Avigilons Network Ports
by Security Electronics and Networks | @Articles Case Studies | August 28, 2011, 7:00am AEST
WITH 21 ports and more than 1500 employees, Associated British Ports (ABP) is the United Kingdom’s largest port operator and leading cruise port operator, moving one quarter of the country’s seaborne trade ranging from coal and containers to iron ore and import/export of vehicles.
In compliance with industry regulations such as the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, ABP has implemented the necessary security measures to reduce risk by deploying a comprehensive security system across all its sites.
As part of this effort, ABP deployed the Avigilon HD Surveillance System at two locations to boost security and at the same time, improve operational efficiencies to ensure the successful management of international trade through its ports. ABP installed the Avigilon HD Surveillance with the assistance of Global Vision CCTV Ltd., a local provider of surveillance system design, installation and service.
The solution to Associated British Ports’ security needs employs Avigilon Control Center software with HDSM to seamlessly manage the HD surveillance system 24×7. At the Port of Grimsby, Global Vision has installed two 11-MP Avigilon HD cameras to monitor vehicle entry and exit and to provide driver identification and license plate details, and one 3-MP Avigilon HD camera for complete coverage of the junction leading to the control room.
Six 5-MP Avigilon HD cameras are used at the Port of Immingham to monitor and control the lock gates, which open and close to allow ships to pass through. All six 5-MP Avigilon HD cameras are connected through the fibre network back to the marine control room where the system is monitored live.
At the Immingham Bulk Park, four Avigilon analogue video encoders are used to integrate a new analogue PTZ camera and existing analogue cameras into the Avigilon HD Surveillance System for greater performance and manageability. Four 1-MP Avigilon HD cameras provide site overview and monitor the entrance and exit to the weighbridges, where cargo is weighed. Four Avigilon NVRs record and store 30 days of continuous footage.
The Avigilon HD Surveillance System has helped ABP improve operational efficiencies at the Ports of Grimsby and Immingham. By leveraging its existing network infrastructure, ABP was able to reduce installation time and costs. ABP has also been able to centralise several processes, including weighbridge and lock gate operations, which can now be managed remotely in conjunction with the surveillance system.
Surveillance is a critical component of ABP’s overall security initiative, but it also plays a key role in helping to build a ‘safety first’ culture that protects the health and safety of employees and enhances overall productivity.
“With the Avigilon HD Surveillance System in place, we can monitor the entire port operations – from loading ships to crane operations – from a centralised location to ensure port security, employee safety, and productivity,” explains Michael Howarth, Humber IT infrastructure manager at ABP.
“As a result, we can strengthen security, improve operational flow, and reduce costs for better overall operational performance.”
“With the Avigilon HD Surveillance System in place, we can monitor the entire port operations – from loading ships to crane operations – from a centralised location to ensure port security, employee safety, and productivity”
With the assistance of Global Vision CCTV, a local provider of surveillance system design, installation, and service, ABP installed the Avigilon HD Surveillance at two of its sites – the Ports of Grimsby and Immingham.
“We were not getting the image quality or reliability we needed from our previous system,” says Howarth, who also noted that the previous software was cumbersome to use. When ABP began to roll out its new, more advanced internal network infrastructure, the team determined that network-based IP cameras would more effectively meet its needs.
“The Avigilon HD Surveillance System is versatile and flexible enough to support hardware from many vendors – including analogue cameras – and can leverage our existing cabling for a more cost-effective and powerful surveillance solution.”
With its simple management tools and advanced functionality, Avigilon Control Center has also proven to be very user-friendly.
“We have eight full time staff using the system live and four ad hoc uses who can view the system from their laptops,” he explains.
“To date, we have been able to easily get them up on the system with no significant challenges.”
High definition at Grimsby and Immingham
According to Howarth, the very nature of a port’s geography can cause significant challenges when it comes to deploying any technology infrastructure, including surveillance.
“When we transitioned over to a fibre network, we matured from having local installations running over coaxial cable to needing a more advanced network-based surveillance solution that can accommodate various types of cameras, including wireless,” says Howarth.
