Special Report: The camera solution
In the drive towards achieving more effective fire-prevention mechanisms in the oil and gas industry, cameras can perform a key function, as Canon Middle East's Sam Oommen explains
For a long time now, Canon has been providing camera solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Now, however, the company is keen to shift its focus from simply being a hardware company and camera manufacturer to becoming a full solutions provider, according to Sam Oommen, product manager – network visual solution and projector, imaging products group at Canon Middle East.
“Now we are looking to reach out to the oil and gas industry, where we are keenly considering how we can pitch our products, not just in terms of camera products, but also in terms of overall solutions,” he says.
“In places like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, where regulations are in place, there has been demand for systems that can work in temperatures above 50°C. So, what we have done is improve the heat resistance for our systems to up to 55°C.”
This level of heat resistance is crucial for outdoor installations in the Middle East and is a key feature of the new VB-R11 series, which targets the oil and gas segment.
Oommen continues: “The VB-R 11VE also offers 360° views. As many companies are looking for cost reductions, installing a camera that can cover 360° at a single point can be an economically sound option.We also have an infrared (IR) model, which is ideal for oil and gas installations. It can go up to 0.002 lux, which is useful to monitor the facilities at night.”
Although Canon Middle East has mostly catered to the retail, hospitality, and banking sectors in the past, the application of its products could have a major impact on the region’s oil and gas industry, Oommen believes. Installing cameras on a facility’s perimeter, and in internal critical areas, can aid fire detection and, as a result, significantly improve saftey, as he explains.
“Fire protection starts with prevention, so camera systems become important for detection and surveillance purposes. We are looking to provide solutions so that accidents are prevented.”
He acknowledges that price sensitivity can be an important factor in purchasing decisions: “We have seen that our markets are very price-sensitive; we have seen it in Africa, where there is huge potential.”
However, he adds that when it comes to fire protection, this mindset is changing. “People are now focussing on quality, but that is happening slowly,” he says. “Markets like the UAE or Saudi are mature when it comes to the quality of products.”
Forming relationships with multiple vendors enables Canon Middle East to improve its offering and gain a better understanding of the oil and gas market’s requirements, Oommen adds.
“There is a lot of scope and opportunity in the oil and gas industry. I think it is just a matter of time before [the situation caused by low crude oil prices] gets better.”
He explains that the firm is adopting a slow and steady approach to its expansion into markets like Africa and the Middle East. “We are not in a rush. We are looking at other verticals, but the oil and gas sector is one that we are looking at more closely than before.”