IP video patrols massive container terminal

March 1, 2011
Port of Malaga, Spain facility has cameras around its perimeter, at access points and on poles and cranes.

The container terminal at the Port of Malaga, Spain deploys, among other security measures, an Internet Protocol (IP) video surveillance system. The security system includes cameras and other equipment from IndigoVision.

IndigoVision says its open-architecture format allows the terminal to implement a system that flexes and scales to meet its changing or growing needs.

Such flexibility pays benefits now, IndigoVision says, and also was an asset during the terminal's construction. "All components, including cameras, video recorders and video-managmenent workstations can be located at any point on the network," IndigoVision explains, "allowing them to be easily repositioned as necessary through the various construction phases."

The container's entire security system is IP-based, including not only video surveillance but also the public-address and access-control systems. According to IndigoVision, the facility covers 500,000 square yards.

Ralco Networks provided the IndigoVision equipment as well as design support for the project. Enyca, a port-security specialist, installed the system.

Technical director and port facility security officer Jorge Martin praises the surveillance system. "In addition to providing all around security, the surveillance system has transformed our operations. It enables us to better organize our employee shift patterns, investigate health and safety breaches, resolve labor disputes and most importantly monitor and track container shipments, providing video evidence in the event of any customer claims. All of these have helped us to reduce costs."

The system can transmit high-fidelity synchronized audio alongside the video, IndigoVision explains. Enyca used this feature to deploy IP-based communications at the access points in the terminal. When an arriving truck driver presses a button, which is connected to a digital input in the transmitter module, an audio link is established with the operations center. Operators can then relay instructions to the driver for the safe dropoff or collection of the containers. Operators also use the public-address features in IndigoVision's Control Center management software to broadcast prerecorded messages and other dialogue to camera-mounted speakers on the poles and cranes. This ability facilitates operations management and allows warnings to be issued in the event of an incident.

Workstations equipped with Control Center are located around the facility, allowing operators to monitor live and recorded video from the 40 pan/tilt/zoom and fixed cameras. The cameras are mounted around the perimeter, at the access points to the facility and on poles and cranes to monitor container movements.

"Mounting the cameras at a number of fixed locations and on the mobile cranes allows us to monitor and record container movements from a number of different angles," Martin says. "This ensures we have ample evidence in the event of a customer dispute. High-quality video clips can easily be exported from the system for external analysis and investigation."

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