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Ergonomic standards increase control room productivity
Ergonomic standards increase control room productivity

  Ergonomics are a critical, but often misunderstood aspect of designing control rooms for security. Ergonomics have a deep impact on the integrity of an operation, and the issue goes beyond the control room furniture. Matko Papic, Chief Technology Officer of Evans Consoles, divides ergonomics into three areas: physical (reach zones, touch points, monitors); cognitive (the individual’s ability to process information without overlooking a critical element) and organisational (how the facility operates in various situations; e.g., is it adequately designed for an emergency event?). He says the Evans approach is to determine the precise placement required for each element an operator needs, and then to design and build console furniture to position it there. Basically, the idea is to tailor the control room to the operation. What tasks must an operator perform? Are they manageable or should they be divided up among several operators? Control room design should accommodate the need to collaborate, and be flexible enough to adapt to various situations. It all begins with understanding the information that needs to be processed, says Papic. Increased productivity in the workplace Because personnel are often stationed at a specific console, desk or workstation for long hours, physical problems and productivity issues can result, says Jim Coleman, National Sales Manager, AFC Industries. Ergonomically designed furniture and related products have been proven to increase productivity and alleviate physical stress in the workplace. Ergonomic furniture solutions are crafted for the ultimate in safety, adaptability, comfort and functionality. Coleman says AFC Industries can tailor furniture to specific needs and environment. For example, a height-adjustable workstation can be combined with adjustable monitor arm mounts to create a relaxed, comfortable environment. Furniture offers modern designs, comfortable ergonomics, and comprehensive features. Rugged materials withstand the 24/7 use of command control centres. Health benefits of ergonomic workstations A sedentary office environment is often an unhealthy one. “For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking,” says Martha Grogan, Cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic. Ongoing research and studies have shown that a change in posture (i.e., using ergonomic sit-to-stand workstations) is an effective means to combat these negative health issues. Using sit-to-stand workstations helps to eliminate musculoskeletal disorders caused by long-term sitting. They can also improve productivity and focus from the increased blood flow. Energy levels can rise and employees burn more calories. Control room design should accommodate the need to collaborate and be flexible enough to adapt to various situations “The ergonomic environment we create for control rooms involves considering every need of the staff at each workstation and their equipment, as well as workflow within the entire room,” says Coleman. “From the proper setting of screen focal lengths to sound absorption and glare reduction, each requirement and phase of a control room design is a necessary process to ensure the protection and safety of people and property.” Emergency operations centre “The military has figured out that you are more alert when you are standing,” says Randy Smith, President of Winsted, and the realisation is guiding emergency operations centre (EOC) design toward sit-stand. “As soon as there is an emergency, everybody stands up,” Smith adds. Designing EOC environments also requires systems be integrated with annunciating signal lights to facilitate communication among operators. Winsted’s sit-stand consoles can be combined with a motorised M-View monitor wall mount, enabling a 60-inch wall monitor to be raised and lowered to match the positioning of the sit-stand console. Larger, wall-mounted screens are easier to use for operators, since a larger monitor size can make it easier to read text on a screen, for example. Combining the larger monitor with sit-stand capabilities provides the best of both options. Many operators today stand for 50 percent of their day, says Smith. Ergonomic standards guide the design of Winsted’s control room consoles, including ISO 11064 standards for the design of control centres. The furniture also is designed to accommodate industrial wire management (larger wire bundles), unlike furniture that might be bought in an office supply store. Read part 3 of our Control Rooms series here {##Poll37 - How well do you incorporate ergonomics into your control rooms?##}

Improving security system installations with Acceptance Testing
Improving security system installations with Acceptance Testing

