Power plant security
Antaira Technologies a global developer and manufacturer of industrial networking devices and communication solutions for harsh environment applications and is proud to announce the expansion of its industrial networking infrastructure family with the introduction of the LNP-1600G, -1802G-SFP, and -2004G-SFP series. As PoE technology has become increasingly popular in many industrial markets including automation manufacturing, security surveillance, power/utility, water wastewater treatment pla...
Two giant video surveillance companies have responded to a United States government ban on use of their products included in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Both Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company and Dahua Technology Company are mentioned by name in a section buried in the giant military reauthorization bill. A ban on use of their products will take effect “not later than one year after” the law is enacted. Response From The Manufacturers Hikvision&r...
Global and domestic threats have highlighted the need for tighter security across all verticals. One of the technologies that has redefined situational awareness and intrusion detection is thermal imaging. Once a technology exclusively manufactured for the military operations, thermal cameras today are deployed across hundreds of security applications and continue to see strong demand in existing and emerging commercial markets. With thermal technology, security personnel can see in complete...
It had been a particularly slow night. The plant security guard had just made his rounds on this Sunday evening shift. As soon as he passed the weighing scales, he could enter the guard shack and get off his feet. Challenging A Curious Incident However, on this night, he noticed the waste vendor’s truck sitting half on and half off the scale. He stopped dead in his tracks to see if the truck would back up and completely sit on the scale. It never did. The observant guard walked up to the...
With the ever-growing availability of video data thanks to the low cost of high-resolution video cameras and storage, artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning analytics now have become a necessity for the physical security industry, including access control and intrusion detection. Minimizing human error and false positives are the key motivations for applying AI technologies in the security industry. What Is Artificial Intelligence? Artificial intelligence is the ability of machines to...
The Duke Energy Corporation, one of the largest utilities in the word, has hired Brian Harrell as Managing Director, Enterprise Protective Services. Harrell is widely seen as an industry expert on critical infrastructure protection, with a specific focus on power grid security. He is the former Director of Critical Infrastructure Protection Programs and Director of Operations for the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) while at the North American Electric Reliability Co...
Emerson has announced a new SolaHD encapsulated transformer that will help industrial automation professionals lower total cost of ownership through simplified installation, reduced maintenance requirements, and decreased cabling needs. Developed to provide the capacity required for larger loads in a single floor-mounted unit, the new transformers comply with the latest NEC requirements for harsh and hazardous industrial locations, making them ideal for service in petrochemical facilities, wastewater treatment centers, and power generation plants. SolaHD Product Features Emerson's SolaHD Floor Mount Automation Transformers feature a rugged enclosure encapsulated with electrical grade silica and epoxy that protects its electronics from dust, metal particles and moisture, while providing extra shock and vibration resistance. Engineered for maximum performance and versatility, the transformers meet Class I, Division 2/Class I, Zone 2 ratings, 3rd party certification (cULus), and feature an expanded kVA range up to 150 kVA to provide additional opportunities for engineers in industrial and hazardous locations. New certifications and configurations mean the transformer acts as a single solution for multiple NEMA applications.One of the keys to success of Emerson's SolaHD Floor Mount Automation Transformers is a newly designed rugged enclosure SolaHD Floor Mount Automation Transformers One of the keys to the success of SolaHD Floor Mount Automation Transformers is a newly designed enclosure featuring removable, field-replaceable gland plates for ease of conduit entry, along with floor mounting brackets that reduce installation, maintenance and cabling expense. An improved cover delivers superior hose and wash down capabilities to ensure sanitation procedures are safely performed in areas such as food and beverage production. Optional stainless steel enclosures provide full NEMA 4X compliance where required. These upgrades represent important advances in transformer hardware as Emerson continues to drive progress across the entire power quality sector, with focus on improving reliability, energy conservation, and value. Emerson manufactures SolaHD Floor Mount Automation Transformers in the USA, decreasing lead-times and improving availability for critical projects. In addition to the standard selection, custom transformer versions are available.
Moxa is helping meet Industry 4.0's demand for heightened visibility by launching the new NPort IAW5000A-6I/O, an enterprise-scale, out-of-the-box solution that conveniently integrates a RS-232/422/485 serial device server, a Wi-Fi client/bridge, and multiple digital I/O's into a single compact device. Deploying the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O empowers plant managers to wirelessly connect machinery to an IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n network for the collection, remote monitoring, and analyzing of real-time visual insights on machine performance to ensure optimal manufacturing performance. "Today's manufacturers are under pressure to increase the productivity of every machine on the plant floor," said Paul Wacker, Product Marketing Manager for Device Connectivity. "Our new NPort provides a drop-in solution connecting existing equipment via Wi-Fi to gain valuable new insights about what is going on in each machine in real-time and how it is impacting productivity." Versatile Advantages The NPort IAW5000A-6I/O delivers a significant advantage through its versatility. Any RS-232/422/485 serial or Ethernet device in the field can be linked to a wireless device. In addition, its multiple digital I/O's make the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O ideal for industrial data acquisition where dividends are paid in heightened efficiency, reduced production downtime, and lower overall costs. Also, because it supports baudrates between 50 and 921.6 kbps, the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O ensures reliable connectivity to the widest range of devices. "Using the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O, however, CNC machines can be actively monitored to acquire data via Ethernet and/or wireless communications" Flexible Application Opportunities To underscore the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O's versatility, Wacker gave the example of legacy serial CNC machines. These older, capital-extensive machines are rarely connected to a plant's network, leaving plant managers in the dark as to production status. Using the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O, however, CNC machines can be actively monitored to acquire data via Ethernet and/or wireless communications. Wacker also provided the example of installing the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O as a value-added service in a large parking lot. Detectors built into the back of individual parking spaces could be wirelessly read by the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O to let the head office know which parking spaces are taken and which are open. Available spaces can be displayed on a screen at parking lot entrances to assist drivers and improve customer satisfaction. Improve Equipment Effectiveness Overall Equipment Effectiveness or "OEE" is a key operational metric that helps plant managers monitor the performance of particular machines or production lines. Despite the numerous gains realized through Industry 4.0 technology, OEE remains stagnant at 60 percent or less for the majority of global manufacturers. The NPort IAW5000A-6I/O can help boost underperforming OEE by providing real-time visibility into machine status, allowing a plant manager to accurately adjust the production schedule for improved optimization and decreased overhead costs. Integrated Critical Functions Gone are the days of spending the time to configure three different devices, going back and forth between different vendors for technical support, and buying different spare parts to maintain the different devices. With the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O, all three critical functions -- RS-232/422/485 serial device server, Wi-Fi client/bridge and digital I/O -- are integrated so that installation, troubleshooting and maintenance costs are dramatically reduced when compared to using two or three separate devices. "Moxa's integrated 3-in-1 solution also decreases design time, both for installation and maintenance" Additionally, the space-saving 3-in-1 design makes the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O ideal for refurbishment of older machinery, which typically have space limitations, especially when a variety of machines have already been installed. Moxa's integrated 3-in-1 solution also decreases design time, both for installation and maintenance, when compared to implementing after-market solutions from multiple suppliers. Protected From Power Surges A major threat thwarted by the NPort IAW5000A-6I/O is damage from power surges. Devices installed in industrial environments experience a high risk of surge due to electromagnetic pulses produced from motors switching on and off. The NPort IAW5000A-6I/O Series offers 4 kV surge protection for serial lines to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes and to damp out electrical noise. Key features Link any RS-232/422/485 serial or Ethernet device to an Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n network Serial device server with Virtual COM-port or TCP/UDP access Integrated digital I/O: 4 in and 2 out Redundant dual DC power inputs and support for relay output 4 kV serial surge protection Secure data access with WPA2 encryption with RADIUS authentication microSD card slot for configuration backup Wireless Client/Bridge function for flexible integration
Antaira Technologies is a global developer and manufacturer of industrial networking devices and communication solutions for harsh environment applications and is proud to announce the expansion of its industrial networking infrastructure family with the introduction of the LNX-2602G-SFP series. Industrial-Grade Equipment For Harsh Environments The LNX-2602G-SFP series is industrial-grade equipment that is Ethernet ready to fulfill various markets’ edge-level networking applications in harsh environments, such as, manufacturing automation, security surveillance, power/utility, water wastewater treatment plants, oil/gas/mining, and transportation. This switch is also perfect for setting up a dedicated network for optimizing VoIP and video application. LNX-2602G-SFP Features Antaira’s LNX-2602G-SFP is the latest industrial Gigabit unmanaged Ethernet switch series that offers 24 full Gigabit Ethernet ports and two gigabit combo ports featuring SFP fiber slots for long distance connectivity or two 10/100/1000 twisted pair ports. This product series has an IP40 rated metal casing design that can be mounted in a 19” rack. The device utilizes an input voltage of 90 to 264 VAC with an overload current and reverse polarity prevention, as well as high EFT surge and ESD protection. Each unit is built to withstand industrial networking hazards like shock, drop, vibration, Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) and temperature extremes. Wide operating temperature version options include a standard (-10 to 70°C) model or an extended (-40 to 75°C) model. The units conform to the following dimensions of 17.3 inches/440mm (W) x 7.9 inches/200mm (D) x 1.7 inches/44mm (H) and a unit weight of 6.2 pounds.
