Multiplexers - Expert commentary

Technology evolution leads to changes in security control room furniture
Technology evolution leads to changes in security control room furniture

Technology is changing the look and function of today’s security control rooms. Old-school CRT (cathode-ray tube) monitors are giving way to the thinner, flat screen monitors in the control room environment, but the transition is gradual. Randy Smith of Winsted still sees many control rooms that need to make the conversion, which is a boon to his company’s business. Furniture today is designed differently to accommodate the thinner monitors, often with larger screens. Need for integrated rack systems With the increase of IP-based systems comes the need for integrated rack systems that include advanced functionality such as cable management, adds Jim Coleman, National Sales Manager, AFC Industries. Server rooms are environmentally controlled by cooling systems and power systems monitored on the IP network. Low-profile flat screens allow centres to utilise space vertically, thus creating a smaller footprint for the consoles. Additionally, with IP-based systems, workstations will have a smaller footprint because there is less cumbersome equipment. In most cases the servers are stored in a secured, climate controlled environment to eliminate overheating of the servers and maintain their security, says Coleman. This environment also helps with cable and power management. AFC builds technical furniture racks that adhere to the precise needs of computer network server room operators. The company designs and fabricates LAN workbenches with versatile functionalities, and server room workstation racks that are scalable. There is a complete line of IT workbenches, IT computer racks and computer server rack mounts with flexible mounting options. In most cases the servers are stored in a secured, climate controlled environment to eliminate overheating of the servers and maintain their security Flexible control room designs Matko Papic, Chief Technology Officer of Evans Consoles, says the transition from bulky CRT equipment to flat-screen (lower profile) monitors was a major disruption in control room design; it changed the whole dynamic. Another evolution is the use of IP video streaming, which allows more flexibility in manipulation of audio-video content, and requires more flexible control room designs. Another shift, driven by larger, higher-definition monitors, is a shift to fewer monitors that display more information. Instead of a smaller monitor for each information stream, larger monitors now consolidate that information into “dashboard” displays. Looking ahead, control rooms will need to be more flexible, both in the initial design and the ability to adapt to changing technology, says Papic. Legacy customers who are currently using PCs may be moving to more remote applications. Sit-stand equipment will continue to be increasingly prevalent. “There will be more emphasis on flexibility, technology integration, and the ability to change over the life of the system,” says Papic. Consolidation of multiple operations into a single system A trend in security is consolidation of multiple physical operations into a single system, says Papic. As a result, more customers are taking more interest in alarm management and situational awareness. How is the technology being used in terms of alarm triggers? How can the systems react rapidly and provide information to a larger audience in the control room? These questions impact how control rooms are designed, and Evans Consoles can adapt lessons learned from other markets to these trends in the security arena. Greater use of technology is inevitable, says Coleman of AFC Industries. “It is virtually impossible for humans to monitor all security data at the street level in our cities,” he says. “As computers become more powerful and their programs more all-encompassing, we will see a greater shift to robotic and technology uses that will provide enhanced monitoring capabilities and safety Read our Control Rooms series here

Choosing the right power supplies for security installations
Choosing the right power supplies for security installations

