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 Dallmeier electronic GmbH & Co.KG news

Dallmeier will showcase automated volume calculation and image-supported process management at LogiMAT 2020
Dallmeier will showcase automated volume calculation and image-supported process management at LogiMAT 2020

At LogiMAT 2020 (Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre) from 10 to 12 March 2020, Dallmeier will showcase a broad portfolio of image-based process optimisation solutions aimed specifically at customers from the intralogistics sector. One example is camera-based "on-the-fly" volume calculation. One of the great challenges of intralogistics faced by many logistics companies is how to measure a large number of freight goods accurately and efficiently. The purpose is not only to identify incorrect or false information, but most importantly it is also essential to organise the processes so that they are as time-efficient as possible and do not disrupt other important workflows. This is precisely the aspect the automated volume calculation solution developed by Dallmeier is designed to deal with.  Automated volume calculation Special 3D video systems measure the volumes of the freight goods practically instantaneously; the logistics company simply has to define an existing travel path as a measurement section. Exact specifications for the "Dallmeier measuring terminal" ensure maximum precision. Besides the enormous amount of time saved, other advantages of automated volume calculation include optimal utilisation of loading capacities, plausibility checks against reference data, or even coordinated goods inward and outward strategies. The innovative "Panomera " camera solutions from Dallmeier also offer considerably better control of an enormous range of different processes: From monitoring of production lines to rapid response in the event of failures up to and including much more efficient control of the flow of goods and information or improved claims management. In this regard, the high-performance "Panomera W" camera series with viewing angles of 180° and 360° offers users the ability to capture even very widely separated spatial contexts right from the control centre with a minimal number of cameras. Image-supported process management Dallmeier camera systems also offer an efficient capability for determining the condition of the freight goods At the same time, the technology ensures that a resolution sufficient for the required applications is always provided, for documentation that is usable in court or in liability cases, for example, or AI-based video analysis as well. Both the 180° camera view and a panoramic 360° perspective help logistics managers to simplify a large number of processes, such as monitoring logistical release systems. The misplacement of consignments is another known challenge which intralogistics must deal with. The tracking system developed by Dallmeier enables automatic search and locating operations for freight goods to be launched by the automated linking of video images with package item numbers. In this process, the various scan events are synchronised with single-frame accuracy using time servers. This guarantees the prevention of loss claims and increases safety at work. Dallmeier camera systems also offer an efficient capability for determining the condition of the freight goods by means of image documentation at the time of transfer of risk. Real-time control of freight goods The patented Panomera multifocal sensor technology does more than just reduce the number of cameras needed, with the associated infrastructure (masts, cables, network, etc.), it saves cost many times over. In conjunction with various analysis applications – such as AI-based object classification for reducing the incidence of false alarms – it also provides logistics companies with extremely powerful solutions for warehouses, loading and shipping areas as well as perimeter protection. As a German manufacturer, Dallmeier maintains the highest standards, whether they relate to quality, data protection or data security/cyber security. Dallmeier’s innovative 3D planning approach also guarantees that the systems will deliver exactly the detection quality required for video recordings to be usable in court. Accordingly, fulfilling TAPA (FSR) requirements presents no difficulty at all.

Dallmeier Electronic’s Panomera video security solution secures 14 English Premier League clubs
Dallmeier Electronic’s Panomera video security solution secures 14 English Premier League clubs

