Cengence secures Nissan SA

July 2012 Integrated Solutions, Integrated Solutions

Nissan SA’s manufacturing plant in Rosslyn is an enormous campus consisting of numerous buildings containing all the components required of a vehicle manufacturer. This includes assembly, repairs, preparation (such as painting and polishing) and storage, to name but a few. In an environment like this with many millions of rands worth of stock and equipment on site at any time, security is taken seriously.

Apart from the expected perimeter security along fences and boundaries, access controls to different areas within the campus, numerous guards responsible for patrolling specific areas, a host of fire alert systems and two radio alarm systems, Nissan also has in excess of 105 CCTV cameras covering the campus. Currently, of all cameras, 25 are PTZ systems.

As can be imagined, managing these diverse security systems is a complex task.

Nissan has retained the services of Omega Risk Solutions to manage its security operations centre. To simplify and better manage the security on site, Omega has implemented the Cengence Intelligent Integration Platform, developed by Cengence International, a local software development company.

According to Hein Rorich from Omega, Cengence integrates all the security platforms at the Nissan compound into a single management dashboard, allowing for easier control. Not only does Cengence integrate diverse security platforms, it also allows the company to implement Nissan’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) for every security event, ensuring that everybody follows the correct course of action when an incident occurs. If not, an exception report allows management to follow up and find out what went wrong.

A single dashboard manages Nissan SA’s security infrastructure.
A single dashboard manages Nissan SA’s security infrastructure.

The prevention of fires and the timely response should one occur is one of the crucial areas to secure at Nissan. “Fires and the fluid levels of certain tanks with flammable substances are a serious threat to Nissan and we have strict SOPs to follow to prevent fires and low-levels, as well as response SOPs in the event that incidents of this nature do occur,” says Pieter Fourie, senior manager, Corporate Risk at Nissan SA. “If the correct procedures are not adhered to, production can be hampered, leading to a serious loss of productivity and revenue. And that’s not even considering the more serious physical danger to our staff and site visitors.”

With the company manufacturing on average 260 vehicles a day, one can imagine the losses if production is halted for even a few hours. Rorich notes that all security personnel active on the Nissan site, no matter what area they operate in, need to have passed their fire response training.

Raising the alarm

Nissan runs two radio alarm systems from FSK and Cellsecure. Together, they raise a traditional alarm due to one of 60 events, from burglar alarms, electric fence violations, tank-level alerts, fires and vibration. Computers in sensitive areas are all fitted with vibration detectors that will raise the alarm as soon as the computer is moved.

These systems were installed long before Cengence, but still serve a vital purpose at the company. They have now been integrated into Cengence, along with more traditional access and perimeter alarms generated and controlled by the Lenel system, which also predates Cengence.

Rorich says the Lenel system has proven itself worthwhile in that it provides a high level of evidentiary value. The system picks up every access transaction, such as when entry to a door is permitted or denied. It also picks up when door access systems experience an electronic failure or go offline, ensuring all access systems are monitored on a 24x7 basis.

The value of Cengence, according to Rorich, is not only that it allows the company to manage various systems from a single dashboard, but that it automatically manages alarm events. When an alarm is recorded, Cengence automatically identifies what it is and sends an SMS alert to the relevant people – as identified in the SOP. These people have a set time to respond to the SMS.

If nobody accepts responsibility for the alert, the alarm is escalated to the next tier of more senior people, and finally to the company management itself if no responses are forthcoming. At the highest level, the alert is converted to an IP voice call and sent to senior management via Skype.

The SMS consists of a Web link, which takes the recipient to a mobile Web page where they can see what the alarm is and click on an accept button. Once they have accepted the alert, they are responsible to see it through to closure.

The system also generates daily e-mail reports to various managers within Nissan. People who did not respond to alarm text messages are highlighted in the report and can be asked to explain why they did not respond in time.

An eye on surveillance

The same process has been implemented for the surveillance cameras on the Nissan site. Should a camera go down or if a fault is detected in certain cameras that can be accessed by the Lenel system, an automated alert is raised and the relevant people notified. The same reporting process is followed to ensure all events are handled within a stipulated timeframe.

Managing the cameras efficiently is also crucial as Nissan’s control room operators have a schedule of monitoring operations to perform in the course of a day, apart from alarm events, and will not be able to complete the process if cameras are down.

“Cengence also allows Nissan to automatically contact the appropriate service provider when a camera goes down, as long as the SOPs have been entered,” adds Gerhard Furter, R & D manager for Cengence International. “The system sends a job card to the relevant people, together with the responsible Nissan manager. The service provider’s response is tracked to ensure the company delivers according to the service-level agreement (SLA). In the event of non-adherence to the SLA, both parties will be informed of the lapses and any penalties.”

In cooperation with the Lenel system, a technician’s movements can also be tracked, including the various doors and restricted areas he may access while fixing the problem.

Although not implemented yet, Furter says Cengence will also be able to alert the service provider’s technician of the exact problem and allow him to confirm via a mobile device that the job has been resolved. Should the Lenel system not agree with the resolved status, Cengence will notify the technician or service provider that something is still amiss.

Everything is time stamped in Cengence, ensuring that accurate statistics are kept of every alarm, whether it is a security or a technical fault alert. As usual, daily reports are sent to the relevant managers to keep them in the loop about any repair or update operations that are in process.

Operators can also enter notes and reports on the system related to each fault if necessary. All this information, as well as that mentioned above is stored on the system and cannot be altered. This is to ensure that the company has a complete audit trail of every event in case it becomes necessary.

Fourie says that Cengence has proved it is able to effectively integrate all the security systems in operation at Nissan SA as well as manage alerts by notifying the relevant staff immediately and following up if nobody accepts responsibility for the problem. Moreover, the system produces in-depth reports that not only alert management of current problems, but also provide performance statistics.

This allows management to identify recurring problems and initiate investigations into why they occur and how to resolve them. He says it is proven a cost-effective solution too, as the licensing fees are integrated into Omega’s monthly costs.

Omega’s Rorich says Cengence has proven a useful value-add that Omega can offer its customers. Not only does it make the security management task easier and more precise, it enhances the service Omega delivers. At the end of the day, customers gain valuable insight into their security operations as well as an automated management and control platform that can integrate almost any existing security system into the management console. And most importantly, the customer has in-depth, accurate and precise information about everything that happens in its security environment.


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