Located throughout Persian Gulf countries is a quickly growing chain of stores known as Ramez Hyper Market. Currently there are 39 individual stores in this region. However, with an aggressive expansion strategy, this total is projected to balloon to 90 total stores within 5 years.

Reflecting this is the chain's presence in the country of Bahrain. Currently, this island nation has three relatively new stores that were opened progressively, one shortly after the other.

Additionally, the Ramez Group is set to open its fourth Hyper Market within a matter of months. This chain's growth can be attributed to a number of factors, including the type of store it is, and the services it provides to its customers.

Ramez Hyper Market is a one-stop shop offering customers everything from home furniture to fresh products over multiple floors of retail space. Additionally, with amenities such as convenient outdoor or underground parking, and with the doors open for approximately 16 hours each day, shoppers have a convenient option to efficiently get anything they need, whenever they want.

However, unforeseen to most customers, this convenience comes with a security responsibility for Ramez ownership. Specifically, the Ramez Group's goal is to provide:

  • the ability to monitor cars in close detail the moment they enter parking facilities
  • the ability to closely monitor customers the moment they leave their car until the moment they return to it
  • the ability to monitor each and every individual rack of goods within the store
  • the ability to eliminate camera blind spots on retail floor space

IR eyes outside

Of the four Bahrain Ramez Hyper Market stores, each store uses a different parking strategy based upon its specific location and the logistical requirements of that store. One uses a combination of both outdoor and underground facilities; the others offer either open or underground, depending on their situation.

As noted, the Ramez Group wanted the ability to see detail, specifically license plate numbers. To achieve this goal, as well as the other aforementioned points, Al Wardi Security Trading Co. W.L.L. was chosen to act as integrator to not only Bahrain's Ramez Hyper Markets, but for all Ramez Hyper Markets throughout the Gulf Region, as well.

To provide Bahrain's Ramez Hyper Market with the ability to see license plate numbers and other similar detail, Murali Nambiar - Managing Director at Al Wardi Security Trading Co. W.L.L. - selected Hikvision's DS-2CD854FWD-IR5 3MP WDR Network Box Camera. This model was chosen for a variety of its technical capacities, but at the top of this list is a 50M IR range combined with a vari-focal lens. The IR range provides the needed distance to survey individual automobiles, while the vari-focal lens provides the means to see specific detail, such as license plate numbers.

The Hikvision performance has made Ramez Group and Al Wardi Security Trading Co. W.L.L. plan to replicate the same in new Hyper Market locations
Rounding out the external camera solution is Hikvision's DS-2DF7284 Series 2MP IR network speed dome

The 2CD854FWD-IR5 3MP is placed on Hyper Market external walls, overlooking parking. Additionally, it provides quality overall perimeter security. While lights are present to somewhat illuminate the evening hours, the transition from day to night can be markedly different from one side of the building to the other. In this capacity, not only is IR important, as is a true day / night feature to automatically switch to infrared, and also wide dynamic range to take into account the glare of the sun at particular hours of the day.

Interestingly, this box camera is not designed as an outdoor camera. As such, it doesn't have an IP66 rating to protect it against the elements. However, Mr. Nambiar felt this was the camera for the job, so Hikvision designed a custom external housing unit to provide this needed protection.

Piggybacking the 2CD854FWD-E 3MP for parking is the DS-2CD2632F-I(S) 3MP Vari-focal IR Bullet Camera. Placed in underground parking structures, this bullet camera also takes advantage of many of the same technical specs such as the previous Hikvision box camera to provide coverage. However, in this case, the DS-2CD2632F-I(S) 3MP comes equipped with an IP66 rating.

Rounding out the external camera solution is the DS-2DF7284 Series 2MP IR Network Speed Dome. Utilised at only one Hyper Market location, this dome camera is placed on the corners of the building to help with particularly heavy customer flow, traffic congestion, and parking concerns. Programmed with a preset search scan, the DS-2DF7284 provides 180° of coverage on all four corners of the property location. If anything should catch the security operator's interest, this speed dome's 20x optical zoom provides the specific detail if further investigation is warranted.

Every inside inch has camera coverage

The Ramez Group puts great onus upon internal camera coverage. For example, in the first two Hyper Markets, each rack of goods - regardless of type or location - has its own individual DS-2CD753F-E(I)Z 2MP Vandal Resistant Network Dome Camera covering it. In total, 188 units are dedicated to this approach.

