Marlenique Estate is situated in the Simondium area of the Winelands District of the Western Cape and is a beautiful 180 hectare farm estate with resident houses, function venues, offices, and fresh produce. The estate is owned by the Van der Merwe family of the renowned Boplaas 1743 Estates in Ceres. Boplaas, established in 1743, is the oldest family owned business in South Africa.
Vandalism and theft was a huge problem on the estate, with almost daily incidents. The estate had security guards on 24-hour patrol, which had proven to be largely ineffective and very expensive. Energize Tech Africa was given the task to design and install a full security solution that automated all aspects of securing the premises in order to allow the estate to rely on armed response only in the event of an incident.
Since 2017, Energize Technology Africa has focused on safeguarding agricultural, lifestyle estate and corporate customers with intelligent security devices that offer early warning solutions. It has standardised on using the same security model from Axis Communications that has proven to be an efficient end-to-end solution.
The Marlenique requirements
All security and access controls on the estate needed to be fully self-automated to operate without human interaction.With the use of analytics and Vapix commands, the solution from Axis achieved the desired outcome. (Vapix is an open API from Axis Communications that allows integrators to automate various tasks with an HTTP-based API.) With the high quality in the backend software and analytics from Axis Communications, Energize Technology was able to build a system that is low on maintenance and which has a low false alarm ratio.
Axis products used at the entrances
Door stations: Calls reception with the function of failover to other lines. With the door station connected to Axis Camera Station, you have a record of all entries to the estate.
LPR bullet cameras and Axis Licence-plate recognition software: You can manage auto entry and exit to all authorised vehicles.
Axis products used on the perimeter
Thermal: With thermal cameras you can cover large distances, and with the Axis Perimeter Defender analytics there are minimal false alarms. As first line defence, the integrator connected large floodlights to the I/O of the thermal cameras, which switch on automatically at night when someone comes within a metre of the fence line.
Horn speakers: As a second layer of deterrence, the horn speakers give a pre-recorded message if the perimeter is breached; it is also at this stage where the armed response company gets notified of the incident.
PTZ: The PTZs have been programmed to patrol the perimeter and surrounding area and to work with the thermal cameras. If the perimeter is breached, the thermal camera will tell the PTZ camera where to look for a visual view of the perpetrator.
Axis products used around houses, pump houses, venues and offices
A mix of bullet and dome cameras are installed around these areas for visual overview, and are also equipped with analytics for human detection. I/O modules are installed and connected with radio receivers and 4-button remotes for the residents.
When the panic button is pressed, all 20 Axis Horn speakers on the farm sound off with a pre-recorded message indicating where the panic is, all 20 spotlights on the estate activate, all the cameras in that area start recording and the armed response is notified of the incident.
Since initial installation, the system has been expanded to the pack house where it also makes use of network audio and multi-sensor cameras. A greenhouse is planned and an Axis end-to-end solution has already been designed for it.
With the level of analytics and intelligence the system almost runs autonomously – the estate owners manage the system. Any perimeter breach or panic alarms from the system go through to the armed response company in the area. The system is so well put together that most if not all incidents are deterred before anything happens.
In the first two weeks after installation, there were three perimeter breaches and in two of these arrests were made because of the early warning the intelligent solution provided. Vandalism and theft have gone down to almost zero. Productivity of the crops has also increased to almost more than double because of elimination of theft.
Since the installation, the estate has added a solar farm that previously would have been vandalised and had the panels stolen. Marlenique Estate also boasts Africa’s first floating solar farm that was built on one of the dams.
Most importantly, the system proved to be more cost effective than 24-hour on-site guards to patrol the estate were.
Carl van der Merwe, owner of Marlenique Estate, said: “Boplaas 1743 approved the proposal from Energize Technology Africa to install a security system for our farm, Marlenique Estate. We didn’t believe it was possible to curb the endless security issues we were experiencing, but I’m delighted to say that Energize has managed to provide us with the perfect security solution. The Axis equipment has been running perfectly. We’re so impressed that we’re currently rolling out the same solution on four more of our farms.”
“In our opinion Axis Communications is the only way to go. The products are world-class and the service received is always professional and done with a smile,” concludes Mike Pritchard, director of Energize Technology Africa.
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