KS Frieghters installs Milestone XProtect
“As a system administrator I like the ability to define which users have access to which cameras and footage. This has allowed various departments to take ownership of security issues in their own area, while maintaining the benefits of running a single consolidated system. Also because it is IP based there is no special hardware to deploy. Managers can log into the system and view cameras in their area of responsibility from any PC on site”
FREIGHT companies throw up serious security challenges and the Truganina site of K&S Freighters is no exception to this rule. Built in 2006, the yard has around 150 trucks working regularly, including subcontractors, and about 200 more in the interstate fleet that regularly visit the yard – often after hours and on weekends.
Just to complicate things, there are third-party vehicles dropping off goods during working hours. This busy environment requires good CCTV monitoring for general security purposes and the ability to resolve any incidents that occur, including accidents or damage to goods and property.
The site covers 25 hectares, which presented a challenge for the surveillance system eventually installed. They needed flexible solution with central, local and remote access from the various departments, and one that could scale up in size over time.
The open platform of Milestone IP video management software provides just that, along with the independent support of more than 500 models and brands of network cameras. K&S Freighters were therefore able to mix different types of cameras to suit any need.
They are using the video surveillance to cover several key concerns:
general site security such as monitoring parked vehicles, antivandalism
– especially in the most vulnerable areas – and vehicle identification where we have dedicated cameras to catch all that are entering or leaving the site.
“Milestone has proven its worth in assisting us to identify the cause of numerous instances of damage so we could resolve them. The easy export of camera footage has also been very useful: many times we have been able to provide still images and video files for the police and insurance companies,” says David Blake, senior network administrator at K&S Freighters.
“On multiple occasions, we have been able to identify the cause of damage to employees’ vehicles in the car park,” Blake explains. “Footage has also been captured of numerous vehicle accidents outside the site, which has been used by the police to identify culpable parties.”
The solution installed at Truganina is based around Milestone XProtect Professional version 4 management software upgraded to version 6. That software is managing a mix of cameras including Canon PTZs, IQeye high resolution megapixels and some legacy analogue cameras digitalized through Axis video encoders to be viewed and archived in the Milestone software.
The video data is transferred over the internal data network powered by Cisco switches. The XProtect software runs on a dedicated HP server with 300 GB of storage for the live database and 1.5 TB of storage for the video archives.
The Milestone software’s flexible setup, configuration and access have allowed different departments to take ownership of security issues in their own areas. Being IP-based means that there are no special hardware
requirements in deployment – Milestone uses standard IT equipment and infrastructure. Managers can log into the system and view cameras from any PC on site, yet the XProtect platform maintains the benefits of centrally and efficiently running one consolidated system.
In terms of its operational capabilities, according to K&S, the causes of numerous instances of vandalism have been identified and resolved by the system. The export of camera footage is easy and very little training was necessary for operators due to the intuitive Milestone user interface.
K&S says that on numerous occasions operators have been able to provide still images and video files for police and insurance companies to clear up incidences. The intuitive database export feature lets them generate video evidence from all the cameras in a single view simultaneously.
This means the police can view, search, digitally zoom and playback video as if they were on the Milestone system, and without any loss of video quality. This is a huge advantage, especially in comparison to the usual poor quality, multiple, non-time synchronized video AVI files they receive from DVRs.
Management too easy
Although originally installed by a third party provider, the system has since been maintained internally by K&S Freighters’ own staff. They attended Milestone general training courses provided by the system provider for the administrators when the system was first installed. When taking over maintenance of the system internally, they also attended a half-day course on designing and implementing a milestone system to gain a better understanding of the system components.
“The intuitive Milestone user interface means that new users generally only require a brief introduction to the system before they are able to start using it,” Blake says.
“As a system administrator I like the ability to define which users have access to which cameras and footage. This has allowed different departments to take ownership of security issues in their own area, while
maintaining the benefits of running a single consolidated system,” he says.
“Also because it is IP-based there is no special hardware to deploy. Managers can log into the system and view cameras in their area of responsibility from any PC on site.”
Currently K&S has two system administrators, and about ten users who are
able to view cameras in each of their areas of responsibility.
“Remote access has been made available to people on the afterhours callout list. As a result, when a call is received from our security company advising of an alarm, we are able to immediately view footage from anywhere and decide on the appropriate action,” says Blake.
In the Milestone software, users can also digitally zoom into a marked part of an image to see more detail, while retaining the overview of what is happening in the area.
“Because of the large size of our site and the fact that there was no existing infrastructure, the ability to use the data network to transport video footage represented a huge saving as we did not need to deploy miles of dedicated cable for the cameras,” explains Blake.
The physical installations vary greatly. Some PTZ cameras are mounted on the sides of warehouses 12 meters up where they provide panoramic views of the truck yard and parking areas. Others are mounted above doorways both internally and externally to capture images of everyone entering or leaving the offices.
The cameras were individually selected by the installation partner for the different roles. Pan-Tilt-Zoom models were installed at strategic locations for patrolling the yard and the IQeye high resolution megapixel
cameras were set up for capturing vehicle registration details covering the driveways.
Standard fixed video cameras provide coverage of discrete building entries and smaller internal spaces. Most of the static indoor cameras are set in the Milestone software to only record on motion detection, which saves on disk space in the system.
“Early on we realized that as PTZ cameras were always moving through
their scheduled patrolling areas, simply recording on movement for them was not enough. Instead we have taken advantage of the ‘Speed up on
Movement’ function in the Milestone software,” says David.
“This allows the system to typically capture only a few frames as the
camera rests at each patrol point. This greatly reduces the amount of footage captured yet still allows us to go back in time and identify when something has occurred – even in the case of a window being broken while the camera was pointed away,” he explains.
“At the same time, if motion is detected at any point in the camera patrolling, the system starts to record footage at full speed, giving us a nice clear record of what is happening.”
The open platform architecture of the Milestone video software will allow K&S Freighters to integrate any security devices and systems into one efficient, interactive system.