Power plant security
Antaira Technologies a global developer and manufacturer of industrial networking devices and communication solutions for harsh environment applications and is proud to announce the expansion of its industrial networking infrastructure family with the introduction of the LNP-1600G, -1802G-SFP, and -2004G-SFP series. As PoE technology has become increasingly popular in many industrial markets including automation manufacturing, security surveillance, power/utility, water wastewater treatment pla...
Two giant video surveillance companies have responded to a United States government ban on use of their products included in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Both Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company and Dahua Technology Company are mentioned by name in a section buried in the giant military reauthorisation bill. A ban on use of their products will take effect “not later than one year after” the law is enacted. Response from the manufacturers Hikvision&r...
Global and domestic threats have highlighted the need for tighter security across all verticals. One of the technologies that has redefined situational awareness and intrusion detection is thermal imaging. Once a technology exclusively manufactured for the military operations, thermal cameras today are deployed across hundreds of security applications and continue to see strong demand in existing and emerging commercial markets. With thermal technology, security personnel can see in complete...
Hikvision, the premier global supplier of innovative video surveillance products and solutions, has released a new Thermal Bi-spectrum bullet camera, which will bring enhanced capabilities to perimeter security, including advanced fire detection technology. The new camera (DS-2TD2615-7/10) is very cost-effective and will prove useful on a ‘short distance’ perimeter in the fight against damage and property loss. The camera uses deep learning algorithms in its powerful behaviour analy...
Greenpeace have posted footage on their Facebook page of them flying a drone into a French nuclear facility. The group have claimed the stunt was performed to highlight security issues around the facility. The facility was reportedly "at no time worried about the drone or attempted to intercept it". It was crashed into the tower in Bugey, a town around 30km away from the major city of Lyon. With the use of drones growing exponentially, now is the time to act against the potential negative threa...
It had been a particularly slow night. The plant security guard had just made his rounds on this Sunday evening shift. As soon as he passed the weighing scales, he could enter the guard shack and get off his feet. Challenging a curious incident However, on this night, he noticed the waste vendor’s truck sitting half on and half off the scale. He stopped dead in his tracks to see if the truck would back up and completely sit on the scale. It never did. The observant guard walked up to the...
The Duke Energy Corporation, one of the largest utilities in the word, has hired Brian Harrell as Managing Director, Enterprise Protective Services. Harrell is widely seen as an industry expert on critical infrastructure protection, with a specific focus on power grid security. He is the former Director of Critical Infrastructure Protection Programs and Director of Operations for the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) while at the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). He was recently recognised as one of Security Magazine's Most Influential People in Security and he currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at The George Washington University. Duke Energy is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. and serves approximately 7.5 million retail electric customers in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company which provides energy services to approximately 24 million people.
Control room, video wall and audio-visual experts, eyevis UK, have launched a new London demonstration venue to cope with increased demand for its technology. The move will allow a wide range of sectors, including CCTV, security and traffic control to see state-of-the-art products which can help them. Growing demand for product demonstrations The venue, at Woburn Place, a short walk from Euston Station, is operated on an appointment basis and clients can provide details of the issues they face in advance so eyevis UK can demonstrate how their technology can help. The newly-launched venue has both an equipment room and a display room" eyevis UK managing director, Steve Murphy said the new venue was in response to growing demand for the Burnley-based company’s products, including the ground-breaking eyeUNIFY professional wall management software. He said: “Our previous venue in London was providing too small to cater for demand. The newly-launched venue has both an equipment room and a display room, is much bigger and more accessible, providing us with the opportunity to really showcase our products to clients.” Showcased products: eyeUNIFY, the only open-source video wall management application available today. It is fully code transparent, making it the most secure video wall management software on the planet. Additionally, it can be adapted to specialist wishes and customer needs. Netpix video wall controllers offer the very latest in control room video wall technology. The new INFINITY network distributed display wall feature with IP streamed sources delivered to displays via the network whilst retaining all the unique eyevis control software functionality eyevis UK industrial LCD display technology including ultra-narrow bezel LCD and QHD Touch screen displays eyevis LED illuminated rear projection technology eyevis’ unique omniSHAPE display technology for creating exciting and flexible display configurations including concave and convex display formats. Our new demonstration venue provides the opportunity to see eyevis technology in action" Control rooms and video walls eyevis UK managing director, Steve Murphy added: “Control rooms and video walls are used in a wide variety of applications, such as traffic control, transportation, energy plants, aerospace, airports, water and sewage plants, public utilities, emergency services and data centres. Our new demonstration venue provides the opportunity to see eyevis technology in action and learn how it can help make any operation in any sector more efficient and provide operational staff with a real-time overview. Large-screen systems used on a management level can also help to provide vital information at a glance, which helps in finding quick and efficient decisions.” eyevis UK provides video wall displays and audio-visual solutions to a range of clients across the UK.
MARSS has announced an important contract for its RADiRguard smart perimeter surveillance system. The contract, with an unspecified Middle Eastern Government, is for a critical national infrastructure installation and provides for the protection of a 12km high-security perimeter. RADiRguard is a smart perimeter surveillance system combining multiple sensors and complementary technologies inside a single intelligent unit. Behavioural analysis software It is the first, all-in-one perimeter surveillance solution which can reliably detect and classify objects in advance of reaching a perimeter, thanks to its combination of a built-in radar, video imaging and radio frequency detection. It is then able to intelligently classify the threats and issue notifications using its integral behavioural analysis software. RADiRguard is a cost-effective, easy to deploy and scalable solution which can be configured to a wide variety of surveillance scenarios such as fuel storage facilities, power stations, water treatment plants, nuclear facilities, airports, ports, bridges and high-value buildings. RADiRguard’s coverage shape and extension is highly adaptable by changing the number and configuration of sensors installed. In a typical configuration, a single RADiRguard unit provides 400m x 100m of coverage along a perimeter wall or fence. The system can detect and track multiple known and unknown objects including humans, animals and vehicles. AI-powered object recognition The initial detection and tracking is achieved by compact micro-radar. Behavioural algorithms provide the first level of classification. Camera footage is then analysed by artificial intelligence for object recognition to provide additional and more precise classification, and this classification is further augmented by analysing GSM/Wi-Fi/VHF signals emitted by object and other intelligence data bases. This provides a risk level for each tracked object and if the object is deemed a risk then the system automatically notifies security personnel with the exact location and a live video feed supporting interception. This layered decision hierarchy reduces the instances of false alarms. RADiRguard operates autonomously 24/7 and is a robust, standalone, modular and scalable system which is low maintenance and as such is extremely cost-effective. RADiRguard can be integrated into an existing security system or as part of the MARSS NiDAR advanced long-range surveillance system for protecting coastal and land-based critical infrastructure from air, surface and underwater threats.
Emerson has announced a new SolaHD encapsulated transformer that will help industrial automation professionals lower total cost of ownership through simplified installation, reduced maintenance requirements, and decreased cabling needs. Developed to provide the capacity required for larger loads in a single floor-mounted unit, the new transformers comply with the latest NEC requirements for harsh and hazardous industrial locations, making them ideal for service in petrochemical facilities, wastewater treatment centre, and power generation plants. SolaHD product features Emerson's SolaHD Floor Mount Automation Transformers feature a rugged enclosure encapsulated with electrical grade silica and epoxy that protects its electronics from dust, metal particles and moisture, while providing extra shock and vibration resistance. Engineered for maximum performance and versatility, the transformers meet Class I, Division 2/Class I, Zone 2 ratings, 3rd party certification (cULus), and feature an expanded kVA range up to 150 kVA to provide additional opportunities for engineers in industrial and hazardous locations. New certifications and configurations mean the transformer acts as a single solution for multiple NEMA applications. One of the keys to success of Emerson's SolaHD Floor Mount Automation Transformers is a newly designed rugged enclosure SolaHD Floor Mount Automation Transformers One of the keys to the success of SolaHD Floor Mount Automation Transformers is a newly designed enclosure featuring removable, field-replaceable gland plates for ease of conduit entry, along with floor mounting brackets that reduce installation, maintenance and cabling expense. An improved cover delivers superior hose and wash down capabilities to ensure sanitation procedures are safely performed in areas such as food and beverage production. Optional stainless steel enclosures provide full NEMA 4X compliance where required. These upgrades represent important advances in transformer hardware as Emerson continues to drive progress across the entire power quality sector, with focus on improving reliability, energy conservation, and value. Emerson manufactures SolaHD Floor Mount Automation Transformers in the USA, decreasing lead-times and improving availability for critical projects. In addition to the standard selection, custom transformer versions are available.
