Articles by Alessandro Franchini
Building Information Modelling (BIM) can be described as the ‘use of shared digital representation of a built object (including buildings, bridges, roads, process plants, critical infrastructures, etc.) to facilitate design, construction and operation processes to form a reliable basis for decisions’. The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) defines it simply as the “digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of an object”. Understanding BIM construct BIM is neither a product nor software but rather is a “cache of building information” to which graphic data (such as drawings) and certain technical attributes (such as technical data sheets and associated characteristics) that are also related to the foreseen life cycle can be added. BIM represents a collaborative planning method as it allows for the integration of useful information for every phase of planning in a single model What BIM represents therefore is a collaborative planning method as it allows for the integration of useful information for every phase of planning – architectural, structural, plant design and installation, energy, management – into a single model. Project functionality and performance While CAD allows a project to be designed with 2D or 3D drawings, BIM also specifies the functionality and performance of each BIM object in the project or in the entire building process. A BIM object can hold any information pertaining to the building as a whole, or its parts. The most common information collected in a BIM is geographic location, structure, the properties of the materials/components/systems and technical elements, construction phases and maintenance procedures. Fields of application Building Information Modelling is used both in the construction sector, for design and installation (architecture, engineering, technical installations…) as well as in facility management. BIM supports the general improvement of a project along the entire life cycle of the construction process The role of BIM within the construction industry (by means of participants such as architects, engineers, surveyors, experts, builders, consultants and clients) is to support communication, cooperation, simulation and the general improvement of a project along the entire life cycle of the construction process. Advantages of BIM technology BIM technology offers a great number of advantages, such as greater efficiency and productivity, fewer errors, less downtime, reduced costs, greater interoperability, maximum information sharing, and more accurate and consistent control over a project. Generally, a BIM object is saved in .ifc (Industry Foundation Class) format. These IFC files are classed as 3D image files that also contain other technical information and are compatible with any software that works with BIM technology. Standard process and regulation BIM will become the standard process for all buildings and is currently being integrated into public contracts legislation across Europe. With Directive 2014/24/EU, the European Union has introduced a few guidelines to member countries on using the BIM system in the design and construction of public works. The BIM system is therefore strongly supported as a means of increasing the effectiveness and transparency of procurement procedures. Comparable BIM tools are necessary in order to allow the various softwares to ‘read’ the relevant data to manage all different parts of the construction sector Mandatory use of BIM process in public works In terms of the BIM process spreading to European operators (planners and companies), the leading nations are the Netherlands followed by the United Kingdom, whose government is bringing in a plan to make the use of BIM mandatory for public works. Even in Northern Europe and the United States, BIM technology has been used since 2000. Since the construction sector varies so widely (plants, structures, energy), it has become evident that no software exists that can manage all these different parts. Instead, comparable BIM tools are necessary in order to allow the various softwares to “read” the relevant data. BIM technology makes it possible to ascertain exactly how the cameras will fit into a building’s layout, reducing the risk of unexpected blind spots BIM and video surveillance Security has now become an integral part of the design process of any new large building. To provide the highest levels of security and avoid any blind spots that might constitute a security breach, the video surveillance system has to be planned in conjunction with other essential services, such as the electrics and hydraulics. BIM allows security system designers to interactively understand camera coverage, making it easier to identify the required models and to optimise the system layout. Reducing camera installation risks In actual fact, the technology makes it possible to ascertain exactly how the cameras will fit into a building’s layout (both internally and externally) and to determine whether the view of any camera is blocked by columns, lighting posts, trees, etc. This reduces the risk of unexpected blind spots. It is therefore possible to see how the cameras will be configured before they are installed, and which areas will be covered by the surveillance system after installation.
