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Grundig improves safety at the DHL managed Tesco Frozen National Distribution Centre

Grundig improves safety at the DHL managed Tesco Frozen National Distribution Centre

Editor / Provider: Grundig Security | Updated: 4/9/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

A revolutionary new site management system has recently been installed at the DHL operated Tesco National Frozen Distribution centre in Daventry, saving the company hundreds of man hours and dramatically improving efficiency and safety.

DHL Supply Chain Ltd employed integrator Piggott and Whitfield (P&W) to develop an IP CCTV system for monitoring frozen pallet placement and health and safety practice at its deep freeze, automated distribution warehouse. The CCTV system comprised Aimetis Symphony™ video management software (VMS) with Grundig IP CCTV dome cameras.

The Tesco National Frozen Distribution Centre is a 25,000 sq. m site and one of four similar facilities run by DHL Supply Chain Ltd for Tesco in the UK. It has 500 members of staff working 24/7. The coldstore warehouse is made up of 12 double deep aisles for pallets. It operates at -22°C, with Dematic Automated storage and retrieval cranes replenishing continuously. Aisles are 30m tall and 100m long, with five intermediate floors between aisle groups containing conveyors, where staff members pick goods for delivery to Tesco stores.

The challenge
Suppliers have scheduled delivery times for unloading their frozen cargos. The more efficient the turn around on doors the more effectively the coldstore environment is maintained.

The Dematic cranes will not place a pallet on a shelf if they sense an obstruction, which can be anything from loose packaging to a misplaced or damaged pallet. A member of staff then has to harness up in freezing conditions and climb as high as 30m above the ground to remove the obstruction manually to then return to the ground level and manually, by remote, put the pallet away. This can take 15 – 20 minutes and happens as often as 100 times a week, delaying the unloading and stacking process. Additionally, if the person should fall, although the safety ropes will hold them, they can experience suspension trauma. In the freezing conditions, this can mean they will only survive for 15 minutes. Clearly, strict adherence to Health and Safety procedures is critical in mitigating risk of accidents.

The solution
P&W installed tough, vandal-resistant, low temperature, infra-red Grundig IP CCTV dome cameras, supplied by The Security Buying Group. The cameras, which are heated, operate at extremely low temperatures, in the dark and are powered by PoE (Power over Ethernet) for minimal temperature impact. The cameras are installed on each side of the cranes looking towards the pallet locations in the aisles.

An Aimetis Symphony™ VMS system processes and records the camera video streams, allowing operators to view images from the cranes using wireless, tough notebooks (portable HMI screens). If a crane stops for any reason, they can identify the obstruction and in most cases, manually operate the crane from the ground to store the pallet.

“P&W was able to create a bespoke, wireless network solution that kept the CCTV security data within the DHL network and totally separate from Tesco's own data network,” explained Billy Currie, Campus Automation and Facility Manager at DHL Supply Chain Ltd. “Other companies had tried to offer a solution, but failed.”

Chris Riesen, Intelligent Solutions Manager at P&W stated, “P&W's specialist network and data communications expertise provided a bespoke solution to a difficult challenge. We tested our solution in one aisle, before implementing the system across the entire warehouse. There were a lot of demanding criteria to meet, including low temperatures; wireless operation because of crane movement; low light operation; and a robust, network solution that was totally separate from the wider Tesco distribution network.”

The results
“We could not have predicted the effectiveness of the system,” said Billy Currie. “In 96 – 99% of cases, my staff can safely recover the crane from the ground without having to climb to continue operation. Before the installation, we would have around 100 stoppages a week, so efficiency has been dramatically improved through reduced downtime!

“Site Health and Safety has also been improved as staff members rarely have to climb cranes to check for obstructions. We have also been able to ensure staff members adhere to our strict Health and Safety whilst working at height and in coldstore conditions, reducing risk to themselves and the business. DHL has been able to reduce risk and improve staff performance.

“Many of the genuine sensor alerts were caused by loose packaging or debris from pallets affected by the deep freeze environment. We have worked with suppliers to resolve this problem, which has improved efficiency further.”

P&W has provided a system that no other integrator could offer. They have installed a live, proactive IP CCTV system in a challenging environment, which works alongside crane sensors in an intelligent manner. Most significantly they have provided a wireless solution that operates solely on the DHL network, without interfering with the Tesco network and risking supply chain down-time.