A fourth company has been accredited to install ArmaWeave, an approved high-security perimeter fencing system manufactured by Zaun. Specialist fencing installers JB Corrie has committed to training its site operatives in the installation methods for ArmaWeave developed by Zaun over time to make best use of its unique high-security woven fabric. Impressed with the versatility of the system, Corries are now installing the Zaun mesh on several security sites. With their new accreditation, JB Corrie now brings the number of approved installers of ArmaWeave to four, alongside installers Allen Fencing Limited, systems integrator Crime & Fire Defence Systems and prison fencing installer Binns Fencing, a Zaun subsidiary. Delight at collaboration Zaun hopes to increase the adoption of ArmaWeave as the standard for secure sites of Critical National Infrastructure Corries Contracts Director Norton Welch said: “We are delighted to have received this accreditation and look forward to working closely with Zaun to install their security products in the future.” The company, which has been going more than one hundred years and is now in the ownership of the fourth generation Corrie family, installs integrated perimeter protection systems for high security applications and boasts military bases, utilities, power stations and airports among its clients. Zaun established the installer scheme after increasing requests from customers to recommend contractors with suitable installation, quality and safety standards. ArmaWeave is produced on the world’s largest steel loom at Zaun’s West Midlands manufacturing base. It has unique properties that give it distinct advantages against more traditional welded mesh systems, such as panels that can be raked to accommodate slopes. Therefore, installers require the necessary skill sets to set this up. Training for ArmaWeave's specialities The wire of the panels has a tensile strength typically more than double welded panels so special methods are needed for cutting the panels during installation. Zaun trained JB Corrie’s installation teams on the properties and tolerances of ArmaWeave and how it is manufactured. The training is for fencers with proven experience in high-security fencing work who are sponsored by a company that can demonstrate its professionalism through membership of a relevant trade organisation, and valid UKAS accredited ISO9001 certification. The certificate of training is only valid while the individual is working for the host company. This ensures the trained individuals are working properly under quality management to install the product. With its partners, Zaun hopes to increase the adoption of ArmaWeave as the standard for secure sites of Critical National Infrastructure, such as utilities, data centres and nuclear sites, while ensuring consistent installation quality.
Middle East Electricity (MEE), the region’s leading annual international trade event for the power industry, is undergoing major expansion in 2018 to service the shifting demand dynamics of the regional sector. To aid ongoing growth, Informa Exhibitions, the event organiser, has launched a dedicated Energy Storage & Management Solutions sector for the show, which is hosted by the UAE Ministry of Energy and runs at the Dubai World Trade Centre from March 6-8 next year. Informa will also debut the thought-leading Global Smart Energy Summit alongside the mega exhibition. “Middle East Electricity is evolving in line with the regional industry, which is now one of the world’s most vibrant,” said Anita Mathews, Group Director – Industrial Portfolio at Informa Exhibitions. “Our new dedicated product sector will launch as the Middle East and Africa's most comprehensive coming together of local, regional and international energy storage and management providers, with international manufacturers demonstrating the latest technologies transforming industry practices to regional audiences.” With rise in demand a change is required in the power industry of Middle East and Africa “With governments looking to meet spiraling demand - between 7 to 8per cent a year - caused by population growth and industrialisation, change is the name of the game across the entire Middle East and Africa power gambit. There is also a tremendous appetite to embrace technologies and renewables to combat climate change, deliver smart cities and make local eco-systems more resilient.” Energy Storage & Management Solutions will join four other specialised sectors at the show, which over 43 years has ignited and then maintained a reputation of being a bell-weather for regional development. The other sectors are the Transmission & Distribution, Power Generation and Lighting stalwarts, as well as Solar, which joins the MEE fold as a dedicated sector after six years as a co-located event. “Solar is now undoubtedly one of the fastest-growing sectors in the region with the Middle East Solar Industry Association putting the number of solar projects under execution throughout MENA at 3,610 with another 1,300 under tender,” said Mathews. “Mega projects are being jumpstarted across both North Africa and the GCC, while there is increasing acceptance and uptake of rooftop solutions, which have witnessed a 10-fold demand surge in the UAE in the last 12 months alone. This advancing sector, now benefitting from regionwide clean energy policies, holds out enormous opportunities for developers, EPC contactors, equipment suppliers and financiers.” Informa anticipates its highest turnout ever for MEE 2018 The 2018 edition will host more than 1,615 companies from 66 countries, supported by 24 dedicated country pavilions. Covering the entire value chain of electricity products and services across the show’s five sectors, Informa anticipates its highest turnout ever for MEE 2018 reflecting the transformation currently underway throughout the MENA power industry. “This scale of evolution is nothing short of breathtaking with the multilateral development bank Apicorp putting GCC requirements alone at US $85 billion worth of investment in an additional 69 GW of generation capacity and US $52 billion for transmission and distribution over the next five years,” continued Mathews. Apicorp says GCC power capacity needs to expand at an average 8 per cent annually up to 2020 with Saudi Arabia facing the biggest demand and needing to invest US $71 billion to increase capacity to 114GW. “With regional governments increasingly focused on economic diversification, demand is unlikely to slow for some considerable time. This has more keenly focused the global industry’s attention on the region and the show will reflect this with an international exhibitor base looking to engage with local players,” concluded Mathews. Informa will debut the Global Smart Energy Summit Alongside MEE 2018, Informa will also debut the Global Smart Energy Summit, a high-level summit featuring some of the biggest corporate champions in sector transformation, including Tesla, U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy and NASA. The Summit sessions will lay out the future of the international sector and is expected to attract over 700 attendees exploring reform patterns across the entire power spectrum. “The Summit will unite the region’s government energy leaders, regulators, utility companies, contractors, consultants and energy end-users for three days of dialogue, thought leadership and networking with Smart Energy pioneers from around the world,” explained Ryan O’Donnell, Programme Director at Global Smart Energy Summit.” “The summit will be essential for all looking to play a role in an industry which is destined to change and effect change in the very near future.” Middle East Electricity is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler, and is hosted by the UAE Ministry of Energy.
