Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence

Video management platform effectively achieves duel security and plant operations objectives

Many industries have successfully implemented video surveillance and management systems in their manufacturing facilities as a way to reduce the risk of theft or vandalism. Making these changes has helped businesses improve facility security through monitoring and recording activities but also with advanced features that can be used to deter or prevent incidents from happening in the first place.

Along with the security aspect of video surveillance and management systems, these security solutions are also used for wider business purposes in a manufacturing environment including measuring efficiency and ensuring that the facility is in compliance with various state and federal regulations such as OSHA.

John Baird, president and CFO at Highland Packaging Solutions Inc. of Plant City, Fla., said the video surveillance and management system installed at their manufacturing facility helps enforce operational procedures to ensure safety protocols and compliance with regulatory codes. The recorded video images also provides detailed information for forensic review of a worker’s compensation claim as well as for reviewing overall human resource management for employees on the shop floor.

“From a business standpoint, the system helped us save time and money in a countless number of ways,” Baird said. “Our workers’ compensation rate is down by almost 50 percent because we have the video backup to refute bogus claims. We can also better enforce safety procedures because the cameras are always watching.”

Highland Packaging Solutions is a thermoforming packaging supplier for the agriculture sector, manufacturing clamshell packaging for berries, tomatoes and eggs. The process involves extruding PET resin into sheets and then placing the sheets into the oven for heating. After the sheets are heated, they are brought to the form station where the parts are formed into clamshells and then advanced to the trim station. The high tech thermoformers are controlled through the latest process control systems, which provide machine and motion control as well as precise and consistent repeatability and continuous diagnostics. Highland incorporates interchangeable tooling systems and quick-change technology to provide customers with product when they need it. The company also manufactures labels for a full-service solution.

In 2012, the company moved to a new 250,000 square foot facility in Plant City. Manufacturing of the clamshells runs 24/7 with approximately 100 people assigned to each of the three shifts. With the larger space and added number of staff at the new facility, an upgraded surveillance system was needed to ensure that plant management and safety policies and procedures were adhered to and security of the facility, assets and people was maintained.

OnSSI’s Ocularis 5 Enterprise Video Management System (VMS) played a key role in the project as did the technology solutions provider, Redd Ash Technologies. The project involved designing and building a dedicated robust network infrastructure to support the highly integrated solution which includes surveillance, access control and voice over IP communication. Approximately 100 Axis 360 degree IP cameras are installed throughout the facility and grounds, including the parking areas and gated entrance. The video surveillance system is integrated using Ocularis 5 VMS for seamless control and is further integrated with the HR and communication systems. A similar security system and Ocularis Recorder located in a second facility in nearby Mulberry, Fla., is also tied into the Plant City networked system.

The camera feeds are recorded and are often used for safety training and as a manufacturing tool to help ensure overall safety in addition to conventional security monitoring. According to Rommel Roberts, CTO/ CEO of Redd Ash Technologies, the performance of the Ocularis engine has been instrumental in the efficiency of the central processing units (CPUs).

“Servers would normally run at about peak load with that many cameras and that much bandwidth which is typically a big worry for us,” Roberts said. “With Ocularis 5, our CPUs are running in the high teen, low twenties percentiles because of the efficiency of the Ocularis engine. That’s a huge advantage with 360 degree cameras and HD and megapixel camera systems as well.”

Baird said the processing power of Ocularis 5 displays the 360 degree images.

“We use the 360 degree cameras to get maximum coverage of the shop floor at the most economical cost,” Baird said. “The Ocularis software takes the fisheye images and dewarps them so they can be displayed as four separate pictures. That makes the video easier to watch and we don’t miss anything. We also like the accuracy of the Time Slicer feature of Ocularis because it allows us to slow down the video and then slice out a portion for review. If there has been some type of altercation, we can very quickly do a time slice of the incident to see who was involved or how it started.”

“Overall it’s been a great investment and we couldn’t be more pleased with our investment,” he said.

The surveillance and management system is also in control with conventional security applications. Ocularis gives multiple operators full control over video including PTZ presets, joystick control and digital zoom. This gives operators the advantage they need to make the right decision when an alert is sent because they have “eyes at the scene.” At Highland Packaging, authorized staff, including guards from Securitas, the on-site security guard company, have access to the live video through the intuitive user interface. While video from the shop floor is not readily available to the security guards, video from shift changes and activity in the parking lots is. In one instance, guards observed video of an employee who should have been tending to a machine on the shop floor was instead washing his car in the parking lot. Securitas brought the incident to the attention of Highland management and the employee was subsequently let go.

Data security is also enabled with Ocularis. There is encryption between clients and servers as well as HTTPS support for end-toend encryption for all data. It also randomizes the recorded video database to prevent information from being manipulated and reinserted. By incorporating encryption into the product, the software can save customers substantial time and money, as well as the cost and inconvenience of adding third party encryption software to their systems.

The open architecture of Ocularis allowed Redd Ash Technologies to integrate a technology solution they developed in-house that monitors the health of every device on Highland’s network. The proprietary design in the servers uses artificial intelligence to perform basic repair tasks and can remotely correct approximately 90 percent of problems that arise, alerting support personnel at the Redd Ash call center only if additional intervention is required.

“If the software reports that a camera stream is not presenting itself to the recorder, the artificial intelligence will check the cause and reboot the camera,” Roberts said. “When the situation has been resolved, usually within two minutes, the system sends a notification that the camera stream is back online.”

The integrated technologies provide a substantial savings in service and maintenance contracts for Highland Packaging and helps protect the partnership between Redd Ash and Highland Packaging.

This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of Security Today.

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