DHL Supply Chain Ltd is now adding IP CCTV to other areas of the site, to ensure Health and Safety compliance and to dramatically improve efficiency and safety. The entire warehouse and external security cameras will be incorporated into the same Aimetis system, totalling around 80 cameras on a single server. A roll out to the other frozen distribution centres in the UK is also planned.

Hikvision provides a safe and secure Harbour for Dun Laoghaire

Hikvision provides a safe and secure Harbour for Dun Laoghaire

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 4/8/2015 | Article type: Infrastructure

Lying 12 kilometres south of Dublin City Centre, Dún Laoghaire (pronounced Dunleary) is widely recognised as having one of the finest man-made harbours in the world. The harbour itself consists of two huge granite piers. The East Pier is one mile long, the West Pier even longer, and together they enclose more than 100 hectares of terminal buildings, car and lorry parks, commercial piers, and leisure craft marinas. Having been the major gateway to England for goods and people for 200 years, it is also now on track to becoming Ireland's major marine, leisure and tourism destination having received significant investment to extend its recreational and amenity value. Keeping this huge area safe for all visitors is a major undertaking and Hikvision cameras and hybrid recorders have recently been added to make sure this happens.

Overcoming the challenge of existing infrastructure and low visibility
The harbour complex is managed by the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) and it has been a user of CCTV for many years. The coax-cable analogue system betrays its age by concentrating heavily on the ferry terminal and the immediate surroundings – the harbour's raison d'etre throughout the twentieth century. However, even a once busy ferry operation takes up just a relatively small part of the massive harbour. With the East and West Piers separated by more than a kilometre at their mainland ends and extending far out into the Irish Sea, there is a large area contained by the two piers that has become a bustling hub of activity. It is now home to many marine activity-based businesses ranging from a Powerboat School to Yacht clubs and a Scuba Diving centre and a very large and still growing Marina complex for private leisure craft of all sizes. And, around the older ferry terminal, the new activities have given rise to a new generation of restaurants, car parks and other leisure businesses.

DLHC became increasingly concerned that the existing analogue CCTV infrastructure was only giving them a good overview of an increasingly marginal resource – the ferry terminal – and not providing an adequate level of surveillance of the new activities. What was clear was that the existing system incapable of keeping up with the increasing pressures of the site and Cork-based Hikvision distributor Mercury SD was called in to advise on upgrading the entire system.

“Providing effective surveillance throughout Dun Laoghaire Harbour was a challenging prospect,” says Kevin O'Connell, System Designer at Mercury SD. “The landside of the harbour is an increasingly busy and crowded area, the older ferry terminal now surrounded by a large number of newer tourist hotspots and commercial areas, and then we also had to consider the explosion of water moorings and activities that the old system was never designed to accommodate. The whole focus of the CCTV surveillance system had to change into one that encompassed the whole harbour complex.

“The harbour is also highly prone to extremely variable weather conditions, including frequent occurrences of high winds, severe rain and fog. Visibility can go from clear to poor in minutes and this means any new CCTV system that has a remit to concentrate its surveillance on the exposed harbour walls and marina complex should be capable of coping with the worst of these environmental extremes while continuing to deliver clear images.

“Finally, DLHC were keen to retain the existing analogue system if possible whilst extending the reach of the CCTV system to the entire 100 hectare site.”

A modernised coastal surveillance solution
Kevin O'Connell and other members of the design and installation team at Mercury SD made three site visits to the harbour before proposing their detailed scheme for a hybrid solution.

The new plan retained all the existing coax cable that was laid within the harbour and concentrated the existing analogue cameras to cover the ferry terminal and its immediate surroundings. Some of the new Hikvision IP cameras were then added to the coax cabling using IP over Coax transceivers while the IP cameras intended to greatly extend the reach and scope of the surveillance to the more far-flung reaches of the harbour were linked in using Ubiquiti wireless links. All the cameras link back to the pair of Hikvision hybrid recorders located in the harbour office near the ferry terminal, from where a PTZ camera in the lighthouse is controlled.

Whatever the weather
“All the new cameras offer Hikvision's SMART imaging and detection, most prominently the Smart Defog and Smart IR features,” explains Kevin. “These technologies in particular were a huge selling point for the new solution, overcoming the problems that burdened the old CCTV system when the harbour was beset by the unpredictable weather, even though most of the analogue cameras were indoors.”

