Covering All The Bases On a Commerical Bid

Oct. 27, 2008
Some Obvious and Some Not So Obvious Concerns
Untitled Document

System integration is synonymous with commercial security. The commercial security market is, and will continue to be, the hot spot for integration. Commercial security dealers have grown in their function and have established themselves as the problem solvers of the industry.

Commercial security involves the traditional selling of security, as well as conventional bid work—where the project is divided into sepa rate sections. They typically include hardware, door controls, fire, electric and so forth.

The General Contractor (GC) coordinates the trades, attempting to keep the project in budget and on schedule. The GC also endeavors to verify that all the work will fulfill client's requirements. Among the ranks of contractors, you are the guy who ultimately ties the loose ends together to ensure that the subsystems interface and operate to deliver the desired operating and safety levels.

The integrator approaches the project from a variety of perspectives. You need to do this if you want to keep the project on track.

An integrator recently shared the following experience. Being signed up to provide access control for a number of doors for a new construction student dorm, the integrator reviews the hardware schedule, which indicates electrified exit devices, electric strikes and door operators on the subject doors. Although the integrator is not responsible for the operators or door hardware, he knows that at the 11th hour, it will be on him to get everything working harmoniously.

The integrator notes that essential items are missing from the hardware schedule, such as power supplies for some of the electrified locks, and there is nothing in the plans to indicate how the customer is expecting the systems to operate. With the discrepancies and voids in the hardware schedule, the integrator anticipates he'll have problems when he begins to interface the subsystems.

Then, because he has no way of knowing what the end user's expectations of the system are, he starts making phone calls and asking questions. He advises the GC immediately of omissions and discrepancies. The GC is perhaps at the top of the pyramid organizationally, but will be the one who will have to deal with the punch list. Resolving the issues will come off his bottom line, and nagging “little details” can put final pay out in limbo.

I n large multi-phased projects where wiring and fixtures will be permanently embedded in concrete and there are no second chances, the professionalism and attention to detail displayed by integrators has saved many projects. When time lines are critical, the savvy security dealer comes through and makes up for architects who fail to provide adequately detailed schedules and descriptions.

In integrated building management, it would seem obvious to start with the big picture. The Building Integration System (BIS) from BOSCH is an economical and scalable integrated building and enterprise management system ideal for a wide range of applications including retail chains, banks, warehouses, university campuses, multi-facility medical complexes, office buildings and correctional facilities.

BOSCH's BIS is network-ready and scalable to fit any size business, from a single site to enterprise-class operations. With its modular design, the system can be extended at any time with additional security, access control, video and automation engines. The system seamlessly integrates physical and electronic security, access control, CCTV, fire systems, imaging, photo badging and building management systems, by allowing all components to easily exchange data.

The components work together more efficiently and effectively than they would independently, improving performance and value, and increasing overall protection.

Now on to some issues and items you may not readily consider—all of which lead to the most comprehensive security package you can propose.

Keep the Ghosts Out of the Machines

An essential ingredient for the proper operation of security systems is adequate Power Quality (PQ). For the average security dealer, your involvement in PQ may start at the receptacle into which you connect the equipment. The PQ on a site is usually beyond the realm of the alarm installer to measure, diagnose or correct.

PQ is the quality of the electric power supplied to electrical equipment. Poor PQ can result in mis-operation of the equipment. There are many ways in which a power feed can be of poor quality, so there is no single way to completely quantify the quality. However, the security industry has long been made aware of the importance of making an effort to verify the purity of the juice coming out of the receptacle.

PQ questions you should always ask:

1. Is the circuit I'm using properly grounded?

2. Is the Hot and Neutral properly labeled? (Black should be Hot, White should be Neutral.)

3. Do you know where the circuit breaker for the circuit powering your system is located?

4. Do you know what other equipment is sharing the breaker?

5. Is the circuit on a UPS or emergency generator, and if so, how quickly and cleanly does your circuit switch-
over in the event of a power failure?

6. What is the rating of the circuit breaker feeding your circuit?

7. Is the structure in which your system is installed subject to surges or sags? What is the typical line voltage? What are the typical high-and low-voltage readings?

8. Are there devices present in the structure that might be dumping noise or EMF onto the line voltage, or affecting your wiring between system elements?

Using good power supplies is the best defense against problems getting your systems online and minimizing those perplexing system aberrations that seem impossible to trace or correct. QP (Quality Power) equipment from ALTRONIX provides inherent protection for your customers systems such as line regulation/conditioning/filtering consistent voltage levels channel isolation and power supply status monitoring.

Electrical codes, fire regulations and prevailing professional standards all will influence the exact type of power supplies that will be required for a system. The ratings and features of the power supply, the type of wire used to connect your devices to the power supply, and where you locate the power supplies, all will contribute to the success or failure of your project.

Power to the Peripherals

Low power distribution is another essential element of system integration. Systems require safe, centralized and monitored low-voltage power grids to power surveillance, locking and annunciation systems. Banks of wall warts and non-current limited lines are no longer acceptable techniques for engineered building systems.