Significant technological advancements have created endless possibilities in how security is not only deployed, but also leveraged by the end user – the customer. For example, customers can now view surveillance at eight different offices in eight different states from a single, central location. A security director can manage an enterprise-wide access control system, including revoking or granting access control privileges, for 10,000 global employees from a company’s headquarters. However, with that increased level of system sophistication comes an added level of complexity. After successfully completing the installation of a security system, integrators are now expected to formally and contractually prove that the system works as outlined in the project specification document. Tom Feilen, Director of National Accounts for Koorsen Security Technology explains that this formal checks and balance process is gaining momentum in the security industry. The step-by-step process of Acceptance Testing is more commonly being written into bid specifications, especially for projects that require the expertise of an engineer and/or architect. Simply put, it is a way for the end user to make sure the system they paid for works properly and is delivered by the integrator as outlined in the project’s request for proposal. While Acceptance Testing can be a time consuming process, it is a valuable industry tool. It is estimated that at least 95 per cent of integrated security systems today have been brought through the Acceptance Testing process. Security systems have become more complicated in recent years. The introduction of IP-based, enterprise-wide and integrated solutions have all opened the door to more sophisticated access control and surveillance systems than ever thought possible. This process can vary depending upon the size of the project, but for a larger scale project, it is not uncommon for Acceptance Testing to take several weeks from start to finish. This timeline can be especially lengthy when the project involves hundreds of devices, such as access control readers, surveillance cameras, video recorders, intrusion sensors, and intercom systems. Most integrated security systems today have been brought through the Acceptance Testing process What is involved in the Acceptance Testing process? While the specific process can vary from integrator to integrator, many follow a similar process with their customer to ensure the system works accurately and that the customer has the proper certification documentation. The initial part of the process typically involves generating a report of each device installed as part of the system. This list enables the systems integrator to systematically test each device ensuring that individual devices are not specific points of failure for the overall system. For example, in a building equipped with a system that automatically releases the egress doors upon the fire alarm activation, it is important to make sure each door’s electro-magnetic locking system is operating properly. The systems integrator would not only test that a door releases when the fire alarm sounds, but also to make sure the access control system is notified if the door is propped open or held open longer than in normal usage parameters. For a door that is also monitored by a surveillance camera, part of the testing would also involve making sure that an image being transmitted to a video monitor is coming from the correct surveillance camera and that the actual angle of the image is what the customer has requested and is correctly labelled as such. If a device does not function as it should, it is then added to a punch list that would require the systems integrator to repair that device within a certain period of time. Once repairs are made, the system integrator would then submit a letter to the client stating that every device has been tested and works properly. It is also important for the integrator that once the testing process is complete to obtain a customer sign off (Certificate of Acceptance) on all systems tested and documentation provided. This limits liability once the system is turned over. From a safety perspective, Acceptance Testing is also used to verify that T-bars and safety chains are installed on cameras that are mounted in drop ceilings. It can confirm that panels are mounted in a room that is properly heated and cooled to avoid major temperature swings. Also, as part of the Acceptance Testing checklist, it can insure that power supplies that drive all the security systems are properly rated with the recommended batteries for back-up. And, that emergency exist devices or card readers are not mounted more than 48-inches above ground. An Acceptance Testing process serves to protect the end user's investment After the project is complete, Acceptance Testing protects both parties involved against liability issues. One example is if the building has a fire and the functionality of the life safety system comes into question. Acceptance Testing can be used to prove that the system was able to function as specified and dispel any concerns about its performance. At that time, all close out sheets are turned in, along with as-built drawings and a manual providing a complete listing of each device and system installed. Today, these manuals not only come in paper form as part of a large binder, but also digital files saved to a disc. The benefit of providing the customer with a binder or documentation of the system is that should the end user/customer replace the person who manages security at the company, valuable information will not leave with that former employee. While this checklist to close out a project may appear trivial at first, it is an important part of the security project process. By implementing an Acceptance Testing program, it serves to protect the end user’s investment, ensuring that the systems integrators hired for the project is knowledgeable and provides quality work. For the integrator, it helps towards the end goal of a satisfied customer.

Latest Stortech Electronics Limited news

Pecan CCTV launches new vandal resistant dome in the security market
Pecan CCTV launches new vandal resistant dome in the security market

Pecan CCTV has announced the launch of the VRD146 Series a fully featured easy to install vandal-resistant True Day/Night (TDN) dome with On Screen Display (OSD) technology. This new high specification 600TVL 1/3" Sony Super HAD II CCD colour/mono dome is fitted with a 2.8-11mm F1.4 DC auto iris lens in a durable IP66 rated weather-resistant vandal-resistant housing.  Features include Digital Noise Reduction (2DNR), Digital Wide Dynamic Range (DWDR), Backlight and Highlight Compensation (BLC/HLC), 8-zone Privacy function and 4-zone Motion Detection. An IR LED option (VRD146L) provides accurate night time viewing coverage of up to 15 metres.However the key benefit to installers is the versatility offered by the VRD146 Series' alternative cabling arrangements. Recognising that every installation is different Pecan have designed their new dome so it can be surface-mounted, with cable entry at the bottom or the side or using existing cables terminating inside the camera itself. A wall mounting bracket is also available if required.As well as being easy to install the dual voltage (12v DC/24v AC) VRD146 Series is also simple to set up thanks to the 3-axis camera gimble and OSD joystick controls. Pecan is the trade name of the CCTV Division of Stortech Electronics Ltd who manufacture and distribute a comprehensive range of CCD camera systems and components. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Acal plc who are listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Pecan CCTV website sheds its old skin to sport a new look and feel
Pecan CCTV website sheds its old skin to sport a new look and feel

