What are the factors that determine the type of elevator for a building?
At KONE we use trafcal (traffic calculation) program to analyse and recommend the suitable capacities, speed and number of lifts required to enable smooth traffic flow with lesser waiting times. The various building types have different needs:
• Residential – Space efficiency , Floor traffic and less power consumption
• Commercial – Number of floors and the floor population
• Retail –Tall cars , aesthetics and heavy usage
• Hotels – Tall cars and aesthetics
The main segments KONE caters to are residential, hotels, offices, retail, infrastructure and medical. Other building types include leisure and education centres, industrial properties and ships. With an objective of offering the best People Flow™ KONE has designed a wide range of solutions for all types of buildings. For instance, the residential segments have less inter floor traffic compared to a commercial segment thus the speed and passenger capacity varies. Whereas, in the health care segment the elevators have to be deeper to take stretchers. Some other examples are:
Hospitals: The key values a customer looks for are reliability, ride comfort, hygienic surroundings and smooth finishes. They prefer more of stainless steel finishes that can be cleaned easily. Features like voice announcement systems, braille buttons etc. are becoming mandatory to ensure accessibility to all kinds of people.
Hospitality: The customers in this segment are very conscious about aesthetics and ride comfort. Access control is an essential feature that this segment looks at.
Airports: The customers want trendy and spacious elevators that can carry a large number of passengers at a time. Apart from hospitality and retail, glass elevators are being sought after in this segment too.
Residential segment: The residential buildings are growing taller and demand for affordable elevators is on the increase. Ride comfort, reliability, safety and affordability are the key requirements of the customer.
Commercial complexes: IT & ITES and banking & financial sectors are the key drivers for this segment. The main requirements here would be effective handling capacity and intelligent elevators linked to the building management system. The Destination Control System (DCS) is also predominantly installed in the commercial buildings to provide better traffic handling.
Malls and multiplexes: Escalators play an important role in this segment apart from elevators. Requirement of vandal proof material, spacious elevators and ride comfort are the major needs for this segment.
KONE’s energy efficient technologies for Green elevators…
Driven by customer demand for energy-efficiency and space savings, KONE introduced the machine-room-less elevator concept in 1996. The cornerstone of the machine-room-less concept’s green credentials lies in the KONE EcoDisc® hoisting machine, which is a permanent magnet gearless motor. It consumes 70% less energy than a hydraulic drive and 50% less than a geared traction elevator drive, thus making it the most eco-efficient solution on the market today. As a matter of fact, the KONE MonoSpace® elevator family since its commercial launch has cumulatively saved the electricity production equivalent of a typical power plant. Last year, we have taken the eco-efficiency even further with the renewed elevators (up to 20% reduction with N MiniSpace, and 28% reduction with N MonoSpace). In addition, KONE’s volume products have received an A – class energy rating according to the VDI 4707 guideline – the benchmark for elevator energy efficiency.
Furthermore, the Regenerative drive systems recover excess braking energy from the elevator (full load car down & empty car up) and convert it for use e.g. in lighting the building. The counterweight or elevator car becomes the motor and KONE EcoDisc becomes a generator and converts the power into current. This can recover up to 25% of the total energy used by an elevator and produce clean and safe energy that does not damage the network.
What are some of the ride comfort features of elevators?
Ride comfort is the elevator passenger’s impression resulting from, noise, vibration, jerk, acceleration/deceleration, temperature, smell and spaciousness. The ride comfort or elevator comfort involves – personal subjective feelings, complex sound vibrations and motion control and smoothness. KONE latest elevatorss have been equipped with renewed machinery and brakes which provide a quiet ride and smoother motor control. The redesigned hoisting system and car structure make sure there is less vibration and thus providing further noise reduction while traveling.
The KONE JumpLift System is another advanced technique that was developed to improve efficiency and safety of a building construction. This solution requires less labor and it enhances vertical transportation and efficiency during the construction of the building.
