Keeping Remote Facilities Safe and Secure

INDUSTRY VERTICAL

Keeping Remote Facilities Safe and Secure

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.

Remote Solutions

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.

Visual Support

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 modules.

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 Security

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 system setup.

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 Whenever Possible

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 available.

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 your system.

Have the System Tested Before Delivering

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 System Security?

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.

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