IP Application: Video Solutions for Petrochemical Plants

Security issues faced by petrochemical sites are many and complex. A plant-wide surveillance system is therefore an essential tool to monitor incidents, protect assets, manage health and safety, detect theft and combat terrorism.

IP Video  Meeting Surveillance Needs
It is absolutely essential to have a CCTV surveillance system that can deliver the very highest quality video images from cameras located over large geographic areas. In addition, the ability for multiple users to access the same footage from different locations, both locally and remotely, is a fundamental requirement.

The combination of the video management software and the IP network creates a virtual matrix which allows video from any camera or NVR to be switched to any monitor or PC workstation, no matter where any component is located on the network. This provides a flexible and scalable solution  it is easy and inexpensive to add cameras and other components to any point on the network in the future without the need for extra cabling.

The leading IP Video systems use advanced compression based on MPEG-4 or H.264 which allows high-quality video to be transmitted around the network with minimal impact on the bandwidth. This often means that a siteˇs existing corporate LAN can accommodate the IP Video system without the need for a network upgrade.

Different people from different departments, located in different offices around the site can therefore view live and recorded video from any camera or NVR via a workstation at their desk. For example, CCTV workstations can be used by:
 Security
 Operational Management
 Engineering
 Health and Safety
 General Management

This gives a petrochemical plant the flexibility to easily and cost-effectively integrate CCTV surveillance into their operations and establish off-site control rooms or monitor multiple sites from one central point. In fact many plants are using IP Video for operational management as well as security.

Video Performance
High quality IP Video systems stream and record high-resolution (4CIF) video continuously at 25/30fps, without frame dropping at very low latency. Therefore PTZ camera control over very long distances is achievable. A petrochemical site is a high motion, 24/7 operation, therefore, the surveillance system needs to be performing to these high standards at all times.

Video Analysis and Analytics
Camera-based, real-time analytics and tools for post-event analysis of recorded footage in the video management software allow operators to use the IP video system for a wide range of applications:
 Theft and criminal activity - deterrence and detection of theft, acts of terrorism and other criminal activity
 Security perimeter breeches - virtual tripwire and motion detection analytics can automatically trigger intrusion alarms
 Auditing - time-stamped video allows confirmation of site activity, product loss, deliveries and conflict resolution
 Health and Safety breaches - video clips of incidents can be exported as training aids and evidence to the authorities
 Vehicle movement - vehicles such as fuel tankers can be monitored for deviation from normal routes or behavior
 Operational effectiveness - post analysis of plant activity and incidents can help improve processes and procedures
 Access control integration - recording of people and/or vehicle registrations when entering the plant, triggered by normal access control entry or illegal access alarms

Video Recording and Offsite Use
The fault tolerance and reliability that petrochemical companies and regulators insist upon must be reflected in their CCTV systems. A good IP video system addresses this with robust hardware design of video encoders and NVRs and flexible system configurations. This provides fail safe redundancy through means of back-up NVRs, and dual network connections providing zero-point failure systems.

The distributed architecture and NVR solutions of IP Video systems allow CCTV footage and alarms to be easily recorded offsite for post-event analysis, should a major site incident occur.

Installation and Migration
IP Video vendors typically offer a range of encoding hardware that provide options for a total IP based system or an analog/IP hybrid solution where existing analog hardware can be integrated. At the heart of the system is the video management and alarm monitoring software. A secure login workstation allows operators to view and analyze live and recorded video from any camera on the network whilst also providing a powerful alarm handling environment, duplex audio switching, site reference maps and analytics. Often the software is provided licence-free and can be deployed throughout a site at no additional cost. Hardwired or wireless IP networks allow rapid deployment of new cameras for new construction areas or security hot-spots. Any analog CCTV camera can be connected to the network using transmitter/receiver modules.

IP Video systems provide the necessary components to allow a staged upgrade to total IP. Importantly, this approach also allows a hot transition, whereby the digital system is installed in parallel to the existing system and no camera feeds are lost while the system is commissioned and tested.

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