High-tech site security

December 2001 Surveillance

When Voith Fabrics, a division of German manufacturer Voith, was looking to upgrade its VCR-based security system, specialist CCTV installers Tauratec Systems recommended the Digital Sprite multiplex recorder from Dedicated Micros to control the system.

Blackburn-based Voith Fabrics is an industrial manufacturer producing textiles for use in the paper and cardboard making industry, including the conveyor belt system used to transport the product through heavy machinery. On site there is specialist machinery which needs to be secured, and deliveries and shipments are frequent. Furthermore, the factory is in a residential area, so public disturbance - unsightly cameras for example - had to be kept to a minimum.

Working closely with Tauratec Systems, Voith Fabrics selected Digital Sprite primarily because of the ease of use of the digital system and the instant access to recorded data. The system was networked on the company's existing IT infrastructure to allow those with access to view the images live from the cameras directly from their office. Six domes were installed outside at strategic points around the site, and a further ten static cameras inside, all linked via a networked Digital Sprite multiplexer.

Says Assistant Plant Engineer Bryan Dixon: "We used to have an analog system with 31 tapes that were changed daily - and pinpointing a specific incident on them was difficult and extremely time-consuming.

"Now, with the digital system, if we want to look at an incident that happened at 10:30, for example, it is a matter of seconds to click in the time log and either view a freeze frame image or playback a sequence of recorded events.

"One of the biggest advantages is that playing back does not affect recording. With our old VCR system, if we wanted to look at anything, we either had to press stop - and interrupt recording, of course - or wait until the tape was finished which could be hours away.

"This way I can log in from my desk and view what is going on around the site immediately - and, covertly, if I need to - without affecting the system or having to involve our security manager."

Paul McHale, Operations Manager of Tauratec Systems explains: "Voith Fabrics was using a standard VCR system which we maintained on their behalf. It was apparent, however, that the company's security needs had evolved - but the security system had not.

"We had never installed the Digital Sprite before but opted for this model following a product demonstration, largely because of its good reputation and its ease of installation - as well as the support we received from Dedicated Micros. "Since the installation at Voith, we have installed a further couple of Digital Sprites without any problem."

Residential estate

One camera overlooks a residential estate and Voith anticipated potential negative reactions from the local residents in response. In fact, this could not have been further from the truth.

Brian Dixon continues: "This system has actually helped improve our community relations. As you can imagine, a manufacturing plant within a residential area must be constantly alert to any potential problems or risks, which is why good security plays such an important role.

"A couple of times, local homeowners have been in to ask whether we have detected any activity around their house at a certain time - when they have had a break-in for example."

Says Pauline Norstrom, Marketing Communications Manager at Dedicated Micros: "DM is continuing to lead the market in developing practical, commercially viable digital CCTV solutions. Our digital systems are designed to meet the needs of customers that require a digital solution that is easy to install and use."

For further details, contact RGB Technologies on tel: (011) 760 6437 or Visionline on tel: (011) 401 6700.

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