Secure Media Exchange (SMX) provides a simple, safe way for industrial plants to use USB-removable media and manage USB ports Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) announces a new solution for industrial sites as they balance productivity and cyber security demands. Honeywell’s new Secure Media Exchange (SMX) protects facilities against current and emerging USB-borne threats, without the need for complex procedures or restrictions that impact operations or industrial personnel. Malware spread through USB devices – used by employees and contractors to patch, update and exchange data with onsite control and computer systems – is a key risk for industrial control systems. It was the second leading threat to these systems in 2016, according to BSI publications, and uncontrolled USBs have taken power plants offline, downed turbine control workstations, and caused raw sewage floods, among other industrial accidents. Secure USB Use “Industrial operators often have hundreds or thousands of employees and dozens of contractors on site every day,” said Eric Knapp, Cyber Security chief engineer, HPS. “Many, if not most, of those rely on USB-removable media to get their jobs done. Plants need solutions that let people work efficiently, but also don’t compromise cyber security and, with it, industrial safety.” Currently, many plants either ban USBs, which is difficult to enforce and significantly reduces productivity, or rely on traditional IT malware scanning solutions, which are difficult to maintain in an industrial control facility and provide limited protection. These solutions fail to protect process control networks against the latest threats, and offer no means to address targeted or zero-day attacks. “SMX is a great example of Honeywell’s major investments in new industrial cyber security technologies, products, services, and research which further strengthen our ability to secure and protect industrial assets, operations and people,” said Jeff Zindel, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Industrial Cyber Security. “With the continued increase in cyber threats around the world, Honeywell’s industrial cyber security expertise and innovation are needed more than ever for smart industry, IIoT and critical infrastructure protection.” Largest Industrial Cyber Security Research Capability Honeywell’s SMX was developed by the company’s cyber security experts based on field experience across global industrial sites and feedback from Honeywell User Group customers. Honeywell has one of the largest industrial cyber security research capabilities in the process industry, including an advanced cyber security lab near Atlanta. Honeywell also partners with cyber security leaders, including Microsoft, Intel Security and Palo Alto Networks, among others, to develop new, highly-effective industrial threat detection techniques. Honeywell’s SMX provides hassle-free, multi-layered protection for managing USB security, letting users simply plug in and check devices for approved use in the facility Honeywell’s SMX provides hassle-free, multi-layered protection for managing USB security, letting users simply plug in and check devices for approved use in the facility. Contractors “check-in” their USB drive by plugging it into an SMX Intelligence Gateway. The ruggedised industrial device analyses files using a variety of techniques included with Honeywell’s Advanced Threat Intelligence Exchange (ATIX), a secure, hybrid-cloud threat analysis service. SMX Client Software SMX Client Software installed on plant Windows devices provides another layer of protection, controlling which USB devices are allowed to connect, preventing unverified USB removable media drives from being mounted, and stopping unverified files from being accessed. SMX also logs USB device connectivity and file access, providing a valuable audit capability. “For most plants, the proliferation of removable media and USB devices is unavoidable, but the security risks they bring don’t have to be,” said Knapp. “We know our customers have limited resources to maintain another system, so Honeywell manages SMX for them. SMX never connects to our customers’ process control networks. From a system administration perspective, it’s like it’s not even there.” Managed and maintained directly by Honeywell, SMX provides the easy and secure solution to USB security in industrial plants. It helps prevent the spread of malware through removable media; stops unverified files being read by Windows hosts; and, through the private ATIX connection, provides continually updated threat information and advanced analytics to help detect advanced, targeted, and zero-day malware.
AMICO Security’s non-conductive, radar friendly ANC fence system is ideal for use in multiple perimeter security applications AMICO Security announced that its ANC fence system has received an M5.0 security rating in compliance with the ASTM F2781-10 standard, which is used to test the forced entry resistance of security fence systems, an important designation for the military, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, industrial businesses, and utilities. The next generation ANC fence system is a uniquely designed, non-metallic fencing system that is non-conductive and radar friendly, making it ideal for the protection of utility substations, airports and military applications. The ANC fence system is made up of a proprietary composite blend of non-conductive materials configured to increase the strength to weight ratio and greatly improve the level of security. Improved Security Alternative The ANC fence system uses a unique self-draining diamond design and is a medium security alternative to traditional chain link fence products, which offers minimal security and can easily be compromised with simple hand tools. Because the system is non-metallic, the ANC fence system is non-conductive and does not require grounding like a traditional chain link fence, significantly reducing the time and cost of engineering and fence installation. The system is ideal for use around power plants and sub stations, where the metal fencing can conduct electricity and become dangerous to the touch, and is widely used around (static synchronous compensators) STATCOMs, (switched virtual circuits) SVCs and reactors due to their high magnetic fields. The ANC fence system does not interfere with radar signals due to its non-metallic composition. Utility Applications “The unique design and high strength of the ANC fence system provides a safe, secure, aesthetic option to utilities, military bases and airports,” said Gary Baltz, Director of Marketing for AMICO Security. “Our product provides safety to the public and utility workers against step and touch potential, while at the same time greatly enhancing the security of our power grid and infrastructure. The system is easy to install in both new construction or retrofit situations.” The ANC fence system can be assembled up to 20 feet high and integrates with vehicular and pedestrian sliding automatic gate systems. The fence system is fire retardant and corrosion resistant. Laboratory testing of leakage current and flashover voltage shows the ANC fence system revealed no electrical conductivity for up to 650,000 volts. Save
A2000 is the first radar specifically designed for drone detection and defeat applications SpotterRF, a manufacturer of low cost compact surveillance radar (CSR), announced availability of its new A2000, the first SpotterRF radar specifically designed for drone detection and defeat applications. The A2000 has the ability to detect small quadcopters at a range of 1000 meters, the longest range of any other SpotterRF model for that size of target. It is specifically tested in conjunction with drone deterrence technology to provide early detection, tracking, and interdiction against drones threatening critical infrastructure such as power plants, substations, bridges, small airports, dams, along with stadiums and first responder environments such as firefighting or law enforcement.Critical Energy Infrastructure SecurityEdison Electric Institute (EEI) is among dozens of organizations seeking solutions to drone threats. EEI has raised concerns regarding UAS operations over critical energy infrastructure, including electric transmission and distribution facilities, power generation facilities, transmission lines, and substations.“The rapid adoption of low-flying aerial drones has spawned use of these devices in environments that endanger people, first responders, and vital infrastructure currently wide open to terrorist threats,” states Logan Harris, CEO for SpotterRF. “Power companies and firefighters give us high marks for moving rapidly to address this threat with a reliable, low cost solution for wide area threat mitigation.”15-Degree And 45-Degree FOV As opposed to most two-dimensional ground surveillance radar applications, the A2000 provides a 15-degree vertical as well as 45-degree horizontal FOV As opposed to most two-dimensional ground surveillance radar applications, the A2000 provides a 15-degree vertical as well as 45-degree horizontal field of view (FOV). This is an advantage over typical, more costly rotating radar that have a narrower vertical FOV. This provides a true three-dimensional FOV creating an invisible perimeter well beyond other technologies.Drone Defeat Device CapabilityIn areas where permitted by law, drone defeat device capability is also an add-on option for the SpotterRF A2000. One interdiction option utilizes high power white light illuminators tied to a PTZ mount that slaves to the radar detection and blinds the drone’s ability to gather photo or video on a location. Another defeat method utilizes directional jammers attached to a PTZ mount that is slaved to the drone detection from the A2000. The system jams communication between the drone and the controller and/or GPS causing the drone to either return to its launch point or immediately land. These solutions are currently integrated and commercially available where regulations permit.SpotterRF delivers its award-winning compact surveillance radar (CSR) systems through more than 60 strategic integrators to a global marketplace in 24 countries on six continents. SpotterRF’s award-winning radar will be demonstrated at the upcoming ASIS trade show in Orlando, Florida (booth #943).
