Perimeter security has evolved in recent years from an emphasis on fences and low-cost sensors to a broader systems approach that incorporates a variety of technologies. Protech is among the companies leading the transition and positioning itself as a one-stop systems provider at the perimeter.
Mergers and acquisitions
In 2014, U.S.-based Protech merged with Sorhea, a French manufacturer of perimeter security systems. The combination expanded Protech’s business from one product to the ability to supply an entire system. Parent company Groupe ST also owns TIL Technologies, which designs, manufactures and markets electronic access control, intrusion detection and video systems. Sorhea is strong in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Protech’s plan is to further expand its presence and range of systems in the United States in the next year and a half, while building a network of well-trained integrators.
Just this year, Groupe ST also acquired VideoWave Networks, a developer of video analytics systems that detect and track objects in outdoor environments – adding another new element to the portfolio, and the ability to supply systems with even more capabilities. Sorhea/Protech CEO Eric Thord calls it “the last piece of the puzzle.”
"It’s easy to make a product
Expanded product range
At the recent ASIS show, Protech exhibited its expanded range of products, including those from Sorhea and VideoWave. “Our systems are sophisticated and reliable, but they are also cost-effective, especially if you consider the total cost including less-expensive installation,” says Thord.
Thord also emphasises Protech/Sorhea’s spending on research and development – some 8 percent of revenue – which will ensure a flow of technology launches in the near future. “We have sophisticated security products, and we make sure the products are reliable,” says Thord. “It’s easy to make a product that will detect when something happens, but you also need to not detect when nothing happens.”
The largest vertical market for perimeter security has historically been corrections. Protech is also making a mark in airports and transportation, electrical utilities, water treatment and supply, government, and oil and gas refining.
Power and connections
A differentiator for Protech/Sorhea is the ability to provide systems that are not heavily dependent on infrastructure. Perimeter security areas may be remote and far away from network connections and/or power supplies. Protech’s solar-powered and wireless sensors are not burdened by infrastructure requirements.
Protech/Sorhea’s Solaris infrared beam technology provides a virtual fence to detect intrusion. It is wireless and solar-powered and works with a radio mesh network. There is a 300-foot range per system, and local or remote access is available through an integrated web server. Minimal, or even no, infrastructure is required, given the system is solar-powered (with battery backup) and communicates wirelessly. There are no trenches to dig. Anti-condensation caps designed into the product prevent the presence of condensation and ice on the infrared cover, thus allowing for correct functioning in all weather.
Protech has a wired system
Multiple sensor intrusion detection
Protech also has a wired system called Maxiris, an IR beam virtual fence that provides “pinpoint” intrusion detection in up to three zones. It also needs minimal infrastructure, offers a 300-foot range, and can be accessed locally or remotely through a web server. There are multiple modular styles for expansion.
The company’s Apiris products use multiple sensor technology – the virtual fence combines an active infrared, dual technology sensor and microwave barrier into a single operating interface. The G-Fence/G-Wall fence and wall-mounted system offers accelerometer-based detection. It can detect dynamic cut and climb activity and pinpoints intrusions to within 10 feet. There are both solar and powered models. The Piramid dual technology motion sensors use stereo Doppler technology for targeted detection – direction, speed and distance.
In addition, the Protech VideoWave video analytics object detection and tracking will be available in 2017.
“We have a breadth of technology that could be packaged as a total solution or sold independently,” Greg Zuckett, Protech’s Vice President, Sales and Marketing, told me at their ASIS booth. “We offer detection at the outermost perimeter, and then track the intruder as they move closer to the facility.” He says he was pleasantly surprised by the tremendous interest in their products at the ASIS show.