Tag Archives: Remote Monitoring

Remote sites upgrade delivers enhanced security for energy provider

Working to a tight ten-week schedule, four teams of Secom engineers recently completed a significant electronic security upgrade at no less than 150 critical sites resident within the UK’s energy infrastructure network.

The project – covering offices as well as remote locations with no staff – involved replacing key legacy equipment and software to create a superior platform for the remote monitoring of CCTV surveillance systems. It brought the 150 sites up to the same high standards of security as the customer’s other 250-plus sites across the UK.

Phil Lamb, Secom’s general manager for regional sales, feels that installation of new transmission units has allowed a switch for all of the customer’s sites to a more robust and cutting-edge video control platform in the Alarm Receiving Centre.

“Security is of course a major consideration for infrastructure service providers, but can prove to be challenging because of the many remote locations needed to ensure uninterrupted delivery to consumers nationwide. Reliable CCTV and alarm systems are important tools in dealing with issues that might affect the continuity of supply or any other risks of compromising security or Health and Safety concerns if, for example, there’s an unauthorised entry.”

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Lamb said the customer was facing a critical need as its existing transmission units had become obsolete. With the existing video management software there was a growing risk of losing connectivity with remote sites – and also, therefore, visibility of site issues.

“The decision to replace obsolete hardware and software was initiated to mitigate the risk of major security incidents by creating a more stable platform. Our role was to replace the end-of-life kit with the latest generation transmission units. As the incumbent service provider, we have intimate knowledge of each site and could evade potential issues, using our engineering skills to design issues out of the tight schedule by dint of using detailed process maps.”

The software platform was upgraded to meet customer expectations. Due to the nature of the replacement project, Secom hand-picked engineers for the four teams and also provided dedicated project managers.

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Revader Security to demonstrate enhanced mobile CCTV system capabilities at Security and Policing 2018

Mobile CCTV manufacturer Revader Security will be demonstrating its new and improved redeployable cameras and mobile surveillance tower at Security and Policing 2018, which takes place at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre on 6-8 March.

The company’s specialist security products are engineered to perform in harsh environments. They’re straightforward to install in virtually any location and can be rapidly repositioned to respond to changing security demands. Power options include mains, battery, Power over Ethernet (PoE), diesel and renewable sources.

The company will be presenting two new products at the show – a new mobile CCTV tower and a compact redeployable CCTV solution.

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The Galaxy Mobile CCTV Tower is a complete outdoor surveillance solution on wheels which acts as an all-seeing ‘eye in the sky’. The product incorporates four high-end HD cameras set at 360° for 30-metre viewing, a single HD PTZ camera with 150-metre viewing, night vision capability, sensors, alarm inputs, audio, wireless/4G connectivity with dual SIM architecture, extensive local storage, remote monitoring/download and several power options ranging from battery through to diesel.

The CCTV tower is primarily intended for overt deployment by law enforcement and security operators in remote or hazardous locations or at public events and demonstrations. It has also attracted interest for use as a cost-effective solution for construction site CCTV and security guarding replacement in high security areas.

In parallel, Revader Security’s new compact redeployable CCTV solution, designated the Tuu, is constructed from high-grade aluminium or stainless steel and suitable for use in harsh IP67/IP68-rated environments. The Tuu network combines HD PTZ or 360° cameras with 5 TB on-board storage and PoE single cabling.

The units are ideally suited for use by the police, the military and Government customers for evidential recording in custody suites, bio-hazard units and interview rooms and at  operating bases. They’re also a cost-effective option for general purpose indoor and outdoor CCTV, offering end users the ability to rapidly reposition the cameras according to changing surveillance demands and operational requirements.

Stuart Caldecourt, managing director at Revader Security, told Risk UK: “We’re looking forward to demonstrating our enhanced redeployable CCTV solutions to police and Government customers at this important event. We’ve already had a great deal of interest in our new mobile CCTV towers from security operators wishing to replace traditional security guarding with a more cost-effective and reliable alternative. We’re also continuing to impress customers with our ruggedised and redeployable CCTV cameras which are being used in an ever-growing range of scenarios, from construction sites and quarries through to town centres and even in high security laboratories.”

