Dealers and integrators must provide industrial strength solutions that help customers secure their facilities, maintain safe work environments, meet regulatory requirements and ensure business resiliency.


Critical infrastructure is defined in the Homeland Security Act as systems and assets that are vital to this country’s security, economic security and public health or safety. These systems and assets include:
  • Drinking water,

  • Wastewater treatment plants,

  • Energy production, including utilities,

  • And chemicals.


Outdoor and perimeter security are key goals of industrial end users, and thermal imaging provides a night vision solution for detecting intruders.

Industrial Security Goals

According to Kile Unterzuber, vice president for business development and training, Security Management Consulting, Raleigh, N.C., “The basic security goals of this market are much the same as they’ve been for years: maintain safety, reduce asset loss, safeguard proprietary information and protect against workplace violence. Now companies have to secure against terrorism as well, including materials diversion for terrorist purposes and business interruption.” (See “The Challenge of Resiliency” sidebar on p. 62.)

Segments of the industrial market also are facing an alphabet soup of federal regulations mandating specific security measures to defend against terrorism. “The Department of Homeland Security is focused particularly on petrochemical and refinery companies,” notes Ryan Loughin, global director of sales for SST, a FirstService company, Norristown, Pa. “The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) mandate requires high-risk chemical facilities to implement risk-based performance standards, and the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) requires sectors of the maritime industry to implement measures to protect America’s ports and waterways from a terrorist attack, including issuance of a secure Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC),” he explains.

Because industrial sites and facilities can be large and complex, customers need systems that can operate outdoors, across significant distances, day and night, and in all types of weather. Large petrochemical plants, for example, can have perimeters of 10 miles or more. “Much of this perimeter can include areas — waterfront or wetlands — that don’t permit use of typical perimeter hardware, such as a fence or fixed lighting structure,” describes Bill Klink, vice president, security and surveillance, FLIR Systems, Wilsonville, Ore., a manufacturer of thermal camera systems. This presents challenges for integrators.

“You have to be prepared for installation issues you don’t encounter in a non-industrial security equipment installation,” says Steve Holmes, director, enterprise solutions, Securitas Systems USA, a national integrator that works with customers in the chemical and utilities industry.

Another market goal, according to Wes Foss, vice president of sales for Universal Safety Response (USR), a vehicle barrier and peri-meter security system manufacturer in Franklin, Tenn., is “securing facilities with the newest, most revolutionary, and yet proven, technologies.”

Foss continues, “There are many projects that involve retrofitting older, traditional systems, such as hydraulic barriers and wedges, with newer technologies, such as our Ground Retractable Automobile Barrier (GRAB), that meet regulatory requirements and the end user’s quality and service specifications.” About 40 percent of Universal Safety Response’s business is generated from leading U.S. petrochemical and energy companies.

“An Exciting Time”

Although there’s been solid growth in the industrial security market for several years, manufacturers and integrators believe prospects for continued growth are bright. “This is an incredibly exciting time in the evolution of the market,” states John Romanowich, president and CEO, SightLogix, an outdoor intelligent video surveillance manufacturer in Princeton, N.J. “I think it parallels early days of the Internet build out.”

Securitas Systems’ Holmes believes regulation will keep spurring market growth. “There are more and more requirements related to monitoring, integration and security in the private industrial sector,” he explains. “Even Sarbanes-Oxley has an impact in this market segment.”

New vehicle barrier technologies are in demand to protect the people and infrastructure of industrial complexes.

Harder, Stronger Solutions

In response to mandates, business best practices, and terrorism threats, industrial buyers are seeking more hardened security measures and stronger physical protection. “This market requires technologies not typically applied in the world of commercial security,” explains Loughin. “CCTV and perimeter detection, including fiber-based fence detection and camera-based video analytics, are probably the most sought after technologies. They are niche market products designed to keep unauthorized people and vehicles away from facilities. So, to serve this market, we’re working with companies that offer thermal imaging, K-rated vehicle barriers, hardened fence lines and radar technologies, as well as those that provide traditional security technologies like card readers and cameras.”

“The market is buying access control, ballistic guard booths, Department of State-rated vehicle barriers and passive barriers such as fixed bollards and decorative Jersey barriers,” comments Universal Safety Response’s Foss. “We’ve seen increased interest in overspeed and wrong way detection technologies particularly, but end users want to ensure that these new technologies don’t unnecessarily restrict employee access or endanger them through accidental deployment.”

“Our clients are more interested in cable barriers and crash-proof gates that stop vehicle entry than those that provide traffic control,” adds Security Management Consulting’s Unterzuber. “They want taller fence lines topped with barbed wire. Gone are the days when security was designed to be environmentally friendly and create psychological barriers. Today, it’s all about systems that harden barriers and speed up response.”

The size and complexity of industrial sites requires careful equipment deployment planning to ensure full perimeter security.

Tips for Industrial Size Success

Take a consultative approach. Security Management Consulting has found that industrial customers often put “the cart before the horse,” requesting electronic security solutions before putting policies and procedures in place that address issues such as credentialing, recordkeeping and auditing, many of which are required by federal regulation. “Only about 10 percent of the market works with consultants,” comments Unterzuber, “the rest rely on their dealers and integrators.” He recommends that dealers educate themselves on regulations and best practices in order to conduct security assessments and advise clients of gaps that need closure before a specific security system can be effective.

Think outside the building. Given the importance of video security and perimeter intrusion detection to the industrial market, Klink encourages security dealers to build their expertise in technologies with outside applications. He adds that clients are increasingly less accepting of environmental modifications, such as more light poles, to make traditional technologies work better outdoors. “They cost more, create light pollution and people don’t like them,” he says. “It’s better to choose technologies like thermal cameras that work within the existing, often dark, environment.”

Sell experience and value. Interviewees have worked on projects ranging from thousands of dollars to millions. Find out early in the project if there’s a budget and who will approve it. Budget authority can rest with headquarters, the facility itself, or a combination if the project exceeds a certain amount. The good news is that low price is not generally the No. 1 goal (except with procurement). “Cost is always considered,” notes Loughin, “but I believe the main factors are capability and project experience.” Unterzuber adds that ROI is key. “Provide a solution that can be cost justified because it reduces manpower and provides effective security.”

Build partnerships. Industrial customers want turnkey installations from one source. This can make it difficult for a security integrator to handle the full scope of a customer’s needs on its own. Virtually everyone interviewed for this article counsels seeking strategic partnerships with manufacturers and with a general contractor if necessary. “You’ll thrive based on the quality and expertise of the partners you pick,” stipulates Romanowich.

Service, service, service. “This is a relationship industry. Decision-makers have to believe in you and your company. You’ll earn that trust by delivering high quality products and good customer support after the sale,” summarizes Foss.

Sidebar: The Challenge of Resiliency

Business resiliency is a key goal of the industrial market. According to the Council on Competitiveness, “Technological and market forces have created new potential for business disruption…The challenge is not just protection — it is resilience.”

Industrial companies are looking for ways, and partners, to turn security into a strategy for resilience — and to do it cost-effectively and efficiently. Industrial company executives are “…worried about risk and reward,” comments SightLogix president and CEO John Romanowich. “Business disruption is costly to a company’s brand, to its bottom line and ultimately to its shareholder value. As a result, management doesn’t want simply to buy cameras, video, or storage; they want to buy prevention and efficiency.”

The Cost of Downtime / Average per hour

Energy $7,800,000

Manufacturing $1,610,654

Pharmaceuticals $1,082,252

Chemicals $ 704,101

Utilities $ 643,250

Source: Quantifying Performance and Loss, Meta Group, Oct. 2000