How Factories Can Use Facial Recognition for Access Control Systems
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How Factories Can Use Facial Recognition for Access Control Systems

2022/04/25

Improvements in automation have resulted in entire assembly lines becoming almost completely automated. Consequently, facilities need to automate to keep up with the demands of end customers.

With that in mind, automated access control procedures have become a primary goal in managing employee security and protecting confidential information. And it is not only for employees, but contractors, visitors, and external technical experts are also a factor when managing access control systems. With such variety and complexity of identities, it’s no wonder that many factories and warehouses have gradually adopted facial recognition technology, and integrated attendance tracking systems, to improve access control and identity management.

This article shares the advantages of using facial recognition in factories, discusses some key challenges, and reveals how to enable facial recognition access control for modern factories.

Facial Recognition Technology is Everywhere

Facial recognition exists in many access control scenarios familiar to us, such as Apple’s Face ID and digital and mobile payment solutions. Since the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, numerous companies have integrated facial recognition in offices and work environments to facilitate health and safety checks.

The following is a quick introduction to adopting facial recognition technology for different-sized environments.

  • Small-scale: offices, commercial buildings

    Traditional time and attendance systems increase the risk of contact with others and the spread of infection. However, an all-in-one facial recognition access control solution can manage time and attendance while meeting health and safety requirements. These systems even detect mask-wearing, and measure body temperature – when equipped with thermal cameras or infrared thermometers. In addition, they combine with network IP cameras for better monitoring.

    During peak work hours, access control systems increase the efficiency of people flow while reducing time and labor costs usually associated with manual temperature measurement. Additionally, facial recognition in the workplace avoids loss via theft of access control cards, misappropriation of identities, and theft of confidential information.

  • Medium-scale: factories, warehouses, cleanrooms

    Many industries, especially semiconductor manufacturers and logistics companies, are undergoing digital transformation. Hundreds of people, including employees, visitors, contractors, and external technical personnel, enter factories, warehouses, and laboratories daily. Stricter entry and exit procedures are necessary to ensure company data is kept secure. Logistics providers also need to restrict access to transportation at their facilities. Learn more about how manufacturing plants and warehouses have integrated facial recognition.

  • Large-scale: petrochemical and heavy industry plants

    Petrochemical and heavy industry plants have acres of outdoor facilities where thousands of people enter and exit multiple times a day. Companies must manage copious time and attendance records and access privileges.

    Luckily, facial recognition technology installed on workstations can identify multiple people simultaneously and record their entry and exit accurately and rapidly. Facial recognition technology can also restrict machinery and equipment operations to approved personnel.

    In addition, companies can improve the overall efficiency of personnel supervision by integrating facial recognition software with existing video management systems (VMS) and real-time messaging systems. Security personnel no longer need to manually browse multiple screens, improving operations management efficiency and optimizing automated processes.

Curious about how to upgrade your IP camera systems with facial recognition? Explore more today!

6 Challenges for Facial Recognition in Factories, Warehouses, and Plants

Facial recognition is becoming increasingly popular for security, particularly in large-scale environments such as factories and plants. To successfully implement AI facial recognition solutions into large scale work environments, these six challenges must be overcome:

1. Poor indoor and outdoor lighting

Personnel and vehicles are constantly entering and exiting large-scale environments, so both indoor and outdoor cameras with facial recognition technology need to be integrated in smart access control systems.

However, in an outdoor setting during the day faces are severely backlit, and at night images may appear too dark. Consequently, the harsh conditions of outdoor lighting lead to inaccuracy in some facial recognition technology.

Fortunately, FaceMe® facial recognition technology uses CyberLink’s unique TrueTheaterTM image optimization technology to sharpen edges, enhance quality, decrease backlighting, and reduce noise before performing facial recognition. This technology expedites the recognition process while increasing accuracy by 11.5%.