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KBC makes upgrading analogue to IP “simple and cost-effective” with development of EoC/EoU transmission

KBC Networks, the developer of industrial transmission equipment for IP and HD systems, recently introduced its new and robust eCopper product line featuring Ethernet over Coax (EoC) and Ethernet over UTP (EoU) transmission in a multi-port design perfect for using existing copper cable infrastructure to accommodate IP cameras.

This simple and innovative product family offers a cost-effective way to connect the latest in IP cameras using existing coax or copper wiring to a remote monitoring station. Through the copper infrastructure, eCopper powers both its transmitter and remote cameras, eliminating the need for any additional power source at the camera site.

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eCopper also provides Power over Coax (PoC) management, giving system operators the ability to remotely turn each port’s power on and off from the central monitoring location. This PoC feature is a plug-and-play solution with a user-friendly GUI affording easy set-up and system maintenance.

“Our eCopper products offer integrators an excellent alternative to rewiring an entire location when they upgrade to IP cameras,” said Domenic Isola, director of strategic accounts for KBC Networks. “It makes retrofitting affordable and adds power and functionality while using existing infrastructure.”

The eCopper product line offers a single-channel transmitter and single, 4, 8 and 16-channel receivers, available for both EoC and EoU transmission. The single-channel transmitter and receiver can be wall-mounted while the four-channel variant offers a wall or DIN rail mount. The eight and 16-channel receivers come as a 1 U high rack mount.

*For more information about KBC’s eCopper product line visit the company’s website at www.kbcnetworks.com

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Army veteran secures role with Visual Verification following traumatic IED episode in Afghanistan

Army veteran Lamin Manneh was left fighting for his life after stepping on an improvised explosive device (IED) while deployed in Afghanistan. After surviving his injury and defeating all the odds, Manneh – who’s now a triple amputee – has landed a new role with Visual Verification, one of the UK’s leading remote security monitoring specialists.

Manneh’s new position as a security monitor marks his first employment since being discharged from the Army.

“Life can throw challenges at you and it certainly did with me,” said Manneh. “However, I believe everything brings its own opportunities, and I was determined to make the most of the new future I faced.”

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This fighting spirit helped Manneh to win a Bronze Medal at the Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida earlier this year. Organised by Prince Harry, the Games feature wounded and medically discharged servicemen and women from around the world competing in the sports arena.

Manneh was also part of Nick Knowles’ DIY SoS team, helping to transform an abandoned street in North Manchester into a veterans’ village, which is now known as Veterans’ Street. This event was supported by both Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge.

“My whole life has been about aiming to be the best I can, and having a job is no different,” Manneh continued. “Many people have supported me when times have been tough, so I owe it to them and my family to achieve all that I can.”

Mark Rooke, general manager at Visual Verification, stated: “In the short time he’s been with us, Lamin has impressed with his abilities and really positive attitude. He’s a great team player and we’re delighted to have him working at Visual Verification.”

Visual Verification is part of Security Monitoring Centres Ltd and UTC Climate, Controls and Security, itself a business unit within the United Technologies Corporation.

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84% of small businesses call for intelligent video surveillance as existing systems “fail to protect premises”

A survey1 of small businesses in the UK has discovered that 84% of retail, office and hospitality owners are looking for video surveillance with high resolution images and intelligent features such as remote monitoring to provide superior security for their premises.

85% of respondents also stated that high quality and reliability would be important purchasing considerations when looking to invest in video surveillance.

The survey demonstrates a wide consensus among small business owners that current surveillance solutions in place are not viable to provide the necessary proof of crime at a time when the cost of shop theft is at an all-time high2. It also reveals that new technology is sought to provide the required security level within a given business.

Axis Communications carried out the survey in order to establish small business owners’ key challenges regarding video surveillance and how they believe it could be improved. In addition to stating that high quality images and the ability to access footage remotely on a smart phone or other device is desirable, 70% also suggested that ease-of-use is also high on the agenda.

