After a competitive tender process, SenSys Technology was awarded the project. Key phases included:
- Commissioning & testing
- Project management
The project undertaken by Sensys Technology consisted of migrating the existing 160 analogue CCTV cameras and infrastructure to a Milestone Corporate IP CCTV system. The existing shopping centre and retail campus system comprised of several analogue DVR’s located in four different areas of the site, all of which were transmitting video back to the main comms room using COE coax over fibre transmitters.
The migration also included integrating the existing Siemens intruder alarm panels with Milestone Corporate to generate alarms in the XProtect Smartclient alarm manager along with full maintenance of the system. The control room was fully upgraded including the installation of two display workstations with quad video output graphics cards to display the Smartwall and Smartclient on two 50-inch wall-mounted monitors and five desk monitors, all controlled using an X-assist keyboard/Joystick.
Finally, an ANPR solution was installed, including fifteen ANPR cameras spread across the main shopping centre, retail campus and multi-storey carpark. The majority of the ANPR cameras were mounted on galvanized steel poles with IP67 rated enclosures mounted on them to house network switches and coax to ethernet converters to utilize the existing coax which was cabled to the individual comms rooms.
For the techies:
Systems and Sub-systems involved
Supply and installation and maintenance of:
- Dell 21 terabyte CCTV server with Milestone Corporate installed
- 5x 24 port with fibre uplinks and multimode GBIC adapters
- 10x 16 port ACTi v32 analogue to IP encoders to convert existing 160 analogue cameras to IP for use with Milestone VMS
- 2x 8 port ACTi v31 analogue to IP encoders for use with Milestone VMS
- 5x Axis 1080P P5635-E MK II 50HZ PTZ cameras to replace existing PTZ cameras in key locations
- 15 lanes of ANPR cameras utilizing existing coaxial infrastructure using coax to ethernet converters. Integrated with custom control room software to allow easy entry of registrations to verify car overstays.
- 2x Intel core i7 display workstations with quad video graphics cards to run the Smartclient and Smartwall software over 7x control room screens.
- 3x Siemens SPC 6300 alarm panels integrated with the Smartclient alarm manager utilizing serial to ethernet converters and configured through Milestone transact
Before the control room upgrade:
Prior to the upgrade, the control room had several ‘old’ standalone monitors built into security console furniture. The monitors were controlled by a joystick and driven by a traditional CCTV matrix.
- The control room walls had controls for intruder alarms, fire alarms, smoke systems, intercoms, barrier controls that had been added over the years.
- The control room is manned 24/7 by onsite security staff. The security staff would manually ‘patrol’ the live CCTV footage. This proved difficult as patrolling 180 cameras across a 13-acre campus proved difficult.
The New And Improved Control Room:
- SenSys Technology disassembled all old monitors and control room equipment, we completed a full rewire of the control room.
- SenSys Technology installed a Smart Video Wall which included 2no 60inch 4K monitors wall mounted and 6no 28inch desktop mounted monitors fitted on new control room furniture.
- SenSys Technology removed all unused intruder, fire and building control room panels and completed a full upgrade of those that were required.
- The Blackpool Shopping Centre and retail parks control room is now a state of the art modern, clean and bright working environment.
How we Migrated the standalone Analogue Security and Building systems to IP
We used analogue video encoders to encode the existing analogue CCTV cameras and existing analogue Coaxial cabling to IP. This allowed us to utilize the existing cameras on too the new Smart IP CCTV platform.
- We used a Milestone XProtect Corporate video management software as our Recording, Control Room management software, integration platform and control room automation software. https://www.milestonesys.com/solutions/platform/video-management-software/xprotect-corporate/
- We installed a Dell Enterprise recording server with 120+ terabytes of enterprise storage. The server was set up with RAID and failover to ensure that recordings are never lost. https://dellsolutionsvr.dell.com/
The Automatic Number Plate Recognition system:
SenSys Technology installed 15 ANPR High Definition cameras at all entrances and exits to the shopping Centre, Retail Campus and Business Centre’s. We networked all the ANPR cameras back to the nearest Comms room (there are 6 Comms rooms on the campus). The ANPR (automatic number plate recognition system has been configured with multiple automated alerts and reporting features to include:
- White List reporting: we use whitelists for reporting on all things good – if a known regular customer visits who need additional assistance. The ANPR camera recognizes the license plate number and automatically generates an alert to the control room to let the operator know that a regular customer has arrived and will require assistance with a mobility scooter for example.
- Black List Reporting: we use blacklists for reporting on all things bad, if a known shoplifter or an unwanted visitor arrives then the security control room operator is automatically alerted, allowing the operator to be proactive with further actions.
- Clamping: the shopping centre and retail park offer 1,800 amount of car parking spaces free of charge for a limited number of hours. The smart ANPR system can detect if a vehicle has entered and hasn’t left within the specified period of time and alerts a clamping company in the event a visitor abuses the car park. This system proactively keeps spaces free for visitors to the Blackpool shopping and retail campus.
- Management reporting: not only does the ANPR system alert on specific licence plates but it will also count the number of visits on a specific day, week or month. The ANPR system will also measure average visit times. This reporting equips management with valuable data to manage staffing rosters and overall operations management to ensure visitors receive the best experience while visiting.
New Footfall counting system:
At each entrance, we have installed a Cognimatics Axis Footfall counter. The Footfall systems installed offer 98% + accuracy in counting and measuring occupancy to specific buildings.
- Footfall counting system allows shopping centre management to best prepare for busy periods
- Footfall counting system measures occupancy to each of the buildings ensuring safe and controlled occupancy at all times and all reports and automated alerts are live.
The integrated system in the shopping centres and retail parks are set up, IC figured and managed to ensure full GDPR compliance and compliance with the data protection policy.
- 11 standalone systems smart with the SenSys Technology Integration
- The shopping Centre now has a future-proof platform that they can build on with adding addition IP and IoT devices on to the system and other video analytics software over the coming years.
- Blackpool control room and operation staff now have a smart system that will alert them of all issues throughout the campus, therefore bringing incidents and cases that require investigating to there attention. This allows for better and more efficient working.
- All systems are controlled through 1 integrated platform, ensuring the safest and most efficient campus.
- Management receive better reporting
- Full GDPR compliance
- A safer and more efficient retail campus
- SenSys Technology now manages and maintain Blackpool’s Integration, control room, Cctv and intruder alarms but we also worked with the existing service providers of the other building and life safety systems to integrate their systems on to the converged platform.
Read our article on how we design, commission and test systems
View the RTE documentary – Who owns your data here -featuring this project here
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