A population of legacy analogue systems meant that superior security footage was limited for a major mining house. The organisation decided to adopt an IP-based system that would allow for advanced perimeter protection using video analytics. A further stipulation was that the upgraded system needed to be able to integrate with other third-party systems, including the weighing scales and the access control system. A final addition to the system would be the inclusion of a command centre environment to enable the organisation to adopt a black screen management approach and monitor multiple sites from one centralised managment location.
According to Gus Brecher, MD of video surveillance solutions company, Cathexis, mine management needed the system to provide enough intelligence to guide them in their choice of approach. By programming in automatic actions that would ensue from an event triggering an alert in the control room, it would eliminate the operator having to actively decide on a course of action. The system would therefore provide intelligent decision making.
Intelligence improves operations
The existing system deployed by the mining house provided inadequate footage resolution and the organisation was limited by the architecture whereby recordings were stored on individual servers instead of in a centralised repository. The organisation needed a system that would improve operational efficiency and therefore provide an enhanced return on investment, with the system being used for business purposes as well as for the traditional security functions required.
Based on an existing relationship between the two companies, an in-house consultant worked closely with Cathexis to devise an appropriate solution. Brecher explains that Cathexis’ selection was a result of its ability to benefit the risk management profile and to provide value to the operational and health and safety divisions.
Cathexis adopted a phased approach to the project, beginning with establishing that the existing infrastructure could handle the new IP cameras. This is particularly important due to the fact that IP cameras are bandwidth hungry. A network video solution was devised in collaboration with the mine’s IT division and all infrastructure upgrading was done by the client.
Not only did the infrastructure need to cater for the new IP cameras, but the system needed to be able to communicate with the existing analogue cameras which are being retained for the interim. A full system analysis was performed to allow as much of the existing capital equipment to be used as feasibly possible.
Centralised management and control
The analytics were determined and programmed, based on each micro environment across a number of locations. Aggravating factors included the sheer size of the perimeter in each instance, foliage, ambient noise from passing vehicles and the absence of adequate lighting.
Brecher says that Cathexis worked closely with both the installer and the mining house, with regular meetings and continuous feedback ensuring that any issues were identified and resolved in the early stages. Work started on the project in early 2014 and the final phase is due for handover in late 2016. Feedback to date has been very encouraging and the client reports that the majority of the final goals have already been met, with improved operational efficiency as well as enhanced footage and analytics topping the bill, together with an increase in system control and storage.
A large positive factor for the client is that they have been enabled to upgrade to the latest technology, while concurrently saving a substantial amount of money by retaining specific elements of the existing analogue system and infrastructure. In addition, the new centralised managment environment has produced significant increases in efficiency