Published on 1 February, 2016
|The parking facilities required a management system to co-ordinate the mix of technical components, of various ages from different suppliers
B+B Parkhaus GmbH & Co.KG is a private, family-run parking facilities company based in Dusseldorf, Germany. It manages some 20,000 parking spaces in 60 properties. The technical management of the parking facilities is being centralised incrementally. At the centre of it all is a new Geutebruck video solution that utilises G-SIM, a powerful security information management system. The interfaces to the Schneider Intercom voice communication and the pay machines from Scheidt & Bachmann make it possible for the systems to work together perfectly. Currently 16 locations are connected and another 44 will follow. What can this video solution do?
Consolidate all parking facility camera images
The majority of the parking-facility properties are owned by the family, other properties are leased. The total portfolio is therefore inevitably a mixture of different technical components, with various ages and from different suppliers, but which must still work together. Up till now, the "conductor" has been missing: something to coordinate the various components. That has changed. Two years ago the department responsible for control room technology addressed this subject, developing a comprehensive system solution with a central control station. The plan was to consolidate the camera images from all parking facilities centrally, providing concise information on the local situation at any time. In particular, providing security for the pay machines was a high priority. To achieve this goal, interfaces were needed to the existing systems from Scheidt & Bachmann and Schneider Intercom, in order to get an informative overall picture of the situation when necessary: Pay machine information, voice communication and simultaneous activation of the associated live images. This makes it possible for the control station to see, talk and act quickly and decisively.
G-SIM from Geutebruck was the winner
Two security information management systems were in the final running and were thoroughly tested. In the end, G-SIM from Geutebruck was the winner. Years of positive experience with Geutebruck video systems were certainly influential, but it was another factor that was deciding: The already implemented interfaces to Scheidt & Bachmann and Schneider Intercom systems, which have proven themselves in daily use in numerous real-world applications.
Every Geutebruck video management solution already provides image information combined with process data or specific information from connected third-party systems. To arrive at the next level, a transition is made from a video management system to the G-SIM security information management system. This system is capable of providing the perfect overview and fulfilling additional demands: on the graphic display, on the alarm management, on the documentation.
Step-by-step, more cameras will
be added until the final stage
nationwide in Germany, when all
B+B parking facilities are
connected to the control centre,
representing around 500 cameras
G-SIM has now been in use in the new control centre since 2014. It is staffed around the clock, 365 days a year. This is also part of the service concept: During opening times, an employee is always available as a contact for customers. Here in Dusseldorf, video images from some 120 cameras in 16 parking facilities currently come together. Step-by-step, more will be added until the final stage nationwide in Germany, when all B+B parking facilities are connected to the control centre, representing around 500 cameras. Successively, all local video recorders will be replaced with GeViScope systems: an IP model (GeViScope IP server) is usually used. For leased objects with expiring contracts, modernisation of the infrastructure, including new cabling and camera installation, is not justified economically.
Therefore, existing analogue cameras, some still using black and white images, will be integrated and their images fed to GeViScope recorders with analogue ports.
Operators appreciate the ease of use
In all parking facilities, the entrances, exits and the pay machines are secured. Property-specific areas, designated by the local property manager, are secured as well, and all recording is performed permanently and saved locally at high resolution on GeViScope. Images are then transmitted to the control centre with a reduced image quality. If a parking lot customer submits a service request, the associated camera image pops up in the control centre. A still image is typically displayed along with the live images. It is also convenient to open a map, showing the property and the position of the camera. The sequence of images associated with the request is marked so that it can be easily found again later. Especially practical: The event is created in all systems, thus identifying and summarising the entire package of information. If image details are needed, the stored high-resolution images are accessed. The video sequences are visualised using G-SIM. The individual settings are comprehensive, making it possible to optimise the settings for each parking lot and user. Operators appreciate the ease of use.
Back to the pay station. Its status is visually inspected at regular intervals. G-SIM provides support for this use-case with programmed tours. Once programmed, they run automatically at predefined intervals and regularly call the attention of the employee. Naturally, outdoor pay machines are at greater risk. Others are protected at night, as the area is no longer publicly available at this time. And others are in a precarious situation because they are simply in a bad area. According to the risk classification, G-SIM operates different tours during the day and at night. Mr. Heiermann, Head of Technology and Control Stations at B+B Parkhaus GmbH & Co.KG, notes: "The programmed tours are very good. They are an enormous support for our work."
The in-house development at
Geutebruck is a great benefit.
The expertise is thus available
within the company. This
means easy access to the
developers and therefore quick
and competent answers
Geutebruck's G-SIM is a comprehensive package that can do far more than has previously been utilised. Step by step B+B will implement additional functions. At the same time, the complexity – resulting from different user levels for beginners and experts – remains manageable and each user can select their own scope of functionality. B+B's security expert was trained at Geutebruck and can now answer most of his colleagues' questions directly. In special cases, B+B can also take advantage of the fact that Geutebruck is not only the manufacturer, but also the developer of its products. Mr. Heiermann comments: "The in-house development at Geutebruck is a great benefit. The expertise is thus available within the company. This means easy access to the developers and therefore quick and competent answers. "
Mr. Heiermann continues about the central G-SIM solution: "The new solution is simpler and also more extensive than the previous one. It makes much more efficient operation possible. In the past, employees were needed at each property to process service requests. Today two employees per shift can easily handle all incoming service requests from all the properties combined." Four workstations are currently installed. Each is equipped with 4 monitors, which provide different information: Number one uses G-SIM to display video images in any configuration. Number two is coupled to the data from Schneider Intercom. Number three shows property information and number 4 information from the pay machines.
Once time allows, in a future project step, event-driven recordings will be introduced. This will limit the quantity of data as well as prevent unnecessary distractions for the security personnel. "Action" will then only occur when something happens in the selected section of the image.