Company: Dedicated MicrosCustomer: Phoenix ChemicalsSubmitted by: Berkeley PRImage Systems Ltd professional installers of Digital Security Systems, based at Ellesmere Port near Liverpool, provide security systems for access control and CCTV solutions together with communications and remote monitoring equipment for enterprises site-wide, scaling to world-wide.Frustrated by the lack of opportunities within the security installation contracting business, Marc Harris combined his ten years of experience in the design, installation and maintenance of security systems to establish Image Systems in 1998.Image Systems focuses on tendering for new contracts within the construction, rail, architecture, plant, schools and hospital sectors and has the skill and expertise necessary for the installation of any security and data communication system, within any market.As specialist installers of digital CCTV recording, Closed Circuit Television, Voice and Data Installation, Access Control, Intruder Alarms and Surveillance equipment, Image Systems is renowned for finding a way to do anything.
Marc Harris, managing and technical director, Image Systems comments, “We not only do security, but can also fulfil the IT side. We are capable of solving practically any problems – we can install anything.”
When Wirral based Phoenix Chemicals, a small, high-tech manufacturer producing high value intermediates for the pharmaceutical market, required a remote monitoring facility covering a new production facility, Image Systems were approached to find the best solution for the job.Richard Chappell, Logistics & IT Manager of Phoenix Chemicals, comments “We need to monitor our reactors and production areas, whilst at the same time minimising operator risk. We control all of our chemistry remotely and have cameras all through our production areas looking at the reactors. There is no point monitoring in person, when a camera will allow us to do the same job remotely.
“Richard continues, “Our older production facilities use multiplexers which enable us to view live image feeds from the screens. However, with the increasing deployment of Internet and web technology and improved image infrastructure, we felt sure that there must be a way of putting the images on the network. We hadn’t had any luck in finding a suitable solution, and at one point we were looking at building a system ourselves, specific to our requirements. We preferred however to find an off-the-shelf solution, so we turned to Image Systems for guidance.”Image Systems who had already installed intrinsically safe CCTV cameras to monitor both the plant and the reactors within Phoenix Chemicals, needed to find a dedicated solution that not only allowed more flexible use of the camera system, but which also allowed remote viewing from off-site, should it be required.Facing a two week deadline, Image Systems approached leading UK CCTV specialist Dedicated Micros and explained the specific requirements of the Phoenix Chemicals site.
Marc explains, “We turned to Dedicated Micros because they simply are the ‘authority’ on the security industry. There are other brands out there, but Dedicated Micros tend to be the industry standard.”This resulted in Image Systems becoming the first company in Europe to supply and install the innovative V-serve 100 technology, and Phoenix Chemicals becoming its first European end-user.Marc continues, “As luck would have it, Dedicated Micros was just about to launch a new video over network technology which looked to provide the perfect solution for Phoenix Chemicals. We ended up taking the first V-serve production units.”
Dedicated Micros’ V-serve allows Phoenix Chemicals to monitor its reactors and production areas from remote locations, through the delivery of live digital video to the desktop over a LAN network, Intranet or the Internet.compatible with a Netscape browser and shortly to be integrated with Microsoft Internet Explorer, V-serve creates the effect of live video by delivering digital content to the desktop at a rate of 25 pictures per second.V-serve technology allows users at Phoenix Chemicals to view live images from 8 cameras, although there is capacity for as many as 16. By recording to hard disk for up to 24 hours, connected users at Phoenix Chemicals are able to view the archive video with standard browser software. Unique to V-serve, recording continues uninterrupted whilst the viewing and reviewing process is taking place. Furthermore, recording can be prioritised devoting more frames per second to the recording on high activity cameras.
V-serve provides the additional security of password protected features for selective access and restricted camera usage for complete viewing control. In addition, it also features alarm facilities, allowing triggers from tolerance measurement systems to ‘tag’ particular events so that they can be quickly located, or even presented as frames of footage upon alarm activation.Marc comments, “V-serve was installed at Phoenix Chemicals very quickly and without any hitches. The whole installation process, including making the cables from scratch, only took two and a half hours. With the cables already prepared, it would have taken about one and three quarter hours.
“Melford Pengelly, regional sales manager, Image Systems continues, “The system was installed and within five minutes live pictures were delivered to the desktop. Richard was very impressed! The system worked exactly as envisaged, and he could view the images from anywhere on the network, independently of viewing the cameras from the control areas”
V-serve technology enables users at Phoenix Chemicals to improve safety and optimise the use of manpower, whilst also monitoring chemical reactions within the reactors.V-serve is an extremely useful tool for recording and saving images, allowing users at Phoenix Chemicals to rewind, replay and pause images. This helps both to identify and resolve potential problems on the production line, and to keep a record of any interesting events.Marc explains, “Someone needing to view the cameras will not always be based in the control room.
V-serve technology enables any user to view the images, irrespective of their location.”Richard continues, “V-serve is a simple but effective approach, which also allows us to view the images from other parts of the network. Additionally, we are able to record and save the images – enabling a more flexible approach for end viewing.V-serve technology has enabled us to monitor our reactors remotely. We have not seen anything else like V-serve on the market.”
V-serve technology forms a crucial part of the future for both Dedicated Micros and Image Systems.
Aiming to improve the basic capability of V-serve technology, Dedicated Micros is currently developing the hardware appliance’s compatibility with Microsoft Internet Explorer. More complex plans for research and development will result in other companies producing custom software to control the V-serve unit for specific applications. On the security side, this will ultimately result in the images being transposable from the unit to a universal media, so that third parties such as the police force can download the images.Success is guaranteed for Image Systems, the first European installer of this security system. The combination of excellent consultancy and an extremely high level of installation and enthusiastic business ethos means that it is on their way up the ladder for winning contracts.