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Car park control

A case study of video with a security information management system at a German car park firm, now doing central management.

B+B Parkhaus GmbH & Co.KG is a private, family-run parking facilities company based in Dusseldorf. It manages some 20,000 parking spaces in 60 properties. At the centre of it all is Geutebruck video that uses G-SIM, a security information management system. This interfaces to the Schneider Intercom voice communication and the pay machines from Scheidt & Bachmann. Some 16 locations are connected with another 44 to follow.

The majority of the parking sites are owned by the family, others are leased. The portfolio is therefore a mix of technical components, of various ages and suppliers, but which must still work together. Up till now, the “conductor” has been missing: something to coordinate the various components. Two years ago the department responsible for control room technology addressed this, developing a system with a central control station. The plan was to consolidate the camera images from all parking facilities centrally, providing information on a local situation at any time. Providing security for the pay machines was a priority. To achieve this, interfaces were needed to the systems from Scheidt & Bachmann and Schneider Intercom, to get an informative overall picture of the situation when necessary: pay machine information, voice communication and simultaneous activation of the associated live images. This makes it possible for the control station to see, talk and act.

Two security information management systems were in the running and were thoroughly tested. In the end, G-SIM from Geutebruck was the winner. Years of positive experience with Geutebruck video systems were influential, but it was another factor that was deciding: the already in use interfaces to Scheidt & Bachmann and Schneider intercoms.

Every Geutebruck video management solution already provides image information with process data or specific information from connected third party systems. To arrive at the next level, a transition is made from a video security information management system. This system is capable of providing an overview and fulfilling other demands: on the graphic display, on the alarm management, on the documentation. G-SIM has now been in use in the control centre since 2014. It is staffed around the clock. In opening times, an employee is always available as a contact for customers. In Dusseldorf, video images from some 120 cameras in 16 parking facilities come together. Step-by-step, more will be added until the final stage nationwide in Germany, when all B+B parking facilities are connected to the control, representing around 500 cameras. Successively, all local video recorders will be replaced with GeViScope systems: an IP model (GeViScope IP server) is usually used. For leased objects with expiring contracts, modernisation of the infrastructure, including new cabling and camera installation, is not justified economically. Therefore existing analogue cameras, some still using black and white images, will be integrated and their images fed to GeViScope recorders with analogue ports.

In all parking facilities, the entrances, exits and the pay machines are secured. Property-specific areas, designated by the local property manager, are secured as well, and all recording is performed permanently and saved locally at high resolution on GeViScope. Images are then transmitted to the control with a reduced image quality. If a parking lot customer submits a service request, the associated camera image pops up in the control centre. A still image is typically displayed with the live images. It is also convenient to open a map, showing the property and the position of the camera. The sequence of images associated with the request is marked so that it can be easily found again later.

If image details are needed, the stored high-resolution images are accessed. The video sequences are visualised using G-SIM. The settings are comprehensive, making it possible to optimise the settings for each parking lot and user. Operators appreciate the ease of use.

Back to the pay station. Its status is visually inspected at regular intervals. G-SIM provides support for this use-case with programmed tours. Once programmed, they run automatically at pre-defined intervals and regularly call the attention of the employee. Outdoor pay machines are at greater risk. Others are protected at night, as the area is no longer publicly available at this time.

Step by step B+B will implement additional functions. At the same time, the complexity – resulting from different user levels for beginners and experts – remains manageable and each user can select their own scope of functionality. B+B’s security man was trained at Geutebruck and can now answer most of his colleagues’ questions directly. In special cases, B+B can also take advantage of the fact that Geutebruck is not only the manufacturer, but also the developer of its products.

Once time allows, in a future project step, event-driven recordings will be introduced. This will limit the quantity of data as well as prevent unnecessary distractions for the security personnel. “Action” will then only occur when something happens in the selected section of the image.



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