Throughout the UK there are many examples of smart city transformation, with key industries including transport, energy, water and waste becoming increasingly ‘smart’. A smart city is a one that uses information and communication technologies to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and resident welfare. Smart access is an important step forward in providing technologically advanced security management and access solutions to support the ambitions of smart cities and their respectively smart industries. Explaining Smart Access If we used the standard definition of smart, it would be to use technology to monitor, control and manage access, but the technology must be adapted to both the physical and management characteristics of smart cities. Smart access is an important step forward in providing advanced security management and access solutions to support the ambitions of smart cities For example, it would not make sense to install an iris biometric sensor at an isolated water storage tank, which is out in the open and may not even have electrical power. Nor would a permissions management system work, one that does not let you update permissions simply and easily and cannot be customized. With high volumes of people entering and exiting different areas of the city, it is important to be able to trace who has been where, when and for how long. Advanced software suites can provide access to all operations performed by users, including a complete audit trail. This information is often used by business owners or managers for audits, improvements or compliance. When initiating a new access control system it is important that the supplier and customer work together to understand: Who can enter a secure area Where in the building each individual has access to When an individual can enter a secure area How an individual will gain access to a secure area This information can be crucial in the event of a security breach, enabling investigators to find out who was the last known key holder in the building and what their movements were while there. Installing an electronic lock does not require electrical power or batteries, much less a connection to send information Modernizing Locks And Keys Installing an electronic lock does not require electrical power or batteries, much less a connection to send information, which means that it can be installed on any door as you would a mechanical lock without maintenance requirements. Permissions are stored within an intelligent key. If you have authorization for that lock, it will open. If you don’t, you won’t be allowed to enter and all of the activity carried out by the key will be recorded. You can update permissions from a computer or using an app on a cellphone at the time of access, which will update the key's permissions via Bluetooth. This allows shortened validity periods, constrains movements to be in line with company access policy and removes travel and fixed authoriser costs. This then delivers increased flexibility and higher levels of security. Remote Access Control Utilities Access rights can be set at any time and on any day, and if required can allow access on just one specific occasion Using an app improves access control by updating access rights in real time with the Bluetooth key. It also provides notification of lost keys, joint management of access schedules, protection of isolated workers and much more. Combined with new technological solutions, an app allows contextual information to be sent, such as on-site presence, duration of an operation, authorisations and reporting of anomalies. Access rights can be set at any time and on any day, and if required can allow access on just one specific occasion, for example to repair a failure. Access can be restricted to enable entry only during working hours, for example. Permissions can be granted for the amount of time required, which means that if permission is requested to access a site using a mobile app, the company should be able to access it, for example, in the next five minutes. Once this time has passed, the permission expires and, if a key is lost or it is stolen, they will not be able to access the site. The rules for granting permissions are infinite and easily customisable, and the system is very efficient when they are applied; as a result, the system is flexible and adapted to suit company processes and infrastructures. Using an app improves access control by updating access rights in real time with the Bluetooth key Finding Applications To Create Solutions In many cases, companies themselves find new applications for the solution, such as the need to obtain access using two different keys simultaneously to prevent a lone worker from accessing a dangerous area. The software that manages access makes it smart. It can be used from a web-based access manager or through personalized software that is integrated within a company's existing software solution, to automatically include information, such as the employee's contractual status, occupational risk prevention and the existence of work orders. In some companies, the access management system will help to further improve service levels by integrating it with the customer information system, allowing to link it for instance with alarms managers, intrusion managers or HR processes. With over one million access points currently secured worldwide, this simple and flexible solution will play a strategic role in the future of security.
Most cities have at very least a plan and in most cases an existing program to make themselves safe cities. Increasingly, cities around the world are transitioning to become smart cities: urban areas where security solutions work in unison with other systems, extending the benefits of technology beyond security and into other city operations. While this transformation has yet to become a widespread the next crucial transition—from smart city to cognitive city—is already appearing on the horizon. Three years ago, the United Nations reported that 54% of the world’s population lived in cities and projected that by 2050 it would reach 66%. There are many reasons for this: cities tend to provide more opportunities for jobs and education, as well as greater access to amenities such as public transportation, sports, and cultural events. These factors result in growth which consequently places a strain on existing public services, infrastructure and resources. Not to mention keeping the city’s residents safe by preventing crime from growing with—or even outpacing—the population.Although technology is necessary for an urban area to transition in to a safe and smart city, it alone isn’t sufficient Smart City Solutions For Public Safety This basic need for public safety is one of the biggest forces driving the adoption of smart city solutions: approaches which seek to solve urban challenges through technological means. The thinking behind these initiatives is that with enough Internet connectivity and real-time data, surely environmental, social, economic, and public health issues should become more manageable. If technology can transform entire industries, why can’t it also make power grids more resilient, transportation systems efficient and municipal water supplies more sustainable? Surely, more data can only lead to better outcomes, right? To quote the American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” In this context, you’d think the answer would be ‘just add more technology’, right? Although technology is necessary for an urban area to transition in to a safe and smart city, technology alone isn’t sufficient. Truly smart cities are savvy cities and that includes how they employ software, sensing, communications and other technologies to meet their needs. Truly smart cities are savvy cities including how they employ software, sensing, communications and other technologies to meet their needs Using Data And Software With Connected Sensors There are types of problems which connected sensors, data and software can provide straightforward and effective solutions. For example, network-connected traffic cameras which can relay real-time traffic conditions to both city managers and the public at large, data which morning commuters can then access from a mobile app and adjust their route accordingly. There are types of problems which connected sensors, data and software can provide straightforward and effective solutions Smart electricity meters provide another example, whereby monitoring and reporting energy usage in real-time, enables residents to get instant feedback on how their lifestyle choices impact their energy consumption and monthly bill. Utilities can also benefit from such data, as it could highlight specific times and areas of high demand, as well as identify sections of the distribution network that are under heavy strain. Creating Actionable Intelligence Both examples highlight the clear need to collect the relevant data first, and thus explain why smart city initiatives have focused on the widespread collection of data (especially video) through the deployment of large numbers of monitoring and recording devices, such as surveillance cameras and ANPR. Some of those initiatives, however, like red light cameras or computerized flight passenger screening systems, have amounted to little more than ‘security theater’, which might waste limited resources and further delay the smart city transition due to over-hyped solutions and unrealistic projected return on investment. In other words, technology doesn’t necessarily result in more safety. But does this mean we are also more likely to quickly find what we need? Cities need solutions that help find what you need (e.g. a missing child or a suspect) and convert the ‘too much information’ into ‘actionable intelligence’. This new era of surveillance technologies can also assist law enforcement in maintaining public order and safety. The thought is the more areas we observe, the longer we observe them, and the more surveillance data we store and index, the more likely we are to be in possession of the information we need. Even in smart cities, dialogue, public input, careful analysis, and consensus are still more critical than any technology Looking Beyond Technology For Smart Surveillance There is one major caveat to smart city solutions. The data tends to flow in one direction from what are ultimately surveillance devices to government officials, leading to tensions between personal privacy and government goals of safety and higher efficiency. Without a clear understanding and buy-in from all stakeholders (especially the citizens, law enforcement, and city management), those tensions will only escalate as wireless broadband connectivity becomes cheaper and faster, sensor and processing technologies get even more miniaturized and affordable, and big data tools like cloud resources and storage technology grow even more robust as they catalog more and more digital breadcrumbs of our physical lives. Here’s the takeaway. Even in smart cities, dialog, public input, careful analysis, and consensus are still more critical than any technology. This is because city residents are not only consumers of public services and amenities, but also citizens with legal rights.
