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Pattern protection.

Oil drills and other construction equipment used by major oil and gas companies around the world are forged at places such as Texas Steel Company in Ft. Worth. While the finished product is rugged, the valuable wooden patterns from which the original carbon steel castings are made can easily be destroyed by fire.

The patterns belong to the foundry's customers, and in addition to the cost of replacement, "there's business interruption and other problems that can befall you if you damage or lose those patterns," notes Frank Laminack, vice president of industrial relations at Texas Steel. Fire security is, therefore, a top priority.

Laminack is responsible for security and fire protection at the foundry. He wanted a system that could monitor the company's six separate pattern warehouses, spread out over its 19-acre site, to supplement the existing sprinkler systems. The alarms would be used to call the company's on-site fire brigade. An expansion of the inventory, which now numbers roughly 3,000 patterns worth $15 million, had caused the company to outgrow the areas directly protected by the sprinkler systems.

Laminack first looked at off-the-shelf fire security systems but chose instead an expandable integrated software package recently developed by Ralph Holley and Lee Chaffin, now with the Excalibur Software Company in Arlington, Texas. Although the product was originally made to an individual company's specifications, Excalibur hopes to market it as a modifiable package and is using Texas Steel as a living showcase.

The Security Software Program, as the product is called, can tie together the various elements a security department wants monitored and provide menu-driven information through a central PC.

For now, says Laminack, "this system enables us to know which part of which building is experiencing either the heat or the smoke." But the choice was mainly driven by the company's plans to expand the software's applications. "Our future plans include attaching major pieces of equipment to the system and being able to monitor whether they are up and operational."

The software can be programmed to know whether equipment is functioning within prescribed parameters. It can also be programmed to handle access control, to lock and unlock gates, for example, or to turn lights on and off. Time and attendance records can be integrated into the package, as well. "These are all things on our list," says Laminack, who notes that the possibilities seem endless.

Excalibur is in the process of contacting security installers through which the software will be made available. It is expected to retail for somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000, depending on the level of programming functions desired by the end user.
COPYRIGHT 1993 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Security Works; security system for oil drill and construction equipment wooden patterns
Publication:Security Management
Date:May 1, 1993
Previous Article:Going to market.
Next Article:Modifying behavior in the chain of command.

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