adjacent to the site entrance and manned round the clock, the control room is the first point of contact for visitors and business callers. Any visitor pressing the intercom button at the entrance activates the video and audio communication systems. Lights indicate this to the visitor, while the guard in the control room sees the visitor clearly on the screen even if it is dark outside. Depending on the visitor's needs, he or she is greeted and given assistance or guidance which may include details of the house rules.

With carriers arriving unannounced to collect shipments all round the clock, order processing starts and ends here too, so the video system provides a clear image enabling the guard to record the vehicle registration number in his SAP order processing screen. After a 10-second registration process the driver is given a loading bay entry number. When he arrives there he is already expected and loading begins immediately.

No looking back!

Of course when parts of the plant are not operating, at night or during holidays, the system's video alarm features detect intruders and display alarm reports and live pictures. These alarm pictures are stored temporarily but then automatically deleted after a set time.

“Why have permanent recording of video? How would looking back help?” questions Heinz Lorse, the company security manager. “Here there is no long-term storage of data so recording capacity is not needed. If a standard process is carried out and completed in compliance with the rules then it is totally unnecessary to archive pictures of it.”

Despite the strict regulatory framework applied in all foodstuff manufacturing, entering the Gerolsteiner premises is a very easy process for authorized people. — The principle of shared values and trust is attractive to visitors and business partners and they respect it. Consequently not only does the company have no issues with data protection but criminal acts are the absolute exception.

Chosen over other pure IP designs, because of its architecture and open interfaces which allow easy integration with third party equipment, the Geutebruck hybrid video system can also link a site 4 kilometres away with two-core cable and switch 25 fps live video. Gerolsteiner management report that it works reliably and failure-free. It certainly seems that control room staff are very comfortable with the result. As Kramer, a security guard commented, “We wouldn't now do our work any other way!“

Efficiency Gains Achieved Through Integration

Efficiency Gains Achieved Through Integration

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 11/15/2011 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Electronic security systems are used primarily to protect the facility, goods, equipment and intellectual property from theft and vandalism. However, they are also increasingly utilized to help businesses improve efficiency. Security systems are now capable of providing improvements in safety, productivity and cost control.

Current video analytics can detect potential hazards, such as water spills or safety helmets not worn, thus reducing health and safety accidents. “Video analytics can reduce the need for human intervention or monitoring,” said Markus Niederberger, Head of Marketing Support for Fire Safety and Security, Siemens Building Technologies. Examples of applications include thermal imaging, measuring the speed of conveyor belts or examining attributes such as the size and number of items on the conveyor belt.

Another application is presence verification. This ensures staff safety for processes that require the complete evacuation of an area as explained above. Goods can also be protected through intelligent video analysis. For example, video analysis can detect unauthorized removal of an item from a conveyor belt, or alert if items get blocked on the conveyor belt.

Integration into Industrial Controls
“Efficiency and productivity gains can be realized by integrating access control with plant automation software,” said Kevin McCaughey, VP of Security Solutions, Buildings Business, Schneider Electric. “In one example, a customer used access control to ensure the right number of people with the right qualifications were present on a manufacturing or assembly line, prior to start up of the line.”

This integration benefits manufacturing in several ways. First, starting a manufacturing or assembly line without the right number of qualified personnel at work stations can result in injury, product defects, manufacturing inefficiencies, reduced customer satisfaction and legal liability, McCaughey said.

Using access control this way can also be a management tool, McCaughey said. It can help plant managers spot personnel problems in a routine way on certain lines. With this information, plant managers can address and resolve such problems. This information could illuminate problems with individual line workers or line managers.

Business-security efficiency occurs more often through integration with IP networks, Niederberger said. “There is logical identity management to control login to production software, calibration equipment and programs, production scheduling programs, equipment presets, and the like.”

In addition, authentication to the manufacturing execution system (MES) can use the same token as the physical access control system, with biometrics providing a dual-factor authentication. “Authentication using a badge and/or biometrics reduces the number of logins and increases the speed,” Niederberger continued. “It also cuts administration costs to manage blocked accounts due to invalid passwords attempts. Security can be further increased by linking logical and physical access control. In other words, a worker can only log in to the MES after accessing the zone using physical access control first.”

The added digital authentication and tracking capabilities this integration provides delivers additional benefits for compliance and safety, enabling tampering or errors to be fully tracked back to the relevant operators. The provision of meaningful statistics can help identify those workers who need retraining, or bring wider issues to light, with a view to reducing manufacturing defects.

Furthermore, the integration of access control with other business systems generates synergies, Niederberger added. Not only does integration simplify the management of cards, tokens and credentials, it also simplifies other nonsecurity related business processes, such as reduced reliance on manpower, prevention of loss and increased productivity.  [NextPage]

Cost Savings
Access control reduces the need for manned security gates inside the facility itself. This enables workers to access their secured work areas slowing them down. For distributed access control systems, on-site card printing is made available. This allows each site to be less dependent on the centralized system, benefitting from predefined central access rules while also maintaining a level of flexibility.

Enhancing Productivity
According to Niederberger, productivity in industrial facilities can be increased through access control solutions in many ways:

For instance, integrated time and attendance makes it quicker to identify which worker is absent. This is important for critical manufacturing processes, where special training, certification or skills are required. Through integration with the HR system and skill databases, it is possible to seek out backup operators immediately.