The term ‘marine’ comes from the Latin mare, meaning sea or ocean, and marine habitats can be divided into two categories: coastal and open ocean. Video surveillance (VS) applications can cover both types of marine environment with system for ships, maritime ports, onshore and offshore installations, etc. We should want to further analyse VS for ships and try to explain the types of ships on which it can be used, the ways in which VS can be used on ships, the typical certifications in use and what features a camera station must have to be installed on a ship. Starting with ships that have a minimum tonnage, around the world we have: liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, passengers ships, chemical tankers, crude oil tankers, container ships, general cargo ships and bulk carriers.As the LNG market grows rapidly, the fleet of LNG carriers continues to experience tremendous growth, offering more opportunities for VS Video surveillance for all marine vessels An LNG carrier is a tank ship designed for transporting liquefied natural gas. As the LNG market grows rapidly, the fleet of LNG carriers continues to experience tremendous growth. A passenger ship is a merchant ship whose primary function is to carry passengers by sea. This category does not include cargo vessels which have accommodation for a limited number of passengers, but rather includes the likes of ferries, yachts, ocean liners and cruise ships. A chemical tanker is a type of tank ship designed to transport chemicals in bulk. These ships can also carry other types of sensitive cargo which require a high standard of tank cleaning, such as palm oil, vegetable oils, tallow, caustic soda and methanol. An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a merchant ship designed for the bulk transport of oil. There are two basic types of oil tankers: crude tankers and product tankers. Crude tankers move large quantities of unrefined crude oil from its point of extraction to refineries. Product tankers, generally much smaller, are designed to move refined products from refineries to points near consuming markets. Container ships are cargo ships that carry their entire load in truck-size intermodal containers: a technique called containerisation. They are a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport and now carry most seagoing non-bulk cargo. Today, about 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide is transported by container. A cargo ship or freighter ship is any sort of ship or vessel that carries cargo, goods and materials from one port to another. Cargo ships are specially designed for the task, often being equipped with cranes and other mechanisms to load and unload, and come in all sizes. Bulk carriers make up 15%–17% of the world's merchant ships and they are specially designed to transport unpackaged bulk cargo such as grains, coal, ore and cement in its cargo holds. For all these ships the protection of vessels, cargo and crew is a priority, that’s why the adoption of VS technology plays a key part in terms of security and safety. Human error is regularly named as a major factor in ship accidents, and one way to avoid it is to aid seafarers by providing them with technology and equipment that is reliable and easy to use in all weather and sea conditions. Marine VS encompasses liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, passengers ships, chemical tankers, crude oil tankers, container ships, general cargo ships and bulk carriers Emergency security solutions on ship One of the most important applications for camera stations is during “docking”. Mooring is the securing or confining of a vessel in a particular location with a fixed or a floating object (jetty, pier, ship, barge, buoy, etc.) as various cargo operations are carried out. Docking is the final stage of mooring operations when the ship docks to the jetty. This is a very delicate operation and cameras are very helpful in making sure docking is done without accidents.'Man overboard’ is an emergency in which a person has fallen off a boat or ship into the water, and can happen at any time during the day or night Another important application for camera stations is the Man Overboard detection system (MOB). ‘Man overboard’ is an emergency in which a person has fallen off a boat or ship into the water. Man overboard events can happen at any time during the day or night, in all types of weather and sea conditions, and from almost any location on the ship, ranging from a few tens of feet above the water, to over 180 feet. When these events occur, the immediate availability of important data is crucial. Accurate confirmation of the event including time of occurrence, location on the ship and location in the sea is critical. A proactive detection system must immediately and accurately detect man overboard events and provide prompt, actionable data to response personnel. A typical man overboard detection system can report a MOB event in under 1 second. VS on a vessel can also monitor the engine room at all times and provide a good view of people working on dock, machinery and stowed equipment. But what are the most important features that a camera station must have to work in one of the most aggressive environments in nature? Marine surveillance must operate in one of the most harsh environments in nature Ruggedised reliability in surveillance First of all, and perhaps it’s obvious, but it’s extremely important to have camera stations with amazing reliability. Housing units manufactured from AISI 316L stainless steel, passivated and electropolished, makes the cameras completely impervious to air, water, rusting and corrosion, therefore offering excellent weather protection and increased reliability. Housing units manufactured from AISI 316L stainless steel, passivated and electropolished, makes the cameras completely impervious to air, water, rusting and corrosion Sometimes ships also use cameras constructed entirely from technopolymer, which guarantees high impact resistance and superior protection from external weather agents. Keeping the camera glass clean at all times is another essential feature, and it can be done via a wiper/wash system that greatly reduces the need for maintenance. In the case of PTZ cameras, the best option would be a great pan and tilt speed (up to 100°/s). What is the operative temperature range for the cameras? Sea is everywhere and therefore ships go everywhere, from the Arctic Ocean to the Mediterranean, so we need cameras that have to be fully operational across a wide temperature range. -40°C to +65°C covers almost all areas. Analogue or IP Cameras? Actually, both options can be used, especially for applications like docking where it’s important to avoid image delay (as can happen with IP cameras due to the natural latency of data communication over a network). Marine certifications Last but not least, the certifications: Certifications guarantee the quality and reliability of camera stations. There is no compromise! One important certification is the Lloyd’s Register Type Approval which subjects cameras to rigorous testing for performance, vibration (critical on ships), humidity, etc. The application field of the LR Type Approval is VS in public places (e.g. passenger ships), open decks, enclosed spaces that are subjected to heat generated from other equipment, and technical premises. Often, VS cameras used in specific areas of ships, such as hazardous areas, are required to have ATEX and IECEX certifications.