The Smart Defog and Smart IR features help improve the clarity of images. Smart Defog modifies the image correction algorithm to improve the whole image's visibility and clarity in poor weather conditions, such as rain or severe fog. Smart IR addresses the common problem of over-exposure of IR LEDs at the centre of images, automatically adjusting the IR strength to improve visibility.

All except one of the new Hikvision cameras were enclosed in a marine grade housing; being DS-2CD4012F 1.3 megapixel SMART IPC units along with DS-2CD4032F-A 3 megapixel pieces. The Hikvision DS-2DF7284-A Network IR Speed Dome Camera was installed at the lighthouse as part of the new upgrade. Regularly used in busy areas such as stations, airports, railways and commercial centres, it oversees some of the busiest parts of the harbour and is a core CCTV feed for the harbour team. This PTZ camera provides 360° surveillance through its endless high-speed panning capability, offers a large 20x optical zoom capability to detect the smallest details and combines this with an IR range of up to 120 metres. The camera can also be shared by the emergency sea rescue services in the event of an incident in close proximity.

“At the centre of the new surveillance solution are Hikvision DS-9016HFI-ST 16/16 Hybrid Recorders, which enabled us to retain the majority of the older analogue cameras while adding in the Hikvision IP units,” adds Kevin. “The DS-9016HFI-ST features H.264 video compression, a recording resolution of up to 5 megapixels, 16 channel synchronous playback, and also HDMI and VGA output at up to 1080p, alongside a storage capacity of up to 12TB.”

Exceeding Expectations
The installation of the new surveillance solution has proved an immediate success. Tim Ryan, Harbour Manager at Dun Laoghaire says, “The Hikvision system specified has exceeded our initial expectations. We use the system 24 hours a day to monitor the inner harbour area, consisting of car parks, walkways, buildings, busy junctions and ship berthing areas. We have been able to provide An Garda Siochana (the police force) with evidence for a number of incidents that have occurred since the installation. In each case the coverage and quality of footage was of a high standard. The DS-2DF7284-A PTZ camera installed at our East Pier Lighthouse has proven beneficial in assisting with Search and Rescue and has the capability to be utilised by the local Coast Guard unit to monitor and record an incident on land or sea. Our recording equipment allows us to archive footage for approximately sixty days, which is also hugely beneficial to us.”

Dahua completes new HDCVI lite series line-up

Dahua completes new HDCVI lite series line-up

Editor / Provider: Dahua Technology | Updated: 3/31/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Dahua Technology, a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of video surveillance products headquartered in Hangzhou, China introduces a new 1080p HDCVI solution with more affordable price, which consists of 1080p 1200-Lite-series HDCVI cameras and S2-series tri-brid DVRs.

The camera 1200-Lite-series includes IR-bullets and dome cameras, fixed and vari-focal lens are optional.

The camera adopts smart IR technology, along with photoresister, making day/night switch more accurate; what worth a mention is their superb noise reduction ability, which can not only save HDD storage capacity, but also help deliver a benefit of rendering brilliant visual effect even under low illumination, which is suitable for applications such as underground parking lot or anywhere in dim-light surroundings.

“There was something hovering in my mind during product planning phase,” said John Li, HDCVI Product Manager at Dahua Technology. “At that time, what I was thinking was how to perfectly leverage performance and price, for example, we were keen to present very competitive 1080p HDCVI camera, satisfying HD surveillance with basic functions acquired. Most of all, the product should stay with a very friendly price and 1200-lite-series is the answer.”

In addition to the HDCVI cameras, Dahua also presents tri-brid HDCVI S2-seies DVRs (HCVR S2 series). “We has indeed introduced some HCVRs before, but what makes S2 different is that this series is ready to replace all the conventional DVRs,” said Jason Zhong, Product Manager at Dahua Technology. “S2 has the best color reproduction than ever.”

Moreover, thanks to the enhanced ultra UTP EQ function, the S2-series is able to support even longer transmission distance, for example, 1,100 meters for 720p with clear images and 800 meters for 1080p; meanwhile, this series supports 4G/Wi-Fi, making transmission more smooth and faster.