2. Partially covered faces

Factory workers abiding by pandemic prevention methods must also adhere to regular safety procedures while operating machinery, meaning that they need to wear face masks, protective helmets/hats, and safety goggles the entire day. As a result, their faces are partially occluded, making facial recognition more challenging. During peak hours, large numbers of employees needing to take equipment on/off for clocking-in/out reduces efficiency, wastes time and increases costs.

Thankfully, FaceMe’s facial recognition technology employs deep learning to capture facial characteristics and compare them with employee databases even when faces are obscured. FaceMe has outstanding recognition accuracy as high as 98.21%, making it a global leader in AI facial recognition engines according to the NIST FRVT (National Institute of Standards and Technology Face Recognition Vendor Test).

3. Camera angle limitations

Large-scale environments wanting to introduce facial recognition technology into network IP cameras or edge devices at entrances may be restricted by camera angles. Contributing factors include an excessive distance between the lens and face, improper backlighting, and too wide a field of view. These factors may cause the system to capture only half, or even none of the face, resulting in an inability to accurately verify personnel.

FaceMe’s facial recognition technology can perform real-time recognition of more than ten people in the same frame. You can even place the camera at heights of 180 to 200 cm and at special angles to capture top, side, and partial views. To perform accurate facial recognition under these conditions, FaceMe also supports a variety of portable industrial and desktop systems (e.g., Intel NUC), as well as network IP cameras. With such precise technology, FaceMe achieved a 97% recognition rate in the world-renowned NIST FRVT 1:1 WILD test.

4. High-density people flow

The daily flow of personnel in large factories can number in the hundreds or even thousands, and includes contractors, temporary construction workers, and external technical experts. During peak hours, factories need a solution capable of performing facial recognition quickly while providing access control and check-in.

CyberLink’s FaceMe facial recognition search engine enables GPU acceleration on hardware such as NVIDIA® CUDATM and Intel® MovidiusTM. Even with massive databases it performs ultra-fast searches, taking only 1.6 milliseconds to search for a single face among 6 million. For more information, read our success story on how we partnered with ACE Biotek to verify identities and measure temperatures in record time.

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5. Use of spoofing technology

Due to the vast flow of people in large-scale environments, companies may encounter access control security issues stemming from spoofing, such as employees clocking-in/out for each other, the use of photos to crack access control systems, and unauthorized entry due to loss or theft of an employee’s access card. These issues are especially prevalent in large-scale petrochemical plants.

The FaceMe face search engine supports a range of live recognition and anti-spoofing mechanisms. FaceMe can use either 2D cameras or 3D depth cameras to determine whether a person is real, achieving stricter safety controls.

6. Facial recognition software incompatible with existing hardware devices

In large-scale environments, facial recognition systems may encounter incompatibility with hardware. Many manufacturing and raw materials factories want to import AI facial recognition technology and data/statistics directly from their software and hardware devices (e.g., turnstiles with camera lenses, network IP cameras, access control systems for edge devices, video management systems). But because of incompatibility issues stemming from software and hardware settings, installation costs consequently increase.

As a cross-platform facial recognition search engine, FaceMe supports multiple operating systems (Windows, Linux, Android, iOS). It also supports various machine learning engines (OpenVINO™, TensorRT, TensorFlow, CoreML), and can run on personal computers, workstations, and servers. No matter what hardware you choose, FaceMe provides the most suitable setup for each use case. It’s the best choice for large-scale environments to implement facial recognition for security control.

For factories with teams of developers and edge-based environments, FaceMe SDK is your best choice. Incompatibility won't be an issue, with its support for multiple OSes and hardware configurations. The SDK easily integrates facial recognition in edge-based IoT and AIoT solutions to unlock the potential of AI for access control.

Contact us to get an evaluation version and price quote for FaceMe SDK today!

For factories and warehouses that desire an out-of-box, turnkey solution, FaceMe Security is the answer. Let’s explore this top-of-the-line access control solution in depth.