Securing potentially hazardous sites, which contain gas or oil storage facilities, is becoming increasingly important to UK industry. While other businesses are investing in enhanced access control solutions, such as electronic key-centric access management, many sites containing hazardous materials are left stuck in the dark ages, with basic and impractical mechanical locking systems. This is due to the potential risks associated with using an electronic device, which could cause a spark, in close proximity to hazardous materials. Reliable Access Control Technology New technology is helping to pave the way for the future of access control and enhanced security solutions. Magnetic induction combines the reliability of a traditional mechanical locking system with the flexibility of electronic technology, to provide an advanced access control solution. There are two notable advantages of this latest technology; firstly, the opening process is the same as a mechanical cylinder with the exchange of information between the key and cylinder occurring in less than 60 milliseconds; and secondly, communication between the key and cylinder is able to take place without the two components coming into contact. This means there is no risk of oxidation, wear or dust, affecting the cylinder. This level of reliability and sustainability is unrivaled against any other solution currently on the access control market. Mechatronic Keys For Explosive Atmospheres This strength makes mechatronic keys the ideal solution for the control of doors and gates and for the management of common areas and entrances at potentially hazardous sites. For many years our customers, particularly those within the gas and oil sector, and also businesses required to store hazardous materials, have been asking for a 21st century solution to their access control system. While the electronic key-centric solution is ideal for the water sector, transport and telecoms industries, it is unsafe and unviable for any business premises deemed to have a potentially explosive atmosphere. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) defines explosive atmospheres, as those that can be caused by flammable gases, mists or vapors or by combustible dusts. If there is enough of the substance, mixed with air, then all it needs is a source of ignition to cause an explosion. This poses significant risk to the business and its staff. Risk management is closely scrutinized, not only internally at each organization, but also by external bodies, which place duties on employers to eliminate or control the risk from explosive atmospheres in the workplace. Thanks to its Bluetooth connectivity, the mechatronic key communicates seamlessly with smartphone technology One of these directives is known as ATEX, which ensures the health and safety of workers and the law concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. The mechatronic access control solution is certified by ATEX, therefore confirming its safe use at potentially hazardous sites and enabling us to at last provide a robust and future-proof solution to our customers in all industries. Real Time Access Control Communication Thanks to its Bluetooth connectivity, the mechatronic key communicates seamlessly with smartphone technology, enabling the user to receive up-to-the-minute information about all events relating to access. The innovative technology allows local users and central administrators to communicate in real time. This enables instant assignment of access rights, direct transmission of access reports and the coordination of activities at different locations, an enhanced security solution usually reserved for online access control. The mechatronic solution’s cable-free configuration with power supply integrated into the key, not only provides a uniquely secure system, but significantly reduces installation costs compared to other similar products. The running costs are further lowered by optimized access control management, meaning no maintenance, fewer keys, and no fuss when a key is lost. The solution also provides increased flexibility, with its purely mechanical component enabling users to not only open doors fitted with this new solution, but also those with conventional cylinders, allowing the old and new access management systems to coexist on the same site. With an increasing focus on high-level security, legislation requirements and the ability to easily access full data trails, the mechatronic solution looks set to revolutionize the future of access control. The metal parts of the key and the cylinder are designed in order to close the magnetic circuit to avoid any magnetic flux leakage How Does Mechatronic Technology Work? 1. Principle of operation Communication and energy transfer between the key and cylinder is based on tight inductive coupling. An alternating magnetic field, which is generated by the key, transfers energy to the cylinder, following the principle of a transformer. Data is transferred by modulation of the magnetic field. 2. System architecture The system is made by two coils. One coil (primary winding) which generates the alternating magnetic field is located inside the key, the second coil (secondary winding) in which the magnetic field is induced resides inside the cylinder. The metal parts of the key and the cylinder are designed in order to close the magnetic circuit to avoid any magnetic flux leakage. 3. Activation In order to permit good alignment of the two coils a mechanism that activates the magnetic field generation in the primary coil is implemented. A Hall Effect sensor, mounted close to the primary coils, senses a permanent magnet inside the cylinder and the magnetic field generation is activated only when perfect alignment of the two coils is achieved. Energy and data transfer is only possible when the key is inserted into the cylinder and the horizontal alignment of primary and secondary coil is within few hundredths of a millimetre.
ISC West in Las Vegas kicked off with a bang on Wednesday, reflecting a healthy physical security industry with an overall upbeat outlook on the future. Driving the optimism is a pending new wave of product innovation, propelled largely by developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning. Some of that new wave is evident at ISC West, but much of the talk still centers on what’s to come. Attendees flocked to the first day of the show to check out the newest technologies, and they were rewarded with a wide range of innovations. Tempering the optimism are ongoing concerns about ensuring the cybersecurity of IP-based physical security systems. Cybersecurity Standards For Physical Security At least one news announcement is related to cybersecurity at the show: Johnson Controls is the first company to achieve UL (Underwriters Laboratories) certification 2900-2-3 for cybersecurity of life safety and security products and systems for their VideoEdge network video recording platform from American Dynamics. The UL brand ensures that the certification involves a standards-based and scientific approach to evaluating cybersecurity, and that JCI’s certified products meet the requirements. “We were able to be first because we understand issues of cybersecurity, and the UL standard matches very closely to what we have been doing in cybersecurity,” says Will Brown, Senior Engineering Manager, Cyber Protection at Johnson Controls. Tempering the optimism are ongoing concerns about ensuring the cybersecurity of IP-based physical security systems Neil Lakomiak, Director of Business Development and Innovation at Underwriters Laboratories, says relatively few companies have invested sufficiently in cybersecurity, and much of UL’s work in the physical security market is to help manufacturers develop a roadmap to meet cybersecurity goals. “A lot of companies have not invested, but Johnson Controls has,” said Lakomiak. He speculated that it could be some time before another security company achieves the certification; there certainly won’t be a rush of additional companies to do so in the near term, based on the progress he has seen to date, says Lakomiak. “Cybersecurity is a topic that has hit the Board of Directors level,” says Lakomiak. “They are definitely inquiring about it and trying to understand what their posture should be. The leadership teams of companies will be asking a lot of questions.” In terms of cyber-consciousness among the integrator community, Brown estimates about 10 percent are “on board” with the issue. Among the manufacturing community, more than half of the companies are pursuing cybersecurity goals, although the levels of those efforts run a full gamut, says Lakomiak. Vertical markets that are especially cyber-aware are enterprise, government, and critical infrastructure. Financial and retail companies are also coming on board, as well as companies — even small companies — in regulated industries such as utilities Cybersecurity is a topic that has hit the Board of Directors level Cybersecurity In The Cloud Another company emphasizing cybersecurity at ISC West is access control company Isonas. “What’s really new at the show for us is that we are being very transparent about the levels of cybersecurity we are applying to our cloud software platform and our IP network hardware,” says Rob Lydic, Isonas Global Vice President of Sales. “The levels of complexity we are putting into our cybersecurity, including the fact that we host our software on Amazon web services, ensures a really high level of security. We are taking painstaking efforts to subject ourselves to third-party penetration testing to give us the visibility of what is going on with our cybersecurity — are we actually as cybersecure as we believe?” The answer: “They have come back to us to say we have an amazing strategy for cybersecurity; the surface that is attackable is minuscule, and the complex layers underneath really prevent anybody from hacking the product.”We are being very transparent about the levels of cybersecurity we are applying to our cloud software platform" Lydic says he sees higher levels of awareness about cybersecurity at the show, especially among end users. Several other exhibitors agree. Because edge devices have often been targeted in cybersecurity attacks, they are especially an area of concern. “We’re raising that conversation, saying we are a cloud service provider that uses edge devices, and it is core to us to make sure we have a great cybersecurity profile, so the customer can be assured we are doing what we say we are doing and delivering on those promises,” says Lydic. Awareness is filtering through channel: Isonas is seeing many customers who want to have that cybersecurity conversation at the show. “We have had probably 20 or 30 conversations with end users at the show who want to understand what it means to be in the cloud, to understand how the level of communication is encrypted between devices,” says Lydic. Many end users at ISC West want to understand what it means to be in the cloud Ambitions For Growth Successful companies often increase their ISC West booth size as a reflection of their ambition to grow as a company and their success in sales so far. One such company is Paxton Access Inc., which has increased its booth size from a 20x40-foot booth last year to a 30x50-foot space this year. Beyond the show, another reflection of Paxton’s growth is addition of personnel to cover 11 U.S. sales territories that have been newly restructured. New regional sales managers will work with dealers locally. At the show, Paxton is introducing its Net2 Entry Premium monitor, the latest addition to the company’s Net2 Entry line of door entry products. “The show is definitely a great way to promote who we are and what we offer,” says Linda Soriano, Paxton Marketing Communications Coordinator. “It’s great to meet new customers and interact with existing customers, to build new relationships. It’s an opportunity to promote the new things we have going on.” Paxton measures success at ISC West in terms of how many people they interact with at the show. In addition to welcoming booth visitors, the company is signing up attendance at free training through a show promotion. Anyone who signs up for training at the show is entered into a drawing for a $500 Visa gift card and a $1,000 discount off MSRP of Paxton products. Tim Shen, Director of Marketing at Dahua Technology USA, one of the larger exhibitors, says the company is emphasising solutions at ISC West, just one element of the successful international business model they are bringing to the United States.With AI and business analytics in transportation and retail markets, we are letting the market know that we can build solutions" Another topic for Dahua is artificial intelligence. “With AI and business analytics in transportation and retail markets, we are letting the market know that we can build solutions,” he says. Dahua sponsored a keynote address Wednesday on AI, including a presentation from Intel about AI trends. “AI is the future, but what can we use it for now?” asks Shen. “We need to give a very clear strategy of what we think about AI.” Dahua will bring AI cameras and an AI network video recorder to the U.S. market in the second quarter; in effect, they will be testing the water to see how well the AI concept is embraced here. Other new products from Dahua include multi-image and thermal cameras. In the thermal category, Dahua has developed their own chipset to help bring the price down and provide affordable thermal cameras to the U.S. market. Another focus will be e-POE (extended Power over Ethernet), which Dahua sees as a big differentiator. [Main photo credit: Abbey Masciarotte | Larry Anderson]
