Designing Security Monitoring Stations

By John Grocke, Published Apr 19, 2012, 12:00am EDT

Our Security Monitoring Station Guide is an introduction to selecting the right surveillance monitoring console furniture. In it, a number of people commented on challenges in using design software to lay out furniture.

In this note, we delve deeper into surveillance furniture design using downloadable design software provided by vendors in this space, including Middle Atlantic’s “Designer” [link no longer available] and Winsted’s “WELS”.

The short intro video below overviews our approach:

Both Middle Atlantic’s and Winsted’s console furniture design software will allow the consultant or integrator to:

  • Layout a custom console in a 3-dimensional environment and include accessories such as monitor mounts, internal racks and shelving, lighting and chairs.
  • Export the layout as a *.jpg image or export it for use with CAD software in an AutoCAD *.dxf format.
  • Prepare a complete bill of materials with MSRP pricing.
  • Produce a CSI specification for the console furniture.

The first video reviews use of Middle Atlantic's Designer application:

Pros:

  • Easy to manipulate views and 3D environment of the room.
  • Can add, move or delete items easily.
  • Selection area only shows parts that can be connected to the highlighted item in the console, no need to know beforehand what parts will” connect.
  • Ability to add walls, floor, doors windows and other office items for a complete finished look.
  • Training video and instructions available on their website.

Cons

  • Limited product selection, only have 18” & 36” surface consoles and LCD desks.
  • To lay out free-standing equipment racks, you need to use a separate “RackTools” design software program.

Winsted “WELS”

This video reviews Winstead WELS application:

Pros:

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  • More types of console furniture styles available.
  • Greater variety of accessories and monitor mounts.
  • Same software can be used to lay out 19” free-standing equipment racks
  • Can incorporate specific brands of electronic equipment such as DVR’s and switches.
  • Example designs available on their website. You can download a design similar to what you want and then modify it as needed, rather than starting from scratch.

Cons

  • Selecting, placing, rotating and moving furniture sections and accessories not as user-friendly.
  • Requires designer to have knowledge of which parts will mate together.
  • Graphics not as sharp or detailed.

Conclusion

With these free downloadable design tools, some patience and a little practice, a consultant or integrator can professionally lay out a surveillance furniture, export the design as an image or import it into a CAD design, determine the cost or estimate a budget, and produce bid quality specifications to meet their specific customer’s requirements.

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