Gallagher’s Command Centre security system provides safety for PotashCorp’s facility in Ohio


PotashCorp is the world’s largest fertilizer company by volume. They have facilities and business interests in seven countries and are dedicated to the challenges of feeding the world’s growing population. PotashCorp produces three primary crop nutrients – potash, phosphate, and nitrogen. Recognised as the world’s leading potash producer, they are responsible for 20 percent of the global capacity.

Their facility in Lima, Ohio, is one of four locations whose primary function is to create a range of products including ammonia, urea, nitric acid, and nitrogen solutions. Safety is PotashCorp’s number one priority, and this is evident in the number of awards they’ve received. Management are committed to providing a healthy work environment where employees have a strong personal safety ethic, rooted in awareness and focussed on incident prevention.

Security concerns and the need to implement a more cost-effective solution led PotashCorp to discover Gallagher. “We were looking for a system that would allow for seamless integration. After thorough research, we found that no other product could compare to Gallagher – its feature set, open Application Programming Interface (API), competencies, and price. The choice was easy,” says Jeff Johnston, Network Administrator for PotashCorp. “The cost of the product along with its capabilities is incomparable in the market.”
It made sense for PotashCorp to replace their entire security system rather than updating an outdated and deteriorating system.

Driven to providing a best-in-class, safe, and secure working environment, PotashCorp partnered with the Digital C.O.P.S. Division of Perry proTECH, a business technology solutions company, and Gallagher, to develop a customised security solution. The system needed to be fully integrated, scalable and expandable, digitally based, and user-friendly.

Benefits of PotashCorp’s new security solution include:
Video integration, for safety precautions and oversight
Wireless lock integration, utilising Salto locks out in the field on network cabinets
User-friendly report generation, creating cost and time savings

PotashCorp will soon implement Gallagher Mobile Connect, a secure and convenient access solution that allows people to use their smartphone in place of an access card.
PotashCorp is required to undertake a plant turnaround every four to five years. A turnaround, or shutdown, is a scheduled period of non-production, during which day-to-day plant operations cease. All focus shifts to maintenance, cleaning, inspection, and repair, with employees and contractors working around the clock preparing the plant to resume its regular operations.

Turnarounds are one of the most crucial events in the routine operation of a chemical industrial plant and are extremely costly, due to production time lost, increased labour costs and equipment expenses. Speed and efficiency is vital as the turnaround process has the ability to strongly affect a company’s bottom line.

PotashCorp can have an additional one thousand contractors and staff onsite during a turnaround. Gallagher Command Centre provides the flexibility to easily add cardholders to the existing database, while enabling management and video operators to monitor cardholder movement throughout the plant. Executing a timely turnaround that stays within budget makes a huge contribution to the plant’s efficiency and drives the company’s future success.

Mike Resar, PotashCorp’s Safety, Health and Environmental Manager at the Lima site noted, “The safety of our employees and contractors is of the highest concern for us. We are now able to generate muster reports that provide an immediate headcount in the event of an onsite emergency. We can also produce time reports easily and without the need for external programming help.”

One of the world’s largest chemical companies and a leading manufacturer of petrochemicals resides on the PotashCorp site and shares several turnstiles. Both companies selected Gallagher, and a system-to-system integration was developed, allowing control of the turnstiles and several doors to be shared between the two companies.

By upgrading their legacy system and performing the interface with Gallagher, PotashCorp realised an immediate $20,000 saving. As the system expands, the savings have continued.
After thoroughly vetting their options, PotashCorp has found that the cost per door will be one-quarter less than that of their previous system. They are still witnessing a substantial return on their investment. With the recent addition of four controllers and twelve readers, selecting Gallagher has saved PotashCorp nearly $70,000. “The open integration, cost savings, and ease of reporting is truly remarkable. The difference and quality of the system is undeniable in comparison to what we had prior to Gallagher Command Centre,” says Jeff.