Utilising Hikvision's
DS-9632NI-ST Embedded
NVR, each store has a
central security room
and is responsible for its
own security needs

As these racks are approximately 20 - 30 metres long, the DS-2CD2732F-I(S)'s 30 meters of IR range is perfect for this application. Additionally, while the store may be open to customers for two-thirds of the day, it is actually in use 24/7. This is due to the fact that "off hours" are dedicated to restocking, cleaning, and any other issues that may need address. During these eight nighttime hours, lighting is significantly dimmed, hence IR functionality comes into play. Additionally, should an unexpected power outage occur, this solution incorporates UPS as a one-hour backup. Furthermore, since store ceilings are not particularly high in many of these areas, this dome's vandal-proof housing also provides proactive insurance against customer and/or employee manipulation.

For the two newer stores, this function is being covered by the DS-2CD2732F-I(S) 3MP IP66 Network IR Dome Camera. Almost 230 units are utilised in this fashion. Essentially identical in function, this camera provides 3MP of high-resolution, where the former provided 2MP. However, this model is used in all stores to cover critical areas, such as the main entrance and cashier registers, to take advantage of the increase in resolution.

To eliminate blind spots and help provide "coverage of the customer the moment they enter the store until they return to their car," as Mr. Nambiar explained, is the DS-2CD8253F-EI(Z) 2MP IR Bullet Network Camera. However, this unit is more singular in purpose. Placed in corners, where architecture does not allow convenient access for a dome, this bullet camera fills in the coverage blanks of the overhead domes.

Wired in for added security

Utilising Hikvision's DS-9632NI-ST Embedded NVR, each store has a central security room and is responsible for its own security needs. However, all four stores are tied into the Bahrain's Ministry of the Interior with a high-speed Internet connection. This allows not only store manages to remotely live monitor their stores via a LAN connection, but also authorities through the Internet. Mr. Nambiar notes this has substantially cut down on both response times to incidents, and efficiency in how they respond to them.

It is this Hikvision performance that the Ramez Group and Al Wardi Security Trading Co. W.L.L. plan to replicate in new Hyper Market locations throughout the larger Persian Gulf region.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

How smart technology is simplifying safety and security in retirement villages
How smart technology is simplifying safety and security in retirement villages

James Twigg is the Managing Director of Total Integrated Solutions (TIS), an independent life safety, security and communication systems integrator, specialising in design & consultancy, technology and regulatory compliance. Total Integrated Solutions work primarily with retirement villages, helping to ensure the safety of residents in numerous retirement villages across the country. In this opinion piece, James shares how smart technology is helping security teams and care staff alike in ensuring the safety and security of their spaces, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Impact of smart technology Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives. From how we travel, to how we work, to how we run our homes. It’s not unusual to have Alexa waking us up and ordering our groceries or Nest to be regulating the temperature and energy in our homes. And while there’s a popular misconception that people in their later years are allergic to technology, retirement villages and care homes are experiencing significant innovation too. And the result is not only improved quality of life for residents, but also improved safety and security systems for management teams. Switching to converged IP systems I’ve been working in the life safety and security industry for over fifteen years. When I first joined TIS, much of the sector was still very analogue, in terms of the technology being installed and maintained. Slowly but surely, we’ve been consulting and advising customers on how to design, install and maintain converged IP systems that all talk to each other and work in tandem. I'm excited to say retirement villages are some of the top spaces leading the way, in terms of technological advancement. Improving the quality of life for residents A move into a retirement village can be daunting and one of the key concerns that we hear about is the loss of independence. No one wants to feel like they are being monitored or to have someone constantly hovering over them. One of the ways we’ve used smart technology to maintain residents' independence is through devices, such as health monitors and motion sensors. For example, instead of having a member of staff check-in on residents every morning, to ensure they are well, sensors and analytics can automatically detect changes in routine and alert staff to possible problems. Similarly, wearable tech, such as smart watches give residents a chance to let staff know they are okay, without having to tell them face-to-face. As our retirement village customers have told us, a simple ‘I’m okay’ command can be the difference between someone feeling independent versus someone feeling monitored. Simplifying and improving security systems Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents For the teams responsible for the safety of the people, places and spaces within retirement villages, smart technology is helping to improve and simplify their jobs. Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents, and ensures rapid response if notified by an emergency alert, ensuring they know the exact location of the resident in need. And without the need to go and physically check-in on every resident, staff and management can ensure staff time is being used effectively. Resources can be distributed where they are needed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those residents who need extra consideration. 24/7 surveillance When planning the safety and security for retirement villages, and other residential spaces, it’s no use having traditional systems that only work effectively for 12 hours a day or need to update during the evening. Surveillance needs to be 24/7 and smart technology allows that without the physical intrusion into people’s spaces and daily lives. Smart technology ensures that systems speak to each other and are easily and effectively managed on one integrated system. This includes video surveillance, which has also become much more effective as a result of advanced video analytics, which automatically warn staff of suspicious behaviour. Securing spaces amid COVID-19 This year has, of course, brought new challenges for safety. COVID-19 hit the retirement and residential care sectors hard, first with the initial wave of infections in mid-2020 and then, with the subsequent loneliness caused by the necessary separation of families. As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed during this time, equipping residents with tablet devices to ensure they could stay connected with their families and friends. It allowed residents to keep in touch without risking transferring the virus. Thermal cameras and mask detection And now that we’re emerging out of COVID-19 restrictions and most residents can see their families again, we’re installing systems like thermal cameras and mask detection, so as to ensure that security will be alerted to anyone in the space experiencing a high temperature or not wearing proper PPE. Such steps give staff and families alike, the peace-of-mind that operational teams will be alerted at the earliest possible moment, should a COVID-19 risk appear. Thinking ahead to the next fifteen years, I’m excited at the prospect of further technological advancements in this space. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about how complex your security system is or how you compete in the industry. It’s about helping teams to protect the people, spaces and places that matter. I see smart technology playing a huge role in that for years to come.