Like many national football leagues, the teams of the English Premier League also suffer from unacceptable incidents such as lighting of pyrotechnics and throwing projectiles, hate crime and vandalism. This is why as early as 2013 the managers at Everton F.C. opted for a patented video security solution from the German video technology company Dallmeier. 14 of 20 clubs of the 2019–20 Premier League season have implemented Dallmeier "Panomera" multifocal sensor systems – including Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. International safety standards Dallmeier solutions enable high-resolution capture of expansive areas with a minimum number of camera systems Many teams in the top flight of English football are also involved in the Champions League and Europa League, so it is also extremely important for them to satisfy the safety regulations imposed internationally by UEFA and similar bodies. For this purpose, Dallmeier solutions enable high-resolution capture of expansive areas, such as the stands, with a minimum number of camera systems. With Panomera cameras, multiple operators have the capability to zoom in on suspicious activities independently of each other, while the system continues recording the entire scene. This combination of the advantages of PTZ and megapixel cameras, an optimum overview of the situation is obtained, which can also be searched in the required minimum resolution at any time afterwards. This enables the clubs to achieve continuity of video evidence, get instant ID of people and events, and so reduce potential penalty payments. Smart content analysis Besides the court usability of video recordings, the "minimum resolution density" is also important for video analysis applications. As stated so succinctly by the rule "quality in, quality out", of course the quality of the results of analysis – for example in "crowd analyses" for people counting on stands, for "hostile vehicle mitigation" or to detect intrusion in sterile areas – can only ever be as good as the quality of the image, and accordingly the quality of the input data. With Dallmeier solutions, as early as the planning stage customers can precisely specify the pixel density values defined according to DIN EN 62676-4 for each region of the area captured – depending on whether for example at least 62.5 px/m is required for AI-based object classification, or 125 or even 250 px/m is required to guarantee that recordings of persons will be usable in court. 3D planning approach Panomera cameras from Dallmeier were able to deliver images of the highest quality time after time" "Throughout our selection procedure, the Panomera cameras from Dallmeier were able to deliver images of the highest quality time after time, not only in normal daylight conditions, but also under weaker floodlighting, that is to say not only live but also in the recording with the highest resolution quality in all regions of the images." "Moreover, with the Panomera cameras we can capture large expanses, the entire area of the stands, for example, with just a small number of systems. Ultimately, these considerations were the critical factor in our decision to award Dallmeier the contract for video security at Goodison Park", says David Lewis, Head of Security and Stadium Safety for Everton F.C. Highest precision The innovative 3D planning approach by Dallmeier provides stadium operators with the ability to place each individual camera with the highest precision in advance through the use of a "digital twin". Thus, even the planning contributes to a reduction of total costs. At the same time, the in-house planning team uses it to manage any difficulties such as visual obstacles (e.g. a video cube) or subsequent structural changes. This ensures that there are no "cost traps" for the customers, and that compliance with all requirements is guaranteed without exception when the system is implemented.

Dallmeier to showcase the implementation of future-proof video analysis applications at GPEC 2020
Dallmeier to showcase the implementation of future-proof video analysis applications at GPEC 2020

The automatic or semi-automatic analysis of data plays an increasingly important role in video security technology. Here, the image quality is decisive for the result of the analysis. At the GPEC 2020 trade fair, Messe Frankfurt, Europe's closed specialised exhibition for police and security authorities, from 18 to 20 February 2020, Hall 11, Booth E068, the German manufacturer of video information technology Dallmeier will show visitors how they can implement future-proof video analysis applications. A lecture by Dallmeier Safe City expert Frank Salder at the conference "Video Intelligence 2020" completes the trade fair presence. Precisely defined image quality There is hardly a better way to extract all kinds of data from complex contexts with relatively little effort than a video image. The possibilities range from "crowd analysis" for counting people in public spaces to the securing of "sterile areas" with the help of AI-based object classification. Despite all the enthusiasm for such innovative assistance systems, one thing is often underestimated; the importance of data quality. As a result, according to the rule "Quality In, Quality Out", the quality of the analysis results can of course only be as good as the image quality and thus the quality of the input data. Already during the planning stage Dallmeier offers customers the possibility to precisely define the so called "pixel density" values defined according to DIN EN 62676-4, such as 62.5, 125, 250 pixels per metre (px/m) in every part of the monitored area, depending on whether, for example, 62.5 px/m is required for an AI-based object classification or 250 px/m for court usability to identify individuals. Patented Panomera technology The imageless data acquisition to generate anonymised data also plays an important role The patented multifocal sensor cameras "Panomera" from Dallmeier, which have recently been awarded the European patent in addition to the German patent for their functionality, can provide the required minimum resolution for video analysis even over large areas. Even if several operators independently zoom in on relevant events, the system continues to record the remaining scene. This combination of the advantages of PTZ and megapixel cameras enables police and security officers to obtain an optimal overview of the situation, while still being able to search with the required minimum resolution, even within recorded footage. Since a Panomera system replaces many individual single-sensor cameras and their infrastructure, operators can keep the total cost of ownership to a minimum. Data protection Dallmeier's AI-based systems support emergency services not only by means of an intelligent pre-selection of events, people counting, automatic object tracking or forensic evaluation. The imageless data acquisition to generate anonymised data also plays an important role. Regardless of the video analysis application, the German manufacturer Dallmeier equips its technology components with state-of-the-art functions for data protection and data security. This ensures that police and security authorities can use Dallmeier systems in the most diverse scenarios in absolute compliance with data protection regulations, e.g. according to GDPR.