Keeping Remote Facilities Safe and Secure
- By Bob Ehlers
- Jun 01, 2016
Companies operating in high-risk, remote locations must take extra
precautions to ensure the safety of their employees, assets and
infrastructure. For a drilling company located in remote locations
around the world, the ability to securely monitor and control its oil
and gas facilities is of the utmost importance. With hundreds of operational
hydraulic fracturing wells, thousands of employees, subcontractors,
service providers, miles of pipeline and other infrastructure, oil and gas
companies need to rely on state-of-the-art media wall technologies to keep their
workers and facilities safe.
There are a range of solution offerings for exploration and production asset
optimization, which include oil and gas video wall display, control room management and real-time remote SCADA monitoring systems.
High-quality control room video walls combine visual information from a variety
of systems and put complete visual situational awareness in front of operators
enabling fast and informed decision-making. From abnormal situation response
facilities to operational control rooms, oil and gas companies are deploying video
wall systems in a range of applications including: exploration, operations, command
and control, emergency management, infrastructure protection, network
operations and training situations.
Control rooms need to combine information from multiple systems, while isolating
those same systems from each other in order to maintain security and system
integrity. A properly designed control room will allow operators to view SCADA
HMI systems, security systems, communications systems, and collaboration tools,
and then allow operators to seamlessly move between controlling these systems,
whether they are local or remote. This can be achieved using many different tools
including video wall processors, video encoders, and advanced remote control
technologies. All of these tools must operate in real time with the minimum latency
possible and at the highest video quality possible given available connectivity.
Control rooms rarely exist in isolation. Backup control rooms, situation management
rooms, data sharing with staff and contractors, and general communication
all require outbound communication connectivity. Operators need to quickly
decide what data to send, to whom, where and when. Choosing the right tools for
encoding and transmitting visual data is essential. A well-designed control room
and video wall will enable intuitive operation of systems including the selection
and routing of both incoming and outgoing video.
Video wall processors, multiviewers and codecs are able to support high-resolution
oil and gas visualization of seismic data, reservoir modeling, and enable the distribution
of this visual data between operators. These integrated systems process and
display diverse visual resources from on-rig CCTV, subsea and explosion proof
cameras, as well as video feeds from telecommunications, electrical and well instrumentation
Video walls offer a range of solutions for exploration and production asset
optimization, including oil and gas video wall display, control room management,
and real-time remote SCADA monitoring systems.
Scalable and versatile, today’s video wall display systems are high performance,
cost effective and easy to deploy in all types of situations from small-scale operations
that utilize a single multiviewer, to enterprise level video walls consisting of
more than 100 monitors. IP-enabled video wall display solutions and control room
management systems enhance collaboration, operator awareness, and response
times to improve health, safety and environment (HS&E) metrics.
When planning a media wall setup, working with a design team that offers
knowledge and experience can help maximize the long-term ROI from both a system
performance and financial perspective. Below are tips for how to keep remote
facilities safe and secure, while also ensuring that you have a successful video wall
Make Clear What is Needed for the System
What your organization wants, and what your organization actually needs can be
two different things. It is important to start the process by understanding how exactly
your organization plans to use the video wall today and how it might be used
in the future so that you can relay that information to the integrator. What do you
plan to do with the video wall, and how will it fit into an existing AV or control
room infrastructure? Asking the right questions at the start of the process will help
to ensure that you secure the perfect video wall for your organization.
Understand the Process of the Installation
How many sources will feed into the video wall processor? What are the resolutions
of each? What kind of content will be displayed? Will IP streaming sources
or applications need to be displayed? How far away from the wall will the sources
be located? By providing answers to these and other similar questions, you will be
able to help the integrator determine what kind of wall processors, cabling, extenders,
displays, encoders, signal support and connectors are needed.
Clarify Number/Type of Inputs and Outputs
Video wall processors configure multiple sources from disparate systems for display on an array of monitors or projector
screens. Determine the size of the
wall, the type of content (graphics,
text, motion video, or a combination),
the number of sources that need to be
displayed simultaneously, and whether
real-time processing is required.
Seek Future-proof Options
Video wall technologies are continuously
evolving. With this in mind, it’s
important to discuss with your integrator
current trends and options that
can help future-proof installations. It is
important to determine the functionality
and flexibility that your budget will
allow, and from there let them decide
which elements to incorporate.
For example, the right processor allows
for expandability of the video wall
and the ability to include new inputs
by having a mix of input/output cards
Onto the Design
With a clear idea of what you expect
of your video wall system, you can
now work with an integrator to design
it. When possible, work with a manufacturer’s
design services team, since
they are expert in the use of their products.
Ask the integrator to leverage the
expertise of a knowledgeable design
team, gather information, manage expectations,
and document every step
before designing, testing, and delivering
Have the System Tested
Before the final product is delivered, ensure
that the integrator has thoroughly
tested and troubleshot the system inhouse.
When integrators take advantage
of manufacturer training and On
Site Support, this ensures that the install
will be smooth. These final steps
will increase your satisfaction with the
system and reduce the time required for
tech services personnel to be at the site.
How Important is a
Video walls can be used for a variety of
applications, some mission-critical and
some less so. Because security is very
important in control room, surveillance,
monitoring and government environments,
a dedicated video wall processor
might help mitigate the risk of a data
breach. However, for a less critical application
where security is not a priority
(such as digital signage), a PC-based system
may provide more flexibility.
Designing an effective control room,
which includes video walls and other
video collaboration technologies, takes
experience and technical skill. Integrators
who specialize in these technologies
work closely with end users to define
requirements and with manufacturers
to specify solutions. With properly
planning and product selection, effective
control rooms with video walls can
result in a safe, cost effective and operationally
efficient work environment.
This article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of Security Today.