As electric locking and surveillance are becoming commonplace in the majority of building designs, the demand for sophisticated power distribution solutions has resulted in the introduction of numerous safe, efficient and economical power supply solutions for the system designer. Honeywell Power Products' HPD Series of power distribution modules convert one low-voltage power supply input into four or eight individually fused or PTC protected outputs.

Devices connected to these modules work off separate circuits, so the whole system is not brought down if one circuit encounters a problem. The Power Distribution Modules have a wide range of applications for access control, intrusion and video systems that require individually protected output circuits.

Protection from Breaking Glass

As part of a complete security solution, today's dealers are looking at glass protection as a viable option to specify on commercial bids. Intec's Blast Window Retention Anchor Systems offer a customized solution for each application and masonry substrate to provide maximum resistance to explosions.

CINTEC offers complete structural analysis and design services, turn-key solutions, as well as masonry repair and reinforcement anchors used for blast protection, seismic reinforcement, historic preservation and overall building strengthening.

Extensive testing on various sizes and types of CINTEC Blast Window Retention Anchor Systems has proven that large blast loads can be successfully resisted, while providing a reliable, secure and foolproof fixing in all types of masonry substrate. A wide range of the Blast Window Retention Anchor Systems is available to suit specific window needs. After rigorously analyzing the complex loadings and reactions that take place where the window frame meets the supporting facade, each system is designed to precisely meet the conditions under which it must perform.

Converging Technologies Here, There, Everywhere

System integrators are incorporating elements into their systems that might not be bolted to a wall, or for that matter, even be in the facility. This is because the systems are no longer stationary. Sensors and annunciation is “Going Mobile.”

Programmable tactical robotic devices perform guard tour and monitoring chores once relegated to humans, or simply not undertaken at all. Extended virtual networking enables remote surveillance and system management over extended virtual networks no longer limited by the constraints of hardwire and physical boundaries. System sensors, infrastructure, annunciation, control reporting and event logging are all being unified under a growing family of open architecture software applications being made available to the independent security contractor.

Mobile identity verification provides the flexibility, convenience and tactical advantage of bringing the card reader/appliance to where it is needed. Typical applications would be: expanding ID checks from fixed checkpoints to building corridors and parking lots; strengthening traditional building access control to checking identities on school buses or military bases; on location at emergency and crime scenes and in line at the customs counter.

Due to increased demand and a drop in cost, robotic devices are being integrated into an increasing number of security, access control and building management system applications. Just a sampling of possible applications includes: leveraging guard service by patrolling relentlessly, detecting things like smoke, CO, propane, UV, IR-motion, water and reporting the exceptions; alarm verification by independently confirming the alarm status; and robotic visitor escorts and lobby kiosks.

For example, an alarm generated by the fire system can command a robot to investigate. The robot needs to call the elevator through the building management infrastructure to get to the third floor. Upon arriving at the destination, it could transmit video, audio and sensory information back to the operator. Onboard flame and smoke detectors can confirm an actual alarm condition or a false alarm. Either upon command or automatically, the robot could release CO2 suppressant and audibly alert evacuation tones or English language EVAC script. It could also provide a visual or RF location beacon to efficiently deploy firefighters.

A RoverBot could be programmed to sense the presence of individuals, confirm that they are authorized, and report the situation if they are not. Increased deployment of robotic security will provide better security, while decreasing human exposure to dangerous situations.

The Cypress Computer Systems Mobile Robot (PatrolBot) RSVP-720 is designed for fully autonomous, 24/7 operation. Features include automatic docking for battery recharge, 802.11 wireless video, laser mapping and navigation, 2-way audio, and SuprexTechnology for systems integration.

The Cypress RSVP is the first autonomous mobile platform to combine robotic localization and navigation, building automation, video, security and access control interfaces.

The DATASTRIP DSVII-SC is a reader designed for secure mobile identity verification in locations where there is no physical door structure to accommodate stationary equipment.

Recognized as the best new biometric product of the year by the Security Industry Association at the ISC West conference last April, the DATASTRIP DSVII-SC is a handheld identity verification device capable of scanning IDs electronically embedded on documents such as passports, ID cards and driver's licenses.

It can complete identity verification in as little as one second, and supports contact and contactless smart cards, multiple biometric algorithms, CompactFlash, and both wired and wireless communications. The applications range from strengthening traditional building access control to checking identities on school buses or military bases, at emergency and crime scenes or in line at the customs counter.

The SARGENT BioFob offers wireless biometric security in a handheld device. BioFob uses fingerprint-based biometrics. It integrates easily with existing RF infrastructures, making it simple to overlay biometric verification into existing access control systems. The device is compatible with HID and Indala RFID systems and Bluetooth technology. No wiring or separate databases are needed. All fingerprint capture, encoding, processing and verification is done on the BioFob, and the user's credentials, not their biometrics, are transmitted wirelessly to access points or specified authorities.

The BioFob achieves enhanced security without sacrificing personal privacy. Since all biometric information is stored on the device, there is no need for a centralized biometric database. The BioFob can be ordered pre-programmed with facility and ID codes or, with a Device Configuration Module, each device can be individually programmed for physical access.