Furthermore, access control integrated with MES helps managers track and log equipment maintenance, with details recorded centrally of who did the maintenance, what was done and whether it was done in due time. “This functionality is crucial in specialized manufacturing, where manufacturing equipment failure could lead to quality issues in the finished products, such as for aircraft manufacturing,” Niederberger said.

Productivity improvements can also be linked to safety. This is particularly true when it is essential to account for everyone during an evacuation, such as those on mining sites. “The full evacuation of the zone for a planned blast has to be conducted and verified as part of mining safety regulations,” Niederberger continued. “A useful application of access control is therefore one where card readers are installed in the buses that drive mining operators away from the danger zone, with workers registering their presence inside the bus through badging. It is worth noting that a similar functionality can also be used for emergency evacuation purposes, such as on oil platforms or in chemical plants, where access control badging can be used at emergency assembly points to account for people.”

Finally, a key aspect of productivity is increased fiscal transparency. “Access control on equipment or production lines enables for more accurate production accounting by providing exact internal cost allocations, exact machine utilization statistics or identifying how much time a worker spent on a certain process compared to a benchmark,” Niederberger added. “It can also help reduce energy use, such as cutting power to unused equipment. The same is true for time allocation for external resources. Access control can help track the time of arrival and departure of contractors to check against service level agreements and delivery performance targets.

Preventing Loss
Access control plays an obvious role in preventing losses caused by theft, vandalism or sabotage. In addition, it can also prevent untrained operators from damaging sensitive or expensive equipment, Lim said.

Furthermore, access control provides an additional means of controlling stock. Efficiency and accountability are further increased when paired with RFID technology. This makes it easier to monitor when and how many specific items were taken out of stock, and by whom.

Access control systems that enable visitor and contractor management functionality provide better control over who is actually on the site, and who is their host. They also make available escort functionality that ensures visitors are do not wander around on their own.

A centralized system that is integrated with the HR system enables quick activation or deactivation of access rights, based on staff changes. This prevents former employees from accessing the site or using equipment, while enabling new employees to be fully operational quickly.

Complying to Regulations
Health and safety benefits from access control systems. Access control can ensure only trained personnel operate in or around dangerous areas or machinery, reducing the risk of workplace accidents and thereby the number of lost workdays, Niederberger said. “This not only directly impacts compliance achievements, but can also reduce nonconformance rates of manufactured goods, which is particularly relevant in highly specialized and regulated manufacturing industries.”

Access control systems can be configured to register and verify certain criteria before allowing individuals to enter controlled areas. “There was one case where the client needed this functionality to comply with safety regulations, as some staff and contractors may not have attended the relevant safety courses,” Lim said. “However, there are also cases where we needed to deny access to staff who did not have the relevant certifications for required skill sets.”

Compliance is simplified by understanding the compliance requirements prior to the selection and design of security infrastructure. “That way, the infrastructure can be designed specifically to meet the compliance requirements completely and efficiently,” McCaughey said. “This is far more efficient and less costly than trying to meet compliance requirements after installation of systems and having to compensate for inadequacies.”

Although compliance with safety and health regulations is touted in many businesses, many do it as a “paper” exercise, Lim warned. “By merely putting coordinators or managers to check on noncompliance is a process that had failed often and is merely for documentation and retrospective actions. We often remind business owners that if a real accident occurs, there might be loss of lives and have many undesirable and unforeseen consequences for the business. Putting physical checks by security systems can certainly improve all-year-round consistency in the enforcement of compliance.” [NextPage]

MEASURING ROI
System ROI is not easy to measure, especially when businesses are not aware of the inefficiencies or risks they are facing in the first place. “For example, one customer who approached us realized his operation was suffering from more losses and it coincided with a gradual drop in productivity,” Lim said. “He had tried many productivity programs but did not get any improvement.”

After the customer rolled out a cleverly designed suite of security systems, there was increased accountability in processes, visibility in operations and staff attendance. “Not only did the inventory losses decrease by 50 percent, the productivity from better staff attendance coincided with a 3-percent increase in overall operating margin,” Lim continued. “Who would have thought that security systems could increase productivity? However, in many cases, security systems discourages bad habits and practices in business operations.”

ROI is often measured though space returned to the business in dollars per square foot; system infrastructure cost reductions such as unneeded PC workstations, server rooms, phone stations; and system maintenance cost reductions, said Aaron Kuzmeskus, Director of Security Channel Development, Buildings Business, Schneider Electric. “In addition, there can be many soft savings as the result of faster response times with better information to help prevent an event, or greatly reducing an event's impact to the business.”

Operational efficiency can only be measured when objectives are met first. “In many cases for video analytics implementations, we realized that there is no comparison, as a human guard would have missed many things on a regular basis due to fatigue,” Lim said.

Marching Toward Efficiency
The inevitable trend for industrial applications is the movement towards energy efficiency and sustainability, said Jiangong Ding, Industry Director for Hikvision Digital Technology. “Digital surveillance and security systems are one of the most powerful enablers for this capability. Through technology, it is possible to reduce resource consumption and pollution, which leads to more efficient management and better operational efficiency with less reliance on manpower.”

Megapixel cameras and intelligent, integrated systems make it possible to have a comprehensive management platform, which provides support for further growth within the industrial sector, Ding said.

Industrial sites will continue to have strong demand for security and safety systems, due to the critical resources and services they bring to the market as a whole, said Gary Tan, APAC Head of Systems Solution Group, Bosch Security Systems. “Moving forward, IP-based solutions and fully integrated security systems will become a growing trend. In two to three years' time, there will be stronger demand for intelligent central management systems that integrate all the key subsystems, including the security system, and more application interfaces with automation control functions. This will mean the staff of such plants will need to be of a higher level and be trained to operate and maintain such intelligent systems.”

