CCTV camera mounts - Expert commentary

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 IndigoVision Limited news

Motorola to acquire IndigoVision
Motorola to acquire IndigoVision

Motorola Solutions has agreed to acquire IndigoVision, a U.K.-based provider of end-to-end video security solutions. The boards of Motorola Solutions, its holding company and IndigoVision have reached an agreement on the terms of a recommended cash acquisition for approximately $37.2 million, representing a premium of approximately 116 percent based on the average share price over the most recent 12-month period. The acquisition will be funded by existing cash resources of Motorola Solutions and become final in May 2020. Motorola Solutions has a strong presence in the large and expanding area of video security since acquiring Avigilon in March 2018. Their product offerings include high-definition cameras, advanced video analytics, network video management hardware and software and access control solutions. IndigoVision is a developer of complete, end-to-end video security solutions from cameras to video recorders to body-worn cameras to security management software. Motorola Solutions says the IndigoVision range of products, global presence and customer base are "highly complementary" to Motorola Solutions' existing presence in video security. Among the benefits is enhanced geographical reach across a wider customer base. "The access we will now have to Motorola Solutions' range of innovative technologies will create new opportunities for IndigoVision and enable us to bring an exciting proposition to the market that allows us to further deliver on our goal of delivering safety, security and business intelligence," says Pedro Vasco Simoes, Chief Executive Officer of IndigoVision. "We share IndigoVision's commitment to providing next-generation, end-to-end video security solutions that enhance safety, security and efficiency," says John Kedzierski, Senior Vice President, Video Security Solutions, Motorola Solutions.

Gallagher access control solutions installed across University of Melbourne campuses
Gallagher access control solutions installed across University of Melbourne campuses

A security system upgrade at one of Australia’s most prestigious universities has seen Gallagher’s solutions installed at campuses across Melbourne. According to the University of Melbourne, Gallagher was selected for the upgrade due to their strong integration capability, commitment to supporting the university’s long-term site plan, and investment in development. Gallagher worked in partnership with the university and Gallagher Channel Partner MGA Electronic Security to roll out the upgrade in over 150 buildings across seven campuses. The partnerships were integral to the success of the rollout, ensuring the system was configured to best meet the university’s needs. System flexibility “We’re impressed with not only the flexibility of the system, but the support from Gallagher,” says Adam Leach, Security Systems Coordinator at the University of Melbourne. Project Leads from the university visited Gallagher’s head office in Hamilton, New Zealand, prior to the project beginning. The upgrade included access control for over 3,000 doors, over 177,000 cardholders, and thousands of inputs “The opportunity to visit Gallagher and see their investment in R&D showed us that they are committed to growth and future developments. We were looking for a long-term business relationship, and we are definitely confident we have chosen the right solution.” Complete site control The upgrade included access control for over 3,000 doors, over 177,000 cardholders, and thousands of inputs. Gallagher Command Centre software, a powerful solution offering complete site control from one central platform, runs at the heart of the university’s security system. “The integration capabilities of Gallagher’s Command Centre are second to none,” says Leach. The university has integrations with Active Directory, Unicard, Syllabus Plus, IndigoVision and Schindler. People safety One of the key decisions in choosing the Gallagher system for their upgrade was its flexibility to grow with the university. “Our security solutions are designed to protect sites now and into the future,” says Scott Johnstone, Gallagher’s National Sales Manager, Australia and Papua New Guinea. “We’re pleased to be able to support the University of Melbourne with their long-term plans, all while ensuring the safety of their people, assets and information.” MGA Electronic Security completed the upgrade project quicker than expected and on budget, undertaking the entire system changeover in under 18 months.

IndigoVision upgrades an airport’s analogue system to a scalable IP security surveillance solution
IndigoVision upgrades an airport’s analogue system to a scalable IP security surveillance solution

Faced with a number of security challenges and planned future expansion, a major airport decided it was time to implement a scalable security surveillance solution. Let’s take a look at how to manage such a scenario to ensure the selected solution provides scalability for growth. With the existing proprietary solution at the airport locked down to one manufacturer and littered with issues resulting in high maintenance and expansion costs, a new solution was required that would allow the airport to scale its surveillance solution in line with future expansion plans. Difficult in identifying people The low-resolution analogue cameras made it difficult to identify people during incidents Not only was the existing surveillance solution analogue and proprietary, it wasn’t intuitive and was difficult for operators to use. There were several ‘satellite’ security installations scattered in the various terminal buildings that weren’t viewable in the centralised Control Room which meant extra operators were required. The low-resolution analogue cameras made it difficult to identify people during incidents and coupled with the lack of video coverage, it gave operators poor situational awareness. Reviewing past events with the existing VMS was difficult as playback wasn’t synchronised and, without bookmarks, it was time-consuming to find important events. The combination of multiple terminal buildings and the Centralised Analogue Architecture resulted in bottlenecks and latency issues as all processing must pass through the centralised server. There was also no redundancy so if there was any failure in the system, the Control Room would no longer have the capability to view live or recorded video. Additionally, as the system was locked down to one manufacturer and the whole system had to be hardwired to the centralised server, there were very expensive expansion costs. Addressing security and scalability concerns New NVRs were specified to cope with the increase in camera streams and an extra NVR for redundancy and failoverThe required solution had multiple requirements to ensure that the existing issues were resolved and that the solution could scale with the planned expansion. With expansion planned to facilitate growing passenger numbers, an open IP based solution was specified to replace the existing analogue solution to improve situational awareness, provide scalability and integrate with a number of other systems operating in the airport. The architecture needed to limit bottlenecks, reduce latency issues, provide redundancy advantages and be scalable to allow for multiple new terminal buildings to be connected with ease. New HD cameras were specified to improve image quality and coverage, with a Video Wall required in order to view and manage the increase in video streams in the centralised Control Room. New large capacity NVRs were also specified to cope with the increase in camera streams and an extra NVR for redundancy and failover. Distributed Architecture reduces data bottlenecks A solution with Distributed Architecture was chosen as it solved multiple issues with the existing solution and facilitated future expansion without the need for a centralised server. Distributed Architecture allows data to be kept close to where it is produced or needed. When cameras, surveillance workstations, NVRs, alarm servers, integration gateways, all participate in a Distributed Architecture, data bottlenecks are minimised as all processing doesn’t need to pass through a centralised server. Distributed Architecture provides a truly unlimited and scalable solution that can easily accommodate the largest airports in the world. Enhancing situational awareness Distributed Architecture enables future expansion as it can support thousands of cameras, workstations and NVRsDistributed Architecture minimised the existing bottlenecks, reduced latency, and provided higher availability and faster access to data. It also allowed all ‘satellite’ security installations to be viewed in the centralised Control Room enhancing situational awareness. New HD cameras were installed and due to the scalability of Distributed Architecture, future cameras can easily be connected when needed. Furthermore, the scalability of Distributed Architecture enabled the airport to build new terminal buildings and connect with ease to the security solution when ready. Distributed Architecture enables planned future expansion as it can support thousands of cameras, workstations and NVRs, dramatically reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). The scalability of Distributed Architecture allows the airport to continue with planned expansion and add a single camera/NVR or a whole new terminal when needed.