Aiming to ease stress in the lives of over one billion people who use elevators each day—a number expected to rise as urban populations increase by three billion in the next three decades—ThyssenKrupp is launching its Microsoft Azure IoT-enabled MAX to increase transport capacities in buildings. With the groundbreaking MAX installed worldwide, time savings for elevator passengers could be equivalent to 108 centuries of new availability in each year of operation.
ThyssenKrupp Elevator launches MAX, a game-changing predictive and pre-emptive service solution that extends remote monitoring capabilities to dramatically increase current availability levels of existing and new elevators. Utilizing the power of Microsoft Azure Internet of Things (IoT) technology, MAX makes it possible for an elevator to “tell” service technicians its real needs, including real-time identification of repairs, component replacements, and proactive system maintenance.
Today’s twelve million elevators worldwide move one billion people each day, making the elevator the most used means of transport – and also the safest – but in one year of operation these elevators are unavailable due to service interventions in a cumulative amount of over 190 million hours (or 216 centuries); MAX is set to significantly improve all these statistics, aiming to cut unavailability periods by half.
With MAX, data collected in real time from millions of connected ThyssenKrupp elevators is sent to Microsoft’s trusted Azure cloud platform, where an algorithm calculates the remaining lifetime of key systems and components in each elevator. Now, ThyssenKrupp’s team of over 20,000 global service engineers and technicians will be able to rely on MAX as their wingman, making it possible to inform building owners in advance when key systems or components will need to be repaired or replaced, program interventions, and thereby avoid out-of-service signs on elevator doors. In a MAX-connected building, people will wait less time for elevators, resulting in decreased stress and more quality time.
Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Elevator, commented: “Our mission is to revolutionize and do something nobody else in our field has done before: To transform a century-old industry that has relied on established technology until now. Cities of today need innovations that respond to the challenges of the massive urbanization we are currently witnessing. We are very pleased to work with Microsoft to truly take ThyssenKrupp into the digital era and change the way the elevator industry offers maintenance services.” Schierenbeck added, “MAX is the second pillar of our revolution and comes after the introduction of absolute breakthrough mechanical technologies such as the TWIN elevator and the rope-less MULTI technology for future buildings, designed to reduce the elevator footprint and release vital space for additional rent revenues in buildings.”
Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft Corporation, said, “Building on our trusted cloud platform, Microsoft Azure IoT capabilities are connecting millions of systems for ThyssenKrupp, helping them integrate and analyze their data so they can move from reactive to proactive business models. Through intelligent data, ThyssenKrupp is truly transforming their business and the way they engage with building managers.”
Vernon Turner, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Systems and IDC Fellow for The Internet of Things‚ writes “ThyssenKrupp is a prime example where telemetry data from the worldwide installed base of ThyssenKrupp elevators could be analyzed to reduce the equipment downtime through preemptive maintenance prior to failures.”
MAX roll-out plan
MAX is a major milestone in ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s business strategy. In the 18-month launch period the company aims to connect some 180,000 units in North America and Europe, with the US, Germany, and Spain as pilot countries and other key countries in Europe as well as in Asia and South America following shortly after. In two years, the offering will be expanded to all continents, becoming available to some 80% of all elevators worldwide.
Today, ThyssenKrupp provides maintenance services at some of the world’s most iconic buildings and transport infrastructures, including the newly opened One World Trade Center in New York and the Denver Airport, US; the Panama Canal, Panama; the Metro Sao Paulo, Brazil; the BMW headquarters building in Munich and the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany; the Royal London Hospital in London, UK; the Madrid-Barajas airport, Spain; the Federation Tower in Moscow, Russia; the Dubai airport, UAE; the World Financial Centre in Shanghai, China; the Shinsegae Centum City, Korea, and thousands of other buildings around the globe.
Urbanization trends and the global elevator market
ThyssenKrupp has a strong commitment to generate innovations that support city planners, authorities, and people transforming current and future cities into the best places to live that mankind has ever created. By the end of this century, it is estimated that around 70% of the global population will be living in cities and in this, the age of smart technology, companies such as ThyssenKrupp have an intrinsic role to play in shaping our urban landscapes by making smart cities of the future as efficient and sustainable as possible.
Urbanization is an unstoppable trend, and an estimated additional 85% of the existing urban floor space will need to be developed by 2025, with the number of elevators to be serviced and kept in operation at optimum performance levels also growing by a similar percentage. Already by 2020, the global demand for elevator equipment (including elevators, escalators, and moving walks) and services is projected to rise over 4% annually to 61 billion euros, with the maintenance service business valued at approximately half of the total.
Elevators and city efficiency
Today, time wasted by people waiting for elevators is a global issue, generating significant stress in large office and mixed-use buildings, and affecting the efficiency levels of cities. Although this element of additional stress is not widely taken into consideration, as urbanization progresses rapidly, with over three billion people expected to move to cities in the next 35 years, the impact of these waiting times also grows exponentially. Efficiency of existing elevators is required to improve significantly if we want to keep cities evolving to become the best places to live.
In fact, a project on elevator travel carried out by students of Columbia University found that in 2010 alone, New York City office workers spent a cumulative amount of 16.6 years waiting for elevators. With MAX installed, each year New York City office workers would get back over eight years worth of free time.