FaceMe Security: the Preferred Facial Recognition Solution for Factories, Warehouses, and Plants

FaceMe Security is an intelligent solution designed specifically for smart manufacturing security controls. Through real-time face matching, mask and temperature detection, third-party system integration, and other value-added functions, it helps large-scale environments increase the safety of their access control systems and overall efficiency.

Versatile add-ons for different access control touchpoints

As we enter our “new normal,” health and safety measures will remain vital for smooth business operations. To most effectively reduce direct person-to-person contact and monitor individuals’ health, FaceMe Security offers three different supplemental add-ons. The result is a one-stop solution for access control, health management, and physical and environmental security.

Check-in Add-on: the turnkey time & attendance solution

This add-on is suitable for lightweight devices with low power consumption. It can also connect to IP cameras to quickly capture an individual’s facial features, compare it with your database, and immediately display visitor sign-in or employee attendance records.

VMR (Video Management and Recording) Add-on: video recording and playback, plus alert system

This add-on simultaneously supports nine cameras to provide real-time monitoring with video recording and playback features. With FaceMe Security Central, security personnel immediately receive specific event alerts and can search recorded video files.

Health Add-on: assurance of a healthy environment

Using facial recognition technology, this add-on supplies a contactless health monitoring solution to detect mask-wearing while simultaneously measuring body temperature and verifying identity. It can also send alerts to security personnel to intervene when high temperatures are detected.

Maximizes facial recognition capabilities with support for multiple edge device types

FaceMe Security can support various edge computing devices of all sizes. Based on hourly people flow, companies can choose between industrial computers equipped with Intel CPUs/VPUs, NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xaviers, and large-scale Windows workstations with multiple GPUs. For instance, a workstation with four NVIDIA RTX A6000 GPUs can support 172 IP cameras. If you need to manage 300 cameras, you can set up two workstations. Our recommendations for edge devices are available here.

Integrates third-party systems, such as VMSs, access control systems, and ERPs

You can also integrate FaceMe Security with major VMSs (Milestone, Network Optix Nx Witness, VIVOTEK VAST2) and connect with third-party systems such as instant messaging, access control, and ERP. When specific events occur, such as a VIP or block-listed person enters, the control center can immediately alert security personnel to take appropriate action. For more information, please refer to our FaceMe Security System Requirements.

Curious about how to upgrade your IP camera systems with facial recognition? Take a closer look at the system architecture today!

How to deploy FaceMe Security: the best facial recognition solution for factories, warehouses, and plants

You can use FaceMe Security for a wide range of purposes and scenarios. Beginning right at the facility entrance, edge devices, IP, and temperature sensing cameras can use FaceMe’s detection to measure body temperature and detect mask-wearing. To verify identity, it simultaneously sends facial data through the server and back to the control center to compare against the database. It’s also possible to perform visitor sign-in and employee check-in through the Check-in Add-on. Security personnel can also use the VMR Add-on to view real-time images and, when events occur, receive warning notifications alerting them to take necessary action.

Contact us to get an evaluation version and price quote for FaceMe Security today!

Conclusion: The Essential Benefits of Facial Recognition

Because of the rapid expansion of automation in large-scale factories and facilities, specific environments such as indoor and outdoor factories, plants, and warehouses can achieve the following three goals by using FaceMe Security facial recognition technology:

  • Clock employees in/out using a safe, contactless method, manage time and attendance, and save records for future inquiries
  • Implement health and pandemic preventions by detecting mask-wearing and measuring body temperature, ensuring the safety of employees
  • Improve security control management of large-scale environments, and significantly reduce personnel and operating costs by installing edge workstations, servers, and VMSs

Retail, restaurant, hospitality, and medical industries have already adopted AI facial recognition technology, but it will undoubtedly find its way into more industrial scenarios. For more information on specific use cases, please refer to our FaceMe case studies.

FaceMe®: CyberLink’s Complete Facial Recognition Solution

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