Industrial Facilities Adopting Advanced Security for Efficiency Gains

Industrial Facilities Adopting Advanced Security for Efficiency Gains

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 11/15/2011 | Article type: Commercial Markets

The industrial sector was negatively impacted by the economic downturn due to lower consumer spending. Production of automobiles and primary metals dropped 30 percent or more during the recession. The early 2011 earthquake in Japan was no help, as it caused shortages of critical components in various sectors.

These crises emphasize the need of facility managers to have more efficient management practices, which are enabled through the marriage of automation and security. This approach makes for a safer and more productive work environment, yet also has significant cost-saving benefits .

China has the strongest growth in industrial estate development, with fast growth also witnessed in neighboring India and Vietnam. Singapore and Malaysia are also having a healthy number of industrial estate developments, said Patrick Lim, Director of Sales and Marketing for Ademco Far East. “The key difference in most of the current industrial estates is the usage, and thus the value, of the development. There is a shift of focus to higher value use for these industrial estates.”

“We are seeing a 30- to 40-percent increase in security spending in these new industrial estates,” Lim continued. “However, compared to the older industries, the new types of businesses occupying these spaces are in high-tech manufacturing, R&D, energy and high-value services; which are much higher in value.”

Gone are the dirty and messy impressions of these developments, Lim said. “The new industrial estates are built for high-value businesses. Thus the emphasis is on good security and technology to add value to their business.”

Entering the Perimeter
Starting from the very outer rim of an industrial plant, there are several considerations for site access. It depends on whether the site is closed or open. “Closed sites have perimeter fencing that protects the entire site and its estates. The site could also be open, in which case the site can be freely walked around and physical protection is not present until you get to the building,” said Ian Hodgson, Regional MD for North U.K., ADT Fire and Security. “However, both types share similarities in how a design is secured. The design has to be based on two things, pedestrian access and vehicular access, which are approached separately.”

For vehicular access, there are generally several groups. There are the staff members who work in the facility, visitors driving to the site, people in the supply chain bringing in raw materials and, finally, people dispatching the finished goods.

An increasing number of sites are beginning to adopt ALPR to automate vehicular access, Hodgson said. “They can discern which group the vehicle belongs to. The security system grants access rights according to that information and, using information display systems, guide the vehicle to areas within the site. This helps automate traffic control and directional control, reducing the need for human resources.”

For example, there could be an external gate which grants access according to information obtained by the ALPR system. Information boards guide drivers through the most direct route to their destination. There could also be other gates and barriers along the way, which are opened according to the access rights of the vehicle.

Video surveillance that utilizes intelligence is used to monitor workflow and the direction in which people are walking around the site.

“When anomalies occur, there might be a reason to investigate,” Hodgson said. This reduces the number of guards needed to patrol the site. [NextPage]

Granting Access
Heading into the building itself, access to the building is allowed or denied based on a person's credentials. The greatest demands for access control solutions lie in time and attendance management, entry and exit control, and parking facility monitoring, said Jiangong Ding, Industry Director for Hikvision Digital Technology.

Access solution requirements can include almost every variety of readers and credentials on the market, said Kevin McCaughey, VP of Security Solutions, Buildings Business, Schneider Electric. “Specific use cases spell out which readers or credentials are required in a given circumstance.”

The type of access control used within the facility depends on the aperture, Hodgson said. “It depends on whether it's a person or vehicle, for internal or external access, whether access needs to be both ways, person-by- person, or can have many people move through at once.” For example, pedestrian access to the site may be limited by swipe cards and turnstiles, which allows the system to know if a person is on- or off-site. Closer to the building itself, there might be a simple door lock mechanism or another form of turnstile to restrict access to one person at a time. It all depends on the usage of the building.

In addition, more users are migrating towards biometric readers as they become more affordable and reliable. “Tokens can be shared among staff members, while biometric data is much more difficult to pass around,” Hodgson said. “Some clients require biometrics to create a foolproof security system.” While video verification coupled with access control tokens help in this regard, it is a more expensive solution.

The two most common biometric readers in industrial settings are fingerprint and retinal. “Facial recognition is currently still on the more expensive side of biometrics, as it involves a larger area of view using video and other technologies and a database for lookups and comparisons,” Hodgson continued.

“From an affordability perspective, fingerprint readers are preferred. However, technology is constantly changing and improving, and access control solutions that contain data and images of users can be related to by video systems. There are some entrylevel systems of that nature, but that technology is still quite embryonic.”

Furthermore, there is an increased demand for centrally managed access control systems. "In particular, customers who need to control several sites rather than just the one building require a multisite solution that can be distributed geographically and at the same time can be centrally monitored and administered,” said Markus Niederberger, Head of Marketing Support for Fire Safety and Security, Siemens Building Technologies.

Some customers require a fully centralized system management. “Others prefer a mix of centralized and distributed management,” Niederberger said. “Typically, these customers also require system redundancy, a next-to-zeroapplication downtime, the ability to interface to legacy components as well as the integration with their IT and HR systems to optimize the business workflows.” [NextPage]

Keeping an Eye on Processes
The use of video cameras on the production line enables real-time monitoring of the entire production process, Ding said. “It is also possible now to monitor staff members for performance, as well as compliance to regulations and company policy. When something goes wrong, the manager can remotely instruct or alert staff members to ensure problems are resolved quickly.”

