By Allan B. Colombo
From the August 2019 edition
TThe need for adequate security and life is important for facility managers, regardless of what type of building or campus they operate and maintain. That is why it is important that those in positions of responsibility have full knowledge of all structural technologies along with the available options and current trends. This includes a relatively thorough knowledge of local and state relevant fire codes, OSHA considerations and other important sources of facility regulation.
Recently, Facilities Executive magazine asked key players in security and vital security It markets what are the most common challenges they discuss with their facilities management customers.
Most, if not all interested parties will agree that the need to do more with less, in terms of dollars, is a common topic, which leads to a conversation on issues such as energy conservation, security of data, greater integration, additional advanced electronic access control. options and the need for open standards among more players.
"Our corporate and government clients are always looking for ways to save money," says Nick Markowitz, owner, Markowitz Electric and integration of Verona, PA. "A good example of this is a recent invention offered by Comcast (national cable Internet service provider) that provides cable Internet under normal circumstances, automatically switching to Verizon 4G cell phone when there is a cable cut." According to Markowitz, this is possible thanks to an agreement between the two ISPs (Internet service providers), thus saving the executives and facilities managers the expense of hiring with two separate ISPs.
In this number of Facilities Executive, we will analyze some of the latest trends and concerns related to the safety and security of life. We will also present the thoughts and ideas of a handful of industry leaders on how to solve these and other problems.
Cost reduction through energy conservation
Whether it is medical care, retail, industrial, hotel, educational or any other place, the facilities managers are doing everything possible to maintain the line of their expenses while providing the same or better level of security They have always provided, which leads to budget reductions that involve maintenance.
"Today's facility managers have to do more with less, including prioritizing life safety and at the same time meeting changing user expectations and a variety of stakeholders' priorities," says Stacy Deveraux, President of ASSA ABLOY. “We offer a complete portfolio of products that allow facility managers to create a multidimensional ecosystem to address a full spectrum of operational needs. Our solutions can, for example, provide not only security, but also profitability through reduced energy use. "
Deveraux says that energy conservation is an area where costs can be controlled using more efficient technologies.
Replacing previous lighting with LED lighting systems is a way to keep the line in energy costs. The installation of a highly efficient building management system goes one step further by placing the various operating systems inside a building, including a complete campus, under the distributed control of a central processing system. Adding IoT / IIoT (Internet of Things / Industrial Internet of Things) to the mix goes even further, which makes it even harder not to implement a cloud solution. And now that the same service is available through any number of specialized cloud-based processing centers, there is hardly an argument against doing so.
Many companies have done their part to maintain the line in energy use. For example, in the area of access control, the most recent incorporation into the Eco Suite of energy-efficient access control products from ASSA ABLOY includes an electromagnetic lock that provides an 80% reduction in energy use over other brands and Models. For example, when an older 600-pound equivalent electromagnetic lock consumes 150 mA at 24 VDC, a new 600-pound model consumes only 90 mA. In a word, operating costs are lower due to more efficient technology.
Advances in video surveillance have also improved energy conservation in recent years. An example is the replacement of the CRT screen with that of today's flat screen. By replacing older solid-state devices with more compact large-scale solid-state integration chips, these systems run cooler, last longer and the cost of operation is significantly lower than comparable systems only a few years ago.
Address network problems
The challenge of doing more things with less money also refers to an organization's computer network. The goal is to operate and maintain a network in such a way that it continues to work with the least possible downtime. Downtime can cost a company a lot of money and difficulties when it occurs.
According to LifeSafety Power, this has forced owners and managers to seek added value in an attempt to reduce the total cost of ownership and generate a healthy return on investment for all of their security solutions and system uptime. All this is achieved through proactive maintenance and monitoring.
“With the growing ability to integrate a wide range of systems, from security to building operations and energy management, facility executives know that it is essential to have the type of solution that notifies them in advance about possible problems and problems with your connected networks products, "says Michael Bone, marketing manager of LifeSafety Power.
Through the use of advanced data analysis, facility managers can not only store data in an extremely fast and easy-to-find way, even many years after the fact, but the analytical capability of current software allows processing, storage and customization of reports that involve Big Data. Monitoring the quality of energy is a way to avoid possible periods of inactivity.
"For example, new business energy solutions are easily controlled through platforms accessible from the web, allowing facility owners and managers the ability to collect detailed analyzes to easily and continuously evaluate energy operations for a optimal operation and guaranteed uptime 24/7, "says Bone.
It is now possible to monitor, evaluate, maintain and troubleshoot system problems remotely, which represents a great cost savings in place paying unnecessary service calls. On their own, or with the help of their security integrator, facility managers can perform active battery management, with the ability to remotely reset field devices and manage batteries remotely, other savings of costs for protected facilities.
“Restarting network devices is a common problem when an IP (Internet Protocol) device goes down. We use the "uSwitch", created by uHave Control to monitor and reset our cameras and other network devices, "says Markowitz." The good thing about the uSwitch device is that it will automatically restart the device and send an email alerting someone about the reset. This means that we don't have to roll a truck to make a service call, which saves our good customers a lot of money. ” The uSwitch family of products are electromechanical relays with built-in web servers.
