Unleashing the full power and capabilities of today’s advanced security technology is a thrill requiring the reconciliation of several variables. These include an opportune application, a client where money is virtually no object, highly skilled security professionals and a well-coordinated effort among everyone involved with the project. All of these stars aligned for a comprehensive solution recently deployed at building infrastructure provider Panduit’s new global headquarters in Tinley Park, Ill.
The system’s design and installation demonstrates the might of integrated, IP-based physical security solutions to accelerate event detection and response, enable collaboration between a private company and public safety agencies, and increase operational efficiency. The solution combines networked video surveillance and access control, and sets a foundation to centralize security operations for Panduit’s 120 offices worldwide.
“Panduit’s new world headquarters brings to life our vision for creating environmentally sustainable and healthy places to work,” says CEO John Caveney. “We set out with a mission to create the ‘building of the future,’ and we feel we’ve set a new precedent by combining state-of-the-art visibility and control for all critical building systems, sustainable energy, operational cost savings and intelligent design features - all aligned under a single unified infrastructure.”
This ambitious project serves as a showcase for what are becoming the seemingly endless possibilities of integrated systems. As such, it has profound implications for what lies ahead for this industry.
Meshing Network, Security
Founded in 1955, Panduit is a privately held, global manufacturer of products for wiring and communications applications that employs 4,000 people in 112 countries. The company develops holistic, integrated solutions for data centers, connected buildings and industrial automation.
These building infrastructure solutions enable customers to connect, manage and automate communications, computing, power, control, and security systems. Panduit solutions use unified physical infrastructure (UPI) principles to manage the risk and complexity associated with system convergence and integration, while also reducing cost and improving sustainability.
When planning its new 280,000-square-foot world headquarters, Panduit was determined the facility would exhibit its UPI vision. The building’s IP network was to be the platform for physical security, collaboration and energy efficiency, unifying core business systems to deliver deeper visibility into real-time operations data.
Unified Vision, Unified Effort
The project kicked off in 2009, with the headquarters location being completed during 2010. To bring the concept to life, Panduit enlisted Cisco, Phoenix-headquartered systems integrator IPVision and Santa Clara, Calif.-based consulting firm N2N Secure.
“I was introduced to IPVision by the Panduit procurement team and our Cisco account executive in addition to several other capable integrators,” says Jeffrey Woodward, senior manager, Panduit Global EHS & Security. “We had already selected the type and level of systems we wanted. However, IPVision and Cisco perfected the design.”
A Cisco Premier Certified Partner, IPVision began seven years ago as a network integrator. The firm switched to physical security in 2004 after successfully designing an outdoor point-to-multipoint wireless IP video solution for a shopping center. Today, the firm specializes in the government, education, law enforcement and utility sectors.
“We have been able to leverage our experience as an integrator to solve problems with existing hardware on the market we feel are not in touch with real-world installation environments,” says Ben Green, IPVision vice president of engineering. “We consider ourselves an engineering firm first with about 80 percent of our business coming from subcontracting to integrators.”
Leveraging IP Connectivity
Among the project’s physical security objectives were:
- Creating a virtual fence around the 52-acre property instead of a physical fence, to automate intruder detection while lowering costs
- Enabling collaboration with local fire and police departments
- Increasing operational efficiency by not having to maintain a separate employee database for the physical access control system
- Maintaining physical access controls even in the event of a power outage
- Taking advantage of video analytics in novel ways, such as preventing an employee who has swiped an access card from being tailgated
To accomplish these and other objectives, Cisco’s video surveillance operations manager, media servers (NVRs), physical access manager, IP interoperability and collaboration system (IPICS), and IP cameras were selected. In addition, Axis Communications IP cameras were installed.
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