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 Vanderbilt Industries news

What is the role of manufacturers in providing after sales support?
What is the role of manufacturers in providing after sales support?

Traditionally, dealer-installers and/or integrators provide the front line of support to end user customers after a sale. Because integrators assemble and provide the “solution” – often using products from multiple manufacturers – they are most familiar with the total system and can troubleshoot any problems. However, manufacturers may be better equipped to deal with specific problems after a sale and also to provide a variety of resources to end-users. It’s a delicate balance, and the best approach may be dependent on the product or even the market. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the role of manufacturers in providing support to end user customers after the sale?

Vanderbilt adds Facial Recognition Terminals with Temperature Detection to the access control portfolio
Vanderbilt adds Facial Recognition Terminals with Temperature Detection to the access control portfolio

Vanderbilt, a provider of state-of-the-art security systems, announces the induction of Facial Recognition Terminals with Temperature Detection by ZKTeco into their access control portfolio. These products are touchless technology that enables skin temperature measurement and masked individual identification during facial and palm verification at access points. They interface with Vanderbilt’s ACTpro on-premise and ACT365 cloud-based access control solutions, and communicate with the systems via a Wiegand output. Introducing mandatory requirements “Through this touchless technology, skin temperature acts as the credential, thus making this a crucial addition to the Vanderbilt portfolio during the current pandemic,” cites Ross Wilks, Head of Marketing Communications at Vanderbilt. “Additionally, as countries begin to introduce mandatory requirements for citizens to wear masks, this touchless technology can detect if someone is or isn’t wearing one.” Paul McCarthy, Product Manager at Vanderbilt, outlines the technical strengths of the products. “They have a read range of 0.6 F / 0.3 C accuracy at 18 inches,” says McCarthy. Facial recognition capability Ultimately the goal of adding these terminals to the Vanderbilt portfolio is to help tackle hygiene concerns “The terminals have a straightforward, intuitive interface to set temperature thresholds and collaborate with the environment around it. Protocols can be set to prevent access if a mask isn’t being worn, or if the temperature of the visitor is above the threshold.” McCarthy further explains that facial recognition capability has reached a new height in the biometrics technology industry. For example, the Facial Recognition Terminals with Temperature Detection contains a maximum of 30,000 facial templates and up to 5000 palm templates, depending on the model selected, and a recognition speed of less than 0.3 seconds per face. Ultimately the goal of adding these terminals to the Vanderbilt portfolio is to help tackle hygiene concerns. Facial recognition terminals “For instance,” cites Andrew Fulton, Director of Business Development for Access Control at Vanderbilt. “A hospital can check when a staff member has their mask fitted and is not above the normal skin temperature limit before granting them access. This feature makes it not only an ideal product for hospitals, but also factories, schools, commercial buildings, airports, stations, and other public areas.” The addition of the Facial Recognition Terminals with Temperature Detection into the Vanderbilt portfolio allows the company to continue providing its customers with smart and reliable strategies to help create a safer environment for staff and visitors during this unprecedented time.

Smart R Distribution upgrades access control systems at Northern & Shell Building to enhance public security
Smart R Distribution upgrades access control systems at Northern & Shell Building to enhance public security

A landmark building located on the north side of the River Thames, has seen its security upgraded with Smart R Distribution and systems integrator, Isecurity Systems Limited, working in partnership to ensure tenants are protected by the latest advances in Access Control technology. The Northern & Shell Building at 10 Lower Thames Street, London EC3 which offers dramatic panoramic river views, has an on-site restaurant, a 10 storey glazed atrium and glass wall climber lifts. Among its tenants, Northern & Shell Group occupies approximately 110,000 sq. ft. spread over the ground, 4th, 9th and 10th floors. Single software platform As part of a phased office refurbishment programme, the owners of the building reviewed the tools available to the security personnel to enable them to maintain a safe and secure environment for approximately 5,000 people who work in the building, as well as contractors and visitors. “The existing Geoffrey Access Control system had been in use for over 20 years and although it was still operating effectively, its functionality was limited compared to more modern solutions,” said Russell Morgan, Project Manager for Elsenham, Essex based Isecurity Systems, who have had a long term association with Northern & Shell Group. “A decision was made to invest in the latest generation Vanderbilt Security Management System (SMS) which enables users to efficiently manage alarms, lifts, visitors and the photo ID badging process, from a single software platform.” Magnetic stripe readers The Comelit video entry system integrates seamlessly with the SMS control system Russell and his colleagues at Isecurity Systems worked with the Smart R Distribution team to supply a Vanderbilt SMS access control system and they also in the process of replacing the 140 aging magnetic stripe readers with new CIDRON access control readers which support securely encrypted DESfire EV2 contactless Smart Cards from Cambridge UK based Authenticard. Smart R Distribution also supplied a new Comelit ViP video entry system, comprising 8 door stations and 2 control desk positions, which has been installed by Isecurity Systems to allow operators within the building’s 24/7 control room, to communicate and remotely open doors for contractors and couriers who need to gain entry via, for example, to a basement entrance. The Comelit video entry system integrates seamlessly with the SMS control system. Efficient access control solution “We now have a highly efficient Access Control solution which helps us to manage the smooth movement of large numbers of people through turnstile controlled speed lanes located in our reception area and it also enables us to control who can gain access to other restricted areas within the building,” said Dave Wratten, Facilities Manager for Northern & Shell Group. “Isecurity Systems and Smart R should be applauded for working in partnership to ensure that all the equipment was delivered to site exactly when it was needed and then installed to our complete satisfaction.”