With the ever-growing availability of video data thanks to the low cost of high-resolution video cameras and storage, artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning analytics now have become a necessity for the physical security industry, including access control and intrusion detection. Minimising human error and false positives are the key motivations for applying AI technologies in the security industry. What is artificial intelligence? Artificial intelligence is the ability of machines to learn from experience using a multi-layer neural network, which mimics the human brain, in order to recognise items and patterns and make decisions without human interference. The human brain is estimated to have 86 billion neurons; in comparison, the newest Nvidia GPU Volta has 21 billion transistors (the equivalence of a neuron), which offers the performance of hundreds of CPUs for deep learning.AI can learn continuously 24 hours per day every day, constantly acquiring, retaining and improving its knowledge In addition, unlike humans, AI can learn continuously 24 hours per day every day, constantly acquiring, retaining and improving its knowledge. With such enormous processing power, machines using Nvidia GPU and similar chips can now distinguish faces, animals, vehicles, languages, parts of speech, etc. Depending on the required complexity, level of details, acceptable error margin, and learning data quality, AI can learn new objects within as fast as a few seconds using Spiking Neural Network (SNN) to a few weeks using Convolution Neural Network (CNN). While both SNN and CNN offer advantages and drawbacks, they outperform tradition security systems without AI in terms of efficiency and accuracy. According to the research reports of MarketsandMarkets, the market size of perimeter intrusion detection systems is projected to increase from 4.12 billion USD in 2016 to 5.82 billion USD in 2021 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.1%. Meanwhile, the predicted market of AI in security (both cyber security and physical security) will grow from 3.92 billion USD in 2017 to 34.81 billion USD by 2025, i.e., with an impressive CAGR of 31.38%. Legacy perimeter intrusion detection systems Legacy perimeter intrusion detection systems (PIDSs) are typically set up with the following considerations: Geographical conditions: landscape, flora, fauna, climate (sunrise, sunset, weather conditions, etc.), whether there are undulations in the terrain that would block the field of view of cameras Presence or lack of other layers of physical protection or barriers Integration with other systems in the security network: camera, storage, other defensive lines (door, lock, alarm, etc.) Types of alarm triggers and responses System complexity: intrusion detection with various types of sensors, e.g., microwave sensors, radar sensors, vibration sensors, acoustic sensors, etc. Length of deployment Local regulations: privacy protection, whether the cameras/sensors must be visible/hidden/buried, etc., electromagnetic interferences that may affect other systems such as oil rigs or power plants Human involvement: on-site personnel arrangement, human monitoring, human action in response to alarms AI object detection can easily distinguish different types of people and objects Pain points and benefits of AI The conditions listed above correspond to certain requirements of an intrusion detection systems: minimal false alarm, easy setup and maintenance, easy integration, and stable performance.AI by nature is designed to learn, adapt itself and evolve to work in multiple conditions: it should be integrated with existing video recording systems Minimal false alarms: False alarms lead to increased cost and inefficiency but are the main problem of PIDSs without AI technology, where animals, trees, shadows, and weather conditions may trigger the sensors. AI object detection can easily distinguish different types of people and objects, e.g., in a region set up to detect people, a car driving by, a cat walking by, or a person’s shadow will not trigger the alarm. Therefore, the amount of false alarms can be reduced by 70% to orders of magnitude. Easy setup and maintenance: Legacy PIDSs without AI must account for terrain, line of sight of cameras, sensor locations; any changes to the system would require manual effort to recalculate such factors and may disturb other components in the system. In contrast, AI PIDSs enable the system administrator to access the entire system or individual cameras from the control room, configure the region and object of interest in the field of view of cameras within minutes, and adjust with ease as often as necessary. Computing knowledge and even specific security training are not required to set up a secured PIDS with AI because AI PIDS is designed to relieve humans from knowing the inner working of machines. Easy integration with complementary technologies: Legacy PIDS without AI relies on physical technology, which are often proprietary and require complete overhaul of systems to function smoothly. On the other hand, AI by nature is designed to learn, adapt itself and evolve to work in multiple conditions, so AI PIDS is easily integrated with existing video recording (camera) and storage (NVR) systems. AI also eliminates the need for physical wireless or fiber-based sensors; instead, it functions based on the videos captured by cameras. Furthermore, AI enables easy and instantaneous combinations of multiple layers of defense, e.g., automatic triggering of door lock, camera movement focusing and access control as soon as a specified object is detected in the region of interest, all set up with a click of a button. Stable performance and durability: Legacy PIDSs without AI requires complicated setup with multiple components in order to increase detection accuracy. More components mean a higher probability of malfunction in the system, including exposure to damages (e.g., sensors can be destroyed) and delay in detection, while human monitoring is inconsistent due to human fatigue (studies have shown that a person can concentrate in mundane tasks for only up to 20 minutes, and the attention span decreases even more rapidly when humans are faced with multiple items at once, e.g., multiple camera monitoring screens). AI significantly reduces, if not completely eliminates the need for human involvement in the intrusion detection system once it is set up. In addition, AI reduces the risk of system malfunction by simplifying the hardware sensors needed. Minimising human error and false positives are the key motivations for applying AI technologies in the security industry Additional benefits of AI in intrusion detection Artificial Intelligence is undeniably reshaping every business and weaving into every aspect of daily lifeMaximal detection capability: The most advanced AI intrusion detection system today provides an all-in-one solution to distinguish any combination of alarm-triggering criteria beyond perimeter protection. Using AI, the system administrator can configure as many zones with different settings and object of interests as necessary, which include detections for specific colors or attributes (e.g., person not wearing the required uniform or carrying food/drink), numbers and dwell time (e.g., group of more than 5 people loitering), or movements (e.g., cars moving faster than the speed limit). In addition, AI can accurately pinpoint the location of event occurrence by displaying the camera that records the event in near real time, i.e., with few-second delays. Lower security operation cost: By minimising the number of false positives and human involvement while maximising ease of use and stability, AI intrusion detection systems significantly decrease the total cost of ownership. Companies can reduce the large security personnel overhead and cost of complicated and expensive legacy PIDSs systems. McKinsey Global report in June 2017 shows that proactive AI adopters can realize up to 15% increase in profit margin across various industries. Artificial Intelligence is undeniably reshaping every business and weaving into every aspect of daily life. In security, legacy systems are giving way to AI-based systems, and the first enterprises to adopt AI-based systems will soon, if not immediately, benefit from such investment. By Paul Sun, CEO of IronYun, and Mai Truong, Marketing Manager of IronYun
Throughout the UK there are many examples of smart city transformation, with key industries including transport, energy, water and waste becoming increasingly ‘smart’. A smart city is a one that uses information and communication technologies to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and resident welfare. Smart access is an important step forward in providing technologically advanced security management and access solutions to support the ambitions of smart cities and their respectively smart industries. Explaining smart access If we used the standard definition of smart, it would be to use technology to monitor, control and manage access, but the technology must be adapted to both the physical and management characteristics of smart cities. Smart access is an important step forward in providing advanced security management and access solutions to support the ambitions of smart cities For example, it would not make sense to install an iris biometric sensor at an isolated water storage tank, which is out in the open and may not even have electrical power. Nor would a permissions management system work, one that does not let you update permissions simply and easily and cannot be customised. With high volumes of people entering and exiting different areas of the city, it is important to be able to trace who has been where, when and for how long. Advanced software suites can provide access to all operations performed by users, including a complete audit trail. This information is often used by business owners or managers for audits, improvements or compliance. When initiating a new access control system it is important that the supplier and customer work together to understand: Who can enter a secure area Where in the building each individual has access to When an individual can enter a secure area How an individual will gain access to a secure area This information can be crucial in the event of a security breach, enabling investigators to find out who was the last known key holder in the building and what their movements were whilst there. Installing an electronic lock does not require electrical power or batteries, much less a connection to send information Modernising locks and keys Installing an electronic lock does not require electrical power or batteries, much less a connection to send information, which means that it can be installed on any door as you would a mechanical lock without maintenance requirements. Permissions are stored within an intelligent key. If you have authorisation for that lock, it will open. If you don’t, you won’t be allowed to enter and all of the activity carried out by the key will be recorded. You can update permissions from a computer or using an app on a mobile phone at the time of access, which will update the key's permissions via Bluetooth. This allows shortened validity periods, constrains movements to be in line with company access policy and removes travel and fixed authoriser costs. This then delivers increased flexibility and higher levels of security. Remote access control utilities Access rights can be set at any time and on any day, and if required can allow access on just one specific occasion Using an app improves access control by updating access rights in real time with the Bluetooth key. It also provides notification of lost keys, joint management of access schedules, protection of isolated workers and much more. Combined with new technological solutions, an app allows contextual information to be sent, such as on-site presence, duration of an operation, authorisations and reporting of anomalies. Access rights can be set at any time and on any day, and if required can allow access on just one specific occasion, for example to repair a failure. Access can be restricted to enable entry only during working hours, for example. Permissions can be granted for the amount of time required, which means that if permission is requested to access a site using a mobile app, the company should be able to access it, for example, in the next five minutes. Once this time has passed, the permission expires and, if a key is lost or it is stolen, they will not be able to access the site. The rules for granting permissions are infinite and easily customisable, and the system is very efficient when they are applied; as a result, the system is flexible and adapted to suit company processes and infrastructures. Using an app improves access control by updating access rights in real time with the Bluetooth key Finding applications to create solutions In many cases, companies themselves find new applications for the solution, such as the need to obtain access using two different keys simultaneously to prevent a lone worker from accessing a dangerous area. The software that manages access makes it smart. It can be used from a web-based access manager or through personalised software that is integrated within a company's existing software solution, to automatically include information, such as the employee's contractual status, occupational risk prevention and the existence of work orders. In some companies, the access management system will help to further improve service levels by integrating it with the customer information system, allowing to link it for instance with alarms managers, intrusion managers or HR processes. With over one million access points currently secured worldwide, this simple and flexible solution will play a strategic role in the future of security.
