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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 Videotec news

Videotec installs MPXHD PTZ cameras for Perusahaan Gas Negara in Indonesia
Videotec installs MPXHD PTZ cameras for Perusahaan Gas Negara in Indonesia

Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN) is a company in Indonesia for the transportation and distribution of natural gas. The total length of distribution pipelines of this company is 3,187 km, serving around 84 million customers. As the owner and operator of four transmission pipelines, PGN is responsible for guaranteeing security along the entire chain of conservation and distribution of gas and for delivering products and services in accordance with the needs of consumers. Securing gas supply lines During the transport phase, the gas is pushed through the pipelines at very high pressure. When it reaches the end-users, however, its delivery pressure must be adjusted so that it falls within an acceptable range (as detailed in the contractual delivery specifications). This is to prevent consumers from being exposed to the full transport pressure reached within the pipeline. A metre and regulator station is used to regulate the Natural Gas outlet pressure, and reduce it to an acceptable value. To this end, PGN has developed a meter and regulator station (the Master Control Station) that works via remote control, directed from the control room. This project plays an active role in the PGN's commitment to achieving Operational Excellence in process management, with the focus on optimising safety, improving efficiency and on maximising reliability throughout the gas supply chain operations. PTZ cameras and remote monitoring To guarantee reliability and security of the control function, it is necessary to monitor the process using specialised CCTV equipment for hazardous zones. 10 PTZ units from the MPXHD series have been chosen for the realisation of this surveillance system, because of their reliability in providing perfect video footage and their compliance with the security standards for operation in hazardous areas. The PTZ units are used to directly monitor the metreing and regulating operations remotely from the master control room.

Videotec installs explosion-proof PTZ IP cameras at an industrial complex in Mexico
Videotec installs explosion-proof PTZ IP cameras at an industrial complex in Mexico

When overseeing the installation of video surveillance in a refinery, it is necessary to understand that there are a number of complex issues that must be resolved. The infrastructure is, generally, very large and presents a series of extremely dangerous environments and processes that must be closely monitored in order to ensure that the numerous manufacturing operations taking place are carried out safely. Monitor large complex One of the customers in Mexico has asked for a system that enables them to monitor these complex operations in real time, so that precautionary action can be taken, if necessary. The system has to show the work that PEMEX staff and all suppliers within the processes area are undertaking in order to avoid risky situations and ensure that all jobs are performed in accordance with safety standards. In addition, the system needs to be able to show various parts of infrastructure, such as instruments, valves, pipes, etc. and detect any malfunctioning production equipment. In some places, production processes must be monitored as they occur in zones made hazardous by the presence of flammable substances. The customer’s top priority is being certain that the installed cameras themselves are not a possible ignition source for flammable products in the surrounding areas. Explosion-proof PTZ IP cameras The integrator REX ENTERPRISE S.A. de C.V. carried out two projects with these characteristics in Mexico: one in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz and the other in Poza Rica, Veracruz. In Poza Rica, Milestone software manages the system’s 51 devices, including IP cameras for internal monitoring, analogue cameras from a previous system and 22 explosion-proof PTZ IP cameras. Milestone has been chosen due to its ability to integrate a number of alarm systems, analytic systems, etc. in the future, as it wasn’t possible to fund and use the complete system at the time of installation. ONVIF protocol Videotec's explosion-proof PTZ cameras were selected for their unlimited lifespan, with three-year warranty, their corrosion-resistant construction and their conformation with all the applicable standards for explosion-proof devices. The integration of Videotec products and Milestone is guaranteed by the ONVIF protocol. ONVIF is a worldwide industry standard that offers standardised interfaces and promotes effective interoperability of physical safety products.

Videotec announces its products available as Building Information Models on the BIM library
Videotec announces its products available as Building Information Models on the BIM library

Videotec is once again showing its ongoing commitment to keeping up to date with worldwide technological innovations with the announcement that most of the company’s products are available as Building Information Models (BIMs), created with BIMscript technology. Building Information Modelling Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a process based on 3D metadata that is full of useful information for the design, planning and integrated management of infrastructure or building projects. In particular, BIM offers huge economic and competitiveness advantages to architects, designers and project managers. Videotec BIM library The new Videotec BIM library has 3D models of the company’s video surveillance products, complete with data such as volume and dimensions, materials, appearance and technical characteristics. These are ready to be imported directly into a project or technical document. The Videotec BIM library is constantly being updated as it is filled with new documents that cover the latest product releases and it can be downloaded from the BIM Object portal.