Sony IP network cameras maintain security for Chinese steel producer

Sony IP network cameras maintain security for Chinese steel producer
China's second biggest steel manufacturer
Ansteel Group is the second-largest steel producer in the People's Republic of China. Headquartered at Anshan in Liaoning Province, the state-owned company manufactures cold rolled sheets, plates, pipes and rails plus a wide range of other iron and raw steel products.

Maintaining security on a major scale
The sheer size of Ansteel's principal site in Anshan presents some major security challenges. Workshops and manufacturing plants are scattered across a wide area that resembles an industrialised city, criss-crossed by a dense network of roads.

Precious metal alloys and other valuable materials are stored at many separate locations. The main plant and associated facilities are accessed via a large number of gates, with a huge number of vehicles entering and leaving every day. The sheer volume of traffic passing through the site had resulted in a large number of vehicle accidents at busy road junctions between factory areas.

Valuable materials were frequently smuggled out of the plant in road vehicles. What's more, the factory's fenced areas had become a conduit for thieves to access to the site.

Theft prevention, employee safety and general security were key concerns for the Ansteel's management. The company's existing CCTV system had fallen far short of operational requirements, delivering fuzzy, poor-quality pictures that prevented accurate detection of unlawful activity – especially in low light. A mix of camera brands from different manufacturers meant unreliable image quality, with inconsistent levels of detail and colour reproduction. The ageing analogue system also suffered frequent making it increasingly unreliable and expensive to maintain.

The company thus decided to invest in a major upgrade of its video monitoring and surveillance facilities in order to reduce theft and safeguard staff while reducing operational costs.

A clear picture in the toughest environments
To address the wide spectrum of security issues facing the plant, Ansteel Group Automation Company implemented a large-scale video security system. Standardising on Sony Full HD network cameras has allowed the company to achieve reliable round-the-clock surveillance at over 450 separate locations across the complex.

The cameras are installed at factory gates, road junctions, store rooms, fences and other strategic locations. HD video is streamed from the cameras at a smooth 30 frames per second. Pictures are crisp and clear, even in low light where ordinary CCTV cameras struggle. An optical zoom range of up to 30x allows detail-packed close-ups, helping pinpoint anomalous activity with confidence.

The rugged cameras are also designed for dependable performance in all weathers – including temperatures of minus 30C in the harsh winters of north eastern China.

Tighter security, easier administration
Administering the site-wide solution is handled by Ansteel's regular IT staff. Images are transmitted across a dedicated IP video network that is effectively a secure 'sub-net' within Ansteel's wider IT infrastructure. Security staff can log in to the network to view High Definition images in real time or search recordings. This allows effective oversight of the movement of vehicles and materials, as well as providing evidence to police in the event of traffic accidents or other incidents.

The move to an all-Sony video security solution has paid big dividends for Ansteel. There's been a significant decrease in accidents and theft, with the company passing video evidence of unlawful activities to Public Security Bureau investigators.
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