Furthermore, video surveillance allows a single person to monitor several locations without having to be physically present, whereas in the past, one supervisor was needed to watch each location, Ding said. This drastically reduces the manpower needed for specialized tasks.

Machine Vision
Machine vision cameras can also be utilized to monitor the production line for quality issues. There are two differences between security cameras and machine vision cameras, said Hardy Mehl, Director of IP Business for Basler. “For machine vision, there is a very controlled environment, which means there is stable lighting and the camera looks at very defined objects. The camera or video system does not have to work in challenging light conditions. This is a big difference from the security world, where you always have the sun coming up or shades or reflections, so security cameras are more optimized to changing, dynamic environments.” The other is compression, as all network cameras use compression algorithm such as M-JPEG or H.264. “Typically in the industrial automation world, raw data is transmitted,” Mehl said. “This is a big difference that has implications on which interface to use between the camera and the PC. In the industrial world, you need much higher bandwidth since the data is not compressed. The computer is looking at the image, and you need the absolute best quality in terms of signal-to-noise ratio to calculate and get every little detail.”

Security cameras are different, as every detail is not essential or practical. “You need high-resolution, but typically you need compressed images that are just good enough, and you need lower bandwidth because you store for a long time,” Mehl said. “In the industrial environment, you don't transmit live streams, but rather you shoot images. You make snapshots and you transmit the snapshots in very high frequencies.” The two types of cameras are not interchangeable in most cases, but due to the technological development and market development, there are some applications that overlap. “The performance of network cameras, in some cases, is good enough for industrial purposes,” Mehl said. “For example, they are cheaper or give an advantage. However, in most cases, there are really two different demands on the customer side.”

Bringing Disparate Systems Together
One clear management level trend regarding access control, and security in general, involves manufacturers taking a holistic approach to access control technology, processes and policies to protect their most essential operations. “The need for a global approach is driven by the high level of acquisition activity among manufacturers over the last 10 years and the rise in risk and threat levels these companies face,” McCaughey said. “From a security perspective, acquiring companies also means acquiring their security infrastructure, policies and their risk profile. As the chief security officer, anything more than one security infrastructure and set of security operating policies and processes builds inherent risk into your business. There is more to manage and more potential holes in your security perimeter.”

Adding Video to Access Control
Integrating access control, security management systems and video surveillance creates significant efficiency gains in industrial and manufacturing environments, said Aaron Kuzmeskus, Director of Security Channel Development, Buildings Business, Schneider Electric.

For example, access cards used in combination with visual verification of the cardholder enable quicker throughput of workers without requiring someone to check ID badges, Niederberger said. “This is applicable at the security perimeter of a plant and within the plant itself.”

Video surveillance enables security operations to have eyes on an event, even when they are not physically present. This manifests itself in two ways, Kuzmeskus said. “One is the ability to assess quicker an alarm event or situation, and a safer manner of assessment in areas where dangerous substances or machinery be may be in use.”

Secondarily, video verification at access points can lessen the financial burden of stationing guards at sensitive entry or egress portals or to physically verify that credentials are being used properly, Kuzmeskus continued. While biometrics provides good identification, it can be problematic in areas that require personal protective equipment, such as gloves and face shields.

Integration between access control and video enhances productivity, as it can corroborate staff access records with video footage. A common example of poor productivity is staffers taking frequent smoke breaks while claiming to be carrying out other tasks, Lim said. “Another example I came across is for a sterilization room, where a customer had utilized our system to control. According to company policy, the time needed for staff to be sterilized prior to entering a clean room environment. However, some staff members deliberately shortened their sterilization period. As the staff are all wearing suits, without both records for exit access and video information, it would be difficult to determine which staff members violated company policy.” [NextPage]

Adding Video to Perimeter Protection
Video aids perimeter protection systems in several ways. “Overt video surveillance cameras present an aura of security by deterring potential intruders intent on gaining unauthorized entry to a facility,as they will be aware their actions are being observed and potentially recorded,” Kuzmeskus said.

In addition, thermal cameras can be used to supplement perimeter fences, requiring less cameras yet reducing the number of false positives. With a thermal camera you are able to reach longer distances, reducing the need to place standard cameras on the fence itself, said Ron Petrie, Director of Sales for Vumii. "Thermal imaging provides supplemental support for the security system, covering locations that do not have adequate lighting."

Using the philosophy of “deter, detect, delay, respond,” overt video surveillance cameras present an aura of security, whereas a site without dense surveillance coverage would be an easier target. “This can be leveraged further as a detection method with the addition of simple analytics. A video trip-wire can establish a virtual perimeter beyond a physical fence of property line, creating a greater setback distance, and increasing the available time to respond to a pending event,” Kuzmeskus said. “Video is another key enabler of virtual guard tours, allowing for fewer roving guards, quicker tour times and reduced guard fatigue.”

Cameras with video analytics deployed for perimeter protection solutions can help deter and provide early detection of some potential security breaches, agreed Gary Tan, APAC Head of Systems Solution Group, Bosch Security Systems. “This would reduce or do away the needs for physical patrolling around the perimeter. Depending on the site condition, one common application includes virtual perimeter lines or areas crossing covering a wide geographical area for early detection.”

