24/7 site monitoring is essential for enforcing site security measures in the shipbuilding industry. IP video is the key to achieve this purpose.
With a celebrated 140-year history of shipbuilding, Belfast-based Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries operates one of the largest dry docks in the world and specialises in ship and offshore unit design, construction, repair, conversion and decommissioning. Since 1861, the company has built some of the worldˇs best-known ships, but none more so than the RMS Titanic.
Faced, however, with increasing competition and the steady decline of the shipbuilding industry, Harland and Wolff has diversified its portfolio and now focuses on design and structural engineering in the marine, offshore and civil engineering sectors. Recent projects include renewable energy developments such as offshore wind farms and tidal power constructions, as well as oil rigs and bridges.
Robust site security and surveillance are integral to Harland and Wolffˇs business operations.With a 90 acre site, accommodating a building dock, ship repair dock (Belfast Dry Dock), ship repair (Outfit Quay) and major yard access, round-the-clock site monitoring and the ability for project managers and clients to view the progress being made on their projects is essential for maintaining customer satisfaction, and enforcing site security and health and safety measures.
The Situation and Obstacle
With such a vast area to monitor and the need to comply with the latest port security legislations, Harland and Wolffˇs traditional video deployment, consisting of approximately 55 cameras, was no longer fit for purpose. The legacy video network proved extremely limiting as it was made up of two separate systems — one in ship repair and one in the main heavy industries site that were unable to interact. Consequently, only security staff at each site was able to view transmitted images.
Rather than working in silos, the surveillance systems had to work together and image access had to be extended, so that staff on the network could view ongoing projects anywhere, at anytime. For security reasons, customers also wished to ensure that a state-of-the-art videosystem was in operation before bringing their vessels to the dry dock.
Harland and Wolff wished to maintain its reputation for using cutting-edge technology and decided that a 21st century surveillance system was required. However, in order to provide the necessary flexibility and resilience, sufficient bandwidth was essential and the company faced the challenge of being located in an open environment on reclaimed land that had been reinforced with 10 to 12 feet of concrete to support crane rails and operations. Digging up the ground to run fiber optic cabling to the required sites would be both time-consuming and costly.
The IP Solution
To harness the potential of IP technology and ensure that its site was adequately monitored, Harland and Wolff turned to Telindus to design and implement a new video infrastructure and surveillance system for the site perimeter. Working with Alvarion, Cisco and DVTel, Telindus connected 39 cameras across the two dry docks and the ship repair site, as well as the main yard and internal and perimeter floodlighting towers, using fibre, wireless and xDSL connections. By linking Harland and Wolffˇs existing and new cameras in areas that were difficult to access, Telindus saved the company the cost of digging up the concrete to install fibre cables. The company deployed the DVTel intelligent Security Operations Centre (iSOC) IP video surveillance solution to enable staff to monitor the organisation's 90 acres from anywhere on the network, at anytime.
With staff able to access images from anywhere, the new IP system enables surveillance cameras to be utilised for business as well as security purposes. Video feeds can be shared across the health and safety, sales and marketing and HR departments, and project managers and customers can monitor the progress being made on their ships whether they are on or off site. Static cameras have been positioned for clocking in and out purposes and the dry dock gates can be monitored for leaks. Equipped with PDAs and laptops, Harland and Wolffˇs sales and marketing team can also show potential clients worldwide the facilities available in real-time by logging onto the network rather than simply handing them a brochure.
"With a site as large as ours, located on difficult terrain, upgrading our surveillance system presented a real challenge.If increased security is required, additional cameras can be quickly installed on the network as and when they are needed. A business of our size has to ensure that its IT is future-proof and that it is making the best use of the network it has, so with this in mind, we're currently working on running voice, CCTV and data all over one network," said Robert McIlwaine, Group IT Executive, Harland and Wolff.
"The requirement to have real mobility of the video recording system depending on the type of construction being undertaken was a driving reason for Telindus to select the DVTel solution. Unification is the real winner on this site proving that IT and CCTV are now aligned," saidDVTelˇs EMEA MD, David Petrook. Looking ahead, Harland and Wolff wants to extend the surveillance system to include its manufacturing shops and linking it to a new access control system. The company is also examining the use of RFID tagging on lifting rigs to increase site safety and better track assets throughout the entire estate.