The well-known multinational company Honeywell has for many years now been active in the fields of access control, building management and security.
In the last few years Honeywell SA extended its activities in this area through a number of acquisitions and the establishment of the now well-branded company, TeqTrader. More recently in the aftermath of 11 September, Honeywell USA acquired the global operations of CCTV leader Ultrak, and then just lately acquired the local company Betatech. Betatech has subsequently become Honeywell's global centre of excellence in CCTV analog switching, a just acknowledgement of local innovation and ingenuity. Ultrak was already a global player being NASDEQ listed, while Honeywell itself is listed on several stock exchanges including the NYSE. Honeywell has always been proud of being one step ahead of its competition and the acquisition of Ultrak and Betatech has allowed it to take a giant leap in terms of the technology and service offered.
Honeywell, through its subsidiary Honeywell Southern Africa (Honeywell SA), has had a presence in this country since 1969. The local company has followed in the footsteps of its parent's passion for excellence, a fact recognised in 2000 when it became the first recipient of the prestigious SA Excellence Award. Honeywell prides itself in prompt delivery of product and the provision of full aftermarket support, including maintenance and a comprehensive range of spares. A current goal for the security management team is to ensure that downtime of any of its installations as a result of a system fault or failure will be less than 24 hours.
While all of these security industry brands have operated very successfully under their own identity, the new businesses (including TeqTrader) together with Honeywell's Advanced Security Solutions business have created exciting new synergies. In order to address its extended customer base in an holistic fashion all of the business will now operate under the Honeywell brand name under the leadership of country manager, Steve Shannon. With its new ability to address all aspects of the security industry and markets from home to large integrated systems, the challenge that Honeywell has set itself is to become to the security industry what Coca Cola is to the soft drinks business. Despite the change in name, all existing customers of Betatech, Ultrak and TeqTrader should rest assured that they are guaranteed of the continuance of existing successful product lines such as the KD6 Diamond Dome and Maxpro Matrix from the former Ultrak.
The new integrated Honeywell security business will be launching a number of exciting new initiatives in the next few months. The first of these, to be officially launched at Securex, is the First Alert Professional scheme that will be driven by Frank Fowles, who together with Ahmed Bhabha created TeqTrader and built it into the success it is today. First Alert is an innovative rental scheme for security solutions, the physical package being tailored to the specific needs of the individual customer. It will cover every aspect from home security up, the top of the range Platinum package catering for eight security zones expandable up to 48, adequate for the largest security challenge.
Rental means that there is no capital outlay for the system that can be upgraded or replaced as the needs of the customer demand. The installation itself will be carried out by Honeywell's well-trained authorised dealers who are now in a position to compete with the largest service providers as a result of the elimination of the capital outlay. Honeywell believes that by separating the rental of the system from the monthly fee for the reaction service the customer is ultimately empowered with more choices. Besides empowering customers the new scheme will also nurture the small and emerging service providers.
Advanced fire detection
The Honeywell portfolio of control and monitoring products and solutions includes CCTV, access control, fire detection and home burglar alarm systems. In terms of products the company's latest flagship security device is the world's most sophisticated smoke detection system, the video smoke detector (VSD). The VSD was developed by the UK-based Intelligent Security, originally to meet the super-critical requirements of British Nuclear Fuel. In the eight-year period since its launch it has evolved into a user-friendly system that can be used anywhere where early detection of fire is critical. This could include industrial plants where combustible materials are used, document storage facilities, computer centres and chemical and waste plants. The VSD differs from the traditional ceiling-located fire detector in that it detects the source of the fire, alerting operators within seconds of the initial ignition. The traditional fire detector only provides an alarm when smoke reaches it and by that time the situation could already be out of hand.
The system can be retrofitted to existing CCTV systems and its operation is based on sophisticated computer analysis of the video image seen by the camera. Use is made of advanced image processing and this together with smart false alarm phenomena algorithms allows it to detect the distinct characteristics of smoke patterns. It is so accurate in its analysis that it can distinguish between smoke and steam so the latter does not result in a false alarm. The problem of harmless process smoke is addressable during installation by varying the amount of time that the smoke exists for. The installer can also divide the video frame into a number of zones with an alarm only being given if smoke is detected in two or more zones.
The VSD is considered the most advanced fire detection system in the world and Honeywell now has the exclusive rights to distribute the product on a sub-Saharan basis. Key existing installations include Heathrow Airport in London, the British Houses of Parliament and the NASA space shuttle hangar in Florida.
A core Honeywell offering is its industry-leading Enterprise Buildings Integrator (EBI) solution and the latest version of this was recently released in South Africa. This technology platform integrates the core building systems and subsystems, including security systems, CCTV surveillance, access control, as well as heating ventilation and air conditioning. The latest release offers an easy-to-use Web-based user interface that provides access from any PC or workstation running Microsoft Internet Explorer. With this interface several buildings can be controlled and monitored either through an on-site computer or remotely over the Internet.
No matter how good a product may be the key to dependable operation is correct installation. To this end Honeywell SA has been operating its Honeywell User College for several years now from its Midrand premises. The expansion of the security business has made it necessary to acquire additional premises in Linbro Park where the security operations will be consolidated. The demand for training has also resulted in new training facilities being established at Linbro Park, which will open for business in April.
As for the future, Honeywell SA intends to market its security products heavily at end user level and establish the credibility of the new brand name. The objective is to create awareness of the Honeywell name as the optimum security solution so that the informed end user will specify the product he wants to the installers and retail outlets. As the company is also heavily involved in the instrumentation and control business it is intended that security can be seamlessly integrated into a plant's control and management information system.
Notwithstanding its best-of-breed products Steve Shannon is adamant that the success of the company has been driven by its dedicated staff. Honeywell SA in its future expansion will continue to ensure that it recruits the right people and that it continues to develop its existing staff.
For more information contact Steve Shannon, Honeywell SA, 011 695 8000.
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