Electricity Power Plant Example:  Physical Security and Personnel Access Management For Employees, Contractors, And Large Temporary Crews


The system requirements included access control and intrusion detection for eight power plants spread across two states and a large corporate office complex using a third party access control panel.  The system was to support mini-command centers at each plant and a large command center that saw all events located at the corporate facility.  Each plant handled routine credentialing at their location.  The credentialing process required that accessors had to have drug tests, meet educational update requirements, and often, individuals were required to be periodically recertified in the specific skills needed for their jobs.  If any of these requirements failed to be up to date, then access would be automatically denied until the problem was corrected.  Accessors included employees and contractor personnel, many of whom work for several contractors.  In every access transaction the reason for access had to be recorded including the contractor under whom access was granted.

Electric power plants must operate continuously so when maintenance periods occur, they must be as short as possible.  When one occurs, several thousand contractor personnel must be certified for access to the plant in just a very few days.  To do this, a mobile credentialing facility was created that could process the many persons needing access.  This facility included safety training facilities and many badging stations so the high number of persons could be processed.  Part of this process included checking on the prior history of persons and their work behavior at other plants and at other times.  Persons would present different identity credentials and reference information to avoid the center’s location of their prior history.  The system had to support these functions.

The credentialing system has to operate in synch with the HR system of the customer.

EnterpriseSMS® provided all of the required functions and more.  The deployed solution included many components including those listed below.  This system had redundant database servers and redundant transactions servers separated to ensure availability should a major calamity occur.


System Scale:

  • Approximately 2000+ monitored points
  • Approximately 550 access points
  • Eight mini command centers and one larger central command center
  • Approximately 5000 employees and a variable number of contractors
  • A contractor database of more than 30,000 persons.

Intrusion Detection and Facility Condition Monitoring:   

Intrusion detection and monitoring of many additional sensors that monitor many aspects of each facility are a part of the solution.  Many building functions are also controlled through this system.

Access Control At All Locations:  

A comprehensive access control system is provided including extensive special access processes.  This project utilizes third party access control panel.

Identity Management:  

A complete identity enrollment, credential production, and visitor management function is part of this process.  It met all of the required capabilities of the customer.

Multiple Command Stations: 

Multiple command stations operated in parallel.  They provide redundant control over the system.  This is used at vehicle gates and special access points where human supervision is required as well as monitoring the system.

External System Integration: 

Multiple distributed subsystems are integrated to provide a comprehensive solution for physical security.  These subsystems include special display systems and the HR system.