Protecting power grids is essential to deliver electricity that serves millions of consumers. Transmission substations are a component of the power infrastructure that presents unique security challenges. These important facilities often sit out in the open, in remote locations, and were historically protected by little more than cameras or chain-link fences. Much of the current concern about securing electrical substations in the United States originated in response to a 2013 sniper attack, using military-style weapons, on Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Metcalf Transmission Substation in Coyote, Calif., near San Jose. Gunmen fired on 17 electrical transformers, resulting in more than $15 million in damage. The crime is still unsolved. Security Critical Infrastructure The North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Critical Infrastructure Protection (NERC/CIP) guidelines emerged in the aftermath of the attack, triggering growth in security spending to protect utilities. The latest NERC/CIP Version 6 standards were issued in January 2016, with deadlines of various phases falling in July 2016, April 2017, and the final phase to be completed in September 2018. The earlier deadlines were for high- and medium-risk facilities, and the future deadline covers lower-risk areas. The standards target four areas of concern securing utility sites: security awareness, physical security, remote access connections, and incident response. Although medium- and high-impact facilities tend to be more critical, the connected nature of utility infrastructure means that security is only as strong as the weakest link. Perimeter Security Requirements Every facility has a baseline requirement for perimeter security protection around the site, although medium- and high-impact sites will have more stringent requirements. The geography surrounding sites – Is it an urban area or rural? Does the surrounding elevation provide additional lines of sight? – also impacts the types of systems they require. A lack of similar incidents since the 2013 Metcalf attack could fuel debate on whether the extra security was necessary, and could even lead to a sense of complacency. “A lot of money has been spent on fancy systems at the top tier,” says Greg Hendrix, Sales Lead at Tyco Integrated Security. “But nothing has happened since Metcalf. The concern is that we could lull ourselves into a sense of everything’s OK. We need to find a balance between what’s appropriate and what isn’t, and it’s a moving target. There is no silver bullet.” With 35 years in the physical security industry, Hendrix manages a specialized team of 12 pre-sale field engineers that focus on designing electronic security solutions for complex needs as part of Johnson Controls’ Centers of Excellence network. Every facility has a baseline requirement for perimeter security protection around the site, although medium- and high-impact sites will have more stringent requirements Cameras And Access Control For High-security Facilities Hendrix assisted one utility industry customer as a primary design engineer for nine high-impact sites. The sites were high- to medium-tier sites that are part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Thermal cameras with analytics were positioned to detect intrusions and discern between wildlife and human intruders. Avoiding false alarms is crucial if, for instance, 300 cameras are monitored at a single site. The analytics systems were augmented with pan-tilt-zoom cameras that could be directed to view intruders. Analytics zones were used to trigger large LED light panels to flood various zones with light in case of an intruder. If an intruder gets even closer, it would trigger a recorded voice to tell them to leave. Metal fences that were 12 feet high and even concrete were used to protect lines of sight to provide a ballistics barrier against gunshots. Mountainous or hilly areas presented additional challenges, as someone could position themselves above the fence line. In some cases, automated gates use multi-factor access control readers (cards and PINs) to allow vehicles to pass and then to close behind them. In other instances, pedestrian-only gates are used, requiring vehicles to remain parked outside the perimeter. Video surveillance watches entrances and exits. Compliance With NERC/CIP Regulations Connecting IP cameras into a utility’s IT system, or even using a laptop to program a video system, can introduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The idea is not to contribute to the cybersecurity challenges utilities already face to protect the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) monitoring systems and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) used in daily operations. “The physical threat is evident, but the cybersecurity threat is not so obvious,” says Hendrix. “To focus on one without the other doesn’t make a lot of sense. The physical security folks focus on how we can physically detect and deter, and promote visibility. But we have to remind ourselves that the security of the cyber connection is critical. Security awareness applies to us as integrators as much as customers. We have to find an IT guru within the organization and make sure we are working together.” Failure to adhere to NERC/CIP requirements, which are enforced using audits, trigger fines that could put the profitability of private utility companies at risk. “There is an opportunity for integrators to partner with customers and identify how to appropriately meet the requirements within budget and get these projects done,” says Hendrix. Among the audit requirements is a log showing who comes and goes at a facility; access control systems collect that information and provide the needed documentation. Employees are issued cards, and contractors and other visitors are required to be escorted by approved personnel into and out of a site. For frequent visitors and contractors, a credential can be issued. Promoting awareness of such policies and requirements is another factor in CIP compliance.
Has there ever been a better time for a security trade show in Europe? Shifting threats such as terrorism and a volatile political climate serve as reminders every day of the importance of security in our lives, and even the role of technology. IFSEC opened in London on Tuesday at the ExCeL center, covering every aspect of security, from access control and video surveillance to home automation and perimeter security. Amid sweltering heat, attendees came to find the latest-and-greatest innovations to meet changing security challenges. Substance Over Style Many of the technology announcements were "repurposed" news previously unveiled in the United States at the spring ISC West show in Las Vegas. Even so, there was plenty to see, although foot traffic seemed a little slow on the first day. Several people commented on how IFSEC is different from ISC West. The US market, exemplified by ISC West, tends to emphasize superlatives and flashy market claims, while the European market is more about substance. That observation comes from Moti Shabtai, CEO and President of Qognify, who said he has a larger share of conversations at IFSEC about how a solution can address specific needs. "Europe isn't one single market," he reminds us. "There are more different kinds of customers and different approaches, while the US market has a more unified way of thinking." Safe and secure cities applications (and "smart cities") are more prominent in Europe. While in the US, utility applications are higher profile, driven by a need to conform to NERC/FERC standards. The European market has more different kinds of customers and different approaches "The competition in Europe is more varied, with more smaller players, depending on which product and market," adds Kim Loy, Director of Marketing for Vanderbilt. "It makes it a more dynamic landscape." One variable Loy points to is how advanced each European market is from a technology perspective. For example, the Nordic countries -- Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland -- tend to embrace technology, and Vanderbilt is already seeing success there with its cloud-based products, the ACT365 cloud access control and video system and SBC Connect for cloud-managed intrusion detection. Current events in Europe add an air of urgency to the show. Several recent terrorist attacks have highlighted the need for more and better security. In emergency situations, often the security industry's contributions come after the fact, notes Shabtai. It took police in Brussels, Belgium, five days to find a suspect in the 2016 terrorist attack there. However, technologies such as Qognify's Suspect Search can now sift through databases to find video clips relevant to an investigation within minutes. More analysis of disparate information can in some cases provide predictive capabilities, or at least help direct investigations aimed at preventing such events. Adapting To Vertical Markets Many exhibits at IFSEC reflect the trend we are seeing of companies expanding their product selection beyond what was previously their core competency. Several video companies, in particular, are displaying an expanding array of products. It's a continuation of the familiar trend of video companies like Genetec, Avigilon, Hikvision and others expanding into access control systems. At IFSEC, Genetec says they are focusing on outcomes rather than technology, highlighting systems designed for specific use cases and vertical markets. Importantly, Genetec's systems provide flexibility to adapt to a variety of issues in various markets, whether a specific vertical or in the United States, Europe, or anywhere in the world. Privacy and cybersecurity are especially relevant in Europe Privacy and cybersecurity are hot-button issues for Genetec, says Jean-Philippe Deby, EMEA Business Development Director. It's especially relevant in Europe, where the European Union has embraced general data protection regulations (GDPR) that require compliance by May 2018 (The UK has committed to compliance despite the Brexit vote.) It's another element in the industry's growing focus on cybersecurity and systems highlighting "privacy by design." But global business trends are eliminating some of the differences in the security industry around the world, says Dr. Peter Kim, Senior Director of IDIS. Globalisation Trumps Regional Phasing "Perhaps the biggest difference at IFSEC this year is the realisation that there is less of a difference than ever before between the US and European markets," he says. "Globalisation increasingly means access in Europe to brands and their product offerings is more equal than ever before—something you see here at this and all of the major security shows around the world. New technologies are increasingly rolled out globally either at the same time or close together, as opposed to regional phasing." Europe and America have different drivers and priorities at different times, including those influenced by geopolitics and recent crises, which can drive demand for technology to meet specific security requirements, Kim notes. Avigilon dominates the signage and video displays as visitors enter the ExCeL Centre One thing both markets have in common right now is geopolitical churn in various forms—including the threat of terror and a number of significant elections—which can lead to increased uncertainty. "This is especially relevant for government contracts, as public projects, which can be quite substantial from a security standpoint, often stall in such environments," Kim notes. Avigilon Dominates The Show Avigilon is one company that is introducing new products at IFSEC (that were not previously viewed at ISC West). They include the Avigilon Presence Detector (APD), a sensor that combines self-learning analytics with impulse radar technology to accurately detect the presence of a person even if they have stopped moving or are hidden. The sensor is designed for indoor locations such as vestibules within banks, pharmacies, retail stores and health care facilities. Avigilon is also highlighting a new Mini Dome Camera Line, and integration of its Access Control Manager (ACM) system with biometrics, among other products. Avigilon is making a big splash at the show. They dominate the signage and video displays as visitors enter the ExCeL Center. I'm looking forward to seeing more interesting technologies in the remaining two days of the show.
