Wisconsin electronic parts manufacturer eyes remote security management as marketing and profit-generating tools

Wisconsin electronic parts manufacturer eyes remote security management as marketing and profit-generating tools

Norstan, a US electronic parts manufacturer based in Wisconsin, replaced its legacy security system with an advanced security system consisting of biometric time-clock auditing, plus Matrix Systems' mobile surveillance and access control systems to improve profitability and secure doors. Matrix also upgraded the resolution of seven existing Ganz analog cameras, which helped Norstan save US$3,000. The analog cameras were integrated with Geovision software and hardware, and another 10 Geovision high-resolution cameras were added to cover the 3,716-square-meter (30,000-square-foot) facility.

Many CEO's think their security systems are just for opening doors, but John Nordigian, CEO of Norstan, envisioned video monitoring of his plant from anywhere in the world with his mobile phone, and state-of-the-art security technology to  reduce insurance costs, attract and retain Fortune 500 clients. One of the technological challenges during installation was finding a solution that could integrate with its existing five-door HID format key fob door reader system, which would cost approximately $2,800 to replace and install.

Matrix Systems enterprise-based access control system, which uses Mercury and HID access controller subsystems and its open architecture features allowed integration of third party technology. For larger views in remote locations, Nordigian can use a notebook computer, or unlock doors, respond to alarms and most other security functions via mobile apps that connect to the plant's access control system security workstation server from remote locations.

The main challenge, though, was integrating Nordigian's iPhone and Droid-X mobile apps, and his laptop computer into the upgraded video surveillance system.  Nordigian can now monitor any of the company's 17 video surveillance cameras anywhere within seconds through the access control security software using iPhone or Droix-X mobile apps. Matrix Systems built in functionality such as PTZ for closer looks. The CEO finds the iPhone's AT&T network more reliable abroad than the Droid-X's Verizon network, while domestically the iPhone's DGI software loading time and functionality, such as remote operating PTZ capabilities on surveillance cameras  outperformed Android GDA. The remote mobility feature is also capable of temporary access authorization, such as allowing an industrial service contractor into a secure area to repair a particular stamping machine. Future video improvements will include a conversion to IP to integrate into the access control system and add video voice-over to add audio capabilities for instant feedback and communication.

New cameras and digital recording capabilities through the access control system gave Norstan a hedge against illegal dumpers who potentially place illegal materials in the facility's dumpster, which could result in fines or recycling fees. Videos are stored on a NVR for 60 days.The mobile devices are also invaluable for afterhours alarm situations where Nordigian can go online within seconds after receiving an alarm phone call and inspect the entire plant from home or abroad.

Besides lowering operational costs, the new system is also attracting and retaining clients. "After we supplied the detailed plans of the installed the access control and GeoVision systems, a client was impressed with our system and commitment to protecting their on-site assets,” said Nordigan. “As a result, they chose to retain our services versus going to a competitor." Insurance carriers also took notice of the upgraded security system, which enabled Nordigian to negotiate a 10-percent insurance cost reduction.

Adding more functionality to Norstan's security was the impetus for replacing the prior access control system, which stopped providing updates for Microsoft SQL platforms and also crashed periodically. For example, many employee subgroups have been created for various authorization levels. Sensitive area access, such a precious metals inventories, tool areas and IT rooms are now accessible to employees authorized by the system with full audit trails provided by the new access control system. Employees see benefits as well, such as improved protection for personal property such as tools, autos and lockers. The system offers a safer work environment because of its capabilities of terminating potentially disgruntled former employee access just moments after dismissal.



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