New Lite HDCVI product line-up will make its debut in ISC West, held in Las Vegas, April 15-17. Please visit Dahua's booth #13062 and other upcoming tradeshows including Expo Seguridad, Secutech and IFSEC International to find out more.

Axis boosts mid-range HDTV PTZ cameras with improved performance

Axis boosts mid-range HDTV PTZ cameras with improved performance

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 3/30/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Axis Communications, the global leader in network video, has launched AXIS P56 Series, which consists of outdoor-ready AXIS P5635-E and AXIS P5624-E PTZ Dome Network Cameras for wide area video surveillance in indoor and outdoor environments.

Erik Frännlid, Axis' director of product management, says: "The introduction of AXIS P56 Series changes the price point and performance level of mid-range PTZ dome cameras in the security market. AXIS P56 Series delivers all the major requirements for a PTZ camera at price levels that will be highly attractive for the majority of PTZ camera installations"

AXIS P5635-E is ideal for demanding indoor and outdoor video surveillance applications such as city surveillance. It is an HDTV 1080p camera with 30x optical zoom, enabling fine details to be captured at a distance. It features a 360° continuous pan capability, with no mechanical stop, for fast camera repositioning and smooth, continuous tracking of an object.

AXIS P5635-E has day/night functionality and good low light performance. Its support for Axis' unique Wide Dynamic Range ~ Forensic Capture (120 dB) enables details in both very bright and dark areas of a scene to be visible. The camera also offers Axis' Electronic Image Stabilisation for better video and bandwidth savings in vibrating conditions.

AXIS P5635-E's built-in intelligent functionalities include audio detection and Advanced Gatekeeper, which allows the camera to detect an object in a specified area and zoom in on it. Support for AXIS Camera Application Platform enables other intelligent video functionalities to be downloaded to the camera. The camera also supports shock detection, which enables it to send an alarm when it has been hit. Other features in AXIS P5635-E include two-way audio, four configurable inputs/outputs for connection to external devices, Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+), 24 V AC/DC and an SD card slot for local storage of recordings.

AXIS P5624-E is ideal for retail surveillance in both indoor and outdoor environments. It is an HDTV 720p camera with 18x optical zoom. Like AXIS P5635-E, it features a continuous 360° pan, day/night functionality for superb low light performance, 120 dB Wide Dynamic Range ~ Forensic Capture, Advanced Gatekeeper, shock detection, PoE+, and an SD card slot.

AXIS P56 Series cameras are compatible with AXIS T91B Mounts for ease of installation. The cameras are supported by the industry's largest base of video management software through the Axis Application Development Partner Program, AXIS Camera Station and the complimentary AXIS Camera Companion.

The cameras also include support for AXIS Video Hosting System and ONVIF for easy camera system integration.

AXIS P56 Series is available through Axis distribution channels on April 14 at the suggested retail price of €1679 for AXIS P5635-E and €1343 for AXIS P5624-E.

Axis announces Zipstream compression technology reducing storage requirements by an average 50 percent

Axis announces Zipstream compression technology reducing storage requirements by an average 50 percent

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 3/23/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Axis Communications, the market leader in network video, introduces Zipstream technology allowing customers to benefit from reduced bandwidth and storage requirements without having to invest in new cameras or software. Axis' Zipstream technology is fully compatible with the widely adopted H.264 compression standard. The technology has been developed specifically for video surveillance applications and lowers bandwidth and storage requirements by an average 50% or more.

“Significant progress towards better image quality with higher HDTV resolutions and increased low-light performance has also increased the requirements on the network and storage infrastructure. With Axis' Zipstream technology we enable our customers to drastically reduce bandwidth and storage needs without compromising on important image details. For example, more than twice the video footage can now be stored on SD cards or NAS's in small systems built on AXIS Camera Companion as well as other edge recording applications,” says Johan Paulsson, Chief Technology Officer, Axis Communications. “Axis' Zipstream technology adds a new module inside the network camera's video compression engine which ensures that important details in the image get enough attention in the video stream while unnecessary data can be squeezed.”

Axis' Zipstream technology analyzes and optimizes the network camera's video stream in real time. Scenes containing interesting details are recorded in full image quality and resolution while other areas are filtered out, to optimally use available bandwidth and storage. Important forensic details like faces, tattoos or license plates are isolated and preserved, while irrelevant areas such as white walls, lawns and vegetation are sacrificed by smoothing in order to achieve the better storage savings.

