Heavy Metal Protection

What measures would you take to protect vast quantities of precious metals? Here’s how an integrator skillfully deployed the latest security technologies to deliver dazzling results on a tight deadline.


To provide a system that would meet the client’s needs and desires, was best suited for the application, and could be counted on for reliability and support, the integrator selected several well-known brands but also some impressive newer ones. The main vendors were: Honeywell, Exacq Technologies, Stardot, Hirsch Electronics and Dell.

“Hirsch and Exacq were instrumental in the project and made site visits to assist us with any issues. We used IP megapixel cameras specifically for better quality video with broader viewing capability. This reduced the number of analog cameras it would have taken to obtain the coverage needed, and gave us more flexibility with recording,” says Rodney Stamps. “We utilized Honeywell’s Vplex addressable technology to reduce the amount of wiring on the security system portion of the project.”

The video solution includes 81 Stardot fixed 1.3-megapixel cameras and six 5-megapixel vandal-resistant domes viewable on 18 monitors. There are 26 cameras in the bullion vault, 12 in the receiving vault and four in the storage vault. The remaining 45 cameras are located throughout parking garages, shipping docks, outside the building, corridors and executive offices. Three NVRs were installed in the basement’s video room and another upstairs in the control room. Control and storage is handled by exacqVISION’s VMS and 16TB IP servers.

STAMPSCO installed strikes, plungers, magnetic locks and shear locks to control access to 34 doors; four existing bulletproof rolling doors were retained. All feature HID proximity readers. It’s all tied together across a network via Hirsch software loaded on client workstations in the command center and two guard stations. The access solution was connected to the building’s existing fire alarm system to unlock specific doors upon activation.

As for the intrusion component, the integrator installed two Honeywell Vista250BP control panels linked to 22 keypads to accommodate 16 system partitions. Honeywell Vplex dual-tech motion detectors, glass-breaks, door contacts and panic buttons serve as peripheral devices. Backup radio/Internet communications are accounted for with a pair of Honeywell 7845IGSM units.


The design and installation process had to take the former Federal Reserve Bank’s unique architectural elements into c
onsideration, as well as other tenants already occupying other areas of the building.

Erected in 1922 and last renovated in 1997, the structure was constructed out of Indiana limestone and contains three massive vaults that formerly stored the area’s currency reserves. The main vault’s door weighs an estimated 250,000 pounds.

“During our initial walkthrough of the facility, we thought we had more access into the vaults than what we did,” says Rodney Stamps. “The first week we discovered we needed to core drill access into the receiving vault, which is three-feet thick with 3⁄8-inch steel. We only had a three-foot clearance above the vault to core drill, so we had a specialty contractor come in on short notice.

We also ran into more Kevlar walls than expected, which required hammer drilling and concrete anchors.” For the bullion vault, STAMPSCO designed and built special mounts above the workspaces for the IP cameras, due to the ceiling being crowded with lighting, HVAC, etc. Unistruts were mounted 91⁄2 feet off the floor and customized in such a way so as to conceal the wiring, and permit the cameras to be moved up to three feet right or left above the workspaces.

Besides bringing in additional help as needed, STAMPSCO coordinated its efforts with construction, telecom, electrical and cleaning crews. Weekly meetings were held to keep track of other trades and their schedules. These practices were critical to maintaining the project’s tight schedule.

“We knew we had to come out of the gate running fast,” says Rodney Stamps. “We also knew that mistakes were going to be inevitable at this pace, so we placed a project manager onsite for each system being installed to minimize mistakes. We also coordinated with our vendors to make sure everything came together quickly and smoothly.”

Another occurrence that threw a wrench into the works was during the second week of the project when the customer decided to add 43 more panic buttons.

“This was no easy task, as it required us to redesign our security system, and most of the panic buttons required full conduit for installation,” says Rodney Stamps. “This was a major undertaking, but we were able to accommodate their request without compromising our deadline.”

In the end, everything worked out. On Feb. 12, the project wrapped up as planned. The $250,000 job required nearly 3,000 man-hours to complete. Once the system was online, STAMPSCO quickly trained the end user on its operation. The integrator can now count APMEX among its growing list of delighted clients.

“STAMPSCO kept us appraised about every development,” says Thomas. “When bad weather intervened, STAMPSCO went above and beyond what was expected. They were here sometimes around the clock working hard to meet their deadline. This included almost if not every night and weekend to make sure they completed this project on time. They delivered what they said they would deliver.”

Meeting the deadline would mean little, though, if the system itself fell shy of operational or feature-set expectations. No worries as the solution truly solved APMEX’s security and surveillance needs.

“We are very impressed. This state-of-the-art equipment provides peace of mind. We also enjoy the ability to have remote viewing of the facilities,” says Neal. “We are very happy with STAMPSCO’s work and all the equipment they installed. The security in this building now exceeds our wants and needs.”


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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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