How to remotely monitor your machinery and reduce downtime through IP-based security systems

Posted March 06th, 2019 by Daniel Miller

If someone says CCTV camera, the first thing that usually comes to mind is a security camera set up to supervise a specific area and ideally triggers an alarm when a security threat occurs; but is this the only possible implementation for a CCTV camera?

Thermal camera view

Technology developments over the years have allowed a whole new world of potential implementations for IP-based CCTV cameras, with the possibility of employing them for much more than security.

Nowadays IP cameras come with a dizzying array of features, making them the ideal tool to supervise your premises, monitor day/night activities, help reduce downtime and keep business efficiency up.

Industrial and manufacturing are amongst the sectors that can benefit from the implementation of IP-based technologies. These are usually fast paced environments working with sensitive machinery and strict deadlines, any delay or glitch can have a massive impact on the whole production chain.
So, which solutions could be implemented to ensure the smooth running of day and night activities, reduce stoppages, improve health & safety of personnel and cut down costs?

Below, we have listed some IP-based solution and their possible additional use; of course, every situation and business have unique needs and will require a tailored solution.

Audio alerts

If a machine breaks or malfunctions during the day, this is an easy spot with plenty of personnel on the premises, but what if this happens in the middle of the night?

Audio on camera in a manufacturing warehouse

Nowadays, an increasing number of IP cameras either contain or can be paired with audio; this feature will easily enable set up for audio alerts, allowing to configure them for when the volume rises above a pre-set level. This will allow you to remotely monitor the noise level in your premises and get alerted if something unusual happens.
Depending on the number of cameras in use, your security team will also be able to pinpoint the exact location of the noise by comparing the detected audio levels and send a maintenance/health & safety team to the exact location with a minimum response time.

Thermal detection

Thermal security cameras are commonly deployed for perimeter protection, as they identify heat changes in the environment.

Thermal camera view

As images are processed with sharpness and noise-elimination filters, detailed images can be obtained from cost-effective 640×480 sensors, both at night and during the day. A lesser-known use of thermal technology is to spot temperature changes visually. To enable this simply amend the normal colour pallet, so the standard operating temperature looks cool. Then you can visually see a change from the normal temperature and use this to set up an alarm which alerts concerned parties.

Some businesses deal with sensitive materials and machinery, and the slightest change in the temperature can be very dangerous. By setting up a maximum or minimum level temperature, your team can be alerted by your thermal camera if the temperature drops above or below that level, and address the issue in time.

Trip wire

Typically used to detect intruders, trip wires can be utilized for level monitoring too. The trip wire works by using the camera interface to draw a virtual line across your field of view. Once that line is crossed an alert is triggered. Your team can set the tripwire so that it triggers an alarm when (for example) a fluid raises to a maximum level.

Thermal camera view

Having a system based on open standards and interfaces creates increased freedom and flexibility when choosing technology solutions that need to tackle varied business needs.

By rethinking existing technology and applications in a slightly different way, security cameras can be utilised as early warning systems. Thereby helping to reduce downtime and keep operations running smoothly.

If you’d like to more information or advice, just get in touch.

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