Risk-based solution

November 2011 Access Control & Identity Management

Powell Tronics provides integrated access, fire and surveillance system to Unilever.

The project involved the construction of a 40 000 m² warehouse for food and detergent manufacturer Unilever. The warehouse serves as the company’s regional distribution centre.

The client required a comprehensive risk-based solution with key elements from Morpho, Impronet, Bosch Vidos, Caddx, VESDA, and Ziton supplied by Powell Tronics. The client requirements included:

* Biometric control – to ensure that only authorised employees enter the facility and that correct information with regard to work hours is collected for payroll.

* VESDA – to detect any smoke in the facility at a very early stage before fire becomes unmanageable or sprinklers damage stock.

* Camera surveillance – to record movement of people and vehicles in the facility, audit trail of loading, off loading, weighing procedures, visitor movement, health and safety compliance, compliance with other internal controls, procedures from an accounting viewpoint, vehicle accidents in loading/offloading areas, perimeter surveillance for intruders and reduce shrinkage.

* Intruder detection – all high value items are protected as well as people working after hours or without authorised access.

The efficacy of the solution impacts finance, HR, IT, health and safety and security functions. For instance the finance/HR department needs to be sure that all work hours are recorded correctly using biometric time and attendance. The IT department needs to be sure that the infrastructure being installed meets with client specific standards and that any programmes installed are capable of being integrated into other fields, for example, SAP HR. The health and safety officer needs to ensure compliance with all internal safety standards through surveillance of internal safety controls with early smoke detection in the event of a fire. Security needs to be sure that only authorised persons enter the site.

Unilever put together a project team to oversee the project and involved members of the different disciplines as soon as certain issues impacted their scope of responsibility (for example, HR, IT, finance, security, legal).

The primary benefit is that the client is now able to control the entire operation from a single control room, with all alarms being directed through a single user interface, using a standard set of follow-up procedures and with consistency in predetermined operating procedures. The technology was selected based upon criteria of reliability, local support and proven track record. The objective was long-term delivery of tangible risk-management benefits as a whole.

The operators have a floor plan of the entire facility that is populated with graphic images of all devices including intruder detectors, smoke detectors, cameras and access control devices. Icons change colour in alarm condition and require that follow-up action is recorded for subsequent audit trail. The operator is also able to use one technology, for example, surveillance to follow-up on an alarm event from other technology such as early warning smoke alarm on the VESDA fire system.

In addition certain alarms can be sent through to the building management system (BMS) to direct certain consequences, for example, shut down of any mechanical equipment that may cause the situation to further deteriorate. Furthermore, the system performs self diagnostics to notify the operator when certain components are at fault.

The project progress was measured against an overall construction plan for the entire facility. For instance, when installing the VESDA sample piping the team needed to take into consideration the flooring and racking programme. All cabling needed to follow the installation of the wiring infrastructure.

MAC Consulting Engineers involved both IDtek and Electrical Projects on the installation of a similar Honeywell EBI solution for a PEP superhub in Durban and in Isando.

For more information contact Powell Tronics, +27 (0)11 234 6990, sales@powelltronics.co.za, www.p-tron.com


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