Sabel Steel Company

An End to Stealing at Sabel Steel

By Sara Hoare Download PDF Version

Sabel Steel Company

As a 150 year-old, family-run business, Sabel Steel places a high value on trust. Headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, the company boasts six steel service centers, two scrap yards, a rebar fabrication division and a wholesale center. Yet despite its size, this progressive, independent com

pany, owned and operated by fifth-generation members of the Sabel family, prides itself on personal service and corporate integrity. Unfortunately, its trustful corporate culture was not sufficient to prevent periodic break-ins and events such as a “customer” attempting to sell scrap metal stolen from the company back to itself for recycling. Ultimately, management decided that it was time to invest in a surveillance system.

“We had a variety of areas that needed to be secured,” explains Chip Shirley, Information Systems Manager. “Because our products are not typically something you can just walk away with, the majority of break-ins were targeting the office, vending machine and warehouse. However, we are also a scrap metal recycler and metals such as copper and brass do have a high value.”

Sabel Steel CompanyRichard Mann, Branch Manager for the Montgomery, AL headquarters elaborates, “Once the price of these metals skyrocket, people are more inclined to take what isn’t theirs.” He also notes that in addition to security, there were other factors to consider, including productivity and employee safety.

With a bit of security experience in his background, Richard had a good idea what they were looking for. “We made some contacts and did our research. We contacted several companies to see who had the best system.”

One of the companies Sabel contacted was Moffitt Technologies, a local integrator and Certified Vicon Dealer. Moffitt Account Manager Bill Whatley remembers meeting with Sabel Steel and bringing in his local Vicon Territory Manager, Michael Rose, for a product demonstration. “Mike and I went in to do the demo, and the size of the project grew twice while we were there. Sabel management liked the network capabilities and that more than one person could access the video simultaneously. In fact, we actually have the same (type of) system here in our own office,” explains Bill.

Sabel Steel CompanySabel Steel’s Montgomery location is the epicenter of their business, with facilities for administration, fabrication, scrap recycling and a wholesale center. With so much area to cover and the multi-purpose intent of the system, Whatley recalls the challenge of specifying the right camera for each location. “There were various applications and each required a separate camera style. We had to use three different camera types, including wireless.” As an end-to-end CCTV manufacturer, Vicon had camera models to suit every need.

The Vicon system allows for video coverage of four buildings and the surrounding areas. Due to the hazardous environment, the decision was made to use the existing technology available, which includes a Cisco wireless network linking the production building in the yard. Cisco wireless access points are supplied by Sabel’s IT vendor, allowing for support of a SurveyorVFT 35X PTZ dome system and two V910 IP series day/night cameras that are used in the company’s wholesale building. Video from six analog VC-621 fixed cameras located in the manufacturing building and the administration building are converted to digital with the help of two KTX-4 encoders and then transmitted to the main server located in the administration building.

ViconNet VN1000V3 administrative software allows the video to be monitored from several PC workstations throughout the facility. Richard Mann describes what he likes best about the software. “It is user-friendly. You just point and click. One thing that really stands out is the museum search. We like the ability to view the remote cameras as well.”

Overall, Sabel Steel has been greatly satisfied with their CCTV system experience. “Vicon really seemed to fit our application and they did well to address our problem. Their personality was good-natured…sales as well as service,” Richard says.

It seems they barely had any time to wonder if they made a good investment. Richard adds, “Within a week of install, we were able to monitor and capture a suspect that broke into our facility.”

For further information on Vicon Industries, please visit their website at