Most cities have at very least a plan and in most cases an existing program to make themselves safe cities. Increasingly, cities around the world are transitioning to become smart cities: urban areas where security solutions work in unison with other systems, extending the benefits of technology beyond security and into other city operations. Whilst this transformation has yet to become a widespread the next crucial transition—from smart city to cognitive city—is already appearing on the horizon. Three years ago, the United Nations reported that 54% of the world’s population lived in cities and projected that by 2050 it would reach 66%. There are many reasons for this: cities tend to provide more opportunities for jobs and education, as well as greater access to amenities such as public transportation, sports, and cultural events. These factors result in growth which consequently places a strain on existing public services, infrastructure and resources. Not to mention keeping the city’s residents safe by preventing crime from growing with—or even outpacing—the population.Although technology is necessary for an urban area to transition in to a safe and smart city, it alone isn’t sufficient Smart city solutions for public safety This basic need for public safety is one of the biggest forces driving the adoption of smart city solutions: approaches which seek to solve urban challenges through technological means. The thinking behind these initiatives is that with enough Internet connectivity and real-time data, surely environmental, social, economic, and public health issues should become more manageable. If technology can transform entire industries, why can’t it also make power grids more resilient, transportation systems efficient and municipal water supplies more sustainable? Surely, more data can only lead to better outcomes, right? To quote the American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” In this context, you’d think the answer would be ‘just add more technology’, right? Although technology is necessary for an urban area to transition in to a safe and smart city, technology alone isn’t sufficient. Truly smart cities are savvy cities and that includes how they employ software, sensing, communications and other technologies to meet their needs. Truly smart cities are savvy cities including how they employ software, sensing, communications and other technologies to meet their needs Using data and software with connected sensors There are types of problems which connected sensors, data and software can provide straightforward and effective solutions. For example, network-connected traffic cameras which can relay real-time traffic conditions to both city managers and the public at large, data which morning commuters can then access from a mobile app and adjust their route accordingly. There are types of problems which connected sensors, data and software can provide straightforward and effective solutions Smart electricity meters provide another example, whereby monitoring and reporting energy usage in real-time, enables residents to get instant feedback on how their lifestyle choices impact their energy consumption and monthly bill. Utilities can also benefit from such data, as it could highlight specific times and areas of high demand, as well as identify sections of the distribution network that are under heavy strain. Creating actionable intelligence Both examples highlight the clear need to collect the relevant data first, and thus explain why smart city initiatives have focused on the widespread collection of data (especially video) through the deployment of large numbers of monitoring and recording devices, such as surveillance cameras and ANPR. Some of those initiatives, however, like red light cameras or computerised flight passenger screening systems, have amounted to little more than ‘security theatre’, which might waste limited resources and further delay the smart city transition due to over-hyped solutions and unrealistic projected return on investment. In other words, technology doesn’t necessarily result in more safety. But does this mean we are also more likely to quickly find what we need? Cities need solutions that help find what you need (e.g. a missing child or a suspect) and convert the ‘too much information’ into ‘actionable intelligence’. This new era of surveillance technologies can also assist law enforcement in maintaining public order and safety. The thought is the more areas we observe, the longer we observe them, and the more surveillance data we store and index, the more likely we are to be in possession of the information we need. Even in smart cities, dialogue, public input, careful analysis, and consensus are still more critical than any technology Looking beyond technology for smart surveillance There is one major caveat to smart city solutions. The data tends to flow in one direction from what are ultimately surveillance devices to government officials, leading to tensions between personal privacy and government goals of safety and higher efficiency. Without a clear understanding and buy-in from all stakeholders (especially the citizens, law enforcement, and city management), those tensions will only escalate as wireless broadband connectivity becomes cheaper and faster, sensor and processing technologies get even more miniaturised and affordable, and big data tools like cloud resources and storage technology grow even more robust as they catalogue more and more digital breadcrumbs of our physical lives. Here’s the takeaway. Even in smart cities, dialogue, public input, careful analysis, and consensus are still more critical than any technology. This is because city residents are not only consumers of public services and amenities, but also citizens with legal rights.
ISC West in Las Vegas kicked off with a bang on Wednesday, reflecting a healthy physical security industry with an overall upbeat outlook on the future. Driving the optimism is a pending new wave of product innovation, propelled largely by developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning. Some of that new wave is evident at ISC West, but much of the talk still centres on what’s to come. Attendees flocked to the first day of the show to check out the newest technologies, and they were rewarded with a wide range of innovations. Tempering the optimism are ongoing concerns about ensuring the cybersecurity of IP-based physical security systems. Cybersecurity standards for physical security At least one news announcement is related to cybersecurity at the show: Johnson Controls is the first company to achieve UL (Underwriters Laboratories) certification 2900-2-3 for cybersecurity of life safety and security products and systems for their VideoEdge network video recording platform from American Dynamics. The UL brand ensures that the certification involves a standards-based and scientific approach to evaluating cybersecurity, and that JCI’s certified products meet the requirements. “We were able to be first because we understand issues of cybersecurity, and the UL standard matches very closely to what we have been doing in cybersecurity,” says Will Brown, Senior Engineering Manager, Cyber Protection at Johnson Controls. Tempering the optimism are ongoing concerns about ensuring the cybersecurity of IP-based physical security systems Neil Lakomiak, Director of Business Development and Innovation at Underwriters Laboratories, says relatively few companies have invested sufficiently in cybersecurity, and much of UL’s work in the physical security market is to help manufacturers develop a roadmap to meet cybersecurity goals. “A lot of companies have not invested, but Johnson Controls has,” said Lakomiak. He speculated that it could be some time before another security company achieves the certification; there certainly won’t be a rush of additional companies to do so in the near term, based on the progress he has seen to date, says Lakomiak. “Cybersecurity is a topic that has hit the Board of Directors level,” says Lakomiak. “They are definitely inquiring about it and trying to understand what their posture should be. The leadership teams of companies will be asking a lot of questions.” In terms of cyber-consciousness among the integrator community, Brown estimates about 10 percent are “on board” with the issue. Among the manufacturing community, more than half of the companies are pursuing cybersecurity goals, although the levels of those efforts run a full gamut, says Lakomiak. Vertical markets that are especially cyber-aware are enterprise, government, and critical infrastructure. Financial and retail companies are also coming on board, as well as companies — even small companies — in regulated industries such as utilities Cybersecurity is a topic that has hit the Board of Directors level Cybersecurity in the cloud Another company emphasising cybersecurity at ISC West is access control company Isonas. “What’s really new at the show for us is that we are being very transparent about the levels of cybersecurity we are applying to our cloud software platform and our IP network hardware,” says Rob Lydic, Isonas Global Vice President of Sales. “The levels of complexity we are putting into our cybersecurity, including the fact that we host our software on Amazon web services, ensures a really high level of security. We are taking painstaking efforts to subject ourselves to third-party penetration testing to give us the visibility of what is going on with our cybersecurity — are we actually as cybersecure as we believe?” The answer: “They have come back to us to say we have an amazing strategy for cybersecurity; the surface that is attackable is minuscule, and the complex layers underneath really prevent anybody from hacking the product.”We are being very transparent about the levels of cybersecurity we are applying to our cloud software platform" Lydic says he sees higher levels of awareness about cybersecurity at the show, especially among end users. Several other exhibitors agree. Because edge devices have often been targeted in cybersecurity attacks, they are especially an area of concern. “We’re raising that conversation, saying we are a cloud service provider that uses edge devices, and it is core to us to make sure we have a great cybersecurity profile, so the customer can be assured we are doing what we say we are doing and delivering on those promises,” says Lydic. Awareness is filtering through channel: Isonas is seeing many customers who want to have that cybersecurity conversation at the show. “We have had probably 20 or 30 conversations with end users at the show who want to understand what it means to be in the cloud, to understand how the level of communication is encrypted between devices,” says Lydic. Many end users at ISC West want to understand what it means to be in the cloud Ambitions for growth Successful companies often increase their ISC West booth size as a reflection of their ambition to grow as a company and their success in sales so far. One such company is Paxton Access Inc., which has increased its booth size from a 20x40-foot booth last year to a 30x50-foot space this year. Beyond the show, another reflection of Paxton’s growth is addition of personnel to cover 11 U.S. sales territories that have been newly restructured. New regional sales managers will work with dealers locally. At the show, Paxton is introducing its Net2 Entry Premium monitor, the latest addition to the company’s Net2 Entry line of door entry products. “The show is definitely a great way to promote who we are and what we offer,” says Linda Soriano, Paxton Marketing Communications Coordinator. “It’s great to meet new customers and interact with existing customers, to build new relationships. It’s an opportunity to promote the new things we have going on.” Paxton measures success at ISC West in terms of how many people they interact with at the show. In addition to welcoming booth visitors, the company is signing up attendance at free training through a show promotion. Anyone who signs up for training at the show is entered into a drawing for a $500 Visa gift card and a $1,000 discount off MSRP of Paxton products. Tim Shen, Director of Marketing at Dahua Technology USA, one of the larger exhibitors, says the company is emphasising solutions at ISC West, just one element of the successful international business model they are bringing to the United States.With AI and business analytics in transportation and retail markets, we are letting the market know that we can build solutions" Another topic for Dahua is artificial intelligence. “With AI and business analytics in transportation and retail markets, we are letting the market know that we can build solutions,” he says. Dahua sponsored a keynote address Wednesday on AI, including a presentation from Intel about AI trends. “AI is the future, but what can we use it for now?” asks Shen. “We need to give a very clear strategy of what we think about AI.” Dahua will bring AI cameras and an AI network video recorder to the U.S. market in the second quarter; in effect, they will be testing the water to see how well the AI concept is embraced here. Other new products from Dahua include multi-image and thermal cameras. In the thermal category, Dahua has developed their own chipset to help bring the price down and provide affordable thermal cameras to the U.S. market. Another focus will be e-POE (extended Power over Ethernet), which Dahua sees as a big differentiator. [Main photo credit: Abbey Masciarotte | Larry Anderson]