Customers can use Axis' Zipstream technology alongside other Axis network camera technologies such as Wide Dynamic Range - Forensic Capture and Lightfinder. As Zipstream is fully compatible with H.264 and can be used with AXIS Camera Station, AXIS Camera Companion and third-party video management software installations already in place.

Axis is making available its Zipstream technology on the existing network cameras AXIS Q1615, AXIS Q1635 and in the AXIS Q35 Series, via firmware updates. The first new products with Axis' Zipstream installed are planned to be AXIS M1124/-E, AXIS M1125/-E and AXIS P1365/-E fixed network cameras, and AXIS P3224-LV/-LVE and AXIS P3225-LV/-LVE fixed dome network cameras.

AXIS M1124/-E and AXIS M1125/-E are low cost network cameras with features such as Axis' Zipstream technology, CS mount lens, Day/Night functionality, WDR – Forensic Capture and enhanced capabilities for analytics especially suited for retail and other prices sensitive installations, indoors and outdoors. AXIS M1124/-E, AXIS M1125/-E Network Cameras are planned to be available in Q2, 2015 at a MSRP at USD $449/$549 respectively.

AXIS P1365 and outdoor ready AXIS P1365-E are full featured cameras featuring WDR – Forensic Capture, audio, remote back focus as well as Axis' Zipstream technology. The cameras' exceptional image quality includes seamless transition between handling WDR and Lightfinder mode, making them great cameras for banking and city surveillance applications, indoors and outdoors. AXIS P1365 and AXIS P1365-E are scheduled for launch on April 9, 2015 at a MSRP at USD $ 749 and USD $ 999, respectively.

AXIS P3224-LV/-LVE and AXIS P3225-LV/-LVE Network Cameras are streamlined, versatile and easy-to-install fixed domes that provide excellent image quality in any lightning conditions thanks to the winning combination of OptimizedIR and WDR – Forensic Capture. Axis' Zipstream technology reduces bandwidth and storage needs without compromising image details. AXIS P3224-LV/-LVE and AXIS P3225-LV/-LVE are planned to be available in Q2, 2015 at a MSRP starting from USD $ 599.

IDIS releases four and eight channel encoders

IDIS releases four and eight channel encoders

Editor / Provider: IDIS | Updated: 3/17/2015 | Article type: Security 50

IDIS, an established surveillance leader, has extended its surveillance line up to include four and eight channel video encoders allowing customers to integrate DirectIP with their existing analogue systems.

The video encoders enable customers to add IP cameras, Network Video Recorders, video management software as well as analogue cameras to expand and update their surveillance capability, and benefit from all the power and flexibility of DirectIP High-Definition and network surveillance.

The units support four audio inputs and have the ability to connect to existing PTZ cameras using 87x RS485 telemetry protocols. Featuring highly efficient H.264 video compression, the encoders also drastically reduce bandwidth and storage requirements without compromising image quality.

Martin Cowley, Channel Manager, noted, “The encoders are proving to be an effective migration path from analogue to network surveillance, particularly for customers looking for an affordable and phased approach. It allows customer to easily add HD and IP cameras exactly where they are needed most. The units allow customers to operate their entire surveillance system through DirectIP delivering immediate benefits in terms of ease of operation and plug-and-play simplicity.”

Packaged as an end-to-end solution, comprising a range of cameras, monitors, network video recorders (NVR) and comprehensive video management software, DirectIP solutions deliver unrivalled plug-and-play simplicity, combined with highest-quality performance and reliability.

VIVOTEK's comprehensive surveillance solution fortifies renowned German hypermarket EDEKA Voth

VIVOTEK's comprehensive surveillance solution fortifies renowned German hypermarket EDEKA Voth

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by VIVOTEK | Updated: 4/6/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Building an impermeable security infrastructure for protecting consumers and employees
The EDEKA Group is one of Germany's most successful companies, with success attributed to the seamless collaboration between the three levels of the Group - management, wholesale, and retail. EDEKA Voth in Lemgo is one branch among several EDEKA's retailers. EDEKA HQ is located in Hamburg, where strategies are formulated to create and maintain smooth IT structures throughout the entire organization. The wholesale level, comprising seven regional wholesale businesses, is to supply top-quality goods to 4,000 subsidiary, self-employed retailers nationwide, and support management in terms of distribution and expansion. The retailers provide not only top-class products, but also friendly and professional customer service. The EDEKA Voth management acknowledges that the security plays a crucial role influencing the stability and sustainability of operations. From this aspect, EDEKA Voth places considerable effort in building an impermeable security infrastructure for protecting consumers and employees. EDEKA Voth has reviewed its security options in 2013.

