Elite Pak is an international business with asparagus farms and packaging plants in both the United States and Canada. They are one of the largest growers and packers of asparagus in Ontario, Canada, and their automated asparagus bunching machine leads the way in innovative ideas for the asparagus industry. Their mechanized processing allows Elite Pak to efficiently sort, bunch and package asparagus spears, making them ready for sale in supermarkets across North America.

The Elite Pak operations in Ontario are located in a rural agricultural area that has limited internet infrastructure. The internet options offered by the local ISPs are restricted to mobile LTE or wireless and satellite networks. These options restrict port forwarding and make it impossible to get a static IP. The growing season starts earlier in the United States and overlaps with the growing season in Canada. Elite Pak employees need to monitor Canadian operations when they start up each year to monitor food production, ensure quality, and maintain efficient operations.

A few years ago Elite Pak had to resort to paying for a VPN subscription, a second VPN router, and other network hardware to make it possible to be able to view cameras off-site with their old DVR. It did work — barely— but at the best of times it was slow and painful to connect, and certainly not reliable. After the VPN service provider also restricted port forwarding they lost the ability to access the cameras remotely. Elite Pak worked with ISW Systems to find a solution that would provide reliable, easy to use remote access to the cameras in their Ontario packaging facility.

ISW Systems installed an OpenEye MA-Series hybrid NVR and connected it to the cameras already installed in the facility. Because OpenEye Apex recorders establish a trusted outbound connection to facilitate client software connections without the need for port forwarding, Elite Pak was able to remove the now unnecessary extra equipment and VPN subscription. Elite Pak employees can now easily view the cameras at their Ontario facility from their other locations in the United States or elsewhere in Canada though OpenEye Web Services (OWS).

“OWS makes it simple, and much more secure than leaving remote access software open on a PC,” said Rick Varro from ISW Systems. Using single sign-on Elite Pak employees can use the same credentials to log into the recorder, the remote web client, OWS, or the OpenEye Mobile app giving them easy remote access without any complicated network configuring.

Without a standard high-speed internet line to the Ontario plant, remote access to the surveillance cameras used to require additional hardware to overcome the carrier-grade NAT firewalls put in place by the ISP and the system was cumbersome to maintain. “We are very excited to have remote access to our cameras in a situation where we normally could not,” said Lonnie Duwyn, Elite Pak owner. “Our ISP makes this impossible with most systems, but OpenEye’s advanced technologies overcame this problem easily.”