The Quicker Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

One of the perks of my job is the opportunity to travel around the country and visit various product manufacturers. Not long ago, I took a swing through Southern California with an itinerary of visiting seven or eight companies.

I made every appointment, but one. Traffic is so bad in California it’s difficult to travel from one side of the valley to the other. Of course, it didn’t help that I wrote down the wrong address and city. Thanks to Google Maps, I arrived on time and without incident, though, to most of my appointments.

The MegaLab

A couple years ago, I wrote a story about Glendalebased Arecont Vision’s MegaLab, where technicians and engineers spin up VMS solutions and push them to their limit. Arecont Vision now has 130 cameras at work in the lab. It’s all about technology partnerships.

One thing that has changed at MegaLab is Arecont Vision testing its own Omni camera. The camera has been so successful that they sold 600 units on the first day it was offered. And, true to form, the camera was put through the ringer at MegaLab.

Arecont Vision introduced its version of a low-light lab, unveiling a camera that excels at night through a new algorithm. For management, it is a Spatio Temporal Low Light Architecture (STELLAR), and it will be part of the MegaDome 2 series.

However, as things change in the world of technology, there are still some matters that remain the same. For instance, VMS companies that want to participate with the MegaLab can do so 24/7 worldwide. Companies are able to remotely access the system and spin up their software. They also can examine remote focus and remote zoom on a camera. There are currently 25 VMS programs installed at MegaLab.

“We’re also finding that our VMS partners are releasing better quality software,” said Diego Simkin, technology partner manager. “MegaLab is really an Easy Button concept.”

After All the Glitz and Glamour

My journey in California also took me out of the city to visit Greg Bier, the CEO and director at Vitek. This company has been around since 1999, and claims its key verticals in automation and electrical supply.

“I’m glad to say we’ve come a long way since those humble beginnings, but one important thing has never changed,” Bier said. “Our commitment to our customers is to go above and beyond their expectations with every opportunity. These relationships forged over many years are our most cherished asset, and we will never forget those who have been supportive of us and those whom we’ve been able to support over time.”

I had an insightful meeting with Greg. Seems he left New York after high school to become a musician. That goal worked out well, but after the glitz and glamour, the security industry became his goal.

Bier and his company, located in Valencia, are developing and manufacturing video surveillance products that meet all expectations of the end user, and come at a value that will never change.

In the Wee Hours of the Morning

Early one morning, I ran into an old friend, Doug Wheaton at HIKVision. I almost didn’t recognize Doug as he has dropped a bunch of weight. He looks awesome and is a good model for some of us who need to drop more than a few pounds.

HIKVision had a good name in cameras and equipment; but then, it seemed, they disappeared. I can tell you that they are back in the chase. The company has been around for about 13 years. They started with 28 employees and have grown into a global enterprise of more than 8,000 workers, including 2,800 research and development engineers.

It was great to see Doug again, and I can assure you they will be making an impact in the U.S. market again very soon.

Built by Hand

Because I depend upon PR agencies for so much, I was steered in the direction of Louroe Electronics, located in Van Nuys. In my travels, I’ve seen a lot of automation, especially when building circuit boards, but this is not the case at Louroe.

CEO Richard Brent gave me a tour of the facility. When we entered the high-tech area, I was surprised to find workers building circuit boards by hand. Using a slide line, employees would meticulously add various parts, one after another, using their hands as tools.

“It’s all about teamwork at Louroe,” Brent said. “Our employees like what they are doing, and they enjoy working together.”

Brent said that business in California is sometimes challenging, but they meet a minimum pay standard of $18 per hour and pay for employee healthcare. He said that he is pleased that the company can do all of this and keep people employed.

“We invest in our employees,” Brent said. “We have a very diverse group of people, and I believe that works to our advantage.”

I love these work trips where I can see first-hand at what pace the security industry is moving. Since the draught in 2008, it seems to me that the industry is picking up; buyers are spending more money; and people are working more. All of this is exciting news.

This article originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of Security Today.

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