For some large sites, it is too expensive and inefficient to deploy a great deal of manpower to protect the premises. Thus a good perimeter protection system, combining fence intrusion detection and intelligent video systems, is useful to supplement manpower. More importantly, it is proven that humans are not good at maintaining concentration for prolonged periods of time, Lim said. “We have had a bad experience with a public transport operator who simply refused to employ better systems to protect their transportation depots,” Lim said. “Eventually, disaster struck. Intruders breached their perimeter and vandalized their transport, resulting in public outcry and much embarrassment to the company.”

With VCA built into the cameras, fewer patrols are needed. “The verification of the alarm or event could be assessed and remotely evaluated first without the need to dispatch security personnel,” Tan said. “This increases productivity per staff member and lowers reliance on manpower.”

Perimeter protection and video analytic systems are also especially helpful for remote locations where there is no real need for manpower, Lim said. “One of the services that we provide is to remotely manage access and verify activities with video for customers with remote locations. However in most cases, it is usually a combination of manpower, systems and remote services. By reducing the high dependence on labor, this manpower can be diverted to engage more meaningful tasks. Contrary to the many unfounded fears, this will not lead to fewer jobs, but more meaningful careers.” [NextPage]

Customers Watching Too Much TV
Customers are often introduced to advanced systems through Hollywood productions. This raises their expectations of what a security system can provide.

Some clients ask for fully automated systems, wishing to completely eliminate human factors. “This is not practical with the current level of technology,” Ding said. “Any system will need a management platform that requires humans to maintain and operate. While a security system can greatly reduce a facility's reliance on manpower, humans cannot be entirely replaced.”

Some customers do not understand that manpower is still needed to manage alarms and to evaluate the response; access control and video can only tell you something happened, said Mo Hess, Director, Business Development, Global Security, Buildings Business, Schneider Electric. Another common request is for the ability to control and track who enters the site while not impacting the throughput of people, said.

“However, this would conflict with the initial goal of preventing multiple entries using one card,” Hess said.

“We always try to educate the customers so they can understand the solutions and technologies proposed,” Lim said. “If the customers simply refuse to adopt a more realistic expectation, then we will have to walk away from the business.”

The effects of television shows like “CSI” give users the impression that access control and video can track someone's movements inside a facility with time stamping of the movement, Hess said. “With video, the impression is that you can blow up an image and it will not be pixelated. Also, the ability of ‘facial recognition' to identify individuals is just not there yet.”

Furthermore, because so many add-on products claim to be “plug and play,” customers do not always understand that software changes could still be required in their security system, Hess continued.

Getting the Best Results
The best results are achieved when the consultant or specifier works hand-in-hand with the integrator during both the design process and the deployment to ensure a seamless transformation from the prior system to the new system — one that functions as needed and performs as expected, Kuzmeskus said. Each contributes their expertise: the consultant often has better knowledge of the customer's business objectives, while the integrator generally knows more about the capabilities of the specified components.

Most cases involve some degree of customization to an existing solution. For example, camera positioning often needs to be optimized for the best point of view, Kuzmeskus said. “In addition, dramatic improvements in video quality can lead to camera upgrade requirements. In other cases, a facility may have a perimeter that is adjacent to inaccessible or dangerous terrain, such as a refinery bordering a swamp area containing alligators and poisonous snakes. PTZ or thermal imaging cameras can augment the existing video systems to reduce the number times a guard enters that environment to assess an alarm, or in many cases, remove that dangerous area from a physical guard tour and transition it to a video guard tour.”

The integration between automation and security is always a dilemma, Lim said. “Unless there are real benefits in cost savings or functionality improvements, the integration tends to be cosmetic only.” The next part of our coverage explores efficiency gains enabled by the integration of automation and security.

Airbus Spain Select Legic Integrated Access Control

Airbus Spain Select Legic Integrated Access Control

Editor / Provider: LEGIC | Updated: 11/14/2011 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Zucchetti Axess recently implemented an employee time & attendance system for Airbus Spain using multifunctional LEGIC read & write terminals.

Airbus, a leading aircraft manufacturer with operations in 80 countries, recently upgraded the employee time & attendance system at its Spanish factories in Madrid and Seville. Italy-based Zucchetti Axess linked up with its Spanish partner, SoftMachine, to implement a comprehensive and multifunctional LEGIC advant based system.

Airbus and Zucchetti Axess established their initial contacts at a LEGIC meeting. That encounter developed into a challenging partnership, as the global aircraft company began to purchase LEGIC badge readers from Zucchetti Axess.

In 2010 Airbus drew up a shortlist of qualified suppliers for an upgrade project at four military aircraft factory buildings in Madrid and Seville. The project's objective was to harmonise these facilities with Airbus Group security standards by replacing existing hardware devices with new LEGIC equipment. The system requirements were quite ambitious: multi-application capability, integration with the existing system, flexibility and functional modularity.

Zucchetti Axess enlisted a local partner, SoftMachine, to deliver 120 EtherTRAX+G terminals with LEGIC readers. They were specially configured to read the proprietary Airbus segment from advanced security LEGIC badges. The Zucchetti Axess-certified connector module was used to interface the terminals with the SAP HR module. In addition, Zucchetti Axess software was deployed for comprehensive online monitoring of terminal status and for real-time data transfer to the main server.

Although the customer requirements were highly complex and demanding, it was possible to complete the project within a short time frame. Thanks to excellent customisation by the supplier and the professional service delivered by the local Partner, more than 10,000 Airbus employees can now benefit from a cutting-edge time & attendance system. Encouraged by this first important LEGIC reference in Spain, SoftMachine elected to join the LEGIC Partner Network as a means of winning further business opportunities.

