Yellow wall in Manchester Makerspace
Commercial

Creative space calls for a creative solution.

Organization: Manchester Makerspace
Location: Manchester, New Hampshire, United States
Customer need: Health, safety and environment (HSE), Loss Prevention, Customer experience
Manchester, New Hampshire, United States, 

Manchester Makerspace upgrades security with a high-quality, end-to-end AXIS Companion surveillance solution.

Mission

Manchester Makerspace is a collaborative organization that maintains a shared workspace in Manchester, New Hampshire, providing 24/7 access to 3D printers, woodworking, metal shops, and other resources, as well as training and mentorship programs. Because the organization’s do-it-yourself (DIY) surveillance system was not able to record video, it was impossible to ensure the safety of its members and security of high-value, potentially dangerous equipment. With this in mind, Manchester Makerspace sought a professionally installed system that could provide more reliability and effective security.

Solution

Working with Alarms of Berkshire County, Manchester Makerspace installed an AXIS Companion solution with seven IP cameras and one network video recorder. Deployed in strategic locations, cameras monitor the entrance area, 3D printers, metal and wood shops, as well as the exterior of the building, including an alley prone to graffiti and vandalism. Video is recorded 24/7, retained for 30 days, and can be accessed on demand from a PC or mobile device with the easy-to-use AXIS Companion video management software.

Result

Based on the previous system’s inability to record video, the Axis solution was an immediate upgrade, providing greater awareness inside and outside the former industrial space. When graffiti or vandalism occurs, the organization can quickly access and provide relevant video to police for investigation. Inside the facility, the cameras have helped ensure those using equipment have received the required safety training, reducing the potential for accidents while also monitoring assets to discourage theft.

Once we downloaded AXIS Companion software, boom! It came right up! I was able to figure it out by myself and easily see all our cameras. It’s very intuitive and I’m happy with the way it works and the safety and security the system provides us.
Steve Korzyniowski
Co-Founder, Vice President and Facilities Manager, Manchester Makerspace

Making security accessible for collaborative space

Centrally located in New Hampshire’s most populous city, Manchester Makerspace is a nonprofit collaborative organization that provides 24/7 access to workspace, tools and skills to Manchester’s local entrepreneurs, makers and students of a wide variety of ages and backgrounds. The space is fully operated and maintained by the organization’s 50+ members, who pay a monthly or quarterly fee to receive keycard access to the building whenever the creative mood strikes.

Exterior of Manchester Makerspace

The 6,000-square-foot former industrial space boasts woodworking and metal shops, an auto repair bay, classrooms and other spaces stocked with a 3D printer and other specialty tools that allow its members – woodworkers, metalworkers, computer programmers, crafters and others – to create virtually anything their minds can imagine. Manchester Makerspace also offers educational programs to help members and non-members alike expand their creative abilities

Machine equipment in Manchester Makerspace

Among the heavy-duty equipment are vintage lathes, band saws, drill presses, and a milling machine. Before using these, members must go through proper safety training, conducted by more expert members, to reduce the likelihood of an accident – and the potential liability issues for the organization.

Given the potential danger of improper use of equipment and the number of high-value tools and other assets on the premises, Manchester Makerspace recognized the importance of video surveillance early on, leading the organization to assemble its own DIY camera system. A recording solution was planned but none of its members had the time or expertise to make it a reality. As a result, unless someone happened to be watching a live feed from the right camera at the right time, Manchester Makerspace had no insight into incidents. Therefore, it became clear that a professionally installed system was needed.

“Without the ability to record video, we were exposed to potential liability on the safety and security fronts. As our membership continued to grow, we knew this was unacceptable and that we needed to upgrade our video system,” said Steve Korzyniowski, co-founder and vice president of Manchester Makerspace.

Finding the right fit

Manchester Makerspace works with a very limited budget, and much of its high-value equipment has been donated. Therefore, one of the chief requirements for a new video system was affordability but at the same time, the organization didn’t want to sacrifice quality in the name of cost.

Remote monitoring with laptop

Working with Alarms of Berkshire County, an AXIS Companion Specialist and Axis partner, Manchester Makerspace determined that an AXIS Companion solution would be an ideal fit. The complete end-to-end solution offers the reliability of professional video surveillance with affordable cameras, a network video recorder for video storage, user-friendly video management software and secure remote access to the system from any location using a PC or mobile device.

Monitoring the interior

After identifying the equipment and areas Manchester Makerspace wanted to monitor, the integrator installed four AXIS Companion Eye L Network Cameras within the space itself. Two were deployed in the machine shop (one to monitor the overall space and machinery and one focused exclusively on the auto bay) and one each was placed in the wood shop and main room. The cameras’ wide field of view allows Manchester Makerspace to monitor large spaces with a single camera, which was a key benefit in the main room, where the camera provides coverage of the entry, kitchen and 3D printer areas.

Mobile device using Companion software

“We placed the cameras where we could see all the doors and virtually every single piece of machinery and who’s using it,” Korzyniowski said. “I can pull up AXIS Companion and scroll through to do a virtual walkthrough from any of the entrances throughout the entire space to see what’s going on at any time. The software makes it incredibly easy.”

Exterior camera at makerspace

Neighborhood watch

In addition to the interior cameras, Manchester Makerspace also installed three AXIS Companion Bullet LE Network Cameras on the exterior: one at the front of the building to monitor the entrance and sidewalk, and two cameras were placed in a side alley where there is another entrance and parking spaces for members, and where graffiti and vandalism had become a problem.

With a 103° field of view, IR illumination and wide dynamic range technology, the cameras deliver wide area coverage and clear images in challenging and varying light conditions to provide continuous video monitoring at all hours of the day or night.

When a car parked in front of the building was vandalized by someone jumping on the windshield, AXIS Companion software allowed Korzyniowski to easily locate video of the incident, which he provided to police for investigation.

“The system gives us a comfortable feeling of knowing that if something happens, it’s very easy for us to go back and look at it to see what happened,” Korzyniowski said. “The software allows us to easily narrow in on a time segment, pull that video and use it for whatever purpose is necessary.”

24/7 performance

To allow its members access at any time, Manchester Makerspace issues key cards for the front-door access control reader, which is integrated with a motion activated camera mounted above the entrance. Even with this around-the-clock availability, there are times when the building is empty and the lights are out. Because safety and security are 24/7 necessities, Manchester Makerspace needed cameras that could perform in a variety of lighting conditions, from bright sunlight coming in through the open auto bay door to the virtual pitch dark of the machine shop at night.

“In addition to high-definition, the ability to record and store video, and the ease of use of the software, the ability to see in low-light conditions was a major consideration for us. With Axis cameras, when we turn off all the lights at night, we can still see if someone is walking around in here – when they came in, where they went, what they did and when they left,” Korzyniowski said.

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