Samsung and Securitec Systems deliver a high performance video surveillance system to APC Overnight

Securitec Systems Ltd has partnered with the professional security division of Samsung Techwin to provide a multipurpose Video over IP solution for APC Overnight’s new hub in Cannock.

There was a time not that long ago when the only reason for a distribution centre to invest in CCTV was to deter and detect theft. The quality of the images captured by traditional industry standard analogue cameras, if positioned and set up correctly, could be relied on to verify and more often than not, help obtain a description of the person or a group of people  who might be involved in any suspicious activity. The cameras would however rarely be expected to make a contribution beyond this narrow, albeit very important, task.

With the introduction of affordable high definition megapixel cameras and the ability to control them over an IP network infrastructure, has come the opportunity for distribution centres to achieve considerably more from their investment in a video surveillance system. There can perhaps be no better example of this then at APC Overnight’s new national sortation centre in Cannock, West Midlands. A Samsung Video over IP solution, in addition to providing a powerful tool to minimise theft, is assisting operational personnel with tracking the movement every month of 1.5 million parcels, as well as ensuring strict compliance with the company’s Health & Safety procedures.

APC Overnight is the UK’s largest next day delivery network with more than 115 local depots.  The company has invested £16.5 million its new 138,000 sq.ft hub in Cannock in order to maintain its year-on-year growth by providing exceptional service levels underpinned by state-of-the-art technology.

The construction of the new sortation centre provided APC Overnight with an opportunity to take full advantage of the superb images that can be captured by the latest generation of high definition megapixel cameras by deploying them in locations where evidence grade images might be required or where there was a need, such as at conveyor belts and loading bay areas, to be able to zoom in to observe close up detail of any activity.

“One of the key benefits of a Video over IP system is that it provides the option to control and monitor cameras from anywhere on the network,” said Colin Dicken, APC Overnight’s Security Manager. “This means that our on-site security personnel are not restricted to watching live images or reviewing recorded video from a central control room, whilst my operational colleagues can also simultaneously access the system from their PCs or laptops and if they are off site, even monitor activity from their tablets or smartphones.”

APC Overnight places considerable importance on being able to track individual packages that are processed at the Cannock hub. “We take great care to ensure that our customers’ property arrives in good condition as well as on time,” said Colin Dicken. “It is important therefore that we can identify every package as it passes though the sortation centre so that any complaints of lost or damaged parcels can be properly investigated. The high definition Samsung cameras play a key role in helping us achieve this by providing a visual record of how we carefully and accurately handle our customers’ parcels from the moment they arrive in Cannock. This is achieved by tying in the video surveillance system with our bar code booking system.”

A total of 124 Samsung cameras have been installed by Cannock based Securitec Systems Ltd who were awarded the contract to install and commission a video surveillance that would ensure there were no blind spots both within the distribution centre and its surrounding area.  “As is usual with a project of this kind, the research and design stages are very important,” said Martin Kadir of Securitec Systems who are a certified Samsung Smart Partner. “We spent considerable time deciding on what type of cameras to recommend. We had of course to take into account what the objective was at each specified camera location, as well as the likely environmental and lighting conditions, as some of the cameras would be deployed to monitor external areas.”

61 of the specified cameras are from the Samsung LiteNet ‘affordable’ network camera series. 36 of these are SND-7061 3 megapixel Full HD network dome cameras and 25 are SND-5061 1.3 megapixel network dome cameras. Both models are equipped with  3~8mm varifocal lens and share a long list of features including  four programmable Motion Detection zones, 12 programmable Privacy Zones and PoE (Power over Ethernet). The new models also have a Day/Night feature which automatically configures the camera to capture either colour or B/W images depending on the prevailing lighting conditions, and also incorporate a scene change tampering feature which creates an alert if, for example, paint is sprayed on a camera lens or if there is unauthorised movement of a camera away from its usual field of view. These ONVIF compliant models also support H.264 and MJPEG compression methods, providing the option to simultaneously transmit images to multiple locations at various frame rates.

The remainder of the 124 cameras are a mixture of fixed cameras and PTZ domes, each carefully selected for the specific location at which they are installed in order that the video surveillance system meets APC Overnight’s expectations. The images captured by all the cameras are recorded onto Samsung network video recorders with operators able to view both live and recorded video with the help of Samsung Security Manager license-free video surveillance management software.