The extremely detailed high contrast thermal images allow easy and reliable intruder detection
FLIR thermal imaging cameras have proved to be a premium security solution for companies throughout the world. One company that utilises thermal imaging cameras from FLIR to secure its premises is the well-known watchmaker Fossil. To secure its European headquarters – located near Grabenstätt, Germany – Fossil opted for FLIR thermal imaging security cameras. “It delivers a first rate security solution”, explains Maximilian Wimmer, Project Manager of the new building. “But perhaps even more importantly: thermal imaging cameras provide a solution that’s intuitive and easy to understand. You can immediately see what’s going on in a clear thermal image.”
“This building contains Fossil’s European administration and marketing departments but it also contains the biggest store of Fossil products worldwide. We needed a first class security system to make sure nothing is taken illegitimately or damaged by trespassers during the night. For that purpose we use FLIR thermal imaging security cameras”, explains Wimmer.
“One of the main reasons why we chose thermal imaging cameras from FLIR is the fact that we had good contacts with FLIR integrator Emtec Chieming and they advised us to go for the thermal solution”, continues Wimmer.
FLIR thermal imaging: the best and the most cost-effective solution
“In fact, thermal imaging was the most cost-effective option in this situation”, adds Helmut Schmid, director of Emtec Chieming. “A solution with other sensors such as window sensors would be very expensive, for this building simply has too many doors and windows. With just a handful of thermal imaging cameras we can cover the entire building and since thermal imaging cameras need no light whatsoever to produce crisp thermal images we do not need to install lighting.”
According to Schmid an added advantage to window sensors is the fact that if thermal imaging cameras are combined with video analytics software such a thermal security solution can detect intruders before any damage is done to the building.
The setup at Fossil is relatively straightforward, explains Schmid. “For the security of the Fossil headquarters we used FLIR SR-Series thermal imaging cameras. These cameras have a relatively simple interface with an analogue video out. Each camera is connected with a coax cable to a converter that converts the analogue signal into a digital signal that can be processed with the video analytics software, in this case Aimetis Symphony.”
The thermal imaging camera model that was chosen for the Fossil building security system is the FLIR SR-334. The thermal imaging cameras of this model contain an uncooled Vanadium Oxide (VOx) microbolometer detector that provides high contrast thermal images with a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels. The wide field of view provides excellent situational awareness and the extremely detailed high contrast thermal images allow easy and reliable intruder detection.
In the software the thermal images are compared to previously determined parameters and if certain conditions are met an alarm will go off. “The images will be sent to the control room in Munich and they can alert the local police if further action is required.” Off course apart from the right thermal
imaging camera the right settings in the video analytics software are needed for this system to function properly. “You have to know which video analytics parameters are the right ones to use. We did some research into that subject and arrived at what we consider to be the perfect settings”, explains Schmid.
No unwanted alarms with thermal imaging
“Before we installed thermal imaging cameras in the Fossil headquarters we first thoroughly tested the setup”, continues Schmid. “We tested the cameras in all kinds of weather conditions, like mist and rain, we did tests with dogs and with people wearing temperature insulating clothing and I can honestly say that with all those tests we had absolutely no unwanted alarms, without missing one single trespasser. And these findings were confirmed in the field. We have not yet had one single unwanted alarm from the FLIR thermal images installation at Fossil.”