China's Oldest Tobacco Company Streamlines Management With Axis Network Video

China's Oldest Tobacco Company Streamlines Management With Axis Network Video

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 11/11/2011 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Wuhan Tobacco Factory is China's oldest tobacco company, established in 1916. It is now over 90 years old, and is currently the core business of Hubei Tobacco Industry. The video surveillance system for Wuhan Tobacco Factory utilizes advanced and mature technology and equipment to meet future development needs. Through intelligent systems application integration, it achieved the management, collection, analysis, processing, alarm link-up control, and resource sharing of information, to ensure that project planning was realized. However, there was a need for a further upgrade of the existing video surveillance system.

Axis Communications suggested a solution for this project after an in-depth analysis of the customer's needs and market development. Different cameras are used in different environments and locations, while the original analog cameras are connected to the IP system with video encoders, thus forming a complete IP video management system.

After the system was completed, the image quality of the Wuhan Tobacco Factory has become clearer, brighter, and richer. In combination with powerful application software, image retrieval has become faster and easier, and the original analog surveillance cameras are also integrated into the existing network. The different management levels no longer have to go to the workshop or the surveillance center to investigate the situation in key areas; instead, they now have the possibility for remote viewing from their offices or the conference room. This greatly improved supervision and work efficiency, and provided real-time protection for production safety.

Anson Delivers Customized Solutions With Strong R&D

Anson Delivers Customized Solutions With Strong R&D

Editor / Provider: Aiven Zhang | Updated: 11/10/2011 | Article type: China Corner

Anson transitioned from an access control provider to a solution provider, integrating video, alarm, access control and intercoms together. Based on a profound understanding of global demands and state-of-the-art technology, the company launched its embedded security integration products. a&s International China Best Buys talks to Bin Zhao, GM of Anson, to unveil its strengths in innovating technology and understanding the market demands.

Anson, founded in 2007, concentrated on the development of access control and was led by Bin Zhao, GM of Anson. His technical expertise comes from working more than 15 years in security. “When we set up the company, we understood that access control requires technology and innovation, which are our core competence,” said Zhao.

“We would like to deliver self-developed quality products with a better experience for our users,” continued Zhao. “We always focus on creativity instead of manufacturing me-too products.”

R&D Investment
Technology-driven innovation has long been Anson's strength. Four years ago, Zhao gathered a group of experts with ample experience in security to develop access control solutions. “All of our R&D employees have been in the access field for several years,” Zhao said. “We continue to introduce experienced personnel in hardware and software.”

Continuous investment is another driving factor for the company's development. “We invest a major part of our profit into our R&D team to bring more technology-added solutions to market,” Zhao said.

Customized International Offering
Continued international experience gave Anson the opportunity to understand markets and product demands outside China. “At the beginning, we distributed security products for international brands in China,” Zhao said. “From these global business dealings, we enhanced our overseas partnerships and learned about international demands.”

Zhao added that customized solutions and technology investments were among the two distinct characteristics to stand out from the competition. “We decided to manufacture our access products after we have gained ample experience by working with these international brands,” he said. “We built up our own R&D team.”

To provide value-added products, satisfying customer demands was the top priority. “We apply customer demands at the stages of product design and development,” Zhao said. “With previous experience, we understand the market better than our competitors in China and provide products and solutions catering to specific needs.”

“We embed our security philosophy at the beginning of our R&D process and design integration into our products,” Zhao said. “We have spent three years developing an embedded integrated security system, the NSR, to combine all functions of access control, video surveillance, intrusion and intercoms together.”

Anson continues to improve products after their release by collecting feedback from distributors, integrators and end users. “At least 70 percent of our products are exported to markets such as the U.S., Europe and South America, and received very positive comments,” Zhao said.

Chinese Security Providers Safeguard Shenzhen World University Games 2011

Chinese Security Providers Safeguard Shenzhen World University Games 2011

Editor / Provider: Aiven Zhang | Updated: 11/10/2011 | Article type: China Corner

The Universiade 2011, or World University Games, took place in Shenzhen, China. A number of Chinese security players actively participated to secure the events, athletes and spectators. A comprehensive robust security system was deployed throughout the stadiums. a&s International China Best Buys talked to these providers to find out how they combined their technologies for a winning solution.

Security for the Shenzhen Universiade Games was a largescale project. There are more than 20 stadiums involved in the world event, with 1.8 million spectators and 20,000 athletes, coaches, referees and officials from 180 countries and regions. Considered to be the biggest event ever, it presented many challenges for surveillance, identification and crowd management.

“To meet potential challenges, we needed to implement a high-level security system with stable equipment for the International Games,” said Sam Yu, Planning Manager at Santachi Video Technology. “In this large-scale surveillance, high quality video and constant wide-area monitoring are needed.”

All of the security equipment used in the stadiums came from different Chinese and international providers, bringing integration challenges. To ensure stability, interoperability was taken into consideration, said Qingrui Hu, Technical Manager of Hikvision Shenzhen office.

“Our products adopt an advanced SRM CPU and FPGA platform and are compatible with more than 40 management platforms,” said Zhigao Zhou, Technical Engineer of Sunell Technology. “They also are ONVIF-compliant with open SDKs, enabling more flexibility and connectivity.” Michael Archer, PM of Sunell Technology emphasized that reliability came first in security and quality images were essential for image detail in analysis and monitoring. To secure the event, a comprehensive solution with video surveillance and access control was deployed.