 Selecting the optimum power supply for a system is critical to an installation  When it comes to selecting power supplies, knowledge is power. Determining the power requirements of every systems product, taking into account their integration with one another is critical to ensure that you are selecting and installing the power solutions most appropriate for your installation. Such information will enable you to select the power supplies that will be required to keep your security system running efficiently in the long run. Paul Rizzuto, Technical Sales Manager, Altronix Corp outlines some of the key factors to consider when choosing the right power solution for security installations - including those of video surveillance systems and access control systems - and fire alarm systems. Questions to consider when selecting the optimum power supply Before commencing the evaluation and selection process, three fundamental questions/issues need be addressed:Approvals and conformance to norms: Are there any specific agency approvals that the installation must conform to?Each state, county and even municipality has their own requirements regarding agency approvals. There are a variety of compliance issues such as UL listings for video, access control and fire/life safety that need to be adhered to along with specific local codes. It's imperative that you check with the local AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) to find out what agency listings you must conform to during the design process to assure your security system is in compliance before installing any components and power supplies. Features required: What are the application specific features required for the installation? Selecting power supplies for a security or fire alarm system is a complex process due to a number of variables Before starting the design process, a comprehensive analysis of the facility's security systems are required to determine feature sets of the power supplies. Up until recently, selecting power supplies often required the need to combine various components to deliver the functionality desired. For example, does the system need battery back-up in case of a power failure?  All that has changed with the introduction of a new breed of integrated power solutions that deliver both cost and installation advantages. Quantity, location and power requirements of the security system componentsWhat is the number of devices in the system, the power requirements for each, and their physical location?This information is necessary to determine the size and quantity of the power supplies, how many security devices they will run, and where they will be physically located.  It is always a good rule of thumb to add 20% more power to your calculations as a safety factor.  Alarm signal generation is a key consideration when dealing with power consumption in fire alarms systems Dealing with power consumption issues in fire alarm systems Power consumption is a primary issue when configuring fire alarm systems. One of the most critical considerations revolves around how alarm signals are activated. When an alarm condition exists, Notification Appliance Circuits (NAC) are output from the Fire Alarm Control Panel (FACP) to activate notification appliances such as strobes and horns commonly used to indicate an emergency situation. The number of notification appliances to be activated, along with the current draw for each device and its distance from the FACP, sometimes makes the deployment of NAC Power Extenders a necessary system component. For example, in large commercial installations or multi-tenant buildings, the total current draw of the notification appliances may well exceed the power output of the FACP. In these instances, one or more NAC Power Extenders need to be installed for those notification appliances where the wire runs are too long for the FACP to deliver sufficient power.  Features to consider when selecting a NAC Power Extender: Number of Class A or Class B indicating circuits.Total power rating (ex. 6.5 amp, 8 amp or 10 amp).Number of Aux. power outputs with or without battery backup.Programmable outputs: SynchronizationTemporal Code 3Input to output follower mode.Enclosure capacity: Room for battery backupAmple knockouts and room for wiringAgency approvals UL, MEA, CSFM and FM.NAC Power Extenders are available with programmable features that maintain horn/strobe synchronization by either producing internally generated sync protocols utilized by major signal manufacturers, or by electronically repeating these sync protocols from the FACP outputs. Power supply requirements for access control systems - key standards to follow    To ensure safety any device designated to lock or unlock an exit must be connected to the fire alarm systemAccess control systems manage entry and exit points at a facility by means of controlled locking devices. NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) requires that any device or system intended to actuate the locking or unlocking of exits, must be connected to the facility's fire alarm system so that all doors will release when an alarm signal is generated.To comply with NFPA requirements, there are two classifications of locking devices that need to be addressed: Fail-Safe and Fail-Secure. Fail-Safe locking devices such as magnetic locks release when they lose power. Fail-Secure locking devices such as electric strikes unlock when power is applied and may be manually released from inside a secured area. This determines the manner in which your power solution removes or provides power and the sequence and timing of each action.Access control power supplies come in both AC and DC versions and some provide multiple voltages simultaneously. Features include independently trigger controlled Fail-Safe/Fail-Secure outputs, power supervision, battery charging and fire alarm interface. Wall and rack mount models are also available.To comply with NFPA requirements, there are two classifications of locking devices that need to be addressed: Fail-Safe and Fail-Secure Some systems may also require the installation of panic hardware devices. Upon activation, the devices' high current power demand can reach up to 16amps, but not all power supplies can handle these high inrush currents.  As a result, you need to specify a power supply designed for this type of application.  Some operate a single panic hardware device and require optional modules to add features like timing functions, output relays, fire alarm disconnect, or power for additional panic hardware devices.  Therefore, these "base" models almost always require additional modules to deliver the functionality you need and may not be cost effective. More advanced models offer integrated features and supply a comprehensive solution. In addition to the convenience of these integrated devices, they are highly cost efficient with respect to total cost of ownership and installation. Video surveillance systems - typical power consumption guidelinesVideo surveillance systems typically run 24/7/365 placing high demands on power supplies. These video power supplies need to deliver a clean and consistent source of 24VAC or 12VDC power to assure uninterrupted operation. Depending on the video component's specific power requirements and its location, there is a wide selection of power supplies to select from. They can be wall or rack mounted, designed for use indoors or outdoors, and feature AC or DC outputs. Configurations typically range from 1 to 32 outputs and some models offer additional features like 115 or 230VAC input with current ratings as high as 25 amps, power LED indicators, and PTC or fused protected outputs. Certain models provide both 24VAC and 12VDC to power both types of surveillance cameras simultaneously. Environmental conditions can affect the performance of video components and the power supply when situated outdoors A few additional variables to consider when selecting video surveillance power supplies include: Environmental conditions: Temperature differences due to change of seasons, day or  night, can often be extreme and can have a direct affect on the performance of both the video components and the power supply when located outdoors. Enclosures for outdoor power supplies should be rated to withstand the elements.Ground Isolation: In some cases, the surveillance cameras are not equipped with internal electrical isolation. Should this be the case, it's important to specify a power supply with this feature. Video Transmission Systems: For years, the use of structured cable has been an inexpensive method for transmitting video and data between head end equipment and camera systems. The introduction of UTP transceiver hubs with integral camera power make it possible to transmit both video and data via structured cable along with the power needed for the cameras. This is accomplished via video balun/combiners which pass the power and data to the camera and send the video back to the head end equipment. New highly versatile devices with integral power provide system designers with a highly integrated solution. This new breed of integrated device greatly reduces the time and expense of configuring and installing separate components while helping to minimize bandwidth requirements for large security systems. Paul RizzutoTechnical Sales Manager Altronix Corp  

