Guatemala Transforms Electrical Generating Operations with IP Video

In 2012, the electricity providers EEGSA of Guatamala had to shift from a manual monitoring program, based on employees traveling to different locations, to a remotely managed video surveillance system. This change generated massive changes for EEGSA, with lasting positive results over the following years.

The required video surveillance system had to digitize the security footage in all of its substations, to help avoid damage to its own infrastructure as well as electrocution hazards for people trying to access these places without warning or authorization.

To protect the assets of the electric substations in Guatemala and be able to control them remotely, EEGSA decided to implement an IP network video surveillance system.  Up until 2012 EEGSA did not have a CCTV surveillance system. Rather, the security was monitored laboriously in a time-consuming way via motorized visits made by staff and surveillance guards. They did not have the ability to centrally and simultaneously supervise all the substations.

After analyzing proposals from different integrators, the Guatemalan company picked the offer from ASIS Corp., who presented solutions based on Milestone Systems video management software. This choice was perfectly suited for EEGSA needs and offered an immediate benefit in terms of protection and cost for each substation. Additionally, some equipment provided by Axis, Bosch and Network Video Technologies (NVT) was adapted.

They chose the globally leading video management software XProtect Professional by Milestone Systems to monitor the offices of the different departments as well as companies associated to the EEGSA. By the end of 2016, the system had three Dell servers with Windows Server and RAID 5 configuration, with video data storage capacity up to 45 days from the AXIS PTZ Q60 series and fixed P13 network video cameras.

Along with providing full satisfaction by achieving a 98% reduction in security incidents for the company, the Milestone software also provides support for the local police in investigations related to occurrences near the substations or where equipment has been installed – both located in public areas.

Every location was different, some of them are very far away, and that is why one of the challenges was to perform the installation in areas with difficult access. There is a shelter in each point and it has Internet service through antenna or fiber optics (the later ones ease the communication process). Nevertheless, some remote locations required communication through GPRS. – Eduardo Lopez, Engineer at ASIS Corp.

The monitoring is done from the central office where phone calls from agencies and offices are simultaneously received through a console. The guards in charge of the routes and on the streets support the video surveillance system, and all entities are managed from the command center. The monitoring room has six 42” screens and three workstations with HD dual 20” screens.

The main objective is to protect the facilities and preserve the life of trespassers who ignore security protocols and can be electrocuted. Copper and other material theft has also been reduced, which in the past had caused suspension of the electric service. The Milestone system allows remote verification and access for maintenance visits that are made to every substation.

EEGSA chose XProtect Professional video management software by Milestone because it is scalable to cover more divisions and offices from different departments and associated companies as they were added to the project over time. Initially they covered 64 electric substations in the country that benefit about 4 million inhabitants.

Additionally, the system is integrated with the alarm system of the shelters, provided by DSC, where the servers and communicators were installed. The integration to electromechanical locks provided by Securitron GL-1 allows remote control of access to the stations.

The performance of the installed solutions according to the integrator allowed EEGSA to effectively control the equipment and the infrastructure of every monitored and guarded place, to the extent that incidences decreased by 98%.

This security solution not only allows the full monitoring of our infrastructure, but also integrates the locks to enable the remote gates to be controlled centrally, with the consequent optimization of the distribution of security personnel. This is a system that – even though it seems complex – is easy to operate. An additional advantage that it provides is stability of performance, generating total trust in the managers of every division involved in the operations of our services and protection. – Juan Jose Molina, chief of the security department of EEGSA

Lopez concluded that the implemented system has been an example to replicate in the subsidiaries in other countries where EEGSA has presence, to achieve regional integration.

See the full case study in Spanish on EEGSA’s company-wide video management.