High-Quality Images
The Universiade event welcomed large crowds. To ensure the safety and security of spectators and players, quality video surveillance is of great importance. Moreover, high definition (HD) images provided more detail for further analysis.

The cameras needed to provide HD images for identification of individuals. As the Games were held in large stadiums, seeing clearly was vital for surveillance, Archer said.

“HD analog dome cameras were deployed in 20 stadiums and 12 training gymnasiums,” Zhou said. “They deliver high resolution images of up to 1,280 by 960 pixels, providing more detailed information for analysis and viewing throughout the games.”

“We designed an HD solution with our high-resolution speed domes for wide-area surveillance,” Hu said. “The cameras capture and record megapixel video when the perimeter intrusion detectors trigger an alarm in the stadiums. This ensures image clarity and provides high quality images for forensic evidence.”

With wide-area coverage requirements, this brought difficulty for viewing and identifying the scene. “We chose PTZ domes to work in low-light environments using wide dynamic range (WDR),” Archer said. “These cameras were specifically designed for wide-area monitoring in airports, stadiums, seaports and banks, and their positioning accuracy is precise to ±02 degrees, even at low speeds.”

“ The PTZ speed dome sare positioned at the entrances, corridors and spectator stands for wide-area applications,” Yu said. “Owing to their WDR capabilities, they make adjustments according to lighting conditions and produce quality images for surveillance purposes.”

Yu continued, “The adoption of low-lux and IR features makes sure the cameras deliver clear images of dark areas so operators can see them, even if there is no light at all.”

Along with quality images, HD monitors were used for better video performance. A variety of 20-, 42-, 46- and 52-inch LCD panels and video walls were supplied. “They can automatically eliminate ghosting and self-adjust the picture size, providing sharp video output without trailing,” said Yongshuang Fang, Regional Manager of Marketing Department at Skyworth Qunxin. These panel monitors respond quickly with no noise and low power consumption.

Intelligent Monitoring
High image quality provides more possibilities for intelligent analysis. In such large spaces, crowd management and identifying suspicious behaviors can further enhance stadium security.

Video analytics plays a crucial role for proactive security. “With video analytic algorithms, the system provided real-time alarms for various incidents by automatically detecting, tracking and classifying specific objects and people,” Hu said.

Behavior analytics monitored and detected subtle suspicious actions. In densely populated areas, intelligent analytics measured the crowds, estimated change rules and analyzed risk level, resulting in a combination of real-time warnings and crowd management, Hu said.

For critical places, intelligent analytics detected abnormal and suspicious behaviors, such as loitering, theft and other threats, enhancing security without human supervision, said Xianpeng Zhang, Manager of Planning Department at Bellsent.

Zhang pointed out the intelligent solution supported both analog and IP-based video, providing real-time alert notifications and on-alarm events for recording and visual verification. Its robust and proven analytic capabilities provided highly accurate and reliable detection indoors and outdoors, even in severe weather.

Authorized Access
Access control increased the stadium's safety and security by preventing unauthorized persons from entering restricted Universiade sites. In each important entrance, a person needed authorization for access.

“Our networked access control system includes 22 four-door controllers, 86 card readers and 86 electronic locks to proactively and effectively prevent unauthorized entries,” said Ping Zheng, Technical Manager at Neatech. “It supports unlimited access control points, along with cross-segment and cross-node hybrid access.”

For crowd control purposes, the system integrated people counting to enforce capacity limitations. People were automatically restricted from entering sites once they reached capacity, while they gained access before the venue's capacity was filled, Zheng said.

The access management system was integrated with video surveillance to capture and record images when individuals swiped their cards. Stadium security was improved after the integration of access control, image capture, video recording, e-map and alarm, Zheng said.

Additionally, the participating providers took the world event seriously by establishing on-site technical support. Archer said, “We set up a team for emergencies to secure the main stadiums and respond promptly to emergency events. Together with our technicians, the Universiade was under complete surveillance and we won't allow for carelessness or mistakes in securing the event.”

Yu said, “Our team stood by 24/7 from the opening of the event and examined the equipment to make sure they worked. We also stocked backup devices to respond to any situation in a timely fashion.”

Fang said, “Our monitors were used in more than 20 stadiums throughout Shenzhen. We have calculated exactly how many devices are in every stadium and backed up spare parts. Should any of the equipment fail to work, our technicians there will see to it immediately.”

US Quick-Serve Restaurants Improve Operations With Envysion Managed Video

US Quick-Serve Restaurants Improve Operations With Envysion Managed Video

Editor / Provider: Envysion | Updated: 11/8/2011 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Envysion, the leading Managed Video as a Service (MVaaS) provider, announced that GBV, a franchise of Carl's Jr., has selected Envysion Insight to drive operations, loss prevention and profit improvement.

“We were excited to find that Envysion has a tailored video-based business intelligence solution based on a deep understanding of the Carl's Jr. concept, operations and requirements,” says Gary Vick, President of GBV. “Envysion's easy-to-use, brand specific exception reports allow us to keep a close eye on areas of risk in our restaurants, quickly identify incidents of possible loss and rapidly investigate whether fraud or theft occurred. As of a result of the Envysion solution, we have seen significant improvements in our bottom-line profitability.”

Envysion easy-to-use, video-based business intelligence enables quick-service and fast casual restaurants to drive 10-15 percent profitability improvements. Using Envysion's video point of sale integration, GBV easily tracks and identifies suspicious transactions, such as unwarranted discounts, refunds, voids and deleted items. GBV users then review the video footage of the event in question side-by-side with the receipt to determine whether there was an instance of fraud, operational error or training issue that requires attention. One area where GBV has used the system more than expected is investigating guest issues, including accidents and complaints, Vick adds.