Brazilian infrastructure company Companhia Energética de Pernambuco (CELPE) is the main supplier of electricity in the country’s Northeastern state of Pernambuco. Headquartered in the state capital Recife, one of the most important economic and urban hubs in the country, CELPE serves a population of more than 8.8 million inhabitants in the 184 municipalities of Pernambuco. As part of the Brazilian government’s commitment to clean energy, the CELPE grid also contains several hydropower plants at rivers across the state. Providing electricity to private customers and industrial clients in the expansive region requires a 136,762 kilometres distribution network and 4,386 kilometres of transmission lines. As critical parts of the power infrastructure, CELPE operates 240 substations across Pernambuco. But as most of these stations are located in remote areas, the last few years saw an alarming increase of vandalism and theft of expensive power cables. For video security, Bosch installed its AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD cameras, integrated via the Bosch Video Management SystemBosch’s Building Integration System Looking to safeguard its vital infrastructure, CELPE needed an integrated security solution that achieved three goals: firstly, keep out criminals and alert police upon security breaches. Secondly, provide seamless access control for the 300 maintenance teams in the field. And thirdly, connect fire alarm, communications, and voice evacuation on an integrated system that allows for remote management from CELPE headquarters. As a one-stop solutions provider, Bosch won the contract for equipping sixteen substations with video security systems, access control, communications, fire alarm and voice evacuation as well as intrusion alarm connected on the Building Integration System (BIS). For video security, Bosch installed its AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD cameras, integrated via the Bosch Video Management System (BVMS). The fire alarm revolves around smoke and heat detectors, while for voice alarm and evacuation, Plena Mixer Amplifiers are connected to driver loudspeakers. Cameras With Built-In Video Analytics For added security, selected cameras feature built-in video analytics to automatically set off intruder alarms and alert authorities All systems and cameras are monitored by security personnel at the company’s control center in Recife. For added security, selected cameras feature built-in video analytics to automatically set off intruder alarms and alert authorities. The system also fulfills the key customer requirement for remote management via the management system BIS (Building Integration System), including administration of user credentials and access rights for the 300 maintenance teams serving various substation sites. Successfully installed at sixteen stations in Pernambuco, the Bosch solution has proven to be an asset for CELPE and its personnel. Aside from safeguarding valuable infrastructure against criminals, the system has also streamlined communications among the service teams in the region by including elements such as conferencing and automatic alerts for fires and intrusions through a messenger system. The remote management of user access rights at the substations has enhanced the overall service level and prevented security breaches. Satisfied with the end-to-end solution, CELPE has now commissioned Bosch to equip approximately 240 electrical substations over the next years.
Brazilian infrastructure company Companhia Energética de Pernambuco (CELPE) is the main supplier of electricity in the country’s Northeastern state of Pernambuco. Headquartered in the state capital Recife, one of the most important economic and urban hubs in the country, CELPE serves a population of more than 8,8 million inhabitants in the 184 municipalities of Pernambuco. As part of the Brazilian government’s commitment to clean energy, the CELPE grid also contains several hydropower plants at rivers across the state. Detecting And Deterring Power Thefts Providing electricity to private customers and industrial clients in the expansive region requires a 136,762 kilometers distribution network and 4,386 kilometers of transmission lines. As critical parts of the power infrastructure, CELPE operates 240 substations across Pernambuco. But as most of these stations are located in remote areas, the last few years saw an alarming increase of vandalism and theft of expensive power cables. Looking to safeguard its vital infrastructure, CELPE needed an integrated security solution that achieved three goals: firstly, keep out criminals and alert police upon security breaches. Secondly, provide seamless access control for the 300 maintenance teams in the field. And thirdly, connect fire alarm, communications, and voice evacuation on an integrated system that allows for remote management from CELPE headquarters. Bosch Video Security And Intrusion Detection Systems For video security, Bosch installed its AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD cameras, integrated via the Bosch Video Management System (BVMS) As a one-stop solutions provider, Bosch won the contract for equipping sixteen substations with video security systems, access control, communications, fire alarm and voice evacuation as well as intrusion alarm connected on the Building Integration System (BIS). For video security, Bosch installed its AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD cameras, integrated via the Bosch Video Management System (BVMS). The fire alarm revolves around smoke and heat detectors, while for voice alarm and evacuation, Plena Mixer Amplifiers are connected to driver loudspeakers. All systems and cameras are monitored by security personnel at the company’s control center in Recife. IP Cameras With Built-In Video Analytics For added security, selected cameras feature built-in video analytics to automatically set off intruder alarms and alert authorities. The system also fulfills the key customer requirement for remote management via the management system BIS (Building Integration System), including administration of user credentials and access rights for the 300 maintenance teams serving various substation sites. Successfully installed at sixteen stations in Pernambuco, the Bosch solution has proven to be an asset for CELPE and its personnel. Aside from safeguarding valuable infrastructure against criminals, the system has also streamlined communications among the service teams in the region by including elements such as conferencing and automatic alerts for fires and intrusions through a messenger system. The remote management of user access rights at the substations has enhanced the overall service level and prevented security breaches. Satisfied with the end-to-end solution, CELPE has now commissioned Bosch to equip approximately 240 electrical substations over the next years.
