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Chemical Plant Secured by Siemens Surveillance Solution

Source: Siemens Building Technologies | Date: 08/05/2011

Related tags: PPG, Surveillance, Siemens

Chemical manufacturing facilities have always placed a high priority on public and environmental safety but today manufacturers must also now consider the threat of intrusion and attacks. Thanks to a management solution from Siemens Building Technologies Division, security procedures at a chemical manufacturing facility owned by PPG Industries are greatly enhanced.

Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global manufacturer and supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, specialty materials, chemicals, glass and fiber glass. Serving customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets, it operates on the leading edge of new technologies and solutions. The company operates in more than 60 countries around the globe.

PPG reviewed the surveillance system at one of its largest and uniquely located sites. While the system recorded activity 24 hours a day, accurate real-time surveillance was limited to periods when security guards watched video-feed without interruption. It was a relatively simple matter to realize that the software intelligence built into the solution from Siemens Building Technologies Division, would enhance protection of the site, with the additional benefit of simultaneously reducing surveillance costs.

The Siemens solution is an automated large-scale video surveillance solution that transforms traditional physical security systems by combining camera and other sensor (intrusion, fire detection, access control etc.) input. It provides reliable protection for industrial facilities, transportation hubs and byways such as seaports and airports, water treatment facilities and other critical infrastructure by continuously monitoring sites through intelligent policy zones and virtual barriers even across water. It detects, tracks, and classifies activity in real time, filtering critical events from camera and other sensor input, displaying the results on a comprehensive digital map of the entire site on a single screen. This enables operators to see exactly what is happening at any time throughout the whole site. Integrated 3-D analytics determine object attributes in absolute “real-world“ coordinates. This requires fewer cameras and helps lower infrastructure cost compared to 2-D analytics.

At the PPG site, the software-driven nerve center of the solution takes input from many cameras and provides a live, bird's-eye view of the entire manufacturing facility, spanning more than 1,000 acres and including a mile of shoreline as well as railway entry and exit points. This composite view takes the guesswork out of tracking objects that move from camera to camera, so operators always know the accurate location of every object in the facility.Detailed information about anything suspicious is readily available.

The perimeter and other sensitive areas are protected by ‘Alert' zones. This automated triggering of instantaneous alerts substantially reduces the cost of monitoring, giving around-the-clock protection. When anything unexpected occurs, the solution automatically detects any activity, pinpoints the location and tracks the perpetrators whilst simultaneously alerting guards through audio, video notifications, and e-mail alerts. This ability to efficiently deploy guards rapidly and efficiently helps prevent the escalation of incidents. Alerts are triggered from changes as simple as a vehicle or an individual entering a restricted area, but can also be triggered by object speed or size. Alert areas are easily and instantly set or changed by dragging area boundaries in the composite image of the site and can be adjusted using preset shortcuts. The open architecture enables the solution to run on standard hardware and software and allows it to be modified and expanded to respond to changing security needs. It easily accommodates site-specific operational conditions and varying security requirements allowing the limiting of access to selected areas or the entire site, the specification of varying security level requirements within the site and the raising or lowering of security levels in accordance with threat levels or evolving governmental mandates.

Planning and implementation of the system at the PPG site was assisted by the skill of Siemens staff and the solution was delivered ahead of schedule. This gave security personnel at PPG time to get practical, hands-on experience before the system went live and after just a single day of training, operators were using the system successfully.

Troy Higginbotham, Senior Tech Analyst of PPG, said, "I have been working with Siemens' surveillance software since 2003. In my opinion, the latest  version is the best upgrade since its inception. The ability to track a single object with multiple interrogation cameras and auto-zoom to a factor based on how far the object is from that camera is very impressive.

Higginbotham continued, "I have had the opportunity to work with the system for a few hours in order to re-acquaint myself and the advances made have amazed me. Siemens' professional services team, along with the technical support team, has done everything needed to make this project a successful upgrade"

Shortly after the Siemens' solution was operational, a mock attack was staged with actors portraying terrorists. Operators tracked, monitored, and recorded the progress of the ‘intruders' by vessel and on foot, via the screen image of the site. Never before had security officials at the site been able to detect and monitor a potential threat to their facility so effectively. They then dispatched guards to their exact locations.

The Siemens solution has now become the foundation of the security program at the site because it seamlessly integrates new and existing sensor types and allows the client to manage all surveillance-related security issues easily from a single point.

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