“We are excited to add GBV to our growing list of Hardee's and Carl's Jr. customers. Our work with CKE Restaurants and many CKE franchisees will enable us to provide GBV with exception reports and best practices specific to Carl's Jr. so GBV can realize immediate profitability improvements,” says Carlos Perez, VP of product and marketing for Envysion.

New Jersey County Deploys Quantum Secure Solution for Identity Management

New Jersey County Deploys Quantum Secure Solution for Identity Management

Editor / Provider: Quantum Secure | Updated: 11/8/2011 | Article type: Residential & Consumer

Quantum Secure, the leading provider of enterprise software to manage and streamline security identities, compliance and events across disparate physical security systems, announced that it has deployed its physical identity and access management software solution for New Jersey's Cape May County.

With Quantum Secure solution, Cape May County has simplified the management of their physical access process by automating key manual processes regarding access credential issuance, access privilege assignment and visitor identity management across their physical access control systems. Located on the southern tip of New Jersey and facing the Delaware Bay, Cape May County includes 16 municipalities and has approximately 100,000 residents. The county offices span four major campuses and support a wide variety of employees including police, judges, nurses, county workers, contractors and other third-party employees.

To manage all cardholders in Cape May County as well as their physical access rights, the county was looking for a solution to help streamline security processes and policies regarding granting, managing, revoking and provisioning physical security identities and access privileges.

The project was initiated and managed by the County's Facilities Department. Working closely with Cape May County's prime integrator North American Video along with Unlimited Technologies, the County selected the Quantum Secure solution: a scalable, custom-configurable COTS software suite that works with their existing physical security infrastructure to integrate disparate physical security systems, automate key processes and simplify control of employees, visitors, vendors and other third-party identities across their global organization.

“With Quantum Secure software suite, Cape May County has significantly streamlined their access provisioning and visitor identity management efforts,” said John Palumbo, VP of Sales for Unlimited Technology. “Quantum Secure solution has not only simplified processes regarding the on- and off-boarding of identities and their access, but has provided their security team with executive-level unified reporting regarding physical access across their entire facility.”

As part of the deployment, Cape May County has realized the following benefits of the physical identity & access management solution:

● Cape May County security managers can automate key security processes and policies to grant, manage, revoke and provision physical security identities and access privileges for Cape May County C-CURE system

● Provisions appropriate identities to the Flex Systems Guard Tour 3rd party system as part of new employee onboarding

● A Self-Service portal enables Cape May County employees to request and perform their own physical access change requests and approvals, invite and manage visitors

● Provides unified reporting for physical access and reports for the facility

Additionally, Cape May County has integrated Quantum Secure Visitor Identity Manager, providing a Web-based self-service tool that unifies all of their global visitor management, visitor check-in, printing and centralized reporting functions.

Quantum Secure Visitor Identity Manager provides flexible enrollment, validation and processing capabilities for individuals in need of temporary or long-term access. The solution also enables authorized host personnel to pre-announce visitors, which initiates a customizable visitor workflow that includes emailing hosts and visitors, identification, check-in, provisioning, and check-out functionality.

“This effort is the result of a great partnership between North American Video, Unlimited Technologies and Quantum Secure,” said Ajay Jain, President and CEO of Quantum Secure. “Their insight and integration capabilities, combined with our award-winning Quantum Secure physical identity and access management software, have created a dedicated solution for securing identities and access for any part of our nation's infrastructure.”

Sports Retailer Selects Mobile Surveillance

Sports Retailer Selects Mobile Surveillance

Editor / Provider: mobiDEOS | Updated: 11/7/2011 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Video surveillance and remote monitoring company mobiDEOS announces that Summit Sports, a Michigan-based outdoor recreation and sporting goods retailer, is now using MobileCamViewer to monitor activity at its 50,000-square-foot distribution and receiving center in the Auburn Hills area.

Summit Sports operates five retail locations and ten websites — all serviced through the company's Auburn Hills facility. The facility stores valuable sports merchandise and is consistently monitored for intrusions and unusual occurrences through onsite and mobile surveillance.

Craig Burns, warehouse operations manager for Summit Sports, notes that MobileCamViewer has saved many personal late-night trips and police visits for security-related events. Burns uses the MobileCamViewer application on his Verizon HTC Incredible 2 smart phone to monitor 32 cameras and two digital video recording (DVR) systems.

“It's hard to put an exact number on it, but MobileCamViewer has saved us a lot of time and money,” said Burns. “I have a 90-minute round trip to the warehouse, and MobileCamViewer has eliminated many trips to the building in the middle of the night to inspect false alarms.”

Burns added that he recently used the application to prevent his alarm company from dispatching the police to the warehouse one Saturday afternoon while on vacation in Florida.

The open-platform nature of MobileCamViewer has helped Summit Sports minimize the costs of launching a mobile surveillance system. The application works across all 32 cameras installed on the warehouse property, proving compatibility with an array of vendors.

MobileCamViewer offers secure, reliable carrier-grade cell phone-based video surveillance and remote monitoring solutions, providing “anytime, anywhere” mobile surveillance for virtually every situation. Its compatibility across almost all smartphones, tablets, cameras, DVRs, NVRs and video servers — as well as simple integration with PC and MAC-based iOS systems — enables MobileCamViewer to comply with both new and existing network infrastructures.

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