A comprehensive solution is designed for encompassing the entire branch
SECOMP, a German-based distributor of VIVOTEK products, is widely known in the industrial, commercial, and institutional sectors for providing quality services in Germany. Therefore, SECOMP was commissioned to revamp the security system in EDEKA Voth. Following careful planning and cooperation with CNS in Lemgo, a comprehensive solution was designed that encompassed both indoor and outdoor surveillance throughout the entire complex. Twenty-four VIVOTEK's cameras were installed throughout the complex, comprising a combination of FD8166, FD8335H, IP7361, and MD7560.

FD8166, regarding its ultra-mini size, low-profile design and the excellent quality, was specifically selected for monitoring grocery aisle activity. Twenty FD8166 cameras, one between two aisles, were installed throughout the complex. This model features a 2-megapixel CMOS sensor capable of capturing 1920x1080 resolution video at 15 FPS. Additionally, the camera supports the industrial-standard H.264 compression technology, which drastically reduces file size and conserves network bandwidth. This technology is essential in this context due to the number of cameras installed.

The fixed dome network camera FD8335H, featuring WDR Pro, removable IR-cut filter, and built-in IR illuminators, was selected for monitoring back door activity around the clock. Designed with 1-megapixel CMOS sensor, the camera is capable of capturing 720p HD at 30 FPS. Additionally, the IK10- and IP66-rated housing renders this model ideal for outdoor applications.

The bullet style IP7361 was selected to monitor the warehouse loading area. The IP7361 is equipped with a 2-megapixel CMOS sensor (1600x1200) with a 6 to 9 mm vari-focal, auto-iris lens that enables the camera to deliver extremely detailed images at 6 times the coverage of conventional VGA cameras without sacrificing storage space or network bandwidth. Similar to the FD8335H model, the IP7361 features the IP66-rated housing, removable IR-cut filter, and built-in IR illuminators, making this model perfect for outdoor surveillance.

For the entrance of the complex, fixed dome network camera MD7560 was opted. The MD7560 features an advanced 2-megapixel CMOS sensor capable of capturing 1600x1200 resolution video. It also supports a wide-angle lens, making this camera ideal for areas with high volumes of activity, such as store entrances. The IP67-rated tamper- and vandal-proof housing further increases the robustness of the camera, enabling it to withstand the harshest environmental conditions.

Achievement: Fully satisfaction with the performance and highly confidence in future cooperation
Overall stringency in surveillance has increased significantly since the employment of the solution in November 2013 while maintaining the ease of use and seamless operations. The customer is fully satisfied with the performance of the solution and expresses confidence in future collaboration.

The strategic advantages of reinforcing the security of an organization from the bottom of the structural pyramid are countless. At a consumer level, the tangible sense of security throughout the shopping experience elevates consumers' loyalty, satisfaction, and repurchase intention, generating positive word-of-mouth. At a management level, a sound security infrastructure frees decision-makers to tackle other aspects of management, formulating decisions with greater value for the company. At an organizational level, consumers' positive word-of-mouth and managers' favorable decisions created in the previous levels reinforce investor confidence in the organization, ultimately increasing market size. Therefore, the state-of-the-art solutions developed by VIVOTEK not only explicitly satisfy security and surveillance demands, but also implicitly promote organizational progress.

Pelco HD Video upgrade at Black Oak Casino

Pelco HD Video upgrade at Black Oak Casino

Editor / Provider: Pelco | Updated: 3/11/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

In beautiful Tuolumne, California, set in the scenic Sierra Foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, sits the Black Oak Casino Resort, owned and operated by the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians. Greeting guests with the traditional native welcome of “M-Chucksus!”, the Black Oak Casino Resort provides 164,000+ square feet of gaming and entertainment options: a conference event center, real and video slot machines, table games, poker, nine restaurants and bars, a bowling center, players club, gift shop, and a kids' arcade. In addition, the entertainment venue, the Willow Creek Lounge, hosts live entertainment three nights a week. The casino also features the state's largest smoke-free gaming area. “We aim to offer our guests a resort destination for the whole family,” says Edewaa Ti Foster, the Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Tuolumne Me-Wuk Tribal Gaming Agency.