Hikvision, a global manufacturer and supplier of video surveillance equipment, is helping to ensure a safe and reliable electricity supply across South Africa, with the deployment of a massive remote surveillance monitoring solution, covering thousands of electricity substations and power transmission lines. Operated by the largest electricity power distributor in South Africa, Eskom, a network of more than 400,000 kilometers of overhead power lines and several thousand electricity substations, provides electricity to the country’s domestic and business customers. In recent years, this critical power infrastructure has become the target for cable theft, metal theft and other infrastructure related crimes, resulting in vastly expensive and disruptive damage and losses to service providers.Eskom enlisted the help of South Africa’s Combined Private Investigations (CPI) Mitigating Equipment Thefts Organized criminals have increasingly targeted the more remote sections of the supply network, stealing copper cabling, metal and industry grade batteries. Up to 15 incidents per day are currently being reported. If not seriously addressed, it could lead to the interruption of the supply to thousands of domestic customers; commercial operations, hospitals and railway systems. To combat this wide-scale problem, the national electricity provider (Eskom) enlisted the help of South Africa’s leading information driven investigation company, Combined Private Investigations (CPI). CPI was established by a number of experienced law enforcement agents, forensic investigators and corporate security officials, primarily to investigate a high-level cartel for one of the largest parastatals in South Africa. Currently, CPI is the sole supplier of investigations to several parastatals, with an acknowledged record of addressing copper cable and other infrastructure-related crimes successfully, achieving very high recovery levels. CPI arrests between 35 to 85 cable thieves per month and maintains a conviction rate on average of 90%.The impact of downtime for a substation hit by material theft can be significant Preventing Power Loss As a corporate investigations firm comprising over 900 staff members across 18 locations, CPI specializes in the prevention and investigation of non-ferrous metal theft. The company’s main objective is to support electricity supply companies and railway service providers in their fight against organized crime syndicates targeting electrical networks for illegal gain. “Copper and metal theft targeting the power transmission infrastructure has become a real problem for maintaining the reliable supply of electricity in South Africa,” says Roy Robertson, Principal Director of CPI. “The impact of downtime for a substation hit by material theft can be significant, with loss of power to homes, hospitals, schools, factories and public transport services." Intelligence-Driven Approach "These incidents can also have a massive detrimental effect on the provision of key support services, as well as to basic health and safety, so it was vital to our client that not only should the perpetrators of these crimes be investigated and brought to justice, but that the theft incident rate should be significantly reduced.” “To do this, and as a priority, we needed to protect the most vulnerable and remote electricity substations, as these sites were being targeted and experiencing the highest percentage of theft and associated service disruption. At CPI we strive to capitalize on the latest technologies to support our intelligence-driven approach. As such, we approached global surveillance leader Hikvision, to provide the latest electronic security solutions to effectively combat the thefts.”Hikvision Smart Video Content Analytics (VCA) technology embedded into the cameras was set-up for intruder detection Smart Video Analytics Providing a technical team to assess at remote sites, CPI collaborated with Hikvision to assess the most effective technical specification of products to detect and deter thefts. This specification then formed a blueprint to be rolled-out across all of the most vulnerable electricity substations across South Africa. Using their own engineering teams, CPI installed Hikvision DS-2CD2T42WD-I8 and DS-2DE5120W-AE cameras covering the internal and perimeter areas of each remote site. Equipped with 4MP resolution, 120dB Wide Dynamic Range, 3D DNR, EXIR high performance LEDs and 80 metres IR range, the DS-2CD2T42WD-I8 4MP EXIR Network Bullet Camera was the perfect choice to monitor the remote substations, utilizing its advanced performance to provide crystal clear images day and night. Additionally, the Hikvision DS-2DE5120W-AE 1.3MP 20X Network PTZ Cameras were used to provide 3D intelligent positioning and 20X Optical Zoom, to deliver instant visual confirmation on any on-site intruder detection – and all in crystal clear 1.3MP resolution. In conjunction with PIR devices covering the sites’ perimeters, Hikvision Smart Video Content Analytics (VCA) technology embedded into the specified cameras was set-up to perform intruder detection utilizing line detection, to confirm alarm activations and eliminate false alarms.Hikvision’s advanced iVMS 5200 professional software with video wall driver was used to monitor thousands of remote sites Central Monitoring Recorded locally to Hikvision IDS-9632 NXI-1816S Embedded Plug & Play NVRs, specified due to their superior performance and system stability, the NVR’s simple installation reduce engineering installation and set-up time on site, whilst up to 6 megapixel recording resolution and a capacity of up to 4 SATA interfaces ensured the high-quality of local recording needed. Both live and recorded images are transmitted over a wireless LAN, back to CPI’s own control room located at their National Operations Centre in Johannesburg. At the control room, Hikvision’s advanced iVMS 5200 professional software with optional video wall driver was deployed to enable CPI operators to monitor the thousands of remote sites on 24/7 basis, via a ‘monitoring by exception’ basis. Intrusion Detection Monitoring the massive Hikvision integrated surveillance system, in the event of an automated intruder alert being activated to indicate unauthorized movement on-site, surveillance operators are able to quickly visually verify the activity in seconds, examining the high-performance camera network’s high-resolution images. During the process, all evidential video is tagged and automatically archived for future identification and prosecution usage. In the event of unauthorized intruders being detected, the CPI control room operators can instigate a host of anti-intrusion measures, including the dispatch of rapid response teams to a specific locationWe no longer need to deploy response personnel to a site when it may be the subject of a false alarm Integrated Surveillance "These teams comprise highly trained operatives ready to tackle any situation,” continues Roy. “The Hikvision surveillance system ensures we can respond very rapidly to any intrusion detected at the sites, and our manned guard response teams are equipped to get to sites as quickly as is possible, to catch the perpetrators in the act. "We can even call on our Robinson helicopter R44 Police equipped with infra-red camera that can rapidly deploy personnel to reach the most remote locations in just a matter of minutes.” “We work closely with the police and various local authorities, using the evidential video footage produced by the Hikvision systems to very good effect in prosecution cases. The high-definition quality of the Hikvision camera images have proved critical in detecting and prosecuting offenders of metal theft." "Not only is it reducing these incidents, but it enables us to visually confirm the precise cause of an alarm at any remote site at the touch of a button. This means we no longer need to deploy response personnel to a site when it may be the subject of a false alarm – negating the waste of valuable man hours and costs, and vastly improving the effectiveness of our security operation.”We plan to harness more Hikvision technology to fortify power transmission security in South Africa Drone-Assisted Surveillance “We have been so impressed with the Hikvision surveillance technology and the support we have received that we are continuing to roll out this Hikvision based security blueprint to many other power substation sites across South Africa,” Roy continues. “To date, over 1,000 electrical substations are protected by Hikvision systems - making a real difference to the provision of a reliable power service to all sections of industry and society across South Africa.” “In future, we plan to harness more Hikvision technology to fortify power transmission security in South Africa. From additional electronic surveillance systems, to the use of camera-equipped Hikvision Quad-rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) to protect remote sites and respond to incidents – we’re looking forward to completing more successful projects with the assistance of Hikvision’s highly capable technology solutions.”