Integration to address cybercrime
Although network technology makes life much easier for facility managers who oversee a building management system, IoT devices, IP cameras, data storage and general communications, this also poses a risk to everyone involved due to cyber criminals.
“As the owners and managers of the facilities work to standardize all the systems in their buildings, they often face new cybersecurity and integration challenges. Sometimes it may not be clear what the integrations really deliver, ”says Wayne Dorris, business development manager, cybersecurity with Axis Communications.
According to Axis, if an organization is integrating a physical access control system into a video management system, for example, the integration of the alarm may differ from the functions programmed by the original manufacturer. Here the API (Application Program Interface) is a combination of the API of the access control system and the API of the video management system (VMS). So, the functionality offered by the system can now be somewhat different than expected.
"To fully deliver the expected results, the functionality may require an API development work between the two manufacturers, which can be expensive and also delay projects," says Dorris. "A standard package of physical security systems will not necessarily work in all buildings. Buildings differ in size and use and require an individualized approach. Offers that can be both local and in the cloud or hybrid cloud are useful."
Current problems in access control
There is a clear need for electronic access control (EAC) in installations of any size, be it a single door or an installation with hundreds of openings. It is important to have the correct locking solution on specific types of doors to keep the bad ones away. With mechanical keys, the means by which this is carried out involves master coding along with the control of the key, which includes detailed computerized records of who owns which key. A problem with this access method is that it lacks control over who can enter which door, on what days, between what hours and on what holidays. And then there is the question of creating a user-to-user audit trail. Mechanical key systems simply do not meet all current facilities needs.
"Facilities, both large and small, must address a variety of security challenges while continuing to maintain a convenient and accessible environment for employees and visitors," says John Moa, CyberLock sales director. “Ensuring that employees and members of the public can access only those areas in which they are allowed is extremely critical. In addition, many installations use locks and mechanical keys, which easily duplicate, are difficult to track and provide less than ideal security. ”
Through the use of EAC, there are a variety of credentials available for a variety of purposes.
"Today, what I see is a highly mobile workforce that requires a business solution that allows them to access the doors anywhere, regardless of the city, state or country in which they are located," says John Larkin, partner Main Electronic Systems. Consultores, LLC (ESC) of Columbus, OH.
According to Markowitz, many companies are also experiencing high turnover rates with respect to employees, so it is important to use a credential at a reasonable price, as well as one that lends itself to identification. "Many of these credentials are now used for time and assistance, employee IDs and as a means of access to the door," says Markowitz.
For those who prefer to continue working with mechanical locks, CyberLock and CyberLock Flex System are designed to help alleviate the safety concerns of facility management. The CyberLock electronic cylinder upgrade is simple and designed for minimal installation impact and maximum safety impact.
"There are no cables to run or batteries to change and CyberLock cylinders provide the freedom to implement access control to virtually any access point or element in the facility," says Moa. For many who do not want to deal with the cable in operation, this is an ideal alternative.
Another trend is the management of remote access control where the security integrator handles all aspects of remote monitoring of video cameras, door alarms, etc., including the locking and unlocking of doors, gates and the activation of lights and sirens. , especially in remote places.
When using the Internet, including the cell phone, all these functions and more are inherent in the uSwitch product mentioned above. "You can access uSwitch remotely, allowing you to control anything from anywhere on the network, such as turning on or off safely, as well as opening doors, doors and even starting vehicles from any computer, iPhone or Android," says Mario Costa, president of uHave Control.
Advanced communications and cloud services
One of the challenges faced by facility managers involves the need to provide users of their building with a high-tech experience within a safe and reliable space. In this regard, the most important trend, according to HID Global, is the use of common smartphones for access to the door, rather than the usual assortment of physical credentials. This same smartphone must also be able to access the various applications of the building, as well as other resources.
"This requires a risk-based approach to threat protection as organizations seek to improve productivity and provide perfect and more convenient access to the company and its physical and digital assets and services," says Hilding Arrehed, vice president of cloud services, physical access control with HID Global. “We can see the power of these connected security experiences with respect to the latest mobile access solutions in the lobby and in the turnstile and elevator. These solutions simplify the way occupants move through an installation and interact with intelligent building services. "
HID also sees that the card issuance task is moving more and more towards the cloud. In the past, access cards were issued to users on the site using a printer connected to a PC. The PC was used to design an identification card, thus accessing the identification database to encode data and then send the card to the printer.
"True cloud-based platforms allow the entire process to be carried out remotely, with all secure issuance activities, from design and coding to centralized printing in an integrated system that an administrator can access in an office of cards on the main campus, or at any satellite installation or other remote location using a tablet, laptop or any device with a web interface, "says Arrehed.
The need for security in commercial and multi-tenant properties is absolute. Adjusting network resources, as well as maintaining all physical security and life safety devices is paramount if you expect a good result. Hiring a quality security integrator who can do both in a reliable and timely manner is key to executing an energy efficient operation and ready for the network, one designed to overcome all the obstacles that arise.
Colombo, awarded the prestigious Jesse H. Neal Award, has long been a commercial journalist in the security and life protection markets. His articles have appeared in locksmith, security and fire magazines since the mid-1980s. He can be contacted through your website.
Do you have a comment? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below or send an email to the Editor at [email protected]