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.

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MOBOTIX video technology considered the standard for video security solutions in education & science sectors
MOBOTIX video technology considered the standard for video security solutions in education & science sectors

Security at educational institutions is a highly sensitive issue. No matter whether it is a kindergarten, school, university or private learning institute, concentrated learning requires a harmonious environment to focus on the essentials. High-end video technology can make a decisive contribution to protecting students from any kind of disturbance or untoward incident. Safeguarding schools In the past, schools and universities have repeatedly been the target of active shooter and terrorist attacks. The primary goal of educational institutions, owing to this constant threat, is to prevent ‘unauthorised access’ to the school grounds and to allow only authorised visitors. Further potential danger exists internally, such as cases of vandalism, bullying and violence by or among students, which are issues that may arise sometimes in school life. Of course, early smoke and fire detection are also important components for a safe learning and living environment. MOBOTIX video security solutions MOBOTIX has video security solutions for the education & science sector in its portfolio" In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new health protection requirements into focus. Video technology can provide reliable support in all these scenarios. "MOBOTIX has video security solutions for the education & science sector in its portfolio that makes school, learning and studying safe. These solutions are already in use around the world and have proven themselves to be very effective," said Thomas Lausten, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MOBOTIX AG. With its unique product portfolio consisting of hardware, software, services and intelligent partner solutions, MOBOTIX can precisely map the requirements of various industries. The latest technologies can be used to protect people, facilities and infrastructure in schools, universities or private educational institutions. Access and entry control Video technology from MOBOTIX helps to prevent unauthorised access and regulate access to buildings, or individual areas in a targeted manner. In addition, doors can be opened totally contactlessly, for example using RFID chip cards, access codes and identification of authorised personnel, based on face recognition technology. An overview in real time is possible and also helps in emergency situations, e.g. during evacuations to find out whether and which persons are where. At entrances and parking lots, vehicles can be automatically registered via the license plate and compared with databases. The identifying video technology can thus, efficiently restrict access to authorised vehicles or persons. MOBOTIX 7 open video system platform Using the new open video system platform, MOBOTIX 7, numerous camera apps can be used for intelligent video analysis. Among other things, the applications can register, for example, ownerless luggage, stolen furnishings, can track down suspicious persons, count people, recognise overcrowding situations or alert when one or more virtual blocking lines are crossed for burglary protection. The robustness of the MOBOTIX hardware also protects the video technology of MOBOTIX itself against vandalism. The use of thermal imaging cameras is also recommended in special areas. For example, an email can be sent to the building maintenance department if the system, which reacts to invisible heat radiation, detects increasing overheating in an IT server room before a dangerous fire breaks out. Campus security and perimeter protection The MOBOTIX M16 and M73 offer several simultaneous sensors in a robust, weatherproof design For outdoor applications, the MOBOTIX M16 and M73 offer several simultaneous sensors in a robust, weatherproof design. The wide range of interchangeable sensor modules can be configured to meet the exact requirements of the educational institution in question, with the aim to detect danger or any untoward incident in time and thus, effectively thwart them. For example, a floodlight could automatically shine if an unauthorized person enters the campus outside of opening hours. If desired, this could also be combined with an acoustic warning. Cyber-secure MOBOTIX video technology While the communication infrastructure in the education sector constantly improving, there are usually few resources (personnel, know-how) available for the maintenance of the technology. For this reason, the systems used must be stable and, if possible, maintenance-free and also protected against physical and digital attacks. MOBOTIX video systems are made in Germany. With an above-average ‘Mean Time Between Failures’ (MTBF) of more than 80,000 hours, the follow-up costs of a MOBOTIX system are reduced to a minimum. Resources for technology support can be saved. Due to their durability and robustness, they are predestined for use in education and science. "Particularly in the educational sector, the security of pupils, students, teaching staff, but also of equipment and facilities is of particular importance, real and digital. MOBOTIX has optimal solutions that are robust, reliable and cyber-secure. Solutions that help to make our educational institutions more convenient and secure," concludes Thomas Lausten.

