The company Fonti di Vinadio SpA, which bottles and sells Sant’Anna di Vinadio mineral water, was founded in 1996 by Alberto Bertone, the company’s owner and Chairman. With 700 million bottles sold, Acqua Sant’Anna is the clear market leader and is the only leading brand in the mineral water industry that is 100% Italian. The water that flows out of springs at an altitude of up to 1,950 metres is channelled through 400 km of stainless steel pipes to the plant, where it is collected in 11 stainless steel tanks that each hold 1 million litres of water. This is the starting point of the production line, where the water is immediately bottled in order to preserve its organoleptic properties.
The Vinadio production plant is the largest of this kind in the world, with a surface area of 60,000 square metres. There are 10 bottling lines, the last two of which were tested in 2008 and produce 55,000 and 45,000 units per hour respectively. Over the last three years, the company has focused heavily on diversification, adding the production of iced tea and fruit nectars to that of mineral water. The company is therefore planning to reorganise the plant and add new production lines. The plant is highly automated, with automated laser-guided systems handling all movement of goods, from storage to leaving the warehouse. The company therefore needed to implement a video surveillance system that would enable the entire premises to be monitored with immediate effect, ensuring precise and effective control of the whole production system.
The Sony cameras chosen to monitor the Vinadio plant are part of the V Series and come from Sony’s range of sixth-generation (G6) IP network cameras. The specific models chosen were the SNC-VB600, a box camera, and the SNC-VM602R, a vandal- and weather-resistant minidome camera. So far, 20 cameras have been installed in total. The project, managed by Gruppo Sintesi, provides for installation of another 10–15 cameras in the coming months.
The Sony SNC-VB600 and SNC-VM602R cameras offer 720p/60 fps HD images of exceptional quality and a maximum resolution of 1280 x 1024 pixels. The new Exmor CMOS sensor, derived from Sony’s broadcast product range, improves the capture of images thanks to low noise characteristics. Both models incorporate the IPELA ENGINE signal processing system developed by Sony to acquire, analyse and act upon clearer and sharper HD images in the most challenging of environments. The Day/Night function of these cameras ensures continuity of video footage, as the camera alternates automatically between Day mode (colour) and Night mode (black and white) according to the light levels, ensuring optimisation of images in any light conditions. View-DR processing technology combines images captured with different shutter speeds to deliver a wide dynamic range up to 130 dB (for HD 720p).
The products chosen, like all Sony products, are ONVIF-compliant. ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) defines a common protocol for the exchange of information between network video devices, including automatic device recognition and video streaming.
“The ability to check that our production process is working perfectly at all stages and in real time is essential to our business, because it enables us to ensure the safety of the finished product to our consumers”, commented Alberto Bertone, Chairman of Fonti di Vinadio SpA. “The video surveillance system we’ve implemented using Sony cameras responds to our monitoring needs not just for plant security, but also for control of the entire production process.”
The flow of spring water to the Vinadio plant is uninterrupted, there are never any breaks in the production cycle and Sant’Anna spring water can be delivered to consumers’ tables in 48 hours. One of the important aspects contributing to this choice was the built-in infrared (IR) illuminators, which ensure capture and excellent visibility up to 30 metres away from the camera, even in absolute darkness. Another important factor in the decision was the innovative View-DR technology, which enables the camera to capture images in a clear and adaptive way, even in conditions with strong backlight or a lot of light. It therefore offers excellent visibility in areas of high contrast, such as the gates where goods are loaded and unloaded.