ACCESS control
and video surveillance are vital elements of any security management capability
but that importance increases with risk levels and there are some site’s whose
needs are greater than others. Terminals Pty. Ltd. (Terminals), located on
Coode Island , in Melbourne, Australia, is one of Victoria’s major bulk liquid storage
organization.

With a total
capacity of almost 27,000 m3 of hazardous liquid storage space, supplying over
400,000 tons of hazardous and non-hazardous chemicals yearly, Terminals needed to
ensure the most effective security solutions were used. As a well-established
and highly respected hazardous chemical storage and distribution facility,
Terminals took on the challenge to ensure the highest level of security was
maintained for the safety of all employees and nearby residents.

The bulk chemical
storage company insisted on having the premises manned with security personnel
24 hours a day and hired security staff to stand guard on the facility grounds
and to monitor the alarms which were automated in case of fire, intrusion,
plant or process malfunctions by local systems.

In the event that
an alarm did go off, security guards would react as required, alerting
Terminals management who would take the appropriate action. Although it ensured
that action would be taken immediately, this vague and old fashioned process
was costly since guards were being paid around the clock. The arrangement also
opened the door to the possibility of human error.

Additionally,
through the use of a standard access control system, Terminals facility
operators monitored movement through the site by those with access to the
perimeter such as staff, contractors, and visitors. Although this solution was
put in place to secure the premises, the system itself was as basic as the
manned surveillance solution which they utilized.

“Their objectives
were clear from the beginning. It was saving costs by employing an automated
solution that would function around the clock and receiving some additional
functionality out of a technologically advanced security solution”

The localized
system did not have high-end administrative capabilities, which could provide
authorities with consolidated security information from the various systems and
alarm processes in place. With users having to manage many different system
functions independently, operational efficiency was not being maximized.

More than an
electronic solution, Terminals was in need of a system which would allow
security operators to effectively manage the many different independent systems
which were currently deployed on site. Thus, they were in search of a system
which could provide complete integration of their various systems.

Also, with other
similar bulk liquid storage facilities around Australia, Terminals authorities
wanted to be able to grow the system with their expanding infrastructure.
Similarly, they wanted to leverage this new technology for remote operations
such as receiving remote access and remote notifications and alarms.

To ensure the
safety of residents and employees, protect all assets, and potentially decrease
operational costs, Terminals authorities knew that a more forward-thinking
security solution would be extremely beneficial. It was at this point in time
that Terminal Pty officials were referred to Melbourne-based installation and
integration company, Integrators Australia. Once management’s goals were
understood, an electronic system with IP capabilities was recognized as the
best fit in this application.

With years of
experience in managing the design and construction of security systems, Dean
Monaghan, managing director at Integrators Australia, was confident in his
team’s ability to satisfy all of Coode Islands’ needs.

“Their objectives
were clear from the beginning,” claimed Monaghan. “It was saving costs by
employing an automated solution that would function around the clock and
receiving some additional functionality out of a technologically advanced
security solution.”

Nevertheless,
there was one small detail which made this project very different. In order to
ensure that the newly adopted technology would be equally reliable as manned
guards, Terminals Pty needed to pro-actively engage the government in the
decision-making process before they were granted permission to convert from
manned surveillance to a purely electronic-based security system. In other
words, the security solution which was proposed needed to first undergo a
series of strict tests by government officials to make sure that their
standards for security of the site were being upheld.

Terminals
initiated the project with one IP-based security system but due to limitations
in the solution for unifying video, access control, and input monitoring, it
was not reliable enough for the government to approve the switch from a manned
to electronic system.

At this point,
Terminals officials were recommended to use Genetec’s IP-based access control
solution, Synergis. Since they were replacing another head-end interface and
wanted the pre-installed hardware to remain in the field, scalability and open
architecture were very important when considering Synergis as a replacement.

Stressing
high-end administrative functionality, and advanced system integration, this
IP-based access control solution passed government regulations without
difficulty and Terminals security officials were pleased to know they had found
a solution to meet their stringent demands in Synergis.

Not only did
Synergis outperform the previous system, with seamless integration
capabilities, it acted as a unified security interface for all other systems
including Genetec’s IP video surveillance solution, Omnicast.

Synergis’
Security Desk application consolidated video, audio, access control, secondary
fire annunciation and process detection information to generate intelligent
alarms which security personnel at Terminals could immediately act upon. To
date, there are approximately 180 types of alarm inputs that function through
Synergis, giving Coode Island officials the advanced surveillance capabilities
they requested originally for overall increased operational efficiency.

Part of this
overarching management allows the system to react to breaches throughout the
premises via microphonic detection integrated with 16 pan-tilt zoom cameras
controlled by Synergis’ event/alarm management feature.  

The system’s remote
access capabilities mean the site can now be monitored through a remote central
station. In the evenings, when there are no guards on site, Synergis continues
to automatically manage critical information, alerting the central station of
any malfunction or breach in security. From there, remote agents can recognize
alarms, pull-up live video stream, and dispatch patrols to respond to events.

Importantly, Synergis’
and Omnicast’s open architecture supported the legacy hardware integration
requirements for more than just the 16 cameras. Synergis’ true integration
capabilities were put to the test as it allowed Terminals security officials to
incorporate their existing fire panels, flame detection, fire pump and valve
monitors, flow measures, pressure switches and many more hardware devices which
were unique to the bulk liquid facility.

It’s this
combination of features that convinced Terminal’s management and Integrators
Australia’s Dean Monaghan that they had found the perfect solution and have already
experienced the benefits of switching to the most advanced IP-based security
solutions on the market.

“Genetec has the
most forward-thinking access control and video surveillance solution that I
know of,” says Monaghan. “What’s great about Omnicast and Synergis, is their
true seamless integration, their hardware compatibility and the fact that they
are very intuitive for the user.”

Synergis’ remote
accessibility is the feature that is most appreciated by operators since it has
contributed to the greatest increase in efficiency. Today, management staff can
log in remotely to view the security desk application, verify the source of
alarms and even use video verification where required. Important, too, Omnicast
is one of the only systems where users can effectively utilize low bandwidth
connections – another advantage.

Genetec has
helped Terminals meet its challenging requirements. Terminals is saving
significant amounts of money and time by using advanced functionalities of both
Synergis and Omnicast. Moreover, the choice of scalable IP-based solutions
ensures that the investment is flexible in the long term, giving Terminals
management piece of mind for years to come.

“What’s great about
Omnicast and Synergis, is their true seamless integration, their hardware
compatibility and the fact that they are very intuitive for the user”