Integrated security system accomplishes positive results for Powerwave Technologies
Integrated security system accomplishes positive results for Powerwave Technologies

Apr 1, 2001 12:00 PM

The monitoring station uses a digital video monitor system to keep tabs on the comings and goings of people walking throughout the facility. It is the centerpiece of Powerwave's security system.

B.A.S.I. plans to install more cameras and access control into the Powerwave facility before the end of the year.

At Powerwave Technologies Inc., security is a priority. The Irvine, Calif.-based technology company designs, manufactures and markets advanced radio frequency power amplifiers for use in wireless communication networks worldwide. Given the high-performance products being produced, keeping the company's assets secure is a major undertaking.

Until this year, the company relied heavily on its security guard force to monitor who came and went at the facility. Seeking a more cost-effective means of security, Powerwave is in the process of upgrading its security system with the installation of access control and video monitoring.

"We reviewed lots of technology, and this system gives us exactly what we want," says Michael Porcelli, manager of security for Powerwave. "We need security that we can be comfortable with and that we feel will do the job."

For Powerwave, doing the job means protecting some very high-performance products. Powerwave Technologies began in 1985 selling RF power amplifiers for use in analog wireless networks under the name Milcom International Inc. In 1993, the company began selling amplifiers to the air-to-ground market for use in both ground stations and in commercial aircraft to amplify telephone transmissions between airline passengers and ground-based networks. In 1995, the company began selling multi-carrier ultra-linear RF power amplifiers for installation in the digital cellular networks being built in South Korea.

In June of 1996, Milcom changed its name to Powerwave Technologies.

Powerwave has more than 2,000 employees located in its Irvine facility, which encompasses 200,000 square feet. Each employee carries a badge manufactured by Lenel. To monitor the comings and goings of each employee, Powerwave has enlisted the help of B.A.S.I. Security Technologies, a security solutions and full-service electronics company that provides security analysis, systems design, equipment purchase, installation, integration and off-site monitoring.

B.A.S.I. has installed access control card readers from Lenel at 45 of the company's doors. The Lenel access badges are part of a video badging system. Powerwave's in-house security staff maintains and updates cards, keeping track of the comings and goings of staff. A card printer in the command center produces the badges. The access proximity badges are used to activate the card readers to allow entrance. Perimeter doors to the facility have restricted access during the core business hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Powerwave's in-house security department maintains and updates cards. Employees wear badges every day. Badges are deactivated within hours after an employee's termination or last day on the job.

Tied into the installation of the card readers are 40 Pelco cameras that monitor entry and exit of traffic at each door. B.A.S.I. has also placed cameras and card readers at perimeter doors and doors that protect rooms housing classified material.

"What we really want to do is limit internal theft. And with B.A.S.I. technology we know we have at least three checks and balances when it comes to security," says Porcelli.

Besides the in-house guards monitoring activities in the facility from a command center, Powerwave has back-up monitoring help. Powerwave's monitoring system is linked to B.A.S.I.'s own command station. The link allows guards at B.A.S.I. to see the activities taking place in Powerwave's facility by accessing cameras tied into the system.

The video monitoring station uses Alpha Systems Lab's RemoteWatch Millennium digital video monitor system to keep tabs on the comings and goings of people walking throughout the facility. RemoteWatch is the centerpiece of Powerwave's security system.

RemoteWatch Millennium is a PC-based, modular digital video management solution. RemoteWatch has a built-in 32-camera multiplexer, and each camera on the system can be scheduled individually for up to 256 record times weekly. The individual record times allow Powerwave to record inside cameras weekly throughout the regular business hours, while cameras on the perimeter record 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"The system can be triggered by multiple alarms and once an alarm is triggered, we can see what causes that alarm," says Lawrence Harper, owner of B.A.S.I.

The system also allows guards monitoring the video monitors to talk to the person(s) who triggered the alarm.

The system allows Powerwave's in-house security staff to check and monitor remote sites. The remote dial-in allows the staff not only to view activities in other facilities, but to manipulate cameras in the building for better views.

Harper says the system can be integrated with various security systems.

"All of our systems are designed to be a fully integrated platform. We can do access control, intrusion, etc. All of the systems can work together, which makes a difference," says Harper.

Intrusion alarms from Radionics have been placed throughout the Powerwave facility. A remote tear gas dispenser has also been placed in the facility. "You just never know when you might need tear gas," says Harper.

Porcelli chose B.A.S.I. as a systems integrator because of his experience with the company at a former employer.

"I knew exactly what they offered. In my previous job, we had an internal theft problem. With this system, we were able to pick up video of employees stealing," says Porcelli. "This system gives you a very good check and balance."

RemoteWatch also allows video frames and data to be backed-up at the company's command center for long-term storage. A user of the system may keep a back-up copy of transactions recorded on video for up to a year.

According to Porcelli, the system will allow Powerwave to eliminate at least two of the company's eight guard positions.

"It allows us to use our guards more efficiently," says Porcelli.

Porcelli says the security system also can allow Irvine police cruisers equipped with laptop computers to tap into the video monitoring system.

And the system isn't complete. B.A.S.I. plans to install more cameras and access control into the Powerwave facility before the end of the year. Powerwave's 120,000 square-foot facility in northern California and a facility in the San Francisco Bay area are also scheduled for a security system installation by B.A.S.I.

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