- April 18, 2011
- Case Study
Bernick's Beverages & Vending installed Toshiba IP cameras, network, and software to monitor its distribution center and offices.
April 18, 2011 -- Based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Bernick's Beverages & Vending is a fourth-generation, family-owned provider of beverages and foods, representing leading brands such as Pepsi, Dr Pepper, Miller Brewing , and New England Coffee. Five warehouse locations are situated to meet the needs of retail customers throughout greater Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Over the past century, Bernick's has grown from a one-person horse-drawn operation to a company of more than 500 employees and a fleet of 400 vehicles. Like many growing companies with multiple operational sites, Bernick's has been challenged to find an ideal video surveillance system. Several years ago, it invested in B&W analog cameras and timelapse VCR recorders to safeguard its warehouses, but had grown dissatisfied with the limited capabilities, errors and time-consuming maintenance. In 2010 Bernick's tasked Minco, Inc., a local systems integrator and authorized Toshiba dealer, with the job of migrating from its existing analog system to a state-of-the-art IP network video system. According to Jim Draper, Corporate Sales Representative for Minco Technology Center, Bernick's foremost requirement of the project was to enable management in the St. Cloud headquarters to remotely monitor all five company locations, specifically the ingoing and outgoing trucks and freight: "Bernick's strategy was to centralize command at the St. Cloud offices so that all video could be remotely accessed by authorized users, even at sites hundreds of miles away. They needed streaming video to know exactly what - and who -- was coming and going in real time from their warehouses. A secondary goal was to standardize the IP equipment in all locations and fully leverage the company's robust wide area network for central management." The first step in the project was for Bernick's IT team and Toshiba's technical support to configure an existing server at the St. Cloud headquarters as a "virtual server" to host Toshiba NVR software. Designed for use non-proprietary hardware and IT infrastructures, NVR software allows up to 32 IP cameras to be connected. Users can then simultaneously view, record, search, configure and export video, making NVR software a cost-effective alternative to traditional DVRs in some instances. Toshiba tech support worked closely with the team to implement the software solution. In short order, Bernick's had access to twenty new IP cameras within the St. Cloud office building and inside the attached 200,000-square-foot warehouse. Each camera was assigned its own IP address and than set to a unique inbound and outbound port on the server. Bernick's concerns at its warehouses were well-founded. Dozens of trucks move in and out of each facility daily, as well as hundreds of visitors, customers, contractors and employees. Warehouses require constant supervision and need to be protected from internal and external threats. Highly visible cameras let would-be thieves or vandals know they are being watched. If an incident was to occur, the captured digital video can be email to the police for investigations, increasing the likelihood that the accused will be quickly prosecuted. Moreover, the new cameras let on-site security personnel perform other important actions other than watch video monitors in an office, day-in and day-out. For these reasons, camera selection and deployment were critical. Several Toshiba IK-WR12A IP dome cameras were strategically deployed at the dock's staging areas to give a full visual of trucks, employees and freight. The Toshiba cameras selected are ruggedized IP66-rated models featuring a heavy-duty metal enclosure, along with a built-in heater/blower to endure Minnesota's extreme cold winters and hot summers. Another key performance point was the camera's 802.3af PoE; it permitted more versatility in mounting while reducing the overall cost of installation by not requiring new electrical cabling to be run. Of course, video quality was extremely important: "The first time we demonstrated the IK-WR12A cameras, the people at Bernick's were truly impressed," said Tony Bennett, Minco's Telcomm and Cabling Supervisor. "We were able to zoom onto a freight box so closely they could clearly read its small shipping label, although they had logged onto the network 180 miles away." Inside the St. Cloud building Toshiba IK-WB16A pan-tilt IP cameras were deployed throughout interior corridors to escort guests in a secure path. The IK-WB16A's two-megapixel resolution enables a single camera to capture overviews of very large indoor areas, such as a lunchroom or conference room, as well as to acquire small details including close-ups on individual faces. Within the front lobby Toshiba's IK-WB70A IP bullet cameras are installed. Equipped with IR illumination with coverage up to 15 meters and day/night imaging, the cameras feature an extra wide dynamic range CMOS sensor that yields superior images in virtually any lighting condition. These features were important because the cameras are used not only during normal business hours but also for nighttime surveillance through the lobby's front windows and glass doors. Upon completing the St. Cloud deployment, Minco brought Toshiba IP technology to the company's Duluth and Dresser warehouses. Rather than use a virtual server, however, both locations relied upon Toshiba ISP network video recorders. The IPS is a robust network based video surveillance solution in a streamlined 3U chassis capable of recording at megapixel resolutions and up to 30 PPS per IP camera. In addition to providing surveillance in Duluth and Dresser, Minco set up an IP camera inside the server rooms of each location that lets Bernick's IT department remotely monitor network equipment. In the event of a network incident, an administrator in St. Cloud can scan blinking indicator lights on the servers to diagnose a problem. Then, rather than drive several hours to either location, he can tweak the servers via a remote connection to resolve the issue. Bernick's is pleased with the Toshiba installation to date and plans to expand the IP video program to its other locations. "One of the best things about working with Toshiba is that the techs get it," notes Minco's Bennet. "We have yet to see a situation where Toshiba tech support failed the customer. We've worked with several other manufacturers that have excellent equipment but don't support it after the sale. Toshiba supports its equipment before, during and after the sale so that as a dealer I have full confidence." ABOUT TOSHIBA AMERICA INFORMATION SYSTEMS, INC. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., TAIS is comprised of four business units: Digital Products Division, Imaging Systems Division, Storage Device Division, and Telecommunication Systems Division. Together, these divisions provide mobile products and solutions, including industry leading portable computers; projectors; imaging products for the security, medical and manufacturing markets; storage products for automotive, computer and consumer electronics applications; and telephony equipment and associated applications. TAIS provides sales, marketing and services for its wide range of information products in the United States and Latin America. TAIS is an independent operating company owned by Toshiba America, Inc., a subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation, which is a global leader in high technology and integrated manufacturing of electrical and electronic components, products and systems, as well as major infrastructure systems. Toshiba has more than 172,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of over US $54 billion (FY2005).Learn More
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