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6 Factors to Consider when Upgrading to an Industrial Grade IP Surveillance System

28/06/2016  |  TNS Blog

WHAT IS IP SURVEILLANCE?

The “IP” in IP surveillance is an abbreviation for Internet Protocol. It is the most common protocol used for communication over computer networks and the Internet. An IP surveillance application creates digitised video streams that are transmitted through a wired or wireless IP network to enable monitoring and video recording from as far away as the network reaches. In addition, IP surveillance systems can be integrated with other types of systems, such as access control systems.

For most, the term “video surveillance” brings to mind CCTV (closed circuit TV), which has been used for several decades at banks, office buildings, and other establishments. In comparison, IP surveillance provides attractive benefits such as easy integration, remote accessibility, distributed intelligence and scalability. In fact, the versatile nature of the Internet is one of the main reasons that analog CCTV systems are rapidly being replaced by network video technology.

 

WHY USE INDUSTRIAL IP SURVEILLANCE?

Compared to general markets, industrial and outdoor applications impose several additional requirements on devices, particularly in light of the fact that industrial environments are more hazardous than general or commercial environments.

Using general purpose devices in an industrial environment could have a big effect on the safety and stability of the system. In what follows, we list down six of the most important factors to consider when selecting industrial grade IP surveillance devices for industrial applications.

 

Factor 1: Power Redundancy

Redundancy is one of the most important factors for many industrial information systems, particularly since more industrial equipment now comes with an Ethernet interface. Unlike the “comfortable” environment of office automation, control systems used for industrial automation must be able to withstand harsh environmental conditions.

For this reason, a basic redundancy requirement for control systems is that every part of the communication network should be connected to a backup power supply in case of a power outage. The backup power supply takes over as soon as the electricity fails, minimising the possibility of damage caused by the system shutting down. The system’s hardware should at least be compatible with unregulated DC power and have reverse power protection. The two most common ways to send power failure alarms to network administrators is by e-mail or relay output.

 

Factor 2: Ingress Protection

Unlike in commercial environments, equipment used in industrial environments could incur unexpected damage from external factors. If you use a general purpose device in an industrial environment, you will need to add an extra protection box to prevent the device from being damaged. For this reason, using devices with a rugged design is a key factor

The Ingress Protection (also abbreviated “IP”) rating index (EN60529) is an international classification system that rates the effectiveness of sealings and enclosures for electrical equipment against the intrusion of foreign objects and moisture. The IP rating system gives users a precise description of the effectiveness of an enclosure.

The “IPXX” designation uses two single digit numbers to indicate the degree of protection provided by the product. In general, the first digit involves protection against solid objects, and the second digit involves protection against liquids.

 

Factor 3: Electromagnetic Interference

Compared to commercial environments, industrial environments are more likely to be affected by electrical and magnetic interference. In order to protect electronic devices, higher EMI and surge protection is a must for industrial applications. In addition, some industrial applications require safety approvals and demanding certifications such as UL508 and ATEX (explosive atmosphere).

 

Factor 4: Wide Temperature

The operating temperature range of a device is another key issue for industrial products. In fact, some industrial applications require products that are guaranteed to operate in temperatures ranging from -40C to as high as 75C. For these types of applications, it is important to look for products that do not use a built-in fan, since products with such design tend to have a lower MTBF.

 

Factor 5: Industrial Installation

A 35mm DIN-Rail is used for many industrial applications to provide a convenient means of mounting all of the devices used for the application. For this reason, it is essential that industrial products support both DIN-Rail mounting and panel mounting.

 

Factor 6: Reliability

People in industry look at either the MTBF (mean time before failure) or warranty period of a product to gauge the product’s reliability. However, since the MTBF for many products is not readily available, it is more common to use the warranty period as the determiner.

Whereas general purpose devices tend to be warranted for only 1 or 2 years, the warranty period for products used in industrial applications should be at least 3 to 5 years to ensure the reliability of the system, and reduce the probability that devices will need to be changed frequently.

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