Latest Bosch Security Systems news

Bosch releases a new version of AIoT video software solution supporting safe social distancing
Bosch releases a new version of AIoT video software solution supporting safe social distancing

The latest release of ‘Intelligent Insights’ from Bosch offers a software widget update that supports safe social distancing. Intelligent Insights is an ‘AIoT’ video software solution – which combines the connectivity of physical products with the application of artificial intelligence (AI) – that gives customers the power to predict based on live and historical data. Intelligent Insights taps data from Bosch video cameras with built-in AI and pulls it into a single dashboard to support informed decision-making before a potential situation occurs. Minimising coronavirus spread One of the most notable changes caused by the current pandemic is social distancing. Maintaining a precise distance and upholding a maximum threshold of people in gathering areas such as workplaces, shopping centers, and train stations has become critical to minimise coronavirus spread (COVID-19). In light of the challenges imposed by this situation, Intelligent Insights supports social distancing regulations with its latest software widget update. Intelligent Insights supports social distancing regulations with its latest software widget update The new Area fill level traffic light widget offers an intuitive graphical interface that helps users comply with social distancing regulations. The widget visualises the current and maximum number of people allowed in a particular area at a specific time. It illustrates three different states – normal, serious, and critical – as green, yellow, or red, along with corresponding info text, so the user instantly knows when to take action. Traffic light widget Users can opt to live stream the Area fill level traffic light widget on a monitor at an entrance to a supermarket or grocery store, for example, to inform customers whether they may enter the store. When a threshold is reached, the widget can activate and trigger a connected device that will inform visitors with a public announcement, simple alert, or message displayed on a monitor. Intelligent Insights uses built-in AI from Bosch cameras to interpret video images and captures camera metadata from situations involving moving objects, people counting, and crowd detection. The software tool then collects, aggregates, and displays this information using a series of pre-defined widgets enabling users to visualise and evaluate a complete scene from a simple overview screen. Intelligence beyond security Users can select the needed widgets to provide the required information to help predict unwanted situations The dashboard enables users to quickly understand what they see, which helps them respond before a potential situation occurs and delivers business intelligence beyond security. For detailed post-analysis and to help users adjust and alter future actions, Intelligent Insights offers a report function. Intelligent Insights comes with a series of intuitive dashboard widgets that enable users to evaluate a complete scene to support security, safety, and well-being in varying applications. Depending on the application, users can select the needed widgets to provide the required information to help predict unwanted situations or uncover new opportunities. Object positioning widget Area fill level, Occupancy counting, and Crowd detection offer the ability to monitor and detect crowds accurately and count individuals and objects. The user can specify the desired occupancy rate of an area by determining the maximum number of people allowed to be in that area within a given time. Intelligent Insights also offers Object counting and People counting to count objects or people accurately such as when entering or leaving a building. These widgets help identify peak and low times on specific days or over an extended period. Intelligent Insights uses only anonymous data from cameras, ensuring people’s privacy is protected at all times. With the Object positioning widget, users can get a real-time overview of all objects moving in a specific area. Based on their GPS position, which can be determined by cameras that feature built-in AI, the objects are plotted onto a map and classified with icons. Video management system Intelligent Insights, an AIoT video software solution from Bosch, supports social distancing regulations, helps customers respond before a potential situation occurs, and delivers business intelligence beyond security. Intelligent Insights is not only a powerful standalone software package but also designed for seamless integration with other software solutions like the video management system of Bosch (BVMS).

Bosch secures Granarolo plant at Soliera with their Intelligent Video Analytics system
Bosch secures Granarolo plant at Soliera with their Intelligent Video Analytics system

