How Surveillance Technology is Used in the Manufacturing Industry
Video surveillance can be a powerful way to enhance the efficiency, safety, and effectiveness of manufacturing operations at plants, factories, or mills. With the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the production industry as a whole, the use cases for surveillance camera systems now extend far beyond security.
From an operations standpoint, video surveillance technology offers stakeholders transparency into inventory levels, streamlines communication, and ensures the safe delivery of materials and products. For manufacturers that require remote video monitoring for multiple sites and locations, a security camera system with remote access will be able to provide offsite viewing of live feeds. Outside of protecting property and assets, there are other critical safety benefits such as mitigating workplace hazards and resolving false liability claims. The integration of advanced video analytics in modern security systems also provides a way to identify and trigger alerts for critical incidents as they occur in real-time.
Jump to each section to learn more:
• Benefits of Video Surveillance in Manufacturing
• Key Features for Security Camera Systems in Manufacturing
• How Manufacturing Stakeholders Use Surveillance Technology
• Key Takeaways
Benefits of Video Surveillance in Manufacturing:
- View and Monitor Remote Facilities: Surveillance systems with remote access offer supervisors a convenient way to manage multiple locations without needing to physically be onsite. Video management solutions with web- and app-based platforms allow stakeholders to view live security feeds or review historical footage from any internet-abled computer or smartphone. 24⁄7 monitoring is also useful for offsite supervisors to capture footage to be reviewed with employees, identify areas of improvement, or ensure compliance.
- Mitigate Risks and Workplace Hazards: The manufacturing industry is the third most-dangerous occupation for workers, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’s most-recent Survey of Occupational Injuries & Illnesses. The most common causes of workplace injuries include (1) overexertion and bodily reaction, (2) falls, slips, and trips, (3) contact with object or equipment. In order to prevent workplace accidents, surveillance technology is used to conduct safety reviews, resolve liability claims, and ensure that proper safety procedures are being followed.
- Audit Operations More Effectively: Maximizing production is a key component for any manufacturing organization. Video footage can be used to visualize the current state of operations, document continuous improvement, and identify opportunities to optimize productivity. Some surveillance solutions also include integrations such as Active Directory, which help streamline user management and reporting.
- Ensure Safe Delivery of Shipments: Video surveillance is also used to ensure the safe arrival of inventory, raw materials, parts, and other products. When paired with meaningful alerts, supervisors can be informed in real-time when important deliveries are made.
- Monitor Inventory Levels: In order provide transparency into shipping timelines, some manufacturers provide suppliers with access to specific camera feeds that overlook inventory. With a clear and direct view of stock, suppliers know exactly when materials are low and new shipments need to be made.
- Intrusion Detection: Both physical and network intrusions can be a cause of concern for manufacturing organizations operating on IoT platforms. On the network side, a surveillance solution that applies security best practices can shield the system from vulnerability breaches. When it comes to physical intrusions, protection against trespassing is critical to loss prevention. Some security camera systems also offer motion detection alerts that notify supervisors of unusual activity.
- Safeguard Inventory: Video surveillance is also used to ensure that high-value assets are being locked up and properly protected from thefts and accidents. As an added security measure, some systems integrate with access control to prevent unauthorized personnel from entering restricted areas.
Key Features for Security Camera Systems in Manufacturing:
- High Image Quality: Stakeholders need a clear view of products and labels in order to properly monitor inventory. In case of incidents, having a system that records in high-definition is also vital for capturing evidence for law enforcement.
- Night Vision: To ensure visibility afterhours when crime is likely to occur, it’s important for a surveillance system to be able to capture footage in the dark. Cameras with night vision capabilities use sensors to detect low light situations. When external lighting is low, the camera will switch to night mode. Infrared (IR) night vision, which relies on infrared light, is the most common type used on most security cameras.
- Reliable, 24⁄7 Recording: Outdated system architecture often results in camera downtime and gaps in coverage. To solve for this problem, modern solutions incorporate hybrid cloud technology so that cameras record continuously on a solid-state drive, as well as send encrypted thumbnails to a cloud-based server.
- Video Analytics (Heatmaps): Some video management systems offer heatmaps, which can be a convenient way to audit for failing machinery and reveal hidden risks. The value of a heatmap is that it highlights risks that are not easily identifiable, and can mitigate hazards and decreased productivity associated with equipment downtime.
How Manufacturing Stakeholders Use Surveillance Technology
Manufacturing Executives & Directors
- Remotely monitor facilities in real-time
- Protect their business from liability claims
- Use footage to improve staff and operations efficiency
Facilities & Plant Managers
- Use footage for training
- Use footage as evidence for incident resolution
- Immediately notify law enforcement of trespassers and criminal activity
Employees & Workers
- Prevent workplace hazards and ensure their safety
- Resolve submitted liability claims definitively and quickly
- Maintain confidence and trust in employer
Takeaways for Surveillance used in Manufacturing
Video surveillance technology allows manufacturers to actively monitor sites and act quickly upon real-time data. It’s a powerful tool to audit operations, enhance productivity, keep workers safe, and protect assets. Manufacturers deploying video surveillance cameras should consider the features that align best with their organizational use cases, business needs, and operating environment.