Protecting power grids is essential to deliver electricity that serves millions of consumers. Transmission substations are a component of the power infrastructure that presents unique security challenges. These important facilities often sit out in the open, in remote locations, and were historically protected by little more than cameras or chain-link fences. Much of the current concern about securing electrical substations in the United States originated in response to a 2013 sniper attack, using military-style weapons, on Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Metcalf Transmission Substation in Coyote, Calif., near San Jose. Gunmen fired on 17 electrical transformers, resulting in more than $15 million in damage. The crime is still unsolved. Security critical infrastructure The North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Critical Infrastructure Protection (NERC/CIP) guidelines emerged in the aftermath of the attack, triggering growth in security spending to protect utilities. The latest NERC/CIP Version 6 standards were issued in January 2016, with deadlines of various phases falling in July 2016, April 2017, and the final phase to be completed in September 2018. The earlier deadlines were for high- and medium-risk facilities, and the future deadline covers lower-risk areas. The standards target four areas of concern securing utility sites: security awareness, physical security, remote access connections, and incident response. Although medium- and high-impact facilities tend to be more critical, the connected nature of utility infrastructure means that security is only as strong as the weakest link. Perimeter security requirements Every facility has a baseline requirement for perimeter security protection around the site, although medium- and high-impact sites will have more stringent requirements. The geography surrounding sites – Is it an urban area or rural? Does the surrounding elevation provide additional lines of sight? – also impacts the types of systems they require. A lack of similar incidents since the 2013 Metcalf attack could fuel debate on whether the extra security was necessary, and could even lead to a sense of complacency. “A lot of money has been spent on fancy systems at the top tier,” says Greg Hendrix, Sales Lead at Tyco Integrated Security. “But nothing has happened since Metcalf. The concern is that we could lull ourselves into a sense of everything’s OK. We need to find a balance between what’s appropriate and what isn’t, and it’s a moving target. There is no silver bullet.” With 35 years in the physical security industry, Hendrix manages a specialised team of 12 pre-sale field engineers that focus on designing electronic security solutions for complex needs as part of Johnson Controls’ Centers of Excellence network. Every facility has a baseline requirement for perimeter security protection around the site, although medium- and high-impact sites will have more stringent requirements Cameras and access control for high-security facilities Hendrix assisted one utility industry customer as a primary design engineer for nine high-impact sites. The sites were high- to medium-tier sites that are part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Thermal cameras with analytics were positioned to detect intrusions and discern between wildlife and human intruders. Avoiding false alarms is crucial if, for instance, 300 cameras are monitored at a single site. The analytics systems were augmented with pan-tilt-zoom cameras that could be directed to view intruders. Analytics zones were used to trigger large LED light panels to flood various zones with light in case of an intruder. If an intruder gets even closer, it would trigger a recorded voice to tell them to leave. Metal fences that were 12 feet high and even concrete were used to protect lines of sight to provide a ballistics barrier against gunshots. Mountainous or hilly areas presented additional challenges, as someone could position themselves above the fence line. In some cases, automated gates use multi-factor access control readers (cards and PINs) to allow vehicles to pass and then to close behind them. In other instances, pedestrian-only gates are used, requiring vehicles to remain parked outside the perimeter. Video surveillance watches entrances and exits. Compliance with NERC/CIP regulations Connecting IP cameras into a utility’s IT system, or even using a laptop to programme a video system, can introduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The idea is not to contribute to the cybersecurity challenges utilities already face to protect the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) monitoring systems and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) used in daily operations. “The physical threat is evident, but the cybersecurity threat is not so obvious,” says Hendrix. “To focus on one without the other doesn’t make a lot of sense. The physical security folks focus on how we can physically detect and deter, and promote visibility. But we have to remind ourselves that the security of the cyber connection is critical. Security awareness applies to us as integrators as much as customers. We have to find an IT guru within the organisation and make sure we are working together.” Failure to adhere to NERC/CIP requirements, which are enforced using audits, trigger fines that could put the profitability of private utility companies at risk. “There is an opportunity for integrators to partner with customers and identify how to appropriately meet the requirements within budget and get these projects done,” says Hendrix. Among the audit requirements is a log showing who comes and goes at a facility; access control systems collect that information and provide the needed documentation. Employees are issued cards, and contractors and other visitors are required to be escorted by approved personnel into and out of a site. For frequent visitors and contractors, a credential can be issued. Promoting awareness of such policies and requirements is another factor in CIP compliance.
Has there ever been a better time for a security trade show in Europe? Shifting threats such as terrorism and a volatile political climate serve as reminders every day of the importance of security in our lives, and even the role of technology. IFSEC opened in London on Tuesday at the ExCeL centre, covering every aspect of security, from access control and video surveillance to home automation and perimeter security. Amid sweltering heat, attendees came to find the latest-and-greatest innovations to meet changing security challenges. Substance over style Many of the technology announcements were "repurposed" news previously unveiled in the United States at the spring ISC West show in Las Vegas. Even so, there was plenty to see, although foot traffic seemed a little slow on the first day. Several people commented on how IFSEC is different from ISC West. The US market, exemplified by ISC West, tends to emphasise superlatives and flashy market claims, while the European market is more about substance. That observation comes from Moti Shabtai, CEO and President of Qognify, who said he has a larger share of conversations at IFSEC about how a solution can address specific needs. "Europe isn't one single market," he reminds us. "There are more different kinds of customers and different approaches, while the US market has a more unified way of thinking." Safe and secure cities applications (and "smart cities") are more prominent in Europe. While in the US, utility applications are higher profile, driven by a need to conform to NERC/FERC standards. The European market has more different kinds of customers and different approaches "The competition in Europe is more varied, with more smaller players, depending on which product and market," adds Kim Loy, Director of Marketing for Vanderbilt. "It makes it a more dynamic landscape." One variable Loy points to is how advanced each European market is from a technology perspective. For example, the Nordic countries -- Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland -- tend to embrace technology, and Vanderbilt is already seeing success there with its cloud-based products, the ACT365 cloud access control and video system and SBC Connect for cloud-managed intrusion detection. Current events in Europe add an air of urgency to the show. Several recent terrorist attacks have highlighted the need for more and better security. In emergency situations, often the security industry's contributions come after the fact, notes Shabtai. It took police in Brussels, Belgium, five days to find a suspect in the 2016 terrorist attack there. However, technologies such as Qognify's Suspect Search can now sift through databases to find video clips relevant to an investigation within minutes. More analysis of disparate information can in some cases provide predictive capabilities, or at least help direct investigations aimed at preventing such events. Adapting to vertical markets Many exhibits at IFSEC reflect the trend we are seeing of companies expanding their product selection beyond what was previously their core competency. Several video companies, in particular, are displaying an expanding array of products. It's a continuation of the familiar trend of video companies like Genetec, Avigilon, Hikvision and others expanding into access control systems. At IFSEC, Genetec says they are focusing on outcomes rather than technology, highlighting systems designed for specific use cases and vertical markets. Importantly, Genetec's systems provide flexibility to adapt to a variety of issues in various markets, whether a specific vertical or in the United States, Europe, or anywhere in the world. Privacy and cybersecurity are especially relevant in Europe Privacy and cybersecurity are hot-button issues for Genetec, says Jean-Philippe Deby, EMEA Business Development Director. It's especially relevant in Europe, where the European Union has embraced general data protection regulations (GDPR) that require compliance by May 2018 (The UK has committed to compliance despite the Brexit vote.) It's another element in the industry's growing focus on cybersecurity and systems highlighting "privacy by design." But global business trends are eliminating some of the differences in the security industry around the world, says Dr. Peter Kim, Senior Director of IDIS. Globalisation trumps regional phasing "Perhaps the biggest difference at IFSEC this year is the realisation that there is less of a difference than ever before between the US and European markets," he says. "Globalisation increasingly means access in Europe to brands and their product offerings is more equal than ever before—something you see here at this and all of the major security shows around the world. New technologies are increasingly rolled out globally either at the same time or close together, as opposed to regional phasing." Europe and America have different drivers and priorities at different times, including those influenced by geopolitics and recent crises, which can drive demand for technology to meet specific security requirements, Kim notes. One thing both markets have in common right now is geopolitical churn in various forms—including the threat of terror and a number of significant elections—which can lead to increased uncertainty. "This is especially relevant for government contracts, as public projects, which can be quite substantial from a security standpoint, often stall in such environments," Kim notes. Avigilon dominates the signage and video displays as visitors enter the ExCeL Centre Avigilon dominates the show Avigilon is one company that is introducing new products at IFSEC (that were not previously viewed at ISC West). They include the Avigilon Presence Detector (APD), a sensor that combines self-learning analytics with impulse radar technology to accurately detect the presence of a person even if they have stopped moving or are hidden. The sensor is designed for indoor locations such as vestibules within banks, pharmacies, retail stores and health care facilities. Avigilon is also highlighting a new Mini Dome Camera Line, and integration of its Access Control Manager (ACM) system with biometrics, among other products. Avigilon is making a big splash at the show. They dominate the signage and video displays as visitors enter the ExCeL Centre. I'm looking forward to seeing more interesting technologies in the remaining two days of the show.
