Pass the Parcel for Hikvision
Megapixel dome cameras from Hikvision are being used for object tracking by Chronopost, the leading express shipping company in France.
Chronopost has 80 sites (74 agencies, 6 hubs) and 3,500 relay points across France. The company offers a next-day morning service to the whole of France and couriering to 230 countries.
The 2 megapixel mini dome cameras are allowing Hikvision's local partner, ARGOS Technologies, to provide parcel tracking including 3-D representation of individual consignments as they move through a Chronopost logistics centre in Strasbourg. One hundred and fifty of the Hikvision cameras are being used at this centre alone and ease of deployment meant they were installed in just one week.
Chronopost demanded a system that would allow them to report to their customers on the movement of every parcel in their care and it became necessary to record the position and history of parcels on a 3D dynamic schematic of the logistics centre.
Many scenarios can disrupt the safe progress of a package from initial reception and scanning to placement in the correct vehicle for onward delivery within France. Parcels can fall off a conveyor belt, move in the wrong direction, become stuck due to unusual size or shape or loaded into the wrong truck through human error. Each event was a challenge which required cameras that could provide flexible optical coverage and high-resolution images suitable for video analytics.
The DS-2CD7153-E mini megapixel domes from Hikvision are being used at intervals of five meters on the Chronopost conveyor belts. According to the user's needs, the cameras can provide image quality including real-time video at HD (720p) or 1600x1200 at 15fps. These cameras are supplied as standard with a 4mm, F1.2 fixed iris lens though other lens options may be available on a project-specific basis. Users have control of video parameters including saturation, brightness and contrast, either through client software or web browser.
Video compression can be H.264, MPEG4 or M-JPEG. If required, the cameras will support PoE and this power mode has been chosen for Chronopost where space is at a premium due to camera numbers and proximity of staff and delivery vehicles. The compact dimensions of these mini domes (100 x 97.5 x 46.5 mm) also gave Hikvision a competitive edge at tender stage. The intelligent alarm functionality of these units includes triggering on motion detection, video tampering, signal loss and IP address conflict.
The Hikvision cameras are functioning on this project with SoftNet Manager from ARGOS Technologies. This is an SQL server-based management suite for IP video whose 3D schematic representations of a facility is well suited to a logistics site such as the Chronopost distribution centre. If a package is reported lost, Chronopost can use SoftNet Manager from their NVRs to follow the package's movement and can automatically build a high-definition composite clip of the object's progress through the facility from arrival to pick-up, combining footage from every relevant camera. In addition to the object tracking described here, the ARGOS software can be used for auto-tracking, intrusion detection, people counting and license plate recognition.
Based near Paris, ARGOS Technologies handle projects ranging from 16 to 10,000 cameras. Reference sites include airports, transport hubs, nuclear power plants, banks and museums. The company's R&D department develops their own algorithms which have proved successful at edge and core in video analytics environments across Europe.