The Linth-Limmern Power Stations AG (“KLL”), located in the Swiss Linthal valley, is a partner company of Axpo Power AG. Originally built in 1957-1958, the plant was extended during the seven years “Linthal Project 2015” starting in 2009. This is one of Axpo’s most important expansion projects. A new underground pumped storage facility extracts water from Lake Limmern, pumps it up to Lake Mutt, situated at 630 m higher elevation, and then uses it to generate electricity as needs be. As storage power stations, KLL primarily produce valuable peak load energy, playing a crucial role in maintaining the balance between energy supply and consumption. Inexpensive electricity bought on the European energy market can be used to pump the water that creates the electricity which can then be sold at higher prices. The Linthal Project 2015 increased the facility capacity from approximately 520 MW to 1520 MW, the equivalent of a nuclear power plant. All the power production processes and the entire plant is monitored and managed in the KLL control center located in Tierfehd. Modern Control Center Given the expansion of the pumped storage facility and the corresponding quantum leap in energy output, the KLL decided to build a modern control center. The mandate was to create a highly dynamic, ergonomic cockpit environment from which the on-duty operators can quickly, safely and efficiently manage the power plant around the clock. This includes monitoring both new and legacy systems which actually run the power station, as well as security technology for buildings, tunnels and construction areas on site.Given the expansion of the pumped storage facility and the corresponding quantum leap in energy output, the KLL decided to build a modern control center Meteorological systems also had to be integrated as weather conditions are essential to production planning. KLL chose WEY for this challenging project because of the company’s modern yet reliable, system- independent technology and convincing experience with similar reference projects. Bringing extensive experience in the integration of control systems like Rittmeyer to the table, WEY became involved in the early stages in the project and supported KLL from the beginning of the conceptual phase. WEY Distribution Platform WEY’s solution for this demanding work environment is implemented on the WEY Distribution Platform, an IP-based network that connects and switches virtually any system to any workplace or video wall, in real-time and in accordance with user rights. Sources and peripheral systems are remoted to the system room and controlled from a WEY Smart Touch keyboard at both main and backup operator desks. The solution achieves consistent and intuitive control at operator stations with a multitude of peripheral devices, such as monitors, audio devices, a video wall, mouse and keyboard. All the systems and computers have been remoted to a secure and cooled system room. This eliminates bothersome noise emissions at the desk and enhances system security by protecting computers from unauthorized interventions. Operators benefit from a clearly arranged desktop featuring only those devices which are necessary. A single multifunctional WEY Smart Touch keyboard with an integrated 10" touch screen controls all the diverse sources and systems, and affords users a fast, interactive, and intuitive user work experience. Existing systems such as RITOP, the process management system from Rittmeyer for controlling turbines, water pumps, fire protection and lake capacity, are fully integrated in the WEY Distribution Platform and managed from the main operator position. Video Wall A fully integrated 2x4 video wall from eyevis consists of eight 60" rear-projection cubes and provides an overview of all systems, sources and closed-circuit TV feeds. The video wall features a multitude of individual pre-sets displaying up to 80 different views. Eyevis rear-projection cubes based upon DLP technology are first and foremost among professional video wall systems. This leading technology offers decisive advantages: for one, it is not prone to the so-called “burn-in” effect whereby the image quality suffers from static content. Further, DLP cubes are practically the only option to realize virtually “seamless” video walls designed for 24/7 applications in control rooms. WEY Smart Control WEY Smart Control enables the operators to manage a comprehensive alarm and event management solution which encompasses a whole host of peripheral systems. For example, a typical KLL access control scenario starts when a visitor or worker buzzes the control room to gain access to any of the entry points (barriers, gates, turnstiles or doors). WEY Smart Control automatically projects the closed-circuit TV images onto the videowall.The new system allows each operator to customise their own workflows and create individual scenarios on the video wall Using the touch screen on the WEY Smart Touch keyboard, the operator takes appropriate action, such as activating voice communications, moving the cameras or opening the door. Building services such as lights are also controlled using WEY Smart Control technology and a multifunctional keyboard. The KLL now benefits from a fully integrated, state-of-the-art control room. All systems can be controlled from a single workplace. Department Head, Mr. Martin Steiner has this to say about the project: “The integration of the systems is a huge benefit and simplifies our working processes significantly.” The well organized workplaces facilitate faster interventions and simplify control of the energy production processes. Processes such as access control have been fully automated. All the facilities are being centrally monitored and controlled. The coordination of interventions using modern team collaboration techniques is assured. Flexible And Scalable System According to Mr. Martin Steiner, KLL Department Head, “The flexibility and scalability of the system is something very positive. Further, KLL benefited from WEY Technology’s profound experience in the integration of control systems. The quality is excellent. Budget and the timetable have been respected. We enjoyed individualised consultation services from the very beginning, and our visit to the showroom helped us to conceptualize our project and make our decisions.” KLL employees were involved in the planning phase of the project from the outset. Surveys were conducted, and the corresponding concept was developed together. “The new system has been well received by all the staff. It allows each operator to customize their own workflows and create individual scenarios on the video wall.” Mr. Steiner is very satisfied with the overall project and recommends WEY to all power plant operators who face similar challenges.
As part of a major infrastructure project spanning several years, SIG refurbished their control center for the power distribution system in Geneva, making it easier, safer and more efficient for dispatchers to respond to incidents. SIG Services SIG is a Swiss public infrastructure company established in 1896. Majority-owned by the Canton and City of Geneva, its revenues exceed CHF 1 billion per year. SIG serves 265,000 clients providing drinking water, gas, electricity and thermal energy, and managing wastewater and waste recycling. SIG also offers energy and telecommunications services. All SIG activities seek to promote smarter energy consumption within a framework of sustainable development. SIG maintains multiple control rooms in the Geneva area, including one which is used to manage the power distribution network on a 24/7 basis. Here, operators monitor and maneuver the distribution grids, control city lighting, monitor security for personnel and facilities and respond to client calls outside of business hours. When the SCADA system for process management needed to be renewed and an aging plasma video wall was suffering from the so-called “burn-in effect”, SIG decided to modernize the entire control room and create a more ergonomic office environment for their dispatchers. Managing Energy Distribution Network SIG control room manages the energy distribution network for a quarter of a million customers consuming over 2,800,000 GW/h per year. When a power failure occurs, the center can be flooded with alarms and incoming calls. The dispatcher’s job is to avoid and/or minimize interruption of power, analyze and localize problems, dispatch construction and maintenance teams, communicate with the customers and most importantly, keep a cool head and avoid all mistakes that could negatively impact an outage.The WEY system is whole and is not an assembly of parts from different manufacturers. It is more compact and faster to put together" WEY deployed a new fully integrated control room solution based upon the WEY Distribution Platform WDP. The room features two high- performance operator workplaces with SMARTtouch keyboards, a video wall and an adjacent reception area / conference room. PCs and other sources are housed in a centralized and cooled system room, eliminating heat and noise from the control room. Enhanced ergonomics helps to keep stress levels down during an incident. The scope of the project also included new height-adjustable technical furniture, an intelligent lighting system, and newer but fewer desk screens. WEY SMARTtouch Multifunctional Keyboards WEY SMARTtouch multifunctional keyboards enable the operators to control all their information sources, alarms and workflows with a single user interface. Customized keypads feature buttons to directly respond to audio and visual alarms on the SMARTtouch and the video wall. This streamlines workflows in an emergency and ensures the speed and accuracy of the operator’s response. A CCTV feed in the SMARTtouch display shows the secured entrance and incoming visitors. Without leaving their working desk, operators can identify the person and open the door by simply pushing another button on the keypad. WEY delivered a 3x2 60" rear-projection Eyevis SlimCubes video wall which is perfectly suited to 24/7 control room environments. The super-slim, space-saving video wall is mounted in the corner of the room leaving plenty of space for a server room behind the screens. The graphic controller makes it possible to freely place, position and scale any PC image on the video wall. Fully integrated with the WEY Distribution Platform, the video wall can be controlled from any workplace using the WEY SMARTtouch keyboards, and all the presets are programmed as soft keys in the touch screen. WEY Solution Integrates Historical And New Functionalities Some key benefits for SIG was the ability of the WEY solution to integrate ‘historical’ and new functionalities, integrate I/O interfaces of the alarm management system and other third party systems and control it all with the SMARTtouch keyboard and video wall. According to the Operations Engineer responsible for dispatching, “In the previous room, we had a panel showing the alarms and a box with a button to stop the alarm sound. When I first saw the WEY demonstration with customized banners for alarming on the videowall and the merging of different buttons in the keyboard, I thought it was great and exactly what we needed. It is an ergonomic plus, neat for industrial environments, and yes, everything works fine.” The client further notes: “The WEY system is whole and is not an assembly of parts from different manufacturers. It is more compact and faster to put together. It saves time and money and technically, I think this is better. It also permits us to have less screens and machines around, which makes the room clean, spacious and agreeable. Less heat and noise are dispersed in the room. We are glad to have left the 20th century control room behind us.”
Control room video wall providers eyevis UK have won a contract to supply 24/7 monitoring and security technology for wind farms generating green energy for the whole of the UK. The installation will oversee and protect hundreds of onshore wind turbines across the north of Scotland and work is due to start in the next couple of months. Integrated Mobile Phone Camera Application Management The control room systems will also involve an integrated mobile phone camera application, which allows engineers out on site to transmit data and photographs direct to the video walls. The project, for one of the major providers of green energy for major UK utilities and independent power providers, coincides with the country’s move towards a low carbon economy and a reduction in the reliance on fossil fuels. eyevis UK will be supplying video walls comprising of eyevis 55-inch extremely narrow bezel industrial LCDs with eyevis Netpix 4900 video wall controllers, complete with Eyecon control software including an alarm management module. eyevis UK managing director Steve Murphy said, “Video walls which provide an efficient and easy to maintain service 24/7 play an integral part in ensuring the green energy supplied by wind turbines is a reliable and secure source of alternative energy and we are delighted to be a part of this project.” Video Display And Audio-Visual Solutions eyevis UK provides video display and audio-visual solutions to a range of clients and has supplied CCTV security control rooms for power stations, local authorities, banks, road traffic monitoring, emergency services, blue chip retailers and Government buildings. The Netpix 4900 is a network based graphic controller for the management of video wall systems, single displays or projectors. The controller creates a big joined desktop for network-applications, video and graphic sources. Eyecon is a universal and complete software solution for the control of video wall systems including all connected sources, distribution of information and collaboration in-between different control rooms or presentation areas. The system is based on a very simple operating concept that reduces response times and hence makes the operation of large display systems even more effective and efficient.