Alha Group integrates MOBOTIX thermal technology for enhanced security at Malpensa Airport in Milan, Italy
Alha Group integrates MOBOTIX thermal technology for enhanced security at Malpensa Airport in Milan, Italy

On an average, approximately 400,000 tons of cargo passes through Malpensa Airport every year, located in Milan, Italy. The Alha Group is the major cargo handling agent at the 25,000-square-meter site, which houses 32 airlines, with 34 large cargo aircrafts. Handling cargo at Malpensa Airport In 2012, Malpensa Cargo became a certified competence and administration centre for air cargo and road transport, especially for premium-quality small goods, such as smartphones, tablets, designer clothing and accessories. The Alha Group chose a system from MOBOTIX AG, a renowned manufacturer of cameras in Germany Since then, passenger transport in Malpensa has increased exponentially, which has driven the Alha Group to procure a video surveillance system that offers the very highest level of protection. The Alha Group chose a system from MOBOTIX AG, which has been manufacturing cameras in Germany for over 20 years. MOBOTIX thermal imaging cameras "We have installed nine MOBOTIX thermal imaging cameras at our sites in Malpensa, Rome Fiumicino, Segrate, Pioltello, Verona and Prato to strategically cover the key traffic areas," said Marco Alesi, Security Manager at the Alha Group. The MOBOTIX thermal systems were installed by Alha's business partner, Trium at the beginning of March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alha can now reliably control access to its offices and warehouses. Virtual security cage The project also saw the construction of a ‘Virtual security cage’ that Alha uses to protect the valuable goods of its customers that are being transshipped against theft. An infrared alarm system delineates a defined area and the video-based system triggers an alarm, as soon as an intruder enters this area. With the help of live images from the camera, the uninvited guest can be identified and stopped immediately. The Alha Group has consequently replaced an expensive conventional locking system with an advanced digital video solution and sped up routine work processes at the same time. The MOBOTIX cameras are integrated into the burglar alarm system, which is controlled using security badges. A detailed log is kept to track when the system is deactivated. Integrated thermal imaging solution "We were, and still are, extremely satisfied with the MOBOTIX cameras we installed previously," emphasizes Marco Alesi, adding "Not only because of their high quality and durability, but also because of the numerous integration and development options we've been able to make use of over time. This is a huge advantage, and one that applies to our most recent installation too." The timesheet system has an integrated thermal imaging camera that is activated, every time an employee signs in The timesheet system has an integrated thermal imaging camera that is activated, every time an employee in the warehouse and office access area signs in. A recorded message asks the employee to look into the camera and remove any glasses or head coverings that they may be wearing for proper identification. If the camera measures their body temperature as being 37.5 degrees Celsius or less, a green LED on the camera flashes to allow access to the cargo bay. If the temperature measured is higher than 37.5 degrees Celsius, a flashing red light and another recorded message informs the employee to wait for a specialist member of staff to take their temperature using a clinical thermometer. VoIP intercom system At the same time, the system sends an email with a dated camera screenshot, stored personnel data and the measured temperature. The VoIP intercom system integrated into the camera enables Alha security staff to immediately communicate with employees who were temporarily stopped when entering the company building. "The extra checks are making us all safer during this crisis. We see the ability to contact someone immediately after they receive negative results for a preliminary test as an intrinsic part of our duty of care toward our employees," explains Alesi.

MOBOTIX M73 video camera receives security certificate from SySS IT
MOBOTIX M73 video camera receives security certificate from SySS IT

The M73, MOBOTIX’s new high-performance camera based on Artificial Intelligence (AI), is the latest in MOBOTIX’s lineup to have received the SySS IT security certificate. After completing multiple tests, SySS GmbH now attests that the entire MOBOTIX IoT camera series has a particularly high level of cyber security. In addition to the M73, the M16, representing the entire Mx6 series, also has earned the SySS certificate. This is a continuation of the MOBOTIX Cactus Concept which stands for a reliable, end-to-end video system protection against hacker attacks. In several scenarios, the hardware and software components of the M73 were subjected to simulated state-of-the-art hacker attacks. The penetration testers at SySS GmbH are very familiar with attack methods on IT systems and are researching new ways and means of preventing intrusion into digital infrastructures. With this extensive know-how, SySS GmbH is the penetration test provider in Germany as they test IT landscapes, looking for both common and unique weaknesses and other security vulnerabilities. Enhanced cyber security for cameras "With the SySS certification of our new M73 video system, we are proving that MOBOTIX continuously strives for the best possible cyber security for all of our camera series," emphasises MOBOTIX CEO, Thomas Lausten. "Our Mx6 range is one of the market-leading systems for classic security camera applications and is the first choice for many of our customers. The robustness and durability of the power-saving system is in line with the classic MOBOTIX DNA and is ONVIF-compliant despite the decentralised approach." "The SySS certification of the new, open MOBOTIX 7 platform and the M73 proves that we have achieved the goal of highest data and cyber security even with our most powerful camera series," says Lausten. "This also applies to the Certified Apps that are integrated in the firmware, which comprehensively extend the modularity of our systems. “ The MOBOTIX Apps based on Deep Learning and solutions from renowned partners are explicitly verified and certified by MOBOTIX. Users can use exactly the apps in their video systems that they need for their requirements.