Indian gas company deploys VIVOTEK cameras at 1,000 stations

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) is a state-controlled oil and gas company headquartered in Mumbai, India. Among the world’s largest corporations, the company was ranked #272 in the Fortune Global 500 listing for 2011.

Recently, BPCL embarked on a surveillance project as part of the organization‘s initiative to restructure the internal surveillance system. Prior to the structure reform, the old surveillance system was not centralized. As the headquarters would like to gain better understanding of the operation at each branch location in order to improve the business and communication between the headquarters and each station, a new surveillance system was proposed - installation of a total of 5000 high-performance surveillance cameras at 1000 petrol stations throughout India.

BPCL sells petrol, diesel and compressed natural gas to consumers at these stations. The company hoped to take advantage of top quality video cameras primarily to not only monitor the customer experience for quality control purposes but also to enhance the level safety for customers and employees. A process of competitive bidding resulted in VIVOTEK cameras being selected for the project, with System Integrator Livedarshan developing the deployment, the typology and the engineering aspect of the implementation. Additionally, Kores India Pvt Ltd, a leading provider of after-sale services, was contracted out to oversee and supervise the project and its implementation, while addressing customers’ inquires and concerns.

According to Vivek Bagri, CEO of Livedarshan, one of the factors that led BPCL to decide on VIVOTEK cameras for this important large-scale project was the company’s very favorable previous experience with VIVOTEK. For the first phase of the deployment, Livedershan installed around 60 cameras for BPCL. “BPCL found the quality of the VIVOTEK camera to be superior to models within the same technical range from other competing manufacturers,” says Vivek.

Mission

As for the particular VIVOTEK camera model selected, the IP8362, part of the VIVOTEK SUPREME series, there were several reasons for the choice, Vivek explains. First of all, BPCL required very high-quality video, as it needed to be able to identify the license plate of a vehicle, an employee and a potential criminal — all to ensure that customers were to the best possible services. In addition, to simplify administration, BPCL hoped to use as few cameras as possible at each location.

The combination of these two basic requirements — for clear, detailed image footage and a relatively low number of cameras to be installed to cover the entire premises of each petrol station — meant that cameras with very exceptionally resolutions were absolutely mandatory. As a best-in-class 1080p outdoor bullet camera designed for diverse outdoor applications, VIVOTEK IP8362 is equipped with a 2-Megapixel CMOS sensor, temper detection and a vari-focal, auto-iris lens. WDR Enhancement technology and removable IR-cut filter are also available for Day & Night function, so the image quality remains uncompromised even under constantly alternating and challenging lighting conditions. In addition to satisfying the fundamental requirement for the BPCL project, the IP8362 also offered a number of other important advantages towards the solution deployed.

Solution

Designed for demanding outdoor surveillance applications, the IP8632 not only includes a removable IR-cut filter and built-in IR illuminators for daytime and nighttime monitoring, but it also adds robust WDR (wide dynamic range) enhancement to ensure that clear, properly exposed video can be obtained no matter the time of day—even when particularly challenging high-contrast lighting conditions—where bright and dark areas are present in the field of view—prevail.

BPCL also valued IP8362’s wide operating temperature range, crucial due to the extremely hot weather that is the norm throughout much of India. In addition, the VIVOTEK camera features an IP67-rated housing, which protects against the ingress of dust, water, and other foreign material—an important consideration in the harsh environment of a busy petrol station. Even the IP8362’s physical styling turned out to be a plus, as BPCL felt its compact form and sleek looks avoided the need to conceal it in an ungainly device box.

Video from the cameras already installed is recorded 24 hours a day at Full HD resolution, while to conserve bandwidth, VGA-quality streams are monitored at BPCL headquarters in Mumbai. Together, the live and archived footage are already proving valuable resources for management as it checks service quality at the stations, and seeks improvements where deemed necessary. Station owners can also monitor activity, and refer to the high-quality recorded video in case of incidents.

Customer feedback

Thus far, over 100 BPCL petrol stations have been outfitted with new VIVOTEK IP8362 cameras. BPCL is hoping to finish deployment of all 5000 cameras in 1000 BPCL petrol stations by the end of this year. “BPCL is very impressed with the high performance of the VIVOTEK IP8362, and needless to say, so am I,” says Vivek. “I would recommend any user and integrators to work with VIVOTEK. Not only their products are first-rate in the industry, their sales support and services are also absolutely outstanding.”

Vivek Bagri has recently been featured in “10 Leaders Under 40” published in a&s International - May 2012.

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