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Case study

Panasonic’s surveillance solutions protect assets at the Vauxhall Motors' production site

Panasonic drives surveillance into motion at Vauxhall Motors facility
Operators manage the system via Panasonic's WV-CU650 system controller and separate joystick
A subsidiary of GM Corporation, Vauxhall Motors is a major force in the international car industry. Widely acclaimed as a leader in innovative and progressive vehicle design, UK production is concentrated at its state-of-the-art Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire, where it employs 2,200 workers manufacturing 185,000 vehicles a year. The expansive 440-acre site contains comprehensive vehicle manufacturing halls, parts manufacturing and vast finished vehicle storage facilities with the capacity to store over 9,000 cars.

Security of the plant and its workers has always been a top priority for Vauxhall. In the late 1980s, basic CCTV was installed with cameras covering main entrances and exits. However, whilst progressing through many evolutions and additions, the surveillance system began to show its age, as Paul Holding, Plant Protection Manager at Vauxhall Ellesmere Port explains: "By 2005 we were struggling with a CCTV system that contained many different products of varying ages and from a variety of manufacturers. To facilitate a more technologically advanced system, we conducted a six month comprehensive review of our on-site security with the assistance of D&A Systems Ltd."

As a result of the security audit, a range of updates were recommended. Alastair Wilson, Business Manager at D&A Systems explains: "We advised a number of specific security improvements, but key to our overall plan was the total modernisation of the CCTV system, including the relocation of the control facility to a purpose built room in the plant's emergency control centre. To facilitate this integral part of the project, we brought Panasonic Premier Integrator, ZOOM CCTV Ltd on board."

Chris Fleming; Account Manager at ZOOM CCTV takes up the story: "After researching the scope and performance of the existing installation and offsetting its capability against Paul's expectations of the ‘perfect' system, we built a picture of the technology needed to improve the coverage and performance of the existing camera network, whilst economically expanding it to provide the ultimate site coverage for monitoring at the new control room."

Panasonic's Super Dynamic III CCTVs provides high resolution pictures to the control room

"Using Panasonic camera, control and recording technology not only gave us the ability to effectively upgrade the system, it also allowed us to integrate existing elements of the legacy CCTV solution, to provide the best mix of equipment and most economical upgrade possible."

ZOOM's Panasonic Premier Integrator status not only assured D&A Systems and Vauxhall of an effective system install, it also gave them access to live on-site demonstrations of the specified Panasonic products in action both at Vauxhall and at the Arndale Centre in Manchester (a previous ZOOM installation). Paul Holding explains: "The ‘hands on' presentation of product, married to the fact that it is manufactured by a household name with the stature of Panasonic, gave us total confidence in the technology we were investing in."

With the new system ready for connection after a three month build process, D&A Systems and ZOOM CCTV oversaw the transition of surveillance monitoring from the old control room to the new facility in the Vauxhall Emergency Control Centre, in just 24 hours and with no loss of surveillance pictures. Using a mixture of Panasonic WV-CW864A and WV-CW964 domes, WVCP254 day/night and WVCP484 Super Dynamic III cameras, Vauxhall's security operators now view all aspects of the expansive site including employee car parks, pedestrian and vehicular entrance and exit gates, and the site's three-mile perimeter fence line.

Using Panasonic's Super Dynamic III cameras not only provides high resolution pictures to the control room but also allows economical camera placement. With high-quality cameras producing high-resolution images, fewer units are needed to cover a specific area, keeping the total installation cost down. Further reducing costs at Vauxhall, ZOOM were able to use much of the existing coax transmission infrastructure when adding the cameras to the new system and a number of WV-CW964 cameras' video were connected via an IP encoder/decoder. ZOOM also took advantage of the cabling infrastructure, using fibre optic transmission to relay images from some cameras.

A number of WV-CW964 cameras' video were connected to the new system via an IP encoder/decoder

Back in the control room, operators manage the system via Panasonic's WV-CU650 system controller and separate joystick. The controller allows operators to pan, tilt and zoom any system camera at the touch of a button. When reviewing recorded footage, the unit's Jog Dial and Shuttle Ring allow easy, precise control of every search operation and system setting giving one touch access to the Record, Replay, and Search functions of each of the three Panasonic WJ-HD316A 16-channel digital recorders employed at the site. Moreover, should an incident occur which requires retrospective offsite investigation; evidential data can be burnt to disk using the Panasonic DM-RES10C DVD Recorder.

Using the powerful Panasonic surveillance technology, security staff deal with a variety of situations. Paul Holding explains: "Providing effective security for such an expansive and diverse site is a challenge my control room operators now tackle head on, 24 hours a day, utilising a cohesive surveillance solution. The addition of Panasonic technology has allowed their expertise to flourish, as has been demonstrated through the effective PTZ tours, devised and programmed by my staff through the Panasonic WVCU650 system controller, affording a ‘virtual patrol' of the site. My experienced operators know the site's potential ‘hot spots' and this technology allow them to effectively be in two places at once."

As part of a cohesive security effort, the Panasonic CCTV surveillance solution has enabled Paul and his security team to surpass the GM globally specified security standard. Looking to the future, to meet with the facility's needs, the fully integrated system also provides the site with future proofing; complete with built-in systems expansion capability should this ever be required.

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