Integrator Partner, Custom Connections Audio Video, Installed Hundreds of 4 MP and 4K Turret Cameras and 32-Channel NVRs to Expand Visibility and Video Storage
*This case study originally appeared in SJA: https://securityjournalamericas.com/midwest-car-washes-update-security/
Custom Connections Audio Video (Custom Connections), a Hikvision dealer based in Springboro, Ohio, was contracted to provide expertise for video security cameras for a car wash company with numerous locations.
Express Car Wash Concepts, out of Columbus, Ohio, has a broad portfolio of more than 200 car wash locations throughout the state that goes by various names in each region, including “Flying Ace” and “BeeClean,” “Moo Moo Carwash,” and “Clean Carwash.” The company contacted the owner of Custom Connections, Mark Crumbacher, to advise them on improving the visibility of vehicles traveling through the car wash tunnels to help reduce liabilities.
Liability is high for car washes. Vehicles are expensive assets, so a scratch, dent, or ding can easily cost thousands of dollars in repairs. In addition, having a robust, high-quality video security system in place is critical for Express Car Wash Concepts, as it is used heavily for forensics to determine if a specific car wash location caused damage to a vehicle when a customer makes a claim.
“Their average car wash needs between 15-20 security cameras. The primary goal is to capture the vehicle, including all sides and the top, with a high frame-rate scan of the vehicle upon entering and exiting the tunnel, “ said Crumbacher. The car wash also has cameras that cover the retail shop, the safe, hallways, equipment, and the cashier. “We recommended using Hikvision 4 MP and 4K turret cameras that offer a superior solution over dome cameras for the car wash, as the plastic covering on a dome lens and infrared (IR) can get cloudy over time or develop a pinhole leak that affects image quality. Turret cameras offer a rugged option with a longer performance that separates the IR from the lens, eliminates halo effects, and presents better clarity in the video and images. Over time, the turrets are easier to care for and present a better long-term investment.”
“We have been using Hikvision camera systems installed by Custom Connections AV exclusively for the past five years. The quality of the installation and equipment is just remarkable,” said Michael Boyle, Senior IT Manager at Express Car Wash Concepts. “Seeing damage on vehicles coming into our wash tunnels has saved us thousands of dollars in potential liability repairs. So many individuals enter our washes and, upon exit, blame our equipment for the damage they now see on their vehicles. With the installed camera systems, we can visibly show the damage vehicles had before they entered our wash. This crystal clear visibility includes fine scratches and minor rock chips that are very difficult to see.”
Boyle added that they could not produce this level of detail before using the Hikvision 4K cameras. “As a result, it cost us a great deal of money repairing vehicle damage we did not cause. These video systems have paid for themselves many times and continue to do so every day they operate.”
In addition to requiring better video camera coverage, the car washes were maxing out their existing 16-channel DVRs and constantly adding new switches to maintain the video footage records. Custom Connections recommended the Hikvision DS-7732NI-I4/24P plug-and-play PoE NVR with 32 channels and 24 ports. This simplified their record-keeping because it’s much easier than managing switches and holds more data with 30 TB per NVR.
Hikvision’s 4K AcuSense Fixed Turret Network Cameras DS-2CD2383G2-I(U) were installed at the entrances and exits of more than 70 car wash tunnels fur ultra-high definition video and images. Hikvision’s 4 MP AcuSense Fixed Turret Network Cameras DS-2CD2343G2-I(U) were placed throughout each car wash in other strategic locations (cashier, hallways, safe) to provide comprehensive site security. Both camera models are water and dust-resistant (IP67). They also feature AcuSense technology, which brings intelligence to the system with AI-driven human and vehicle target classification, simplifying forensic video searches.
The Hikvision 2 MP pinhole camera was used at the kiosks where customers pay on a touch screen. The screens on the kiosk are costly—costing around $3,000 to replace. The pinhole cameras also provide facial identification to go after people who’ve vandalized the screens.
The car washes also wanted a user-friendly GUI that was the same across all locations. They deployed the iVMS-4200 app with static IP addresses so company executives and managers could log in and see the system. Employees at each car wash site can access a 4K monitor with live video views inside their IT room. They can easily save video clips and send them to the corporate office via Dropbox or another tool for review.
“All in all, the upgraded Hikvision video cameras with a robust NVR helped to deliver better protection against liability for Express Car Wash Concepts,” said Crumbacher.
“Mark Crumbacher and his team at Custom Connection are professional, efficient, and experienced in installing the camera systems we need at our facilities. Car washes are a tough environment for video systems. These cameras perform in very wet and chemical-filled environments. Custom Connections knows our business and how to place equipment in locations that are protected from the wash setting while still being able to capture the information we need. They are also always willing to help us when challenges arise and have gone the extra mile more times than I can remember,” said Boyle.