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In light of accessible intelligent technology, 82% of small business owners are considering new video surveillance technology for their premises in order to provide a more up-to-date solution.

The survey results also demonstrate the challenges currently faced by small business owners in regards to their existing video surveillance solutions. A number of factors were revealed as unsatisfactory within their present set-up, including poor quality of images and difficulty of use.

These small business owners reported facing issues with their current video surveillance including “bad quality of system”, “lack of ability to monitor outside of premises” and providing “limited proof of crime”. This feedback further confirms the desire for more intelligent surveillance solutions to help protect businesses and make staff feel safe.

Atul Rajput, regional director for Northern Europe at Axis Communications, observed: “Pioneering technology and the benefits that come with it shouldn’t be limited to corporate entities. With the help of dedicated IT and security installers, the network camera is becoming more accessible and affordable for the small business than ever before. Many small business owners have an awareness that high quality, intelligent solutions are available and are looking for guidance as to how they can make the most of this to protect their premises and, ultimately, their bottom line. A rise in theft and the continued improvements in technology such as remote monitoring and high-quality images are only set to exacerbate this situation.”

Rajput continued: “As legacy video surveillance solutions become obsolete, we’re witnessing a shift in the ways small businesses adopt new solutions. Once regarded as a standalone investment, many now consider IP cameras as a vital upgrade that forms a part of their larger IT infrastructure. Along with this, end users are also looking to remotely access live and pre-recorded video footage anytime and anywhere. The ultimate benefit of this is a solution that delivers information rapidly and cost-effectively and that can benefit from the latest applications as and when they become available.”

References 

1Research was conducted by OnePoll independent market researchers on behalf of Axis Communications between 22 July and 10 August 2016 via an online survey. 500 UK business owners of companies with 1-20 employees that would be involved in the decision to purchase video surveillance equipment for their company premises were surveyed

2http://brc.org.uk/news/2016/cost-of-theft-for-retailers-at-highest-level-since-records-began

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VCA’s analytics energise security and operations for oil and gas sector

Video analytics is increasingly being used as a powerful tool to help remotely monitor and protect vulnerable facilities such as gas and oil pipelines. According to Michael von Hauff, CEO of Osprey Informatics, it can also assist operations managers to improve productivity for the host organisation.

Since it was established in 2012, Osprey Informatics has been on a mission to revolutionise the use of video to automate and remotely manage industrial operations. Unlike traditional video surveillance models, the company believes that visual information should not be the exclusive domain of corporate security, but rather seen as an asset that can be used throughout an organisation, with a measurable return on investment.

Indeed, it’s this philosophy that has resulted in Osprey Informatics acquiring a long list of prestigious clients, among them Husky Energy and the Pembina Pipeline Corporation.

“A recent report published by MarketsandMarkets Research estimates the oil and gas security and service market will grow from a value of USD26.34 billion in 2015 to USD33.90 billion by 2020,” said von Hauff. “Perhaps this isn’t surprising given the ever-increasing sophisticated activities of organised criminal gangs, as well as the risk of terrorist attacks which can result in major disruption to supplies and potential loss of life, as well as damage to the environment.”

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Continuing this theme, von Hauff stated: “With this in mind, our clients are looking to invest in the latest video surveillance technology to ensure they can respond effectively to any threats. We have helped our clients achieve this objective by relying on VCA’s analytics solutions to play a key role.”

Event detection

VCA analytics, developed in the UK by a team of computer vision scientists, can detect movement within very small areas of a video image and provide operators with a powerful ‘exception’ reporting tool to help identify suspicious activity and, when appropriate, despatch security officers or quickly report the incident to one of the Emergency Services.

The ability to do this is significant as it’s widely acknowledged that operators can miss important events after monitoring video for more than 30 minutes or so. The possibility of this happening is increased when individual operators are tasked to view multiple screens.

