When UK's Department for Transport updated its regulations to include directions for securing food storage areas to avoid risks of unauthorised access and contamination of food, UK airline catering company FFL was forced to implement a surveillance system in its facility.
Unimpressed with traditional analog CCTV surveillance systems, FFL's managing director Mark Mathews turned to InCam Digital Surveillance for an IP-Surveillance solution.
"It was very clear what we were paying for and the additional benefits we were likely to gain from going the IP-Surveillance route," says Mr. Mathews.
When InCam demonstrated the ability to remotely view images via a PDA, Mr. Mathews quickly identified with the need and the usefulness of being able to be notified, as well as check on alarms while on the road.
The company also saw other benefits to having an IP-Surveillance solution beyond complying with regulations. Cameras installed in the parking area would help deter theft of fuel from its lorries at night. In addition, having visual record of an accident at the company also helps in determining liability for personal injury insurance claims. The use of an IP-Surveillance system also leverages existing networking resources and can be integrated with access control and burglar alarm systems to further tighten security at the facility.
As part of the solution, a total of 25 Axis cameras were fitted and configured by InCam. The cameras involved 14 AXIS 2100 Network Camerasfour AXIS 2110 Network Cameras and seven AXIS 206 Network CamerasTo support FFL's aim of having coverage of up to 80 to 90 per cent of site, InCam also fitted wide angle lenses to five of the cameras to increase their field of view without increasing numbers of network cameras deployed.
With the use of Axis network cameras in combination with Milestone XProtect Professional video management software for recording, storage and camera management, Mr. Mathews is now able to view the entire grid of camera images, whether from home or at work.
All cameras but three provide 640 x 480 VGA resolution to promote good quality image reproduction. Eleven cameras that were specially fixed to walls of chiller and freezer units required housings fitted with both heaters and fans to protect the cameras from the extreme temperatures and humidity. Frame rates on some cameras were set as low as 3 frames per second; several at 6 frames per second and a few at up to 12 frames per second when motion is detected.
"We must adhere with tight security measures, which include keeping all food storage and preparation areas totally secure," says Mr. Mathews. "Without the use of these Axis cameras to monitor key areas like our chiller and freezer units, we would have had to employ an extra member of staff just to act as a door man for these units."
"What is most important is that we now have a system which we know is capable of growing with us and serving our needs long into the future," says Mr. Mathews. "It's effectively future-proofed which is important when you are making an investment of this kind."
With a planned expansion of FFL's facility, the company is set to deploy nine additional Axis network cameras involving six AXIS 206 Network Cameras, two AXIS 211 Network Cameras and one AXIS 210 Network Camera.
"The cameras act as a constant visual reminder that all security checks and procedures need to be adhered to all times to ensure that we operate a secure and safe operation," says Mr. Mathews. "The sensitivity of our privileged position as a caterer to airlines at Gatwick needs to be properly understood by all our staff. We have found it much easier to get the importance of security over to staff since the system went in."
FFL Airline Catering Services (FFL Limited) is a specialist catering provider serving a number of airlines, including Astraeus, Nationwide Airlines, African Safari Airlines, Helios and Futura, flying from London's Gatwick Airport. FFL has 10,000 sq. ft. of space at the Brunel Centre trading estate in Crawley, situated less than a mile from Gatwick Airport's perimeter fence. Today, it provides more than 15,000 meals per week and has 45 full-time staff.
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