Access Control

Fences, Barriers, Sensors and Video Cameras Can Help Keep Bad Guys from Getting into Your Plant

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Studies have shown that humans will lose interest and be unable to detect changes shown on screens if they are forced to stare for more than 20 minutes. In many cases, the first time operators or security personnel actually see what’s on the monitor is when an alarm goes off.

On the other hand, modern digital cameras have the ability to detect when an anomaly occurs—such as someone walking into the frame. The camera can trigger an alarm that will alert security personnel. These newer video surveillance systems also can be configured to pan and zoom in to a specific location if an alarm occurs. The procedure can be triggered by the camera system, the video server, a proximity switch, an infrared detector or any other input. Security personnel can save all the images of a particular event and replay them as often as necessary to fully understand the incident.

According to Stephen Lambright, vice president of marketing and customer services for wireless networks and services provider  Apprion, industrial-grade video often is a less expensive way to monitor operations. Wireless is also making inroads into security. Lambright says that wireless wireless cameras can view locations that would be too risky or too expensive to trench or wire—just the kinds of remote locations that are attractive to intruders hoping to sneak past the guard shacks.

Wireless is also making inroads into security. Lambright says that wireless wireless cameras can view locations that would be too risky or too expensive to trench or wire—just the kinds of remote locations that are attractive to intruders hoping to sneak past the guard shacks.

Using applications such as Apprion’s ION Wireless Video Monitoring, security-conscious companies can integrate the the monitoring and management of both their IP-enabled security cameras and their wireless networks to strengthen security even more. This application enables network operators using a Web-based console or mobile device to monitor the status and network activity of any IP-enabled camera and the network availability of the link to that device. When a link to an IP camera is down, operators are alerted, and may be able to diagnose and resolve the issue remotely. After all, even the highest high-tech system is useless if it’s broken.

Good perimeter security keeps bad guys from breaking into the plant. But what happens if bad guys get into the plant legally, right through the front door?  That’s another story. 

Rich Merritt is a Control contributing editor.


Security at Geismar: Keeping Intruders Out

The Honeywell Specialty Materials chemical facility is located on the Mississippi River in Geismar, La. It’s the largest production site for hydrofluoric acid in the U.S., a main production site for refrigerants and a showcase for modern security technology.

Geismar
Figure 2. At Honeywell’s Geismar plant, radar tracks the movement of ships on the Mississippi and in the docks.
Geismar is a test bed for Honeywell’s industrial security products and services. It is the prototype of what many believe is the next generation in plant security—a fully integrated process and security solution that improves response times to safety and security incidents.

Honeywell protects  the facility by employing a comprehensive “defense in depth” strategy that integrates physical, electronic and cyber layers with building automation, security and process control systems.

To keep intruders out of the facility, Honeywell Geismar uses several methods:

  • Perimeter fencing (see figure 1 above) is equipped with coaxial cable for sensing and detecting fence disturbances such as vibration, cutting and climbing;
  • Radar (Figure 2) tracks traffic on the Mississippi River and in the dock areas and alerts security if a vessel comes too close to the plant;
  • Video cameras watch key plant areas to detect intruders.

Security data, alarms and camera images are transmitted on the same network used by the control systems.

From the physical perspective, Honeywell recommends an integrated solution that facilitates automated processes, giving users the ability to detect, deter, prevent and mitigate physical security threats.

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