Brazilian infrastructure company Companhia Energética de Pernambuco (CELPE) is the main supplier of electricity in the country’s Northeastern state of Pernambuco. Headquartered in the state capital Recife, one of the most important economic and urban hubs in the country, CELPE serves a population of more than 8.8 million inhabitants in the 184 municipalities of Pernambuco. As part of the Brazilian government’s commitment to clean energy, the CELPE grid also contains several hydropower plants at rivers across the state. Providing electricity to private customers and industrial clients in the expansive region requires a 136,762 kilometres distribution network and 4,386 kilometres of transmission lines. As critical parts of the power infrastructure, CELPE operates 240 substations across Pernambuco. But as most of these stations are located in remote areas, the last few years saw an alarming increase of vandalism and theft of expensive power cables. For video security, Bosch installed its AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD cameras, integrated via the Bosch Video Management SystemBosch’s Building Integration System Looking to safeguard its vital infrastructure, CELPE needed an integrated security solution that achieved three goals: firstly, keep out criminals and alert police upon security breaches. Secondly, provide seamless access control for the 300 maintenance teams in the field. And thirdly, connect fire alarm, communications, and voice evacuation on an integrated system that allows for remote management from CELPE headquarters. As a one-stop solutions provider, Bosch won the contract for equipping sixteen substations with video security systems, access control, communications, fire alarm and voice evacuation as well as intrusion alarm connected on the Building Integration System (BIS). For video security, Bosch installed its AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD cameras, integrated via the Bosch Video Management System (BVMS). The fire alarm revolves around smoke and heat detectors, while for voice alarm and evacuation, Plena Mixer Amplifiers are connected to driver loudspeakers. Cameras with built-in video analytics For added security, selected cameras feature built-in video analytics to automatically set off intruder alarms and alert authorities All systems and cameras are monitored by security personnel at the company’s control centre in Recife. For added security, selected cameras feature built-in video analytics to automatically set off intruder alarms and alert authorities. The system also fulfils the key customer requirement for remote management via the management system BIS (Building Integration System), including administration of user credentials and access rights for the 300 maintenance teams serving various substation sites. Successfully installed at sixteen stations in Pernambuco, the Bosch solution has proven to be an asset for CELPE and its personnel. Aside from safeguarding valuable infrastructure against criminals, the system has also streamlined communications among the service teams in the region by including elements such as conferencing and automatic alerts for fires and intrusions through a messenger system. The remote management of user access rights at the substations has enhanced the overall service level and prevented security breaches. Satisfied with the end-to-end solution, CELPE has now commissioned Bosch to equip approximately 240 electrical substations over the next years.
Brazilian infrastructure company Companhia Energética de Pernambuco (CELPE) is the main supplier of electricity in the country’s Northeastern state of Pernambuco. Headquartered in the state capital Recife, one of the most important economic and urban hubs in the country, CELPE serves a population of more than 8,8 million inhabitants in the 184 municipalities of Pernambuco. As part of the Brazilian government’s commitment to clean energy, the CELPE grid also contains several hydropower plants at rivers across the state. Detecting and deterring power thefts Providing electricity to private customers and industrial clients in the expansive region requires a 136,762 kilometers distribution network and 4,386 kilometers of transmission lines. As critical parts of the power infrastructure, CELPE operates 240 substations across Pernambuco. But as most of these stations are located in remote areas, the last few years saw an alarming increase of vandalism and theft of expensive power cables. Looking to safeguard its vital infrastructure, CELPE needed an integrated security solution that achieved three goals: firstly, keep out criminals and alert police upon security breaches. Secondly, provide seamless access control for the 300 maintenance teams in the field. And thirdly, connect fire alarm, communications, and voice evacuation on an integrated system that allows for remote management from CELPE headquarters. Bosch video security and intrusion detection systems For video security, Bosch installed its AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD cameras, integrated via the Bosch Video Management System (BVMS) As a one-stop solutions provider, Bosch won the contract for equipping sixteen substations with video security systems, access control, communications, fire alarm and voice evacuation as well as intrusion alarm connected on the Building Integration System (BIS). For video security, Bosch installed its AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD cameras, integrated via the Bosch Video Management System (BVMS). The fire alarm revolves around smoke and heat detectors, while for voice alarm and evacuation, Plena Mixer Amplifiers are connected to driver loudspeakers. All systems and cameras are monitored by security personnel at the company’s control center in Recife. IP cameras with built-in video analytics For added security, selected cameras feature built-in video analytics to automatically set off intruder alarms and alert authorities. The system also fulfills the key customer requirement for remote management via the management system BIS (Building Integration System), including administration of user credentials and access rights for the 300 maintenance teams serving various substation sites. Successfully installed at sixteen stations in Pernambuco, the Bosch solution has proven to be an asset for CELPE and its personnel. Aside from safeguarding valuable infrastructure against criminals, the system has also streamlined communications among the service teams in the region by including elements such as conferencing and automatic alerts for fires and intrusions through a messenger system. The remote management of user access rights at the substations has enhanced the overall service level and prevented security breaches. Satisfied with the end-to-end solution, CELPE has now commissioned Bosch to equip approximately 240 electrical substations over the next years.
