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 Videotec news

Videotec installs MPXHD PTZ cameras for Perusahaan Gas Negara in Indonesia
Videotec installs MPXHD PTZ cameras for Perusahaan Gas Negara in Indonesia

Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN) is a company in Indonesia for the transportation and distribution of natural gas. The total length of distribution pipelines of this company is 3,187 km, serving around 84 million customers. As the owner and operator of four transmission pipelines, PGN is responsible for guaranteeing security along the entire chain of conservation and distribution of gas and for delivering products and services in accordance with the needs of consumers. Securing gas supply lines During the transport phase, the gas is pushed through the pipelines at very high pressure. When it reaches the end-users, however, its delivery pressure must be adjusted so that it falls within an acceptable range (as detailed in the contractual delivery specifications). This is to prevent consumers from being exposed to the full transport pressure reached within the pipeline. A metre and regulator station is used to regulate the Natural Gas outlet pressure, and reduce it to an acceptable value. To this end, PGN has developed a meter and regulator station (the Master Control Station) that works via remote control, directed from the control room. This project plays an active role in the PGN's commitment to achieving Operational Excellence in process management, with the focus on optimising safety, improving efficiency and on maximising reliability throughout the gas supply chain operations. PTZ cameras and remote monitoring To guarantee reliability and security of the control function, it is necessary to monitor the process using specialised CCTV equipment for hazardous zones. 10 PTZ units from the MPXHD series have been chosen for the realisation of this surveillance system, because of their reliability in providing perfect video footage and their compliance with the security standards for operation in hazardous areas. The PTZ units are used to directly monitor the metreing and regulating operations remotely from the master control room.

Videotec installs explosion-proof PTZ IP cameras at an industrial complex in Mexico
Videotec installs explosion-proof PTZ IP cameras at an industrial complex in Mexico

When overseeing the installation of video surveillance in a refinery, it is necessary to understand that there are a number of complex issues that must be resolved. The infrastructure is, generally, very large and presents a series of extremely dangerous environments and processes that must be closely monitored in order to ensure that the numerous manufacturing operations taking place are carried out safely. Monitor large complex One of the customers in Mexico has asked for a system that enables them to monitor these complex operations in real time, so that precautionary action can be taken, if necessary. The system has to show the work that PEMEX staff and all suppliers within the processes area are undertaking in order to avoid risky situations and ensure that all jobs are performed in accordance with safety standards. In addition, the system needs to be able to show various parts of infrastructure, such as instruments, valves, pipes, etc. and detect any malfunctioning production equipment. In some places, production processes must be monitored as they occur in zones made hazardous by the presence of flammable substances. The customer’s top priority is being certain that the installed cameras themselves are not a possible ignition source for flammable products in the surrounding areas. Explosion-proof PTZ IP cameras The integrator REX ENTERPRISE S.A. de C.V. carried out two projects with these characteristics in Mexico: one in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz and the other in Poza Rica, Veracruz. In Poza Rica, Milestone software manages the system’s 51 devices, including IP cameras for internal monitoring, analogue cameras from a previous system and 22 explosion-proof PTZ IP cameras. Milestone has been chosen due to its ability to integrate a number of alarm systems, analytic systems, etc. in the future, as it wasn’t possible to fund and use the complete system at the time of installation. ONVIF protocol Videotec's explosion-proof PTZ cameras were selected for their unlimited lifespan, with three-year warranty, their corrosion-resistant construction and their conformation with all the applicable standards for explosion-proof devices. The integration of Videotec products and Milestone is guaranteed by the ONVIF protocol. ONVIF is a worldwide industry standard that offers standardised interfaces and promotes effective interoperability of physical safety products.

Videotec announces its products available as Building Information Models on the BIM library
Videotec announces its products available as Building Information Models on the BIM library

Videotec is once again showing its ongoing commitment to keeping up to date with worldwide technological innovations with the announcement that most of the company’s products are available as Building Information Models (BIMs), created with BIMscript technology. Building Information Modelling Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a process based on 3D metadata that is full of useful information for the design, planning and integrated management of infrastructure or building projects. In particular, BIM offers huge economic and competitiveness advantages to architects, designers and project managers. Videotec BIM library The new Videotec BIM library has 3D models of the company’s video surveillance products, complete with data such as volume and dimensions, materials, appearance and technical characteristics. These are ready to be imported directly into a project or technical document. The Videotec BIM library is constantly being updated as it is filled with new documents that cover the latest product releases and it can be downloaded from the BIM Object portal.