, Jan 10, 2014
Earth-Invasive Operation Requires Advanced Communication
A global business leader involved in earth invasive operations recognized that growth was limited by communication between process operations—the company has requested to remain anonymous. Each of the functional groups in the process were operating in silos requiring continual pauses while waiting for information, product or a combination of both from the proceeding or following processing group. Company management had a concept of how operations could be improved but sought out the expertise and creativity of Logicalis.
Designing the Command Center
Logicalis’ solution experts worked with the company’s team to understand their business processes, challenges and desired improvements. Logicalis developed a solution concept that centered on a Military-grade, command center concept leveraging the site’s existing Cisco IP network." Leveraging Logicalis’ expertise in Project Management and Technology Integration in the design phase allowed the customer to cut cost and eliminate mistakes, which created a successful project implementation. To determine the solution details, Logicalis also engaged the expertise of Barco, FLIR, Panasonic and Winsted. Barco is the best-in-class manufacturer of Command Center video walls that provides government grade visibility to camera feeds coming from Panasonic high resolution and FLIR infrared thermal cameras in the field.
The operational improvement solution centralizes all process operation management in one facility enabling seamless communications between processes. Operations dispatchers have visibility into the field via Panasonic IP high-resolution cameras during the day and FLIR IP-based, infrared cameras during day or night. The combination of cameras maximized the original project budget by using Panasonic cameras where the thermal imagery was not immediately required. A portion of the cameras are completely mobile using wireless mesh connectivity to transfer video feeds to the command center. The cameras are mounted securely to strategic field vehicles providing detail views that the fixed cameras may not be able to share. Camera mobility was a required element for the constantly changing terrain of an earth invasive operation.
Camera feeds are sent to the 26ft by 4ft Barco video wall located in the Command Center. The wall is composed of 5 DLP rear-projection screens that can display one continuous image across the entire wall or as 5 separate screens with an infinite number of fractional divisions within those screens. Images can be scaled to any size required, and can be placed in any configuration on the screen. From the front, the screens are seamlessly one continuous screen so there are no cracks or sight losses in the display. Barco’s Apollo software manages the display projection. Barco has developed its rear-projected display cubes to enhance the operator’s comfort within a 24/7 environment. The display wall allows constantly optimizing brightness and contrasting while maintaining excellent color, to eliminate operator fatigue as much as possible.
Logicalis, in conjunction with Winsted furnishings, designed the computing center consoles to optimize the room’s purpose giving maximum visibility to all of the parties and fostering ease of communication and operation. Careful attention was paid to overall room functionality including the selection of ergonomic chairs designed for round-the-clock use. The consoles are designed with built-in cable trays and other cord handling mechanisms to keep workspaces free of cords and wires, facilitating the CPU-free environment. All Command Center computer processing is stored in the MDF to ensure data and network security with all input and output connections restricted from general personnel. The centralized MDF also means that changes and upgrades can be made without interrupting command center personnel maintaining productivity and reducing downtime.
The camera video feed to the room’s ancillary LCD’s is processed and managed by Milestone application software which controls camera view and zoom as well as recording video feed for recall. The software enables up to 64 cameras to be monitored simultaneously with multiple pre-designed, easy to use views built into the application. The video-feed can be programmed to enhance the monitoring of the command center staff by being programmed to signal if and when activity occurs in highly sensitive camera views. The software includes a playback feature allowing quick video review by allowing an administrator to search through specific time periods for desired elements. Milestone feed can also be sent to the Barco wall for integration into the digital display. Both the Milestone and Barco’s Apollo applications are highly scalable allowing the organization to add additional screens without performing a complete re-design.