It doesn’t seem that long ago when the only reason for a logistics centre to invest in video surveillance was just to deter and detect theft. The quality of the images captured by traditional industry-standard cameras, if positioned and set up correctly, could be relied on to verify and more often than not, help obtain a description of the people who might be involved in any suspicious activity. However, the cameras would rarely be expected to make a contribution beyond this narrow, albeit very important, task.
The introduction of affordable high definition megapixel Wisenet cameras is enabling logistics centres to achieve added value from their investment in a video surveillance system, such as identifying opportunities to increase productivity, creating a safer working environment and minimising claims for lost or damaged goods.
Keeping colleagues safe
Whilst the logistics sector has enjoyed increased productivity over recent years with the help of automated forklift trucks and robotic pickers and packers, there is still a long way to go before humans are totally replaced by machines; and whilst the number of people employed may be considerably lower than in the past, there remains the need for companies operating within the sector to ensure there is strict compliance with Health & Safety procedures.
The superb quality images produced by the very latest generation of Wisenet multi-megapixel video surveillance cameras will certainly enable control room operators to closely monitor activity both inside and outside a logistics centre. Additionally, with the help of video analytics applications, they are able to quickly investigate the cause of any accidents. The need for this has recently been brought sharply into focus with BBC News reporting on a British GMB trade union’s claim that over 622 workers have been seriously injured or have narrowly escaped an accident at Amazon’s UK warehouses, over the last three years.
Support for logistics centres looking to safely operate during the COVID-19 era
Hanwha Techwin is determined to play an industry-leading role in developing affordable COVID-19 related solutions which are fit for purpose. Our recently launched Occupancy Monitoring and Mask Detection applications are excellent examples of this.
- Face Mask Detection: Developed by Hanwha Techwin’s technology partner, a2 Technology, the Face Mask Detection application runs on selected open-platform Wisenet X Series cameras and uses innovative video analytics to detect if a person entering an area is not wearing a mask. This will trigger the playing of a customisable audio message such as ‘please wear a face mask’.
- Occupancy Monitoring: Compatible with Wisenet P Series AI cameras, the licence -free edge-based Occupancy Monitoring application simultaneously counts the number of people entering an area. When the maximum permitted number of people has been reached, the application generates alarm outputs to control automatic doors or a traffic beacon, as well as ‘wait’ or ‘enter’ messages which can be displayed on a monitor.
Logistics centres will also wish to ensure that all parcels pass through their facilities undamaged in order to ensure customer satisfaction, as well as minimising the cost of investigating claims and paying out compensation.
This is achievable by a video surveillance system interacting with a logistics centre’s barcoding process. It can be as simple as scanning a package’s barcode and you can see the video of its journey through your facility. If a customer makes a claim, or if repeated irregularities are discovered, logistics centres will not just be able to find out what happened, they will also be able to fix the cause of the problem and improve processes.
Video surveillance technology offering real-life practical benefits to logistics centres
Digital Auto Tracking: Wisenet 4K (12 megapixel) cameras are able to capture ‘need to be seen to be believed’ quality images. Wisenet P AI cameras also feature Digital Auto Tracking which, during times of low activity such as at night-time, can be used to detect moving objects or people.
Video Analytics: Cameras with open platform chipsets developed by manufacturers such as Hanwha Techwin have the processing power to offer a diverse range of edge-based specialist analytics to be run on-board the cameras. An audio analysis function can, for example, recognise critical sounds, such as explosions, screams and broken glass, and then immediately generate an alert to enable emergency services to react quickly and effectively to any incident.
These cameras also feature built-in Intelligent Video Analytics (IVA), such as directional detection, virtual line, enter/exit, appear/disappear and loitering detection which provide operators within a logistics centre’s control room with a powerful tool to detect criminal activity or infringements of safety policies.