Pecan CCTV is an innovator in developing and supplying products for a wide variety of applicationsPecan CCTV has announced the launch of its new website pecancctv.com which features a fresh modern design with improved navigation and a wealth of information about the firm's extensive range of quality surveillance equipment.The new site allows visitors to search easily by equipment type or product code and download datasheets with the technical information they need to make the right choice. New products are now included on the home page and access to technical support is easily available via enquiries to a dedicated email address. Other new features include a special offers section for selected items, answers to frequently asked questions about CCTV, plus news of all the latest product and service developments. Pecan CCTV is an innovator in developing and supplying products for a wide variety of applications. During the past twelve months the firm has invested in a major re-branding exercise to bring the look and feel of the company in line with its growth and position within the CCTV market. In addition to commissioning an entirely new website this activity has seen Pecan update their logo and revise the layout and design of their technical information to make it easier for their customers to find the information they need. The new site will act as a one-stop-shop for companies looking to make informed procurement decisions for all their CCTV requirementsDirector, Jess Johns said: "Pecan CCTV has evolved over the last few years and we felt that the previous logo and branding didn't give a true reflection of the business today. Similarly we wanted to bring a fresh new look and feel to the website in terms of the design, accessibility and navigation.""Customers benefit from our extensive experience which enables us to develop products with the latest technology featuring everything from entry level internal domes to vandal-resistant cameras and state-of-the-art micro domes.""The new website still has all the useful information and tools to help our customers find the information they need but with a much easier to use format designed to raise awareness of, and interest in, the comprehensive range of products and technical support Pecan can provide.""We hope that the new site will act as a one-stop-shop for companies looking to make informed procurement decisions for all their CCTV requirements supported by the knowledge and expertise we provide to help them identify the best solution for every application."Pecan is the trade name of the CCTV Division of Stortech Electronics Ltd who manufactures and distributes a comprehensive range of CCD camera systems and components. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of ACAL plc who are listed on the London Stock Exchange. To find out more about Pecan CCTV's innovative products and benefit from their extensive technical expertise call 01279 419913 or email them.

Pecan expands Southern Area Sales team with new Sales Manager
Pecan expands Southern Area Sales team with new Sales Manager

 Wendy Ficken, Southern Area Sales Manager at Pecan CCTVPecan CCTV recently promoted Wendy Ficken to Southern Area Sales Manager. Although she may not have been a familiar face to Pecan's customers in the past her voice certainly will be as the twenty-six year old has been with the company since 2004 working in the internal sales office. Wendy, who is clearly enjoying her move from Internal Sales to External Sales, told us: Over the past four years I'd developed great working relationships over the phone so when the opportunity came for me to meet our customers ‘face-to-face' I jumped at the chance."Before joining Pecan CCTV's parent company, Stortech Electronics Ltd., Wendy completed a Business Studies course at APU University, and this combined with her extensive product knowledge is proving a real benefit to Pecan's customers, especially when a bespoke security solution is required.Wendy continued: "Listening to what our customers want is really important and being able to offer them the expertise and knowledge to develop a specific solution is very rewarding - especially when it results in us introducing a new product into the range.""I enjoy working for Pecan because of the amount of support you get. Having ‘been there and done that' I recognise just how important it is for the external sales team to have good working relationships with the staff in the office. It's great to be part of a company where everyone works together as a team to ensure we all do everything we can to give our customers the best possible service."Although she may not have been a familiar ‘face' to Pecan's customers in the past, her voice certainly will be Pecan CCTV Sales Director, Jess Johns said: "Wendy's well-earned promotion is proof of our ongoing commitment to train and develop our staff to achieve their full potential. We also believe our flexibility and willingness to respond to the changing needs of our customers is crucial to our success which is why we will continue to invest in strengthening our sales capability throughout the UK."Pecan is the trade name of the CCTV Division of Stortech Electronics Ltd who manufacture and distribute a comprehensive range of CCD camera systems and components. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Acal plc who are listed on the London Stock Exchange.