Hikvision, a global manufacturer and supplier of video surveillance equipment, is helping to ensure a safe and reliable electricity supply across South Africa, with the deployment of a massive remote surveillance monitoring solution, covering thousands of electricity substations and power transmission lines. Operated by the largest electricity power distributor in South Africa, Eskom, a network of more than 400,000 kilometers of overhead power lines and several thousand electricity substations, provides electricity to the country’s domestic and business customers. In recent years, this critical power infrastructure has become the target for cable theft, metal theft and other infrastructure related crimes, resulting in vastly expensive and disruptive damage and losses to service providers.Eskom enlisted the help of South Africa’s Combined Private Investigations (CPI) Mitigating equipment thefts Organised criminals have increasingly targeted the more remote sections of the supply network, stealing copper cabling, metal and industry grade batteries. Up to 15 incidents per day are currently being reported. If not seriously addressed, it could lead to the interruption of the supply to thousands of domestic customers; commercial operations, hospitals and railway systems. To combat this wide-scale problem, the national electricity provider (Eskom) enlisted the help of South Africa’s leading information driven investigation company, Combined Private Investigations (CPI). CPI was established by a number of experienced law enforcement agents, forensic investigators and corporate security officials, primarily to investigate a high-level cartel for one of the largest parastatals in South Africa. Currently, CPI is the sole supplier of investigations to several parastatals, with an acknowledged record of addressing copper cable and other infrastructure-related crimes successfully, achieving very high recovery levels. CPI arrests between 35 to 85 cable thieves per month and maintains a conviction rate on average of 90%.The impact of downtime for a substation hit by material theft can be significant Preventing power loss As a corporate investigations firm comprising over 900 staff members across 18 locations, CPI specialises in the prevention and investigation of non-ferrous metal theft. The company’s main objective is to support electricity supply companies and railway service providers in their fight against organised crime syndicates targeting electrical networks for illegal gain. “Copper and metal theft targeting the power transmission infrastructure has become a real problem for maintaining the reliable supply of electricity in South Africa,” says Roy Robertson, Principal Director of CPI. “The impact of downtime for a substation hit by material theft can be significant, with loss of power to homes, hospitals, schools, factories and public transport services." Intelligence-driven approach "These incidents can also have a massive detrimental effect on the provision of key support services, as well as to basic health and safety, so it was vital to our client that not only should the perpetrators of these crimes be investigated and brought to justice, but that the theft incident rate should be significantly reduced.” “To do this, and as a priority, we needed to protect the most vulnerable and remote electricity substations, as these sites were being targeted and experiencing the highest percentage of theft and associated service disruption. At CPI we strive to capitalise on the latest technologies to support our intelligence-driven approach. As such, we approached global surveillance leader Hikvision, to provide the latest electronic security solutions to effectively combat the thefts.”Hikvision Smart Video Content Analytics (VCA) technology embedded into the cameras was set-up for intruder detection Smart video analytics Providing a technical team to assess at remote sites, CPI collaborated with Hikvision to assess the most effective technical specification of products to detect and deter thefts. This specification then formed a blueprint to be rolled-out across all of the most vulnerable electricity substations across South Africa. Using their own engineering teams, CPI installed Hikvision DS-2CD2T42WD-I8 and DS-2DE5120W-AE cameras covering the internal and perimeter areas of each remote site. Equipped with 4MP resolution, 120dB Wide Dynamic Range, 3D DNR, EXIR high performance LEDs and 80 metres IR range, the DS-2CD2T42WD-I8 4MP EXIR Network Bullet Camera was the perfect choice to monitor the remote substations, utilising its advanced performance to provide crystal clear images day and night. Additionally, the Hikvision DS-2DE5120W-AE 1.3MP 20X Network PTZ Cameras were used to provide 3D intelligent positioning and 20X Optical Zoom, to deliver instant visual confirmation on any on-site intruder detection – and all in crystal clear 1.3MP resolution. In conjunction with PIR devices covering the sites’ perimeters, Hikvision Smart Video Content Analytics (VCA) technology embedded into the specified cameras was set-up to perform intruder detection utilising line detection, to confirm alarm activations and eliminate false alarms.Hikvision’s advanced iVMS 5200 professional software with video wall driver was used to monitor thousands of remote sites Central monitoring Recorded locally to Hikvision IDS-9632 NXI-1816S Embedded Plug & Play NVRs, specified due to their superior performance and system stability, the NVR’s simple installation reduce engineering installation and set-up time on site, whilst up to 6 megapixel recording resolution and a capacity of up to 4 SATA interfaces ensured the high-quality of local recording needed. Both live and recorded images are transmitted over a wireless LAN, back to CPI’s own control room located at their National Operations Centre in Johannesburg. At the control room, Hikvision’s advanced iVMS 5200 professional software with optional video wall driver was deployed to enable CPI operators to monitor the thousands of remote sites on 24/7 basis, via a ‘monitoring by exception’ basis. Intrusion detection Monitoring the massive Hikvision integrated surveillance system, in the event of an automated intruder alert being activated to indicate unauthorised movement on-site, surveillance operators are able to quickly visually verify the activity in seconds, examining the high-performance camera network’s high-resolution images. During the process, all evidential video is tagged and automatically archived for future identification and prosecution usage. In the event of unauthorised intruders being detected, the CPI control room operators can instigate a host of anti-intrusion measures, including the dispatch of rapid response teams to a specific locationWe no longer need to deploy response personnel to a site when it may be the subject of a false alarm Integrated surveillance "These teams comprise highly trained operatives ready to tackle any situation,” continues Roy. “The Hikvision surveillance system ensures we can respond very rapidly to any intrusion detected at the sites, and our manned guard response teams are equipped to get to sites as quickly as is possible, to catch the perpetrators in the act. "We can even call on our Robinson helicopter R44 Police equipped with infra-red camera that can rapidly deploy personnel to reach the most remote locations in just a matter of minutes.” “We work closely with the police and various local authorities, using the evidential video footage produced by the Hikvision systems to very good effect in prosecution cases. The high-definition quality of the Hikvision camera images have proved critical in detecting and prosecuting offenders of metal theft." "Not only is it reducing these incidents, but it enables us to visually confirm the precise cause of an alarm at any remote site at the touch of a button. This means we no longer need to deploy response personnel to a site when it may be the subject of a false alarm – negating the waste of valuable man hours and costs, and vastly improving the effectiveness of our security operation.”We plan to harness more Hikvision technology to fortify power transmission security in South Africa Drone-assisted surveillance “We have been so impressed with the Hikvision surveillance technology and the support we have received that we are continuing to roll out this Hikvision based security blueprint to many other power substation sites across South Africa,” Roy continues. “To date, over 1,000 electrical substations are protected by Hikvision systems - making a real difference to the provision of a reliable power service to all sections of industry and society across South Africa.” “In future, we plan to harness more Hikvision technology to fortify power transmission security in South Africa. From additional electronic surveillance systems, to the use of camera-equipped Hikvision Quad-rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) to protect remote sites and respond to incidents – we’re looking forward to completing more successful projects with the assistance of Hikvision’s highly capable technology solutions.”
