Minimizing physical security risks at your plant

How effective is your approach to preventing industrial threats?

By Sheila Kennedy, CMRP

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The anti-ram gate is a wide-clearance, rising-beam barrier with an electromechanical drive system. The all-electric system uses a continuous-duty motor, making it “a perfect fit for locations where there are environmental restrictions and the use of hydraulic fluids is prohibited,” says Espensen. In addition, the motor and drive system is located above ground and within the posts to deter corrosion and extend useful life.

Aerial threat control

Drone-mounted thermal imaging cameras are highly effective industrial security and surveillance tools. Unfortunately, sometimes drones are operated for nefarious purposes. Drone detection and tracking solutions such as SpotterRF’s compact surveillance radar help to mitigate this risk.

“With increased threats to security that come from the ever-growing popularity of drones, the A3000 radar and its A-Series counterparts provide the situational awareness that facilities need to protect themselves,” says Andrew Luker, application engineer at SpotterRF.

The textbook-size A-Series counter-drone radar cuts through noise pollution, adverse weather conditions, and lighting to detect the presence of unmanned aerial vehicles – even a small hobby drone that is 1 kilometer away. Interdiction capabilities include blinding the drone’s ability to take videos or photos and jamming its communications.

An electrical substation in Ohio has the counter-drone radar deployed in conjunction with SpotterRF’s C-Series ground radar, allowing it to “detect and track threats from the ground as well as the air,” says Luker.

Another example of counter-drone technology is the AeroGuard Drone Interdiction System from SCI Technology, which captures and disposes of intruding drones in-flight. The company reports that it has an intercept and towing capacity of greater than 55 pounds.

Autonomous security robots

Robotic security guards augment the capabilities of existing security and operations personnel. Large, remote, potentially hazardous, and critical infrastructure sites are prime candidates for the extra “eyes” offered by unmanned patrols. Romeo Power Technology chose the RAD Security Guard Robot (RADbot) from Robotic Assistance Devices to patrol the property surrounding its 113,000-square-foot battery pack manufacturing facility in Vernon, CA.

The RADbot is a fully autonomous, unmanned ground vehicle that detects and records outdoor activity and alerts security personnel to anomalies. It uses machine vision learning, multiple GPS platforms, inertial navigation, and an obstacle avoidance system to safely and effectively follow its scheduled routes while capturing 360 degrees of video.

Security guard robots serve as a “force multiplier” that can “provide security, deterrence visibility, forensics, and communications where otherwise none would be reasonable to implement,” says Steve Reinharz, president and CEO at Robotic Assistance Devices.

Holistic monitoring capabilities

When security, process, and safety monitoring are integrated with a common operator interface, it improves situational awareness, reduces costs, and enables better, faster, and more coordinated responses.

For example, Honeywell’s Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) and Experion Industrial Security platforms offer a unified approach. Video surveillance, access control, and perimeter detection are tightly integrated with alarms and events raised in process and safety systems, says Alejandro Giudici, senior consultant for industrial security and fire at Honeywell Process Solutions.

“A customer in Chile uses our solution for security and process monitoring with an integrated CCTV solution to monitor the operation of the site remotely,” says Giudici. “Operators have eyes in the field that help the correct operation of the site from hundreds of kilometers away.” Fire alarms in the same format as all other process system alarms alert the operators the instant a fire starts, he adds.

Honeywell encourages security integration at every stage of a project. For instance, remote security monitoring of multiple construction projects can reduce headcounts and streamline operations, explains Giudici. On completion, the scalable, integrated security solutions “easily transition from the construction phase into full operations, reducing waste and cutting the cost of additional work, equipment, and training,” he says.

EcoStruxure Access Expert (formerly AccessXpert) from Schneider Electric gives security professionals around-the-clock access to video monitoring, intrusion detection and alarms, visitor management, and building management operations. The open, cloud-based system provides remote access so events can be monitored from any location, since security personnel are so often on the move. Use of a cloud service and nonproprietary hardware minimizes implementation costs.

“It is one of the only platforms of its kind with mass-messaging capabilities,” says Steven Turney, security program manager at Schneider Electric. Historically, emergency communication needs were addressed with sirens, speakers, and strobes, he explains. Access Expert’s built-in mass-messaging feature supports both email and SMS texting, allowing security practitioners to quickly and easily communicate with all occupants (employees, contractors, and visitors) at once via their cell phones.

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