ABP deployed the Avigilon Control Center network video management software (NVMS), the only solution designed specifically for high definition surveillance, and installed Avigilon HD megapixel cameras, Avigilon analogue video encoders, and Avigilon network video recorders (NVRs,) all connected wirelessly and accessible across both ports – a distance of seven miles.
At the Port of Grimsby, ABP installed two 11-MP Avigilon HD cameras to monitor vehicle entry and exit and to provide driver identification and license plate detail, and one 3-MP Avigilon HD camera for complete coverage of the junction leading to the control room. Security personnel use Avigilon Control Center software with High Definition Stream Management (HDSM) to seamlessly manage the system 24×7 and store
30 days of continuous footage on two Avigilon NVRs.
Six 5-MP Avigilon HD cameras are used at the Port of Immingham to monitor and control the lock gates, which open and close to allow ships to pass through, and to ensure that there are no obstructions to prevent the lock gates from opening when required. All six 5-MP Avigilon HD cameras are connected through the fibre network back to the marine control room where the system is monitored live and footage is stored on one Avigilon NVR.
At the Bulk Park Terminal, four Avigilon analogue video encoders are used to integrate a new analogue PTZ camera and existing analogue cameras into the Avigilon HD Surveillance System for greater performance and manageability. Four 1-MP Avigilon HD cameras provide site overview and monitor the entrance and exit to the weighbridges, where cargo is weighed. An additional Avigilon NVR has also been deployed to store footage from this installation.
Image quality and speed of playback
ABP security personnel have been impressed with Avigilon’s image quality and speed of playback, leveraging the advanced features of Avigilon Control Center software to instantly identify details necessary for positive identification, leading to faster response times and more successful investigations.
“With our previous surveillance system, we would struggle to identify the details necessary to make a positive ID,” explains Howarth. “In fact, we could not capture license plates or facial details even with very good lighting conditions.”
Since deploying the Avigilon HD Surveillance System, Howarth has noticed a huge improvement in his ability to pinpoint a specific event with exceptional image clarity for quick identification and resolution.
“Even in the middle of the night, we can zoom in on a specific event and leverage Avigilon Control Center’s digital enhancement features to pull out the detail we need.”
When local law enforcement has been called in to help investigate an incident, ABP can now provide more tangible evidence, faster.
“Before, we would spend a lot of time trying to locate a specific event and end up with poor quality footage that was not up to standard,” Howarth says, who points out that he’s also been very impressed with the speed in which he can now drill down to a specific event for immediate inspection.
“Going through footage on our previous surveillance system was cumbersome, leaving big gaps in time between selecting a timeline and displaying the image,” he says.
“Avigilon Control Center’s advanced functionality allows us to manipulate an image in real-time and enables us to track when footage was actually recorded to more quickly and accurately identify the images in question.”
Centralised port operations
The Avigilon HD Surveillance System has not only surpassed ABP’s security requirements, it has also proven cost-effective.
“We were able to leverage our existing network infrastructure and cables to reduce installation time and costs,” says Howarth. “But more importantly, the Avigilon HD Surveillance System has enabled us to centralise several of our processes, including the operation of our weighbridges and lock gates, which can now be managed remotely through the surveillance system in one location.”
As a result, ABP can contain its operational staff costs at each location. With the Avigilon HD Surveillance System in place, ABP has also invested in a scalable, future-proof surveillance solution that can expand to meet growing needs.
Having already achieved a significant improvement in security and operational productivity, ABP has been very pleased with its decision to deploy the Avigilon HD Surveillance System at the Ports of Grimsby and Immingham.
“Avigilon provides high quality HD surveillance across a varied infrastructure and is flexible enough to integrate with existing CCTV systems as well as analogue-based systems,” Howarth says.
“Utilising the most advanced technology instead of relying on modified old technology, Avigilon is a fluent system that delivers powerful network video management software combined with superior image quality for dramatic performance gains.”
Installing the system at the Ports of Grimsby and Immingham was also straightforward.
“The professional team at Global Vision CCTV installed the system in no time and with help from Avigilon, worked with us to ensure that the solution delivered the highest quality images possible and maximum recorded length,” he says.