Panasonic secures Whisky cooperage / UKCase example of Panasonic security system
Panasonic secures Whisky cooperage / UK
One of the largest producers of Scotch whisky, Edrington Group, operates from a number of locations around Scotland that cover every facet of Scotch whisky production, including distilling, blending and bottling. One of the vital elements in the whisky production process is the continual supply and maintenance of oak casks used to mature the company’s products. This task is undertaken at the Group’s Clyde Cooperage in West Lothian, Scotland, which has recently been secured by a Panasonic i-Pro CCTV surveillance solution, installed by Panasonic Premier Integrator (PPI), Pointer Ltd.
The origins of the Edrington Group stretch back to the 1850s and today it comprises five malt whisky distilleries and single malt brands; The Macallan, Highland Park, Glenrothes, Tamdhu and Glenturret. The Group also produce the Famous Grouse, the best selling whisky in Scotland for the last 29 years, and its premium products are exported to over 100 international markets.
In order to be called Scotch whisky, the product must be matured in oak casks for a minimum of three years. Edrington’s portfolio of Scotch whiskies is aged in oak barrels, with some dating back as far as 1926. To service their yearly production figures, Edrington owns over one million casks, made either from American Oak, preseasoned with bourbon whisky, or European Oak, typically seasoned with sherry wine. These hand-made casks, used in the aging of fine Scotch whisky, are often drawn into service several times over a lifetime.
Precise manufacture and maintenance of these casks is critical to the quality of the final product and as such, work on the casks is undertaken by master coopers at Edrington’s Clyde Cooperage, the leading independent cooperage in the UK.
Here, casks are prepared by a dedicated team to exacting standards, using hand tools and traditional manufacturing techniques that have been passed down through generations. Casks are inspected and repaired for re-use, or manufactured on-site from specially prepared European woods. These are then stored and dispatched for rigorous testing before being entrusted to age their precious contents. The Clyde Cooperage is a hive of activity and noise, Stuart MacPherson, Cooperage Manager explains: “Cooperage is a very specific skill involving a wide range of processes, which results in a busy and demanding working environment that combines the latest technology alongside traditional cooper’s skills. We as a company constantly monitor the working environment and fully comply with best practice under Health and Safety guidelines.
“Seeing the advantages of an existing CCTV system at our Glasgow HQ bottling facility, and having first hand experience of how it helped with the enforcement of Health and Safety, we contacted Pointer (who had taken over the maintenance and expansion of the piecemeal Glasgow system) for assistance.
“By my own admission I’m no CCTV expert, and as such, I relied on the skills of the Pointer team to lead me through the minefield of possible surveillance technology solutions we were faced with. I knew what areas of our 40-acre site I wanted to cover with electronic surveillance, and with comprehensive technical guidance from Pointer, we specified a complete Panasonic i-Pro based solution. The decision to procure a household brand like Panasonic gave us great confidence in our investment.
“To secure the optimum scene coverage we required, Pointer provided us with comprehensive and easy-to understand technical breakdowns of exactly what each proposed camera on the system would record when installed. This allowed us to finitely adjust the position of each camera unit for maximum scene coverage, prior to the installation work begining.”
“We recommended Panasonic’s IP based i-Pro products for a number of reasons; firstly, installing a dedicated Cat6 IP transmission network meant that cabling time on-site was significantly reduced compared to a traditional coax installation. As we were installing the system around an active cooperage, minimising any impact on its daily business operation was critical. Secondly, with Panasonic i-Pro equipment, we were able to supply power to all cameras over the network via Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), negating the need to install additional and expensive fused spurs at each camera point. This also meant that we could locate cameras in the ideal position for maximum screen coverage, free from the locational constraints of bulky coax cabling. And finally, the i-Pro solution offered unlimited levels of expandability, should further additions to the network be needed in the future.”
Pointer installed fourteen Panasonic i-Pro WV-NP240 Series cameras covering the cooperage’s cask storage area. The WV-NP240 Series is simple to install; equipped with PoE, it allows both power and video to be transmitted over the same cable, making installation at the cooperage as simple as plugging the cable into the hub. Covering the workshop area are ten WV-NF284 Network Dome Cameras, again featuring PoE technology their robust design makes them ideal for long-term performance in the adverse conditions of the cooperage workshop. Both the WV-NP240 and WV-NF284 cameras were star wired from two centrally sited 16-port network switches, linked by a Cat6 backbone to the on-site equipment/ control room.
“We are astonished at the quality of images produced by the system,” enthuses Stuart. “Retrospective investigations into incidents on-site, be they Health and Safety issues or minor industrial accidents, are now made infinitely more simple with the addition of high-quality CCTV footage. Video can be used to clarify actions of all parties involved, and has proved invaluable in corroborating any eyewitness accounts of incidents. In fact, the Group’s Human Resources department have hailed our system as an example of effective management and been very complimentary about the quality of the video we have provided for investigation.
“Since the system has been installed, we have experienced a quantifiable downturn in the number of incidents passed on to our Human Resources department, and the system has been an invaluable addition to implementing our Health and Safety procedures. We have also experienced a marked reduction in the number of ‘misplaced’ tools and an increase in the standards of general machinery maintenance and correct usage.
“Pointer has provided an exceptional solution, alongside fantastic customer service and comprehensive Panasonic support – and all just a phone call away. We will no doubt continue to enjoy this high-standard of after-sales service under our ongoing maintenance agreement, and have imminent plans to extend the i-Pro based CCTV system using Panasonic’s latest mega-pixel technology.”
At the control room, images are recorded on a Panasonic WJ-ND300A Network Video Recorder (NVR) that includes the Quick IP Setup feature. This automatically recognises the Panasonic i-Pro WV-NP240 Series cameras the moment they are connected to the network. In addition, Quick IP Setup eliminates the need to assign separate IP addresses for individual cameras. Expanding the recording capacity of the standard NVR, two Panasonic WJ-HDE300 Extension Units were used to provide a total recording capacity of 4 Terabytes. The high-quality footage received is monitored and reviewed on a dedicated PC, equipped with Panasonic’s WV-ASM100 Management PC software. Affording a virtual matrix for IP surveillance systems, WV-ASM100 enables single or split-screen monitoring from any of the connected network cameras. Live images can also be received and displayed directly from the camera or via the recorder, allowing ultimate visual surveillance and control for both real-time and retrospective investigations.
Product used in this application