ASSA ABLOY’s Code Handle protects Fylab physiotherapy practice with secure PIN-operated handles
ASSA ABLOY’s Code Handle protects Fylab physiotherapy practice with secure PIN-operated handles

In all medical settings, people are coming and going all day. Therapists leave their personal belongings in changing rooms, patients want privacy in consulting rooms, open or unlocked doors can be an invitation to opportunists. Yet keeping track of mechanical keys can be a tiresome task for a small practice. There is a solution: the Code Handle PIN lock from ASSA ABLOY. In Irun, in Spain’s Basque country, Fylab sought easy electronic door security for their consulting rooms. These rooms house expensive specialist equipment for the various therapeutic disciplines offered by Fylab. Requirements were straightforward: a simple, secure, keyless access solution designed to work in a facility that gets a lot of daily traffic from professionals and the public. They needed a locking device that is easy to retrofit and incorporates a contemporary device design to match with Fylab’s modern medical workplace. Adding electronic security to room doors The Code Handle PIN-locking door handle added electronic security to three consulting-room doors at FylabThe Code Handle PIN-locking door handle added electronic security to three consulting-room doors at Fylab – without wires or cables. Two screws fit a Code Handle to almost any interior door (between 35mm to 80mm thick). One doesn’t even need to change their existing door cylinder. “I am no artist or handyman, but I managed to fit the handles within 10 minutes,” says Fylab founder, Borja Saldias Retegui. Code Handle adds electronic security to almost any interior door without disrupting its aesthetics. If one needs to secure a door facing a public space, Code Handle does it subtly and with zero hassle. At Fylab, Code Handle devices locks both wooden and glass doors, keeping equipment and therapists’ personal belongings safe. Allows up to 9 different PIN numbers “We like the solution a lot because we can do away with keys,” adds Borja. Code Handle removes the need to track cumbersome keys or install expensive access control. Because every Code Handle allows up to 9 different PIN numbers (4 to 6 digits), all authorised staff at Fylab can have their own security code. Two standard batteries (CR2) slot inside the handle, typically lasting 30,000 lock/unlock cycles before replacement The practice manager cancels or amends PINs at any time using the master PIN. Two standard batteries (CR2) slot inside the handle, typically lasting 30,000 lock/unlock cycles before replacement. It’s simple. “Code Handle is unique in comparison to common code door locks: it has the code function and battery incorporated inside its handle, so you don’t need to make extra modifications to your door,” explains Lars Angelin, Business Development Manager for Code Handle at ASSA ABLOY EMEA. Auto-locking feature of Code Handle Auto-locking is another helpful feature. When the door closes, Code Handle locks it automatically. One doesn’t need to put down whatever they are carrying, and no one can open it from the outside while they are not looking. To keep the door open briefly, one can simply hold Code Handle down for 5 seconds and it remains temporarily unlocked. For convenience, Code Handle always opens freely from the inside. “Code Handle provides the simplest solution for access control in a small facility,” says Borja. To learn more about Code Handle please visit: https://campaigns.assaabloyopeningsolutions.eu/codehandle

What are the challenges and benefits of mobile access control?
What are the challenges and benefits of mobile access control?

There is a broad appeal to the idea of using a smartphone or wearable device as a credential for physical access control systems. Smartphones already perform a range of tasks that extend beyond making a phone call. Shouldn’t opening the door at a workplace be among them? It’s a simple idea, but there are obstacles for the industry to get there from here. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges and benefits of mobile access control solutions?