Videotec produces a large line of specialist and certified products for video surveillance of Oil and Gas areas After having gone through the strict pre-qualification procedure, Videotec is proud to announce their admission as a trusted partner in the ACHILLES list of qualified suppliers for the Oil and Gas market. With a 24 years’ experience, Achilles is today one of the world’s leading global supply chain risk management companies. Achilles FPAL identifies, evaluates and pre-qualifies suppliers on behalf of major buyers in Oil & Gas and helps to create business opportunities for suppliers in a collaborative, neutral environment whilst ensuring compliance to industry standards and reducing risks across the supply chain for buying organisations. Certified products for video surveillance of Oil and Gas areas Videotec, Italian manufacturer, produces a large line of specialist and certified products for the video surveillance of Oil and Gas areas. These devices are carefully manufactured using the best quality components, corrosion resistant and heavy duty materials. According to the type of area, safe or hazardous, Videotec is able to offer equipment with specific features and the highest degree of reliability and performance, to respond to any application need, even under desert or ice conditions. These devices are designed to operate day and night in the harshest conditions, including severe weather and darkness. Alessandro Franchini, Marketing Manager of Videotec comments: “This admission rewards our engagement and continuous investments to respond to the demanding needs of the oil and gas market with excellent products for the monitoring of any critical area. Our company has a field proven reliability to be the best global partner in the supply of approved products for hazardous environments. Our products have been distributed for nearly thirty years now and are currently being used with utmost satisfaction in the most important security systems throughout the world.”
digivod, the German video management and PSIM software, fully integrated the IP cameras in the Ulisse and the MPX PTZ series, produced by Videotec, an Italian company well-known for the high quality and flexibility, reliability and design of its products. While the quality of cameras makes the tune in a security installation, it is the software that is interfacing the human operators. Thus, the software needs to expose the full power of the cameras while still remaining easy to use by the operators. digivod has always followed the principle of intuition – it is the simple installation, configuration and usage that made digivod popular first in the German speaking area of Europe, then worldwide. Unlimited video walls Following this path, digivod now offers all powerful features of Videotec Ulisse and MPX PTZ series in its intuitive GUI. Using Videotec keyboards, joysticks, or standard PC equipment, the user can intuitively access all features of the Videotec cameras. For example, the user can smoothly steer PTZ in all zoom levels, switch views, play forward and back, and of course, turn on night vision or control the famous wiper and washer that make Videotec the long term investment for challenging out door surveillance. All cameras can be controlled through digivod clients, Web browser, Tablets and Smart Phone apps. All cameras can be controlled either from the site itself, or from headquarters of multiple sites. All cameras can be put to unlimited video walls by simple drag and drop. All Videotec features come along with standard digivod installation, with no special libraries or any additional costs. “We are proud that our range of high end cameras is being increasingly appreciated. With digivod integration, our cameras can be used through an intuitive, simple software that is really plug and play", says Alessandro Franchini Videotec Marketing Director. Optimal for very demanding outdoor environments “For us, the integration with Videotec Ulisse and MPX PTZ cameras is a must”, says Dr. Karsten Fourmont, the Founder and Managing Director of digivod. “Videotec is well known for its high end cameras, especially optimal for very demanding outdoor environments. By integrating the control of Videotec cameras into the core of our software, we intend that all installers and end users can use these impressive cameras by simply turning a joystick.” digivod is a video management and PSIM platform. It allows not only management of video, but integration of any security systems such as alarm systems, access control, command and control and fence systems by simple configurations. Its references range from small installations to huge safe city projects. digivod customers appreciate the simplicity of the software and the flexible and competent support of the German company. Wide selection of rugged PTZ cameras The Videotec Ulisse cameras offer a wide selection of rugged PTZ cameras, with integrated day/night and thermal ones, designed to meet every need of outdoor continuous monitoring even in difficult environmental conditions, without requiring maintenance. The Videotec MPX series is a sturdy and robust solution, in full compliance with all the highest EX PROOF standards for classified areas on explosive environments.