Mobile Shutdown Systems leverages Genetec unified security platform to offer temporary state-of-the-art security monitoring for high-risk industrial projects.
Mobile Shutdown Systems offers temporary onsite security and safety monitoring to heavy industrial and chemical facilities during scheduled turnarounds and shutdowns. Global businesses such as oil refineries, chemical plants and manufacturing plants rely on Mobile Shutdown Systems to provide a more effective and costefficient method to safeguard people who come on site to perform scheduled maintenance, repair or cleaning.
These high-risk environments require constant supervision as there are many narrow entry ways which lead to tightly enclosed spaces or heavy-duty equipment. Because of this, many organizations set up manned stations and have guards manually track the comings and goings of temporary workers. Guards would sometimes also resort to knocking as a way to signal and communicate with workers. The guards would use a hammer to knock facility walls or areas that lead to where the workers are performing their duties at regular intervals, and these ‘signals’ would be reciprocated by workers to indicate everything was okay– quite a rudimentary process.
According to Alex Otter, Chief Technology Officer from Mobile Shutdown Systems, “Because some of these environments are very hazardous, organizations want less people on the premises during their turnaround and shutdown projects. The disadvantage of using guards is that it is very costly and errors can be made in manual logging the entries and exits of workers.”
Partnering with Access Innovation, a Genetec certified integrator based in the Netherlands, Mobile Shutdown Systems saw the opportunity to leverage IP-based security systems to improve safety processes and help heavy-duty industry organizations to cut costs during downtime, maintenance and cleaning projects.
Access Innovation recommended Genetec Security Center, the unified security platform to combine video surveillance, access control and other third-party systems in one solution. Building onto the unified security platform, Mobile Shutdown Systems added an intercom and a custom gas detection system integration to offer its customers a turnkey mobile monitoring platform which they have named VISICS.
Since every job requirement is different, and project durations span from 4 to 12 weeks, the biggest advantage of Genetec Security Center is its innate ability to unify multiple systems into one, and simplify the operators’ critical monitoring tasks.
“Every time someone badges in, the video pops-ups,” explained Rene Slegers, Chief Commercial Officer at Mobile Shutdown Systems. “This makes it easier for the operator to do his work. Instead of looking at every single camera to watch people going in and out, Security Center does that for him.”
Bosch high-definition analog cameras are connected to Axis Communications IP encoders, and are installed at each entryway leading into concealed work areas, as well as inside concealed locations where the work is being completed. HID Global access control readers are also affixed inside and outside of entries. Devices are connected to wireless nodes that send all data and video back to the VISICS system located outside a designated blast zone on the property.
A STENTOFON intercom system, developed by Zenitel, has been integrated through the Sipelia Communications Management module within Security Center, giving operators the ability to communicate directly with people in the field and making it easier to handle access-denied alarms or to address anyone in distress.
Thanks to the flexible software development kit in Security Center, the custom gas detection system integration has also been very helpful. “Directly from the system, we are able to monitor the atmosphere to determine if oxygen levels are adequate or if there is any potential danger,” explained Slegers. “If oxygen levels go below the normal and acceptable range, alarms are triggered within Security Center so operators can immediately respond.”
While video surveillance features such as support for motion detection have been instrumental in helping operators identify causes for concern, (For example: someone moving through a restricted area or even a system malfunction) Synergis, the access control system of Genetec Security Center has been even more advantageous to Mobile Shutdown Systems.
The import tool in Synergis saves Mobile Shutdown Systems tremendous amounts of time during the configuration and setup process of cardholders, allowing them to automatically import cardholders and credentials with pre-programmed access control privileges from the customer’s access control system.
If later on, there is a need to restrict certain areas due to heavy machinery operation, gas or chemical emissions or other reasons, operators are able to quickly lockdown defined access control zones in Synergis, keeping people away from danger.
Other Synergis features that have proven invaluable to Mobile Shutdown Systems and its customers are people counting and reporting. According to Otter, “In an emergency, people counting helps us instantly identify how many people are trapped in that area. Also, in some locations, workers are limited to certain time constraints, due to exposure to temperatures or chemicals. Automated hourly reports help our operators ensure people come out on time.”
Mobile System Shutdown customers also use Synergis for time and attendance information, ensuring that they are being accurately invoiced for maintenance and repair or to help dispute liability cases. “Although our original objective was focused on safety, now companies are seeing operational benefits and uses with the information that is derived from the solution. It’s an added-value service which we are happy to provide, because Security Center makes it possible,” confirms Otter.
As demand for VISICS continues to expand globally, Mobile Shutdown System is looking to offer their customers the option for workers or onsite guards to have wearable cameras, allowing for easier after-the-fact inspections or closer monitoring during specific jobs.
In a concluding statement, Otter explains how the Genetec unified security platform has been critical to the company’s success with VISICS, “Security Center is a user-friendly solution that combines all the systems we need in one platform. And while our services have been highly beneficial for improving safety at these critical sites, Security Center’s advanced functionality has allowed us to also extend operational benefits to our clients, helping them further justify their investment in choosing our technology-based approach.”
Mobile Shutdown Systems combines Bosch analog cameras with Axis Communications IP encoders for a cost-effective option at high-risk sites. On the access control side, HID Global readers and controllers are installed which support multiple card technologies and existing customer credentials. The Sipelia Communications Management module within Security Center allowed for easy integration with preferred SIP-enabled intercom equipment from STENTOFON/Zenitel.
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