Providing an environment where there are activities for all age levels, protecting the physical safety of its patrons, employees and others in the gaming facility as well safeguarding assets that are associated with the facility is not an easy task. Therefore the type of surveillance security employed at the Black Oak Casino Resort becomes a top priority. “With a property as large as the Black Oak Casino Resort and with so many various activities, keeping an eye on assets and balancing that with creating a safe environment is definitely a challenge,” said Todd Flowers, President of Surveillance Systems Integration (SSI), based out of Roseville, California, the company selected to manage the project. The Black Oak Casino Resort, operating in Tuolumne since 2001, recently decided that it was time to upgrade its existing surveillance system to keep up with the changing needs of its facilities. “The surveillance system we had just felt dated, and we kept hearing about newer technologies, like full virtual matrix systems that could handle the volume of network traffic that is usually associated with such high resolution images that the latest security surveillance cameras provide,” Foster said. “We selected SSI because we knew we needed a partner that could help guide us through the new technology, make recommendations, and work on our project in phases to avoid causing any disruptions in the services.”

“Working with the Tuolumne Me-Wuk Tribal Gaming Agency, we could immediately see how the property could benefit from an upgrade that would include a new video management system as well as cameras, servers and a new control center to be more efficient in covering the onsite casino hotel and gaming floor, and eventually expanding to the exterior sites, such as the parking lots,” added Flowers.

The primary goals for Black Oak Casino Resort were to switch to high definition cameras, enhance the virtual matrix capability, provide a migration strategy and the equipment to upgrade to a full internet protocol (IP)-based system, and transition in a way that would be easy for the security staff to adopt. The initial project was to be done in phases over a period of 15 months.

“We started with replacing the existing standard definition analog cameras with over 400 new high definition (HD) fixed cameras, along with HD, 1080P PTZ dome cameras,” said Flowers.

High definition cameras offer security surveillance employees and law enforcement officers superior access and use of video surveillance, with more detail and wider coverage, especially helpful for video review and identification purposes. Although HD images are larger and would naturally take more bandwidth, and possibly clog up the IT infrastructure, there have been advancements in the handling of IP-based data streams. Unique data routing protocols and advanced codecs, like H.264, are able to compress the video and audio for transmission with significantly less bandwidth burden.

In addition to the new cameras, SSI also removed the existing legacy analog video matrix that provided live video and control of the existing analog pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) cameras and replaced it with the latest Pelco Endura 2.0 Video Management System (VMS). The change was made to allow full virtual matrix capabilities suitable for live surveillance applications (one of the property's primary goals) as well as leverage the existing analog cameras, wiring, and control in a complete network environment. This upgrade provided a seamless migration to the new system while allowing the security staff to maintain full control on the existing legacy analog cameras; more importantly, it created an expandable platform that would allow the addition of any number of new high definition IP cameras and operator stations without losing the responsive control and reliability of the virtual matrix.

As part of the upgrade, the Black Oak Casino Resort also had to consider how the new IP-based HD video would impact their storage of the surveillance footage. In the phased migration, new Pelco 36 TB network storage managers were installed to replace the legacy network video recorders (NVR). “By replacing the existing storage with a new NSM5200-36 network storage manager, we allowed existing MPEG4 encoded video streams from analog cameras in the system to be recorded on the same platform as the new high definition cameras that stream using the more efficient H.264 protocol. In addition, the inherent distributed architecture of the Endura IP VMS system allowed us to eliminate the potential of single points of failure so that the system could operate without interruption. "The NSM5200's multicast recording capability further streamlined the impact of HD cameras on the IT network,” and allow the recording of multicast data streams,” said Flowers.

“Despite the challenges that we knew the upgrades would present, we were extremely pleased with the advanced awareness of retrofit needs and knowledge of new technologies, not to mention the professional way that SSI exceeded our expectations in their service,” Foster commented.