360-degree cameras: A single 360-degree camera is quite often all that is required to efficiently and cost-effectively cover a whole area where a much larger number of standard cameras might normally be required. A 360-degree camera will complement a video solution perfectly by giving the operator a complete view of an area, whilst high definition static or pan/tilt cameras can be deployed to zoom in to see close up detail of any incident and to ensure there are no blind spots.
Choose from the following Wisenet 360-degree cameras:
WDR: The majority of cameras currently available feature WDR which composes 2 frames with different exposures to ensure clear, sharp images which can be captured in locations where there may be strong contrasting lighting conditions. However, look out for cameras featuring 150dB WDR. To avoid any blurring, which is a critical weakness of standard WDR, as well as create more natural and sharper images, these cameras use 4 frames. It’s an exciting innovation for cameras which have a part to play in areas of logistics centres where there may be varying light levels.
Complementary compression technology: In bandwidth and storage terms, the deployment of Full HD and ultra-high resolution 4K cameras could become costly when there is a need to record and store captured images for operational or evidence purposes. This is because multi-pixel images can all too quickly fill up the capacity of an NVR or server when recorded at full frame rate and resolution.
WiseStream II reduces the total cost of ownership of a video surveillance system by minimising the storage and bandwidth requirements of high definition cameras. Bandwidth efficiency is improved by up to 99% compared to current H.264 technology when WiseStream II is combined with H.265 compression.
Video Management: Whilst manufacturers such as Hanwha Techwin have established technology partnerships with Video Management Software (VMS) brands, such as Genetec and Milestone, they also have their own feature-rich software platform, such as Wisenet WAVE, which provides a centralised management tool to configure and manage all cameras, recording devices and servers with the help of a user-friendly front-end display. Operators are able to easily configure event rules to help them identify specific incidents, whilst a powerful search engine ensures that recorded footage of any incidents can be quickly retrieved and reviewed.
Full HD images over coax cable: There may be existing analogue CCTV systems installed at logistics centres where for a variety of reasons security or operations managers are not yet ready to migrate from analogue to an IP network-based video surveillance solution. They may not, for example, have a network infrastructure that can support a video surveillance system or provide the necessary bandwidth. If their existing analogue systems are still meeting their requirements, it may be difficult to justify the investment in upgrading or installing a new network.
Fortunately, there are cameras available which help extend the life of legacy systems by delivering high definition images over existing coax cabling. Offered by a number of manufacturers under different names, e.g. Wisenet HD+ and using Analogue HD (AHD) technology, these cameras are able to deliver Full HD 1080p images over coaxial cables. The cameras can support the transmission of HD images and audio without any latency or image loss at distances up to 500m using standard coax, and the good news is that there is no need to incur the cost and time of installing encoders, converters or switches.
Logistics centres are now available to take advantage of affordable ANPR. Easy to configure camera-to-camera IP communication technology enables ANPR cameras to simultaneously capture and transmit data to a convenient user interface. The ANPR camera solution provides the opportunity to automatically control the movement of white listed cars or delivery vehicles through barriers via camera relay outputs.
Watch this space!
Logistics centres security managers, Health & Safety officers and operations managers can rest assured Hanwha Techwin will continue to develop exciting new products which will help them improve operational efficiency and create a safe working environment. Within recent months, for example, we have introduced the security industry’s first super-high-resolution 8K camera which provides the ability to zoom in without losing any detail when there is a need to forensically analyse an incident. The Wisenet TNB-9000 8K camera is ideal for applications where installing multiple cameras may be cost-prohibitive. Our new PoE Extender cameras also offer logistics centres cost savings if they have a requirement to add a camera or another PoE enabled device to an existing system, or install a new two-camera video surveillance solution.
Life has also become much easier for logistics centres’ control room operators with the launch of Wisenet P ultra-high-definition 4K AI cameras. In addition to capturing superb quality images, the new feature-rich cameras are equipped with deep learning video analytics which offers a high level of detection accuracy, whilst minimising false alarms.