A cutting-edge security solution for a historic port



Captain Pat Farnan, Harbour Master, the Port of Cork, Ireland


The challenge of implementing an advanced security system at one of Ireland’s leading ports

The background

The Port of Cork is one of Ireland’s most economically important ports. Cork hosts over 3,000 ships annually and handles 10 million tonnes of cargo, making it one of the busiest in Ireland. The value of goods received and dispatched is in excess of €35 billion annually and with 99 per cent of trade by volume moving through the country’s ports each year, the efficient and effective operation of facilities is essential.

The Port of Cork is now in its third century of operation. Over the years, it has changed dramatically to respond to the evolving needs of the shipping industry. Meeting the security demands of the modern era is just one of the ways the port has had to transform itself. The security solution it has put in place with ADT has placed the port in a strong position to further adapt to new challenges as the millennium progresses.

Ports are vital to Ireland’s economy, so maintaining their security is crucial. Cork needed a solution provider that could implement a system quickly and efficiently, and therefore with a high specification. Thus, choosing a contractor with a strong heritage in the sector, such as ADT, was important.

The needs

The port, like many others around the world, has found it necessary to update its security systems in response to the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) code requirements. However, the Port of Cork’s situation presented a number of unique issues:

The first and most significant challenge in implementing this system was one of geography. Covering roughly 15 square kilometres, with four distinct areas, the port’s facilities are stretched out over a considerable distance. This makes the site more difficult to monitor. It was therefore essential that the system offered centralised remote monitoring without limiting its capabilities. Secondly, it was crucial that the work was completed over a specified time scale and ideally as quickly as possible in order to, amongst other things, minimise the disruption to operations that the implementation would cause.

Finally, it was imperative that the solution chosen was flexible going forward. The system needed to be both state of the art and adaptable as security issues change.

The solution

A key factor in contributing to the success of the project has been the ability of ADT to manage all elements of the security solution. All engineering and electrical work was carried out by the company – ensuring that the project was controlled at every stage and not derailed by third parties and sub-contractors. When implementing an advanced system, it is important to have dedicated on-site support and project managers. ADT’s ability to utilise local expertise on-site was a key factor in making the work successful. Furthermore, by using equipment manufactured by ADT’s parent company, Tyco Fire & Security, a high degree of knowledge and strong supplier relations were built into the project implementation:

Firstly, ADT installed a state of the art closed circuit television (CCTV) system – consisting of 24 static and controllable cameras connected by fibre optic cables, as well as microwave signalling, with the capacity to transmit data over a distance of approximately 3 kilometres. The CCTV system also included:

• Recording equipment which enables viewing at the control offices.

• Vehicle Number Plate Recognition (VNPR) technology which automatically records every vehicle embarking and disembarking the ‘roll-on roll-off ’ ferries. Entry to the deep-water terminal, for commercial ferries, also has a full traffic management system with control barriers and VNPR cameras. This system can be used to provide automatic entry to certain vehicles whose registrationplates have been granted the access level required.

Secondly, ADT has installed an advanced access control system throughout the facility. This system allows access to be managed and automated from a central point using devices at doors as well as barriers, gates and turnstiles.

The above elements of the security system have been pivotal in meeting the geographical challenges of the site. By installing a cutting edge CCTV and access control system the port can control and monitor movements within its grounds remotely. This is of great importance to the Port of Cork, with its headquarters in the city centre.

Central to modern technology solutions today is the networked capability of the systems. The solutions provided at the Port of Cork are no different and ADT has drawn on its extensive experience and knowledge across other sectors to ensure the maximum degree of network links in the system. All CCTV and access control equipment is linked throughout the facility using standard hard wired cabling but also fibre optics and microwave transmission – a feature that enables information to be transmitted over several kilometres – vital at a large scale site.

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