The Linth-Limmern Power Stations AG (“KLL”), located in the Swiss Linthal valley, is a partner company of Axpo Power AG. Originally built in 1957-1958, the plant was extended during the seven years “Linthal Project 2015” starting in 2009. This is one of Axpo’s most important expansion projects. A new underground pumped storage facility extracts water from Lake Limmern, pumps it up to Lake Mutt, situated at 630 m higher elevation, and then uses it to generate electricity as needs be. As storage power stations, KLL primarily produce valuable peak load energy, playing a crucial role in maintaining the balance between energy supply and consumption. Inexpensive electricity bought on the European energy market can be used to pump the water that creates the electricity which can then be sold at higher prices. The Linthal Project 2015 increased the facility capacity from approximately 520 MW to 1520 MW, the equivalent of a nuclear power plant. All the power production processes and the entire plant is monitored and managed in the KLL control centre located in Tierfehd. Modern control centre Given the expansion of the pumped storage facility and the corresponding quantum leap in energy output, the KLL decided to build a modern control centre. The mandate was to create a highly dynamic, ergonomic cockpit environment from which the on-duty operators can quickly, safely and efficiently manage the power plant around the clock. This includes monitoring both new and legacy systems which actually run the power station, as well as security technology for buildings, tunnels and construction areas on site.Given the expansion of the pumped storage facility and the corresponding quantum leap in energy output, the KLL decided to build a modern control centre Meteorological systems also had to be integrated as weather conditions are essential to production planning. KLL chose WEY for this challenging project because of the company’s modern yet reliable, system- independent technology and convincing experience with similar reference projects. Bringing extensive experience in the integration of control systems like Rittmeyer to the table, WEY became involved in the early stages in the project and supported KLL from the beginning of the conceptual phase. WEY Distribution Platform WEY’s solution for this demanding work environment is implemented on the WEY Distribution Platform, an IP-based network that connects and switches virtually any system to any workplace or video wall, in real-time and in accordance with user rights. Sources and peripheral systems are remoted to the system room and controlled from a WEY Smart Touch keyboard at both main and backup operator desks. The solution achieves consistent and intuitive control at operator stations with a multitude of peripheral devices, such as monitors, audio devices, a video wall, mouse and keyboard. All the systems and computers have been remoted to a secure and cooled system room. This eliminates bothersome noise emissions at the desk and enhances system security by protecting computers from unauthorized interventions. Operators benefit from a clearly arranged desktop featuring only those devices which are necessary. A single multifunctional WEY Smart Touch keyboard with an integrated 10" touch screen controls all the diverse sources and systems, and affords users a fast, interactive, and intuitive user work experience. Existing systems such as RITOP, the process management system from Rittmeyer for controlling turbines, water pumps, fire protection and lake capacity, are fully integrated in the WEY Distribution Platform and managed from the main operator position. Video wall A fully integrated 2x4 video wall from eyevis consists of eight 60" rear-projection cubes and provides an overview of all systems, sources and closed-circuit TV feeds. The video wall features a multitude of individual pre-sets displaying up to 80 different views. Eyevis rear-projection cubes based upon DLP technology are first and foremost among professional video wall systems. This leading technology offers decisive advantages: for one, it is not prone to the so-called “burn-in” effect whereby the image quality suffers from static content. Further, DLP cubes are practically the only option to realise virtually “seamless” video walls designed for 24/7 applications in control rooms. WEY Smart Control WEY Smart Control enables the operators to manage a comprehensive alarm and event management solution which encompasses a whole host of peripheral systems. For example, a typical KLL access control scenario starts when a visitor or worker buzzes the control room to gain access to any of the entry points (barriers, gates, turnstiles or doors). WEY Smart Control automatically projects the closed-circuit TV images onto the videowall.The new system allows each operator to customise their own workflows and create individual scenarios on the video wall Using the touch screen on the WEY Smart Touch keyboard, the operator takes appropriate action, such as activating voice communications, moving the cameras or opening the door. Building services such as lights are also controlled using WEY Smart Control technology and a multifunctional keyboard. The KLL now benefits from a fully integrated, state-of-the-art control room. All systems can be controlled from a single workplace. Department Head, Mr. Martin Steiner has this to say about the project: “The integration of the systems is a huge benefit and simplifies our working processes significantly.” The well organised workplaces facilitate faster interventions and simplify control of the energy production processes. Processes such as access control have been fully automated. All the facilities are being centrally monitored and controlled. The coordination of interventions using modern team collaboration techniques is assured. Flexible and scalable system According to Mr. Martin Steiner, KLL Department Head, “The flexibility and scalability of the system is something very positive. Further, KLL benefited from WEY Technology’s profound experience in the integration of control systems. The quality is excellent. Budget and the timetable have been respected. We enjoyed individualised consultation services from the very beginning, and our visit to the showroom helped us to conceptualise our project and make our decisions.” KLL employees were involved in the planning phase of the project from the outset. Surveys were conducted, and the corresponding concept was developed together. “The new system has been well received by all the staff. It allows each operator to customise their own workflows and create individual scenarios on the video wall.” Mr. Steiner is very satisfied with the overall project and recommends WEY to all power plant operators who face similar challenges.
As part of a major infrastructure project spanning several years, SIG refurbished their control centre for the power distribution system in Geneva, making it easier, safer and more efficient for dispatchers to respond to incidents. SIG services SIG is a Swiss public infrastructure company established in 1896. Majority-owned by the Canton and City of Geneva, its revenues exceed CHF 1 billion per year. SIG serves 265,000 clients providing drinking water, gas, electricity and thermal energy, and managing wastewater and waste recycling. SIG also offers energy and telecommunications services. All SIG activities seek to promote smarter energy consumption within a framework of sustainable development. SIG maintains multiple control rooms in the Geneva area, including one which is used to manage the power distribution network on a 24/7 basis. Here, operators monitor and manoeuvre the distribution grids, control city lighting, monitor security for personnel and facilities and respond to client calls outside of business hours. When the SCADA system for process management needed to be renewed and an aging plasma video wall was suffering from the so-called “burn-in effect”, SIG decided to modernise the entire control room and create a more ergonomic office environment for their dispatchers. Managing energy distribution network SIG control room manages the energy distribution network for a quarter of a million customers consuming over 2,800,000 GW/h per year. When a power failure occurs, the center can be flooded with alarms and incoming calls. The dispatcher’s job is to avoid and/or minimise interruption of power, analyse and localise problems, dispatch construction and maintenance teams, communicate with the customers and most importantly, keep a cool head and avoid all mistakes that could negatively impact an outage.The WEY system is whole and is not an assembly of parts from different manufacturers. It is more compact and faster to put together" WEY deployed a new fully integrated control room solution based upon the WEY Distribution Platform WDP. The room features two high- performance operator workplaces with SMARTtouch keyboards, a video wall and an adjacent reception area / conference room. PCs and other sources are housed in a centralised and cooled system room, eliminating heat and noise from the control room. Enhanced ergonomics helps to keep stress levels down during an incident. The scope of the project also included new height-adjustable technical furniture, an intelligent lighting system, and newer but fewer desk screens. WEY SMARTtouch multifunctional keyboards WEY SMARTtouch multifunctional keyboards enable the operators to control all their information sources, alarms and workflows with a single user interface. Customised keypads feature buttons to directly respond to audio and visual alarms on the SMARTtouch and the video wall. This streamlines workflows in an emergency and ensures the speed and accuracy of the operator’s response. A CCTV feed in the SMARTtouch display shows the secured entrance and incoming visitors. Without leaving their working desk, operators can identify the person and open the door by simply pushing another button on the keypad. WEY delivered a 3x2 60" rear-projection Eyevis SlimCubes video wall which is perfectly suited to 24/7 control room environments. The super-slim, space-saving video wall is mounted in the corner of the room leaving plenty of space for a server room behind the screens. The graphic controller makes it possible to freely place, position and scale any PC image on the video wall. Fully integrated with the WEY Distribution Platform, the video wall can be controlled from any workplace using the WEY SMARTtouch keyboards, and all the presets are programmed as soft keys in the touch screen. WEY solution integrates historical and new functionalities Some key benefits for SIG was the ability of the WEY solution to integrate ‘historical’ and new functionalities, integrate I/O interfaces of the alarm management system and other third party systems and control it all with the SMARTtouch keyboard and video wall. According to the Operations Engineer responsible for dispatching, “In the previous room, we had a panel showing the alarms and a box with a button to stop the alarm sound. When I first saw the WEY demonstration with customised banners for alarming on the videowall and the merging of different buttons in the keyboard, I thought it was great and exactly what we needed. It is an ergonomic plus, neat for industrial environments, and yes, everything works fine.” The client further notes: “The WEY system is whole and is not an assembly of parts from different manufacturers. It is more compact and faster to put together. It saves time and money and technically, I think this is better. It also permits us to have less screens and machines around, which makes the room clean, spacious and agreeable. Less heat and noise are dispersed in the room. We are glad to have left the 20th century control room behind us.”
Control room video wall providers eyevis UK have won a contract to supply 24/7 monitoring and security technology for wind farms generating green energy for the whole of the UK. The installation will oversee and protect hundreds of onshore wind turbines across the north of Scotland and work is due to start in the next couple of months. Integrated mobile phone camera application management The control room systems will also involve an integrated mobile phone camera application, which allows engineers out on site to transmit data and photographs direct to the video walls. The project, for one of the major providers of green energy for major UK utilities and independent power providers, coincides with the country’s move towards a low carbon economy and a reduction in the reliance on fossil fuels. eyevis UK will be supplying video walls comprising of eyevis 55-inch extremely narrow bezel industrial LCDs with eyevis Netpix 4900 video wall controllers, complete with Eyecon control software including an alarm management module. eyevis UK managing director Steve Murphy said, “Video walls which provide an efficient and easy to maintain service 24/7 play an integral part in ensuring the green energy supplied by wind turbines is a reliable and secure source of alternative energy and we are delighted to be a part of this project.” Video display and audio-visual solutions eyevis UK provides video display and audio-visual solutions to a range of clients and has supplied CCTV security control rooms for power stations, local authorities, banks, road traffic monitoring, emergency services, blue chip retailers and Government buildings. The Netpix 4900 is a network based graphic controller for the management of video wall systems, single displays or projectors. The controller creates a big joined desktop for network-applications, video and graphic sources. Eyecon is a universal and complete software solution for the control of video wall systems including all connected sources, distribution of information and collaboration in-between different control rooms or presentation areas. The system is based on a very simple operating concept that reduces response times and hence makes the operation of large display systems even more effective and efficient.