Oncam's 360-Degree Cameras Secure Logistics Company
Cost-efficient operations and employee safety at warehousing and distribution hubs are top priorities for logistics and supply-chain companies. For one international logistics company, a professionally designed 360-degree technology solution is making a big contribution to achieving those aims.
At one of the logistics company’s UK sites, a video monitoring system that had been in place for a number of years could no longer provide all the coverage and information the site manager needed. The analogue pan-tilt-zoom cameras in the loading bays had an insufficient field of view and provided images that lacked clarity; and some cameras no longer worked at all. What’s more, recording was unreliable, so the site manager couldn’t count on being able to review every incident or event. To help improve the situation, the company turned to independent security specialist AsPro Security, which had installed video monitoring solutions at some of the company’s other sites. Following a thorough review of the site’s system, AsPro made a number of recommendations for upgrading it. “We redesigned the monitoring system to incorporate the 16 cameras that were still in working order, added new IP cameras and implemented a new recording platform from Milestone to record all the video streams”, explains AsPro’s Technical Manager, Nick Sergeant.
Among the new cameras introduced were a number of Oncam Evolution Mini 360 degree five-megapixel cameras, selected by AsPro to give optimum coverage of the loading bays and provide total situational awareness and a new level of business insight. Mounted between the racking and the delivery doors, they cover an area 100m long. “Going against the grain of installing a large number of cameras with a narrow field of view, we added just four Oncam Evo 360s, which give greater coverage using fewer cameras”, says Sergeant. “They’re the crown jewels in the whole solution.”
The upgraded technology solution is delivering excellent results at the site. The coverage provided by the Oncam Evo Minis gives the site manager complete visibility of the entire loading area, allowing him to track — in real time or retrospectively — an employee from the racks to the wrapping machines, and on to the loading bays. The high-definition images let him check that the employee picked the right goods, wrapped them correctly, and applied a barcode label. Thanks to that level of detail, the company can now confidently reject false and erroneous compensation claims for missing and damaged goods. When a claim is received, the site manager reviews footage from the relevant date and time, and can clearly see which goods were picked, how they were wrapped, and what condition they left in — giving him the visual evidence he needs to accept or reject the claim.
“The ROI of the upgraded video monitoring system has been remarkable”, says Sergeant. “Within the first three months, the site saved £53,000 in false and erroneous claims, which paid for the upgraded system almost twice over.”
Video monitoring helps logistics companies and supply-chain specialists do more than save money. It also helps them prevent incidents and injuries, and maintain an excellent safety culture. “Since the technology was upgraded, there have been dramatic improvements in health and safety at the site”, says Sergeant. If an incident occurs involving a picker or forklift, the site manager can review footage to understand exactly what happened.
"The images from the Oncam Evo Minis are so detailed that the site manager can identify individual members of staff”, explains Sergeant. “So if a driver didn’t complete the safety checklist on the picker before setting off, or didn’t sound the warning horn at a blind corner, the site manager has proof of what happened and knows who was responsible.” In addition, footage from the monitoring system has been incorporated into safety training at the site, to help communicate health and safety policies and guidelines more effectively. As a result, staff have a better grasp of the policies and guidelines, and understand why respecting them makes the working environment safer for everyone. “The use of 360 degree cameras as a business tool is growing fast”, says Scott Brothers, VP of Business Development at Oncam. “They’ve already proved themselves in retail and education, and these excellent outcomes show how they can play a critical part in improving health and safety and operational efficiency in the logistics industry.”
AsPro Security values its partnership with Oncam and rates the quality of its 360 degree cameras very highly: “We work with around 100 different IP cameras, always choosing the most appropriate one for the job in hand”, says Sergeant. “The Oncam 360 degree cameras’ dewarping capability and image quality make them the best on the market today, and they’re the only ones we use.”
The next step at the logistics company’s site involves trialling the latest Oncam 360 12 megapixel cameras, to improve coverage of a high-risk chemical storage area where a PTZ camera currently gives only a partial view. The company has also asked AsPro to redesign the video monitoring solution at its European distribution centre, where over 20 Oncam 360s will form part of the solution.