Wyoming Mining Operation Enhanced by Firetide Video Mesh
Firetide | Date:
Firetide, the provider of wireless infrastructure mesh networks, announced that FMC Corporation, a diversified chemical company serving agricultural, industrial, environmental and consumer markets globally, has selected Firetide's HotPort infrastructure mesh network for video surveillance security throughout its soda ash plant located in Wyoming's Green River Basin. The wireless network connects IP video cameras located at multiple locations across the plant, enabling security staff to centrally monitor activity from a command center 24 x 7. With the ability to view live video feeds, the network improves overall safety and enables much faster dispatch of security and safety officers where and when they are needed.
When FMC first realized they needed to deploy cameras at many remote mine shaft locations, it was not clear how much fiber or cable line infrastructure was available. In order to support the expansion of a complex network of high-end pan tilt zoom (PTZ) security video cameras across the plant, they asked their security system integrator SimplexGrinnell to come up with a solution. After investigating, it was clear that FMC needed an extremely robust and reliable wireless solution that could support the bandwidth required for high-quality video. After looking over several wireless vendors, SimplexGrinnell selected Firetide, to supply the wireless infrastructure mesh video network to monitor the 40 square mile plant and its operations.
“Given there was very limited existing cable or fiber infrastructure, it was clear that FMC needed a robust wireless network that could support the bandwidth required for capturing high-quality video while providing instantaneous control of high-end PTZ cameras,” said Robert Oldham, Integrated Security Solutions Expert for SimplexGrinnell. “The ability to deploy high-quality video and PTZ camera control to remote locations eliminated the need for remote servers or video recording systems and allowed us to place the expensive servers and storage at a centralized secure location and then deploy cameras anywhere needed, dramatically increasing the reliability and serviceability of the system.”
FMC and SimplexGrinnell began deploying Firetide's wireless infrastructure mesh in 2010. As the value of the wireless network became increasingly noticeable, new funds were allocated yearly for new Firetide expansion phases. The network continues to grow and is currently being expanded to provide more coverage to the mine and plant facilities.
Designing a reliable and high-performance wireless network for FMC's soda ash mine in Wyoming was particularly challenging and required careful selection of network equipment that would accommodate the wide-range of environmental forces. The customer's requirements for the network are that it be capable of withstanding: temperatures that drop to -40 degrees during winter; high temperatures over 100 degrees; heavy snowfall; extreme high winds; and a very dusty soda ash mine environment.
The Firetide network enables FMC's security forces to view large areas surrounding the mine shaft sites in real time, greatly increasing their security and safety team response times. The wireless video network also provides the ability to make immediate informed decisions depending on the urgency and type of response that is needed for each specific incident, and whether or not dispatch needs to send security or safety vehicles.
“The Firetide wireless network opens up the door for us to deploy excellent video surveillance at virtually any location for a fraction of the cost of deploying cable or fiber,” said Cristian Diaz of FMC. “Furthermore, the quality of the Firetide wireless network enables us to provide a backbone that enables camera operators to have instantaneous control of each of the video cameras. It is always a huge relief for IT when we can provide a fast, reliable stand-alone network for our video cameras, eliminating the need for us to consume business use network bandwidth.”
The video security system at FMC's Wyoming soda ash mine currently includes 14 Firetide HotPort 7020 mesh nodes, Firetide HotView Pro network management software and 25 Panasonic IP PTZ. Not only do the video cameras act as deterrence for external and internal theft of cable and construction materials, they are also used in emergency response situations. Video feeds are securely stored for 45 days and can be used as effective evidence in court, reducing time and expense for prosecuting cases.
“In the past, FMC could only have cameras in the limited areas where cabled infrastructure was available. Firetide wireless infrastructure mesh networks allow FMC to easily and cost-effectively expand their video surveillance network to cover more mine shaft sites and to provide an increased level of security that would not have been otherwise possible,” said Bo Larsson, CEO of Firetide. “This demonstrates once again the flexibility and reliability of our wireless infrastructure mesh technology, whether deployed for video surveillance or any other mission-critical application.”