Situated near the picturesque small town of Soliera in northern Italy, the dairy plant of Italian food company Granarolo is anything but small: More than 600 farmers, 70 trucks for the collection of milk and 720 vehicles handle 850,000 tons of milk every year. Its dairy products such as milk, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, and lately also ham and pasta, supply several million Italian families every day. The plant’s huge production capacity is reflected in the size of the perimeter: The Soliera facility stretches out over 45,000 square metres. Furthermore, it is located near a wooded land which is important when it comes to designing a security system aimed at protecting the plant against intrusion. Video surveillance system Granarolo wanted to replace an old analogue video surveillance system by a digital one as its security challenges exceeded the limits of the old installation. The project posed several challenges. The most significant being the vast area of the factory itself, as well as the location of the perimeter near an area that can only be poorly overseen. Since the factory is located in a heavily wooded area, building an appropriate video security system is more challenging because it needs to be safeguarded against false alarms, triggered by ever-changing lights, shadows and the constant movement of trees and plants. Tackling these challenges, Naples-based Bosch partner Gruppo Sirio worked out the modernisation of the plant’s security system, with Bosch cameras featuring built-in Intelligent Video Analytics (IVA) at the heart of the system. Detecting suspicious objects Bosch provided a video surveillance system with 48 cameras of the Dinion series With the help of the security cameras’ integrated video analytics, virtual lines were drawn around the area to be protected against intrusion. When these lines are crossed by intruders, the programmed rules automatically generate alarms, alerting on-site security personnel to intervene. Whether the cameras are tasked with detecting suspicious objects or unusual movements in daylight or night-time, constant surveillance with a special focus on sensitive areas ensures security. In total, Bosch provided a video surveillance system with 48 cameras of the Dinion series. The system, which is managed on one central platform, is completely autonomous and entirely separate from any other system or network in the plant. This ensures maximum security even in the event of potential failures of other systems on site. Perimeter protection solution As a result of the modernisation process, Granarolo can now rely on a system specifically designed for its needs. The newly established, digital video surveillance and perimeter protection solution supports the security personnel in maintaining maximum levels of security through the entire area. It also guarantees that food safety standards in the protected facility are guarded against outside influences. Ultimately, the system allows the staff to fully focus on keeping the production running at all times, thereby contributing to secure the sensitive chain of the Italian food supply against interruptions.

Bosch Security Systems unveil version 4.8 of its Building Integration System to enable a safe and contactless access control environment
Bosch Security Systems unveil version 4.8 of its Building Integration System to enable a safe and contactless access control environment

Bosch Security Systems has released version 4.8 of its Building Integration System (BIS) which offers safe, touchless access control solutions to curb the spread of viruses like Covid-19. Secure access control solution BIS 4.8 supports biometric and mobile device authentication and provides building managers enhanced integration of fire panels and intrusion panels to ensure the security of buildings. The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused building operators to rethink their access control solutions In light of the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, building operators need to rethink their access control solutions. Instead of systems that require physical touch and thereby increase the risk of virus transmission, contactless solutions that still meet the highest security guidelines are preferable. BIS 4.8, Building Integration System In response to these requirements, BIS 4.8 expands on the trusted features and benefits of version 4.7 to now work with three different touchless solutions that safeguard personal health: Face recognition - BIS 4.8 has been redesigned to work with the face recognition solution from Idemia. The face recognition device obtains a biometric scan from a safe distance and matches facial features with credentials in an encrypted database. Doors and gates open via the BIS Access Engine and the Bosch Access Modular Controller (AMC2). Touchless fingerprint readers - Integrated with Idemia’s Morphowave reader, BIS 4.8 controls access via a touchless fingerprint scan. A simple wave of the hand in front of the touchless sensor triggers a 3D scan of four fingers. Access rights are confirmed within less than one second by the system's fingerprint database for a clean and highly secure solution. Access via mobile phones - In conjunction with the mobile access control solutions from STid and HID, BIS 4.8 allows users to use their mobile phone instead of a card for access at the secure reader. For STid’s Mobile ID, the method requires a STid reader, while a Bosch Lectus secure reader works with HID’s Mobile Access solution. Users only need to install an app to verify access rights and use the safe, wireless technology. Aside from facilitating contactless access, all three solutions are also intuitive, quick and convenient compared to keycards and similar methods as there is no need to carry an access card or remember a password in order to gain entry to a building or area. Seamless fire and intrusion panel integration Combining BIS 4.8 with Bosch B and G Series intrusion panels unlock a new level of convenience Combining BIS 4.8 with Bosch B and G Series intrusion panels or MAP 5000 panels unlocks a new level of convenience. Users require only one authorisation badge to control two systems. Disarming areas of the intrusion system and granting access can be realised with the same badge on the same reader, without entering a PIN code for easy, one-step authorisation. Improved flexibility and efficiency With the introduction of version 4.8, BIS continues to unify the management of multiple security and safety domains and maximise flexibility for key customer requirements. New features include: Integration of the latest Bosch Avenar 2000 and 8000 fire panels and peripherals, along with command and control via BIS, with devices and status shown on maps, and events managed more intuitively via an alarm list. User authorisation for Bosch B and G Series intrusion panels are managed directly within BIS for up to 2,000 users on as many as 25 intrusion panels, instead of handling authorisations separately on each of the 25 panels. Central overview of all existing access and B and G Series intrusion authorisations for the complete installation within one system. With these updates, BIS 4.8 helps operators meet the health and safety demands of the new reality without compromising on functionality and security. As a centralised platform for operational building management, the new version of BIS offers greater convenience, flexibility, and efficiency.