Power plant security
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...
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 t...
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Milestone Systems, the leading provider for open platform IP video management software (VMS), announced the successful implementation of an integrated video surveillance solution for Thailand’s largest state-owned power producer, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). Thailand’s leading state-owned power utility manages hydropower plants in classified and sensitive areas, relying heavily on video footage to monitor sites and enhance security. As a single plant sometimes requires more than 200 cameras, EGAT needed a scalable and cost-efficient video surveillance system. Being situated over an hour away from the city was also a challenge. Without a unified video surveillance system, monitoring and surveying the water level of 14 dams across the country proved challenging, with inappropriate response times leading to floods and potential loss of lives. Selecting XProtect VMS 8 Bit Solution, a trusted provider of Milestone solutions, carried out a comprehensive needs analysis evaluation process for EGAT. Milestone’s XProtect video management software, a cost-effective solution, was selected to manage and integrate existing cameras located at all six hydro power plants, without causing disruption to daily operations. With this in place, EGAT was then able to distribute its resources more efficiently, saving energy and resources. “Besides the 35 percent reduction in manpower and labor costs, Milestone XProtect video management software continued to enhance security of our premises and ensure the safety of all employees,” said Mr. Kriangsak Chinwong, System Analyst, and Head of Control Equipment, North-eastern Region, EGAT. “Milestone provided a flexible and future-proof solution for the various power generation sites that we are monitoring,” said Chinwong. “The flexibility and scalability of Milestone’s solutions allowed us to integrate our cameras seamlessly for round-the-clock surveillance.” Future integrations Benjamin Low, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Milestone Systems, added, “Milestone’s solution for EGAT mirrors our values to our clients. We will continue to pursue greater innovation in surveillance and serve as a reliable solution for managing risk and protecting people and assets.” Looking ahead, EGAT is looking to take advantage of Milestone’s open platform to integrate additional features, such as XProtect License Plate Recognition and Milestone XProtect Access, a module that helps customers integrate third-party access control systems, to fully maximise the potential of their current video surveillance solution. “Milestone’s open platform makes it easy to integrate with other systems, and we plan to make use of that.” commented Chinwong, “A high-quality security system with stable, scalable and flexible features helps us to put safety at the heart of our business.”
Matrix, with a varied portfolio of telecom and security solutions, has built up a strong customer base in the domestic and the international market. The company holds a product line consisting of reliable IP-PBXs, intelligent GSM and VOIP Gateways, ergonomically designed user terminals and advanced unified communication server. All these products are engineered to improve communication in different businesses in the manufacturing, retail, hospitality, healthcare and the banking sector. Matrix recently constructed a robust communication infrastructure at the Oman based power transmission company. The power transmission company handles the responsibility of generating power as well as maintaining the power needs of Oman. In association with esteemed partner - Khimji Ramdas LLC, Matrix tailored a solution with PBXs and Gateways. The company has two head offices in two different cities of Oman. Head office-1 is in Muscat and head office-2 is in Dhofar. Both head offices have their own power plants – head office-1 has 70 power plants while the head office-2 has seven. The company couldn’t afford any break in communication and hence, having a communication backup was their prime requirement. Further, they wanted to elevate communication experience of their employees. For this they were looking for a system with convenient dialing patterns. A single box capable of providing connectivity on different networks such as PRI, BRI, GSM, CO and IP was one of their requirements. Confidentiality of communication was a matter of concern for them, so they wanted a secured network for routing all their calls. A brief overview of the case is as follows: Challenges: System Redundancy Convenient Dialling Patterns Access Multiple Trunks from a Single Solution Ease of Connectivity with Field Employees Secured Communication between Multiple Locations The company was looking for a system with convenient dialling patterns. Confidentiality of communication was a matter of concern for them, so they wanted a secured network for routing all their calls. Solution: Multi-location Communication over Fibre – ETERNITY ME VOIP-FXO-FXS Gateway Solution - SETU VFXTH0016 Multiple Trunks - 16 CO Trunks and 8 GSM GSM CUG Trunking to Connect with the Field Employees Built-in Advanced Network Security Protocols Results: Ensured 24x7 Connectivity Robust Back-up Enhanced Communication Convenience Improved Productivity “All our products are tailored to cater to the distinct communication needs of the different industries. However, our DSIR recognised R&D is constantly working to enable different features to suffice evolving needs of the enterprises”, said Sagar Gosalia, Sr. VP Sales and Marketing.