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Charting a Dedicated Micros CCTV solution for the Port of Grimsby and Immingham

Published on 29 April, 2008

The Port of Grimsby & Immingham is now taking advantage of the latest digital networked CCTV technology from Dedicated Micros to maximize both security and the port's operational and logistical processesThe Port of Grimsby & Immingham, the UK's largest port by tonnage is now taking advantage of the latest digital networked CCTV technology from Dedicated Micros, recommended by installer DJ Byers CCTV, to maximize both security and the port's operational and logistical processes.

Owner and operator Associated British Ports (ABP) turned to DJ Byers CCTV to advise on how best to bring its existing under-utilised and cumbersome analogue CCTV system into the digital era.

The initial installation across the two sites that comprise the port included three types of digital video recorder (DVR) from Dedicated Micros' range of advanced NetVu Connected products.  Corresponding DV-IP encoders providing IP functionality for the existing analogue CCTV cameras were specified at the same time.  As the three-month project progressed, the equipment requirements grew and three Dennard dome cameras were soon added to ABP's shopping list.

A key factor in the success of the scheme was the fact that the whole project was underpinned by NetVu Connected product architecture.  This supports seamless integration and interoperability and makes the installation and expansion of a network-based CCTV solution a straightforward process.

David Byers, Managing Director of DJ Byers CCTV, explains: "The original brief from ABP was very simple - to upgrade the analogue CCTV system to digital.  However, with 41 legacy cameras across the two ports and a requirement from ABP that the new installation make use of these cameras and allow for further expansion, the project required careful planning."

It became very clear that the complexity and scale of the project demanded much more than simply unpacking a DVR, connecting cables and plugging in a joystick to bring the system up to date.

Gareth Cutts, IT Manager for ABP, continues: "We already had quite a substantial CCTV network covering the two sites, but it was very disparate, and difficult to manage.  We certainly weren't making the most out of the system."A total of three of the latest SD DVRs and three DVRs from Dedicated Micros' Eco range were installed to cope with local monitoring requirements

The key stumbling blocks were the size of the port's two sites and the lack of flexibility of the existing system.  All the cameras were hard wired and as such only relatively small areas were being monitored by localised groups of cameras managed by local control centres.  Coupled with these issues, the solution needed to ensure operability across both wireless and hard wired networks.  However, the wireless network already carried radio and other network traffic, placing a limit on the bandwidth available for CCTV.

To include all the existing cameras it was vital to reuse cabling. In itself this is not normally a problem, but the fact that a number of control centres were spread out across the port meant either laying additional cabling to link the centres together or using the wireless network.  Gareth describes the problem: "Unfortunately, when the Victorians built Grimsby and the Edwardians built Immingham, they neglected to include any cable ducting so new cabling was really not an option!  Equally we had to limit the bandwidth used by the CCTV system over the wireless network, so we needed a third alternative.  Ultimately the diversity of the Dedicated Micros product range suggested by DJ Byers provided the solution and following David's recommendations we were able to take a decision to site DVRs to suit our needs."

Dedicated Micros powerful viewing software, NetVu ObserVer, has proved invaluable because of the scale of the sites at Grimsby and Immingham.  Multiple users can now access cameras from across the network, breathing new life into the old equipment.

By carefully selecting Dedicated Micros DVRs based on storage capacity and scalability the two sites are now monitored together using this Wi-Fi/hard wired network solution and delivered to all the relevant departments via NetVu ObserVer.

A total of three of the latest SD Range DVRs and three DVRs from the Eco range were installed to cope with local monitoring requirements.  In total, 41 legacy cameras are connected to the system in this way.

To integrate the existing analogue cameras and the new digital recording equipment, three Dedicated Micros DV-IP Encoders were also installed, presenting the users of the system with all the benefits of a fully upgradeable and seamless IP CCTV network based on the legacy equipment.Pictured is Gareth Cutts, IT Manager for ABP with NetVu ObserVer software from Dedicated Micros

To complement the upgrade, a Digital Sprite 2 (DS2) DVR was positioned at the central network hub for each port to allow the introduction of new IP cameras where and when required.

As Gareth concludes: "Thanks to David at DJ Byers CCTV, we have a great understanding of how to implement and get the most from the Dedicated Micros technology.

"I can honestly say that I'm now getting the best out of my old kit and I can readily expand the new."

Click here to read the full case study.

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