Elevator maintenance is vital for reliability. Building owners are upgrading their technology for more reliable elevator performance.
Few machines are relied upon as frequently as elevators and escalators. As the very vessels that connect stories upon stories of buildings and floors, if an elevator is suddenly out of commission, that business or residential building has some serious problems.
That’s why elevator maintenance requirements are strict per state, with at least one mandatory inspection per year.
However, as frequently used tools, these machines take a beating, which is why elevator maintenance contracts and repair costs can seriously add up over time.
Well, the biggest elevator manufacturers in the world are all moving towards a technological shift that is going to save time, money, frustration, and improve elevator reliability.
By using advanced technology, these companies argue they can reduce the time and resources it takes to fix a problem after it happens, and then eventually predict and prevent the next failure.
The result? A better, safer, more reliable and more affordable riding experience for residential and commercial clients alike. How are they all doing it? Through this new smart network of IoT: the Internet of Things.
Let’s look at four breakthrough elevator maintenance improvements and how IoT is being leveraged to improve cost and reliability in a new way today.
1. Kone and IBM’s Watson
Named after “machine” in Finnish, KONE is a leading elevator maintenance and repair company throughout the world, working with lifts, escalators, and automated doors. Employing 52,000 employees, KONE is committed to improving urban life for all lift and elevator riders in major metropolitan centers.
As a result, they are continually looking into innovations and leveraging technology in a smart way for their service provisions. That’s why they are turning their attention to none other than IoT: the Internet of Things.
Known as a system in which smart machines are all connected through the Internet, able to communicate with one another and provide feedback, KONE believes that IoT is an obvious future development for the world of elevators. That’s why they sought out the one and only Watson, by IBM, for a new kind of partnership.
IBM Watson partnership
KONE officially signed an agreement with IBM that will take their operation and technology capabilities and integrated Watson IoT to bring intelligent services to elevators and escalators.
Essentially, perfect elevator maintenance can be maintained through IoT by connecting all elevators to the cloud, analyzing messages, and curating an ideal system.
Able to connect to building systems, a feedback loop can occur between the elevators and the IoT platform, which means that constant elevator maintenance is being monitored and supplied for a better, safer riding experience.
2. ThyssenKrupp with Microsoft’s HaloLense
Like KONE, ThyssenKrupp is a top 4 elevator maintenance and manufacturing firm throughout the world, continually working to revolutionize the elevator experience for patrons. Also aware that technology holds the keys to the future of elevator maintenance, this company is leveraging IoT, but with a different partner. They are turning their attention to none other than Microsoft.
Microsoft HaloLense partnership
Using the Microsoft Azure IoT suite, ThyssenKrupp’s IoT maintenance solution, MAX, enables the company to capture elevator data like motor temperatures, shaft alignment, cab speed, and more, essentially opening up a world of real-time analytics.
With proactive elevator maintenance in place, this partnership has dramatically reduced the costs associated with elevator maintenance that 9-times-out-of-10 could have been prevented with the right intel.
With HoloLens added to the picture, communicating through Skype, ThyssenKrupp technicians can provide real-time audible and visual support to onsite technicians by drawing in their field of view to assist with repairs.
As a result, the HoloLens technology is reducing the average length of service calls by up to four times for clients.
3. Schindler and GE’s Predix
Located in Lucerne, Switzerland, Schindler Elevator is another major elevator maintenance company in the world looking to embed IoT into their maintenance services. With IoT’s technical capabilities enabling devices to work together in cohesion without human interaction or direction, this kind of elevator maintenance can predict problems before they unfold.
That’s why Schindler has joined the IoT conversation by releasing their digital network supported by GE Predix: Schindler Ahead.
Latest release: Schindler Ahead
By creating a platform that connects all Schindler manufactured elevators and escalators with the GE’s Predix, Schindler Ahead can detect problems in advance through sensor data, as well as analysis of Big Data that is accumulated through the IoT network.
Additionally, elevator operations can monitor the current status of the elevators, reducing the downtime required to bring in fixes once an elevator breaks. As a result, their elevators now have a greater life-span, which means time and money savings for all clients.
4. Otis and Microsoft's Azure
Through centuries of experience building, maintaining, and distributing elevators, Otis Elevator is also joining the smart technology conversation. Currently maintaining over 2 million elevators today, they are looking to rev up the operation.
Hoping to create a better customer service experience for trusted patrons, they have built their own IoT network, OtisOne, that will be able to monitor everything from elevator sensors to in-movement elevators.
By moving people more efficiently, Otis Elevator is improving elevator maintenance.
Latest release: OtisONE
With OtisOne, sensors are placed in the elevator, along with an edge gateway that connects to Microsoft and the Azure Cloud. That data is then aggregated in a dashboard for Otis engineers and managers to sift through, alerting them of future repairs or problems before they happen.
Accompanying their series of mobile apps that have been released over the last few years, like Tune, engineers will be able to sync their service schedules with real-time information synthesized through OtisOne.
Elevator Maintenance of the Future
Although technology can be controversial in the world of social media and communication, one thing is for sure: it’s creating more efficient, safer, and more reliable elevator situations for people around the world.
Using IoT, passengers can rest easy knowing their safety is being monitored in real-time, with a data exchange that is happening through an invisible network. It’s a beautiful change in the world of elevator maintenance; and one that has been desperately needed!
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