The primary purpose of live video surveillance at manufacturing facilities is not so much about crime prevention as it is about worker safety and plant productivity. While a video surveillance system is absolutely used to augment and integrate with other aspects of physical security such as access control systems, exterior building monitoring, and to improve safety for staff walking to and from their vehicles in parking lots, intelligent video surveillance cameras are usually trained on people and machinery working on the factory floor.
When used for security purposes, the cameras are monitored by security guards stationed on the premises or at a remote command center to spot suspicious activity. When used to oversee plant operations, the cameras are monitored by facilities management personnel. They are used to look for different things.
Why Video Surveillance for Manufacturers?
Downtime is the enemy of manufacturing, with every minute of it costing money. Video surveillance helps keep manufacturing plants up and running smoothly in several ways.
Today’s manufacturing plants are marvels of modern engineering. They house massive production lines with robots performing complex assembly tasks at tolerances tighter than any human could match. Sensors alert operators to the slightest anomaly to affect fast repairs and maintain quality, but there are points in manufacturing processes where humans cannot enter, that are out of reach, or out of the line of sight for real-time observation.
Also, consider the sheer size of a typical manufacturing facility. Whether making cars, carpet, chips, or cheese, these plants occupy millions of square feet and probably run multiple production lines simultaneously. Supervisors can’t be everywhere at once.
Most importantly, manufacturing environments can be dangerous places filled with huge pieces of heavy equipment, toxic chemicals, extreme temperatures, electrical hazards, cutting stations, conveyor belts, etc. Raw materials and finished goods constantly move about the floor. Employee safety is paramount. Having a trained set of eyes monitoring workers, robots, and machine operators is critical for fast response to accidents or medical emergencies.
So, to sum up, video surveillance in manufacturing is about:
- Worker safety
- Minimizing downtime
- Process visibility
- Crime prevention
Should an event occur – equipment malfunction or worker accident – live video surveillance provides time-stamped visual evidence of where and when it happened, what caused it, and can help determine liability for insurance purposes. If the situation is a worker injury or a fire, spill, or other workplace hazard, the appropriate response can be triggered immediately.
Installing video surveillance equipment in manufacturing environments isn’t difficult. There’s usually plenty of space, the technology infrastructure is already built, and wireless connectivity allows for camera placement anywhere there is power.
Further, the cutting-edge imaging technologies built into today’s smart security cameras like motion detection, thermal imaging, and night vision mean they see and capture everything 24 x 7 x 365, including things people might miss. These smart cameras don’t take lunch breaks, fall asleep, call in sick, or charge overtime.
The issue for many manufacturing facilities is how to handle the hundreds of hours of operations footage captured by dozens of security cameras positioned around the plant every day. Archiving huge amounts of video data and maintaining the servers needed to review it all on premises can get cost prohibitive, and the hours of manually sifting through gigabytes of video files to find an exact moment in time can be painful. Video Surveillance-as-a-Service (VSaaS) solves these problems.
Arcules VSaaS Platform: Cloud-based Video Surveillance for Manufacturers
Arcules is the world’s only truly open cloud based VSaaS platform that easily integrates with all a facility’s existing security and operational monitoring infrastructure. Whereas other video surveillance solutions require a major capital investment to install proprietary cameras with on-site data storage and servers, the intelligent Arcules Video Surveillance-as-a-Service system saves time and money by seamlessly integrating with your existing cameras and providing scalable, affordable cloud-based video storage.
The Arcules VSaaS platform provides business-critical intelligence for manufacturing facilities and helps keep employees and physical assets safe with a number of advanced capabilities:
- Live remote video monitoring and recording. Use remote access to view cameras by site and location to see activity in real time, scroll through timeline recordings, and access footage stored in the cloud. Synchronized Playback lets users display up to four cameras in one view.
- Scalability. Add cameras, sensors, and security devices to your video management system at will. Ramp up data storage as your facility grows.
- Cloud-based data storage. All data is stored in secure Arcules servers in the cloud indefinitely, backed up for disaster recovery purposes, and always accessible.
- Advanced video surveillance technology. Motion detection, night vision, and thermal imaging (heatmaps) pick up movements that might go undetected by humans. For example, seeing a large area of heat may indicate a cluster of people unusually congregating in an area. Conversely, not seeing a heat signature where there should be one might indicate that a machine or station is unattended.
- Business intelligence. Video footage can be analyzed to gauge worker productivity at a particular workstation or assembly line, and to identify new efficiencies. For a deeper dive on VSaaS analytics applications beyond security, check out our blog on decision intelligence driven by AI.
- Forensic video searching. Arcules leverages AI-based deep learning techniques to search vast amounts of recorded video in minutes. Users can limit search parameters to a specific area of the plant, a particular camera view, activity at a specific machine, or to find the exact moment of a malfunction. See the cause of a breakdown, when the technician arrived, the corrective actions taken, and how long it took to get back online.
- Device location visualization. Quickly find cameras or sensors and visualize each devices’ exact position laid out over the factory floor blueprint.
- Push notifications and alerts for mobile users. Be notified instantly when an event occurs, or when an alarm goes off for immediate response.
- Access control integration. Arcules’ open API and partner plug-ins allow it to easily integrate with popular access control devices and services, like triggering video recording when a door controller or badge scanner is activated.
By adopting the Arcules cloud-based video surveillance platform, manufacturers can significantly improve worker safety, speed incident response, and maximize uptime. Arcules does this while lowering costs by migrating to cloud-based video data storage and allowing manufacturers to leverage their existing cameras and infrastructure. Plus, VSaaS transforms capital expenses (CAPEX) into operating expenses (OPEX) for accounting advantages.
With Arcules, software upgrades are automatic, and proactive support alerts you to potential issues before they become problems. The Arcules VSaaS subscription model reduces risk, cost, and complexity, with several flexible customizable options to meet your unique needs and budget.