In concluding the current project, Foster had one last thing to say: “We are proud of all the work our surveillance and security staff members do, and we know that technology plays a big part in it. While security surveillance is usually recognized as the dome cameras you see in businesses, these systems go well beyond the walls of the facility and are critical in helping us provide our guests with a safe and consistent experience while they are at our property. It took a “power team” to produce a power system and I am very proud of the end result! Thank you SSI, Pelco, Avaya and our TGA surveillance and surveillance tech teams.”

Hikvision partners with Agent Vi to offer intelligent solution

Hikvision partners with Agent Vi to offer intelligent solution

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 3/11/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Hikvision, the worldwide provider in innovative video surveillance products and solutions, together with Agent Video Intelligence (Agent Vi), the global provider of open architecture video analytics software, have announced strategic cooperation to integrate their products to allow Agent Vi’s embedded component to run on Hikvision cameras. The integration enables end users to run Agent Vi’s full range of video analytics solutions on up to 200 Hikvision cameras simultaneously per single server.

Cameras from Hikvision’s 4 series Smart IP camera range are the first to be included in the integration. The cameras are designed to fully meet all professional market requirements for efficient bandwidth and storage utilization, as well as unparalleled image quality and customer convenience. With 1.3/2/3MP resolution in bullet, dome and box styles available, the cameras provide versatile solutions for users’ different needs.

Agent Vi’s advanced video analytics platform, savVi, boasts a set of advanced, automated video analysis tools that provide for the immediate detection and extraction of events and valuable data from surveillance footage, replacing the manual and time-consuming tasks traditionally employed to monitor live video feeds or sift through recorded video. savVi offers the widest set of video analytics functionalities incorporated in a single product, including real-time event detection, video search and business intelligence applications.

Through the integrated solution, Agent Vi’s software component is embedded inside the Hikvision cameras, allowing customers to deploy Agent Vi’s video analytics in an optimal set up that minimizes hardware requirements and eases deployment.

“The strategic cooperation between Hikvision and Agent Vi allows Agent Vi to expand its reach to a very significant share of the global surveillance market, strengthening Agent Vi’s position as the leading global provider of video analytics,” comments Itsik Kattan, CEO of Agent Vi. “Hikvision users will benefit from the integrated solution which offers them the most comprehensive and reliable video analytics solutions on the market. The Hikvision-Agent Vi integration allows the running of a full set of video analytics functionalities on hundreds of cameras per server, making the price point for the overall solution very attractive.”

Keen Yao, International Marketing Director at Hikvision, comments, “With the embedded video analytics in Hikvision cameras, the new solution enables our users to better manage their system and help them locate critical events, to maximize security efficiency. Looking forward, Hikvision will continue to cooperate with Agent Vi to expand the integration and include more Hikvision camera models in the future.”

Quarantine zone in Italian Port protected by OPTEX Redscan laser sensors

Quarantine zone in Italian Port protected by OPTEX Redscan laser sensors

Editor / Provider: Optex | Updated: 3/9/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

General Electric (GE) Oil and Gas built a giant gas turbine in Avenza, Italy, to be sent to Australia's Barrow Island as part of the Chevron's Gorgon Project, one of the largest natural gas developments in the world. The turbine had to make a stopover in the port of Carrera for four days to be completely decontaminated before being shipped to the pristine nature reserve.

The challenge
The mega turbine was stored in the Italian port of Carrera in quarantine before being hauled onto the supertanker to its final destination. Any contact with unauthorised staff could jeopardise the whole project, so the turbine had to be fully decontaminated from microbes that could affect the extraordinary wildlife of Barrow Island. The challenge was to create a temporary high-level perimeter protection system to prevent any unauthorised access to the power modules. Considering the size of the module, a system was required that could create a virtual wall around the whole length and height of the turbine.

The solution
The system integrator specified a system that included four REDSCANs that were installed in the quarantine zone at the Harbour to control access to the mega turbine during its decontamination process. Two laser sensors were placed in vertical mode to create a virtual wall by the entrance to the storage hall, and two more were placed horizontally to scan the approach to the module itself. If any unauthorised personnel entered the critical areas, the REDSCANS triggered the security system for an immediate response. GE Oil and Gas required a high level of security for the power module that could provide guaranteed detection of any intrusion during transit to its final destination. The installation of four REDSCAN RLS-3060-L units, which feature a 15m high x 54m wide virtual wall, and a 30m radius detection zone for approach security provided the right detection areas and high-level capture performance required for this project.

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