APC Overnight has never hesitated to invest in the latest technology to ensure that it provides an efficient and reliable service to its customers. With the help of electronic security experts, Securitec Systems and Samsung, it has applied the same philosophy to the CCTV system which it relies on to minimise shrinkage, protect its premises and monitor health & safety compliance at its national sorting centre in Wolverhampton.
APC Overnight is the UK’s largest next day delivery network with more than 125 local depots covering all areas of the country. The network specialises in timed deliveries, offering a choice of convenient morning or afternoon options as well as a Saturday service. APC Overnight collects, routes and delivers more than 1 million parcels each month with an industry-leading on-time delivery record.
Cannock based Securitec Systems were tasked by Colin Dicken, APC Overnight’s Head of Security, to recommend how new IP based cameras could be introduced as part of an expansion of the CCTV system, whilst retaining the 64 existing analogue cameras which were still performing satisfactorily.
APC Overnight’s requirements in respect of what they wanted to achieve from its CCTV had changed. The original system was installed for general security purposes but there were now two other specific objectives. The first of these was to ensure that the company’s health and safety policies were strictly adhered to and that if there was an accident or incident that needed investigating, there would be video evidence to call on. The second objective was to monitor the processing of every parcel that entered the building until it was loaded onto a delivery vehicle.
“The system provides a visual record of how we carefully and accurately handle our customers’ parcels. It also helps us demonstrate how we monitor the parcels while they are in our care. Such video records also help to reduce claims,” said Colin Dicken. “The 96 cameras which we have now installed cover every square inch of our premises. There are absolutely no blind spots and we can therefore, track every movement of parcels from the moment they arrive until they are sent back on the road by tying in the CCTV system with our bar code booking system.”
Securitec Systems recommended and installed 32 Samsung SND-460 IP/network dome cameras. With its die-cast aluminium vandal resistant body and tough polycarbonate dome casing, the SND-460 provides a robust solution for a busy sorting centre and as it is a true day/night camera with an integrated IR cut-filter, it is also able to deliver high quality images even in the most demanding of lighting conditions. The SND-460V is also equipped with Samsung’s Super Noise Reduction technology (SSNRII), which eliminates image noise in low-light conditions without ghosting or blurring. There is also the added bonus that SSNR technology can save up to 70% of hard disk space on a digital video recorder, whilst maximising bandwidth when viewing the video over a network.
Securitec Systems also upgraded the CCTV’s recording facilities by installing four Samsung SVR-1680 DVRs onto which images captured by the analogue cameras are recorded, whilst a Samsung SVR-3200 records the images from the IP/network camera domes. The SVR-1680 DVR is capable of simultaneous real-time recording at full D1 (704 x 480) resolution across all its 16 channels whilst the SVR-3200 can record at half D1 resolution across all 32 channels and giving users the option to customise recording settings to achieve real-time full D1 resolution recording on selected channels.
“This project has been successful on two levels,” said Martin Kadir of Securitec Systems. “We have been able to prolong the life of the previously installed 64 analogue cameras by integrating them with the 32 new Samsung IP/network dome cameras and this has saved APC Overnight a considerable sum of money by not having to rip out the existing cameras which have been performing satisfactorily. We have also achieved a high degree of integration allowing both sets of cameras to be monitored from the same multi-screen display in APC’s security control room. This has been achieved by utilising the control functionality of Samsung’s licence free Centralised Management Software (CMS).
The cost of extending the CCTV system has already been justified according to Colin Dicken. Any complaints of lost or damaged parcels have been investigated with the help of video captured by the cameras. “We take great care to ensure that our customers’ property arrives in good condition as well as on time,” said Colin Dicken. “Therefore, it is important that we can identify and track individual package through our sortation centre. The remarkable quality of the images we are seeing from the new IP/network cameras is certainly helping us to do this.”