Brief on KONE novel computerized systems for access control, destination control and traffic recognition
Traditional elevator control systems have to work with very limited information as they register only the desired travel direction. The KONE Polaris Destination Control System registers additional information like the desired destination floors and the number of waiting passengers. With this additional information it significantly improves system performance by reducing stops and saving energy. The system leads to increased handling capacity, shorter waiting times, fewer intermediate stops and enhanced passenger comfort. It also adds a high-tech feel and improved security to the building.
The company has also developed the world’s flattest auto walk technology, which makes designing locations for and installing autowalks considerably easier. Due to the innovative pallet return mechanism and a new kind of motor solution, each KONE InnoTrack™ auto walk unlike conventional solutions, can be installed without a pit.
What are the new safety systems being incorporated in elevators?
In recent times, tall buildings have not only become more prevalent but also more complex than ever before. The elevator is the heart of a tall building with an essential requirement of maintaining both safety and efficiency in the design of the escape systems. It is necessary not only to rely on traditional building codes, but to demonstrate safety in our tall buildings. Several issues concerning elevator use in emergencies, such as human behavior, control, training, equipment reliability, and communication, are critical in vertical transportation. The safety features that are ensured in the elevators are:
• Car door lock
• Full height facia plate
• Full height curtain of light
• Door pressure limiter
• Door overspeed control
• Door contacts independent for each doors
• Landing door mechanical locking
• Fire rated doors
Some of the other Safety features
• A highly reliable safety gear operated by a reliable over speed governor
• Load weighing device to sense the overload & not allow the lift to start.
• Machine brake is designed for 125% of the rated load
• Pit switches in the car
• Terminal limit switches
• Drive time supervision
How does KONE Design Collection complement building style?
Customer’s expectations differ according to the projects that they are working on. There are functional buildings where something elegant but meeting budget is important and for others where customers are trying to maximize the value of the building by providing elements that are clear differentiators and then there are customers who want this building to be their star collection. Also buildings use different materials, themes, lighting, and differ in the use of space. KONE design collection takes all these aspects into account. We have categorized the designs based on a cultural trend study.
The five themes Cool Vintage, Modern Simplicity, Industrial Chic, Classic Chic and Noveau Glamour cater to the design requirement of different architects and buildings. The designs take in the Indian cultural basics and blend them with the current trends thus resulting in very contemporary designs.
KONE manufacturing & delivery infrastructure in India
KONE today is one of the largest elevator companyies in the Indian elevator market. Its factory in Chennai produces elevators for the Indian market with some exports to Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Chennai additionally forms a base for modernization and supports other Asian-Pacific markets such as Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. The factory also has a training center where installation engineers and field technicians are trained. A number of Kaizen and Six Sigma initiatives taken at the factory ensure better cost & operational efficiency.
Three years ago, the company inaugurated its Indian Technology and Engineering Center (ITEC) in Chennai to bring all of Indian R&D and engineering units to one location, to strengthen the innovations in the elevator and escalator industry and to support market development in India. Our focus areas include reducing operational carbon footprint, improving material efficiency as well as minimizing waste, water use and the use of hazardous substances.
The challenges and potentials of the Indian elevator market
With tall buildings being the current trend, providing faster speed elevators is the main challenge. The need for innovative and eco efficient products is also increasing with the Green Building concept gaining significant grounds. Also, affordable housing is one of the largest segments in the country which requires attention. This makes cost effective products, faster delivery, meeting the changing customer requirement and strong R&D the need of the hour.
The industry is still not very mature and the presence of unorganized players both in new business and maintenance continues. Educating the customers and end users on the importance of safety is very important because as a country we tend to take safety for granted. KONE plans to continue to innovate in line with the market trends and true to its vision of ‘Delivering the best People Flow Experience’, KONE will provide solutions with the right features which ensure smooth and safe ride to the end users. We are looking at creating cost effective solutions and be present across all segments.