Not to be confused with Video Motion Detection (VMD), which works on the basis of detecting changes in the light scales of pixels within a video image, VCA analytics is able to provide a far more reliable and accurate solution. It does so by analysing on a frame-by-frame basis the metadata related to the motion and properties of objects within a video stream. The result is a high detection rate and a dramatic reduction in the kind of false alarms that can be generated by VMD software.

Productivity, safety and security

“As part of an integrated video surveillance solution, VCA analytics can provide immediate access to images relevant to urgent operational events, allowing operators to respond quickly to production and environmental incidents as well as security threats,” added von Hauff.

“Companies operating in the oil and gas sector understand the need to protect the environment. They also take the responsibility of creating safe working conditions for employees very seriously and recognise the importance of compliance with Health and Safety policies. VCA analytics can clearly help in these areas. The same technology can be deployed to identify opportunities for improving operational efficiencies. It does this by providing accurate data on a wide range of activities, such as the movement of vehicles and personnel at facilities and remote sites.”

von Hauff cites Pembina Pipeline Corporation, which has grown into one of Canada’s largest integrated energy infrastructure companies over the last six decades, as an excellent example of one of its clients that has embraced video analytics as a way of protecting its investment in the infrastructure used to transport oil and natural gas across North America.

Using its own brand of HD IP cameras and domes with VCA analytics on board, Osprey Informatics has supplied a state-of-the-art monitoring solution that provides the Pembina Pipeline Corporation with a high level of situational awareness through the use of innovative, user-friendly technology to protect its people, assets and the environment.

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Vicom helps London Underground protect key depot with security solution from MOBOTIX

MOBOTIX AG, a leading manufacturer of digital high resolution, network-based video security systems has been involved with a project for London Underground (LU) using thermal imaging technology to protect a service depot.

At one of its service depots, LU began a security upgrade project that needed to take into account the limitations imposed by the depot’s location while addressing the need to maintain 24-hour a day access complete with a full audit of who has accessed the site and what equipment had been removed.

LU was also keen to avoid using cumbersome PTZ cameras and external housings while still ensuring the site was always covered and using the least number of devices to increase reliability of the system.

Vicom, a highly-regarded systems specialist with a number of successful rail sector projects under its belt, duly proposed an innovative solution using a combination of MOBOTIX thermal and hemispheric cameras featuring advanced analytics with local access control and remote monitoring.

By using MOBOTIX’s decentralised concept and dual lens cameras, the proposal would provide intelligent analytics able to detect site intruders during the day and night without the need for external perimeter lighting.

Site survey and capability testing

Vicom carried out a detailed site survey and capability test at the depot location to ensure the site could be monitored both day and night.

Due to the dual lens capabilities and hemispheric models, the entire site was designed to be secured using just six cameras.

The system is also integrated alongside IP access control, intruder alarm and Public Address systems which are remotely monitored 365 days per annum by an NSI Gold-accredited Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC).

Through the use of built-in Power-over-Ethernet capability and the MOBOTIX MxPEG video encoder technology, all video from the site is relayed back to the ARC over a single BT provisioned broadband circuit.

The simplicity of the installation meant that the whole project, including exhaustive testing and sign-off phases, took just 12 weeks to complete.

The flexibility of the system means that different areas can be armed independently while the thermal imaging combined with the MOBOTIX MxAnalytics system built into each camera can detect movement and emit an audible alarm, warning any intruders to leave the area.

MxAnalytics also makes it possible to track the movement of people and objects in a given image. The end user is able to collect statistical behaviour data to maintain a complete audit of site activity.

Since implementation, the system has been extremely effective with only some minor remedial work required to secure the site against the encroachment of urban wildlife such as foxes that occasionally trigged alarms.

Adoption at other sites

John Hinds CEng MIET, senior telecommunications engineer at London Underground, said: “This has proven to be a successful project. Based on the results, it’s definitely an approach we could consider adopting at other sites across the capital.”

Paul Bonnet, managing director for Vicom, added: “This is a great example of how innovative IP video surveillance systems can help save hundreds of thousands of pounds each year in security guarding costs while at the same time delivering the flexibility and accessibility that customers require without compromising on security.”

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