Higher, Faster, Stronger!

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Higher, Faster, Stronger!

Higher, Faster, Stronger!

01 Feb 2020 Long Read
As safety becomes even more of a priority, the Indian market is focusing on solutions for the affordable segment as well as smart and digitised innovations. 

Elevator demand is projected to cross 75,000 units by 2020 with India retaining the second place in the global market.

What is driving this demand?

A recent McKinsey report forecasts that India’s major cities will house 590 million people or 40 per cent of the country’s population by 2030. 
“Elevators will continue to be an indispensable component of the country’s urban growth, which hinges on residential, commercial and infrastructure development,” says Sebi Joseph, President, 
Otis India. 
Junichi Kyushima, Managing Director, Toshiba Johnson Elevators (India) (TJEI), says, “The pace of infrastructure growth may not be in full throttle at present, but the elevator market for new projects and the replacement market are buoyant and optimistic of overcoming this cyclical recession.” He adds that current demand primarily comes from infrastructure projects in both the centre and state sectors, the commercial or office segment, mostly driven by IT/ITES, and affordable housing.
About 80 per cent of elevators in India are in the residential segment and that still remains, says Ashok Ramachandran, President, Schindler India and South Asia. While he expects continued demand in this sector, he also sees public spending on metros and railways along with Housing for All as an opportunity.

Government initiatives accelerating demand

The government’s aim to provide Housing for All by 2022 will create 20 million new urban housing units and 30 million rural homes.
To meet this demand, Manish Mehan, CEO, thyssenkrupp Elevator (India), says, “thyssenkrupp Elevator (India) has developed a value-for-money elevator ‘enta100’. We have also launched another version of enta series, which is called enta200; it offers GL and MRL solutions to the affordable housing segment.” enta200 offers intelligent solutions to ensure safe and dependable operations, while focusing on ambience, aesthetics and efficiency.
Otis is answering India’s call for increased sustainability through its Otis’ Gen2 elevator with ReGen drive technology. As Joseph says, “The Gen2 elevator reduces overall energy consumption by 75 per cent under normal operation compared to conventional geared, non-regenerative systems.” For India’s affordable housing needs, Otis launched the Gen2 Core elevator, which can move at a speed of 0.7 m per second.
Also, with the focus on building 100 smart cities, including new housing complexes, airports, malls, railway stations, and harbours, a significant increase in demand is expected for smart and energy-efficient mobility solutions.
Otis’ Compass Plus’ aligns with smart city goals. “It uses data and smart technology to improve the passenger experience by reducing wait times and offering a faster and more efficient passenger journey,” shares Joseph. “The system does this by evaluating real-time passenger traffic to improve flow and travel time in busy mid and high-rise buildings.” The system assigns passengers travelling to nearby floors to the same elevator car. 
For its part, thyssenkrupp has consistently been providing solutions tailored for smart cities. “thyssenkrupp's TWIN elevator system has two cabs running independently in the same shaft, each with its own counterweight, safety and drive equipment,” adds Mehan. “Fast and energy-efficient, it comes equipped with intelligent traffic control systems, which optimise traffic automatically and reduce empty runs.”
thyssenkrupp has also embarked on a new era of vertical (and horizontal) transportation. MULTI is the world’s first rope-less revolutionary elevator technology that moves multiple cars in a single shaft vertically and horizontally. “Operating on the basic premise of a circular system, such as a paternoster, MULTI consists of various cabins running in a loop at a targeted speed of 5 m per second, enabling passengers to have near-constant access to an elevator cabin every 15 to 30 seconds, with a transfer stop every 50 m,” says Mehan.
KONE stands for innovation and its comprehensive vertical transportation solutions contribute significantly to liveability. “We are involved in smart city projects and in many metro-rail projects, including Delhi Metro, where we have provided over 350 units,” says Amit Gossain, Managing Director, KONE Elevator India. “We are constantly working on integrating digital technology into our products. Our 24/7TM IoT connected elevators and escalators, in collaboration with the recognised leader in cognitive computing, IBM Watson, is yet another breakthrough innovation that will result in fewer faults, faster repairs and peace of mind for the customer.”
‘Smart’ is a focus for Schindler as well. “We entered the smart segment in a big way since January last year and have implemented our digital projects in the market,” says Ramachandran. While opportunities from smart cities depend on a push from the government’s side, he is certain that the company’s offerings will definitely play their part.

What’s new?

There have been many innovations in the pipeline. 
From a preventive maintenance approach, Schindler has now adopted a predictive maintenance system. “All our lifts,” says Ramachandran, “are enabled by our hardware and software to predict different movements of the lift, possible errors, and we send our technician to fix the problem before the customer is notified.” Also, the customer is kept informed on a 
real-time basis. Further, the company has been showcasing its digital product called ‘door show’ – digital advertising on elevator doors. “Lifts have now become a profit centre that can be monetised,” he adds.
Otis has embraced the digitalisation trend to integrate smart technology into its service business. “Most Otis field professionals now use smartphones loaded with custom apps to perform their job more efficiently,” says Joseph. These digital tools help employees diagnose and fix issues faster. Also, Otis uses connected technology to monitor elevator performance data in real time. 
This helps spot potential issues, deliver proactive customer service, and better prepare field professionals for each job.
To bolster its ‘Made for India’ offerings to the mid-segment and eventually expand to the premium segment, Toshiba has recently established its maiden Training Centre and Development Centre (TCDC) in Chennai. “Our aim is to focus on quality improvement activities and further improve the efficiency of on-site work by advanced stocking and assembling parts facilities,” says Kyushima. 
In India, Toshiba is focusing on bespoke designs, environment sustainability, carbon footprint, safety and comfort, and modern features like DCS, in addition to speeds that can reach up to 
16.8 m per second for faster and efficient passenger dispatch to their destinations.
KONE Elevator India’s innovative KONE UltraRope elevator hoisting technology eliminates disadvantages of much heavier traditional steel ropes, and enables elevator travel heights of up to 1,000 m. Another innovation highlight is KONE People Flow Intelligence solutions, which makes navigation through buildings ever smoother and smarter. “One of our recent breakthrough innovations includes KONE CareTM 24/7 IoT Connected Services,” adds Gossain. “And our recent offering in the U series elevator is designed to make the vertical journeys of mid-range urban buildings more convenient.” (For more, turn to 72.)
thyssenkrupp Elevator’s TWIN elevator system uses less energy while transporting up to 40 per cent more passengers than conventional elevators. Another solution, MAX, is a game-changing predictive and pre-emptive service that utilises the power of Microsoft Azure IoT technology. The unique transportation system, ACCEL, offers high capacities and high speeds for short distances, with no waiting times for passengers and low implementation costs. 
Also, MULTI is the world’s first rope-free elevator with a reduced footprint of up to 50 per cent.
Mehan from thyssenkrupp adds, “One of our high-end elevators, HP61, is built for high-rise commercial buildings. It is well suited to manage high traffic flows in high-end office buildings and hotels.” He also mentions the company’s double-deck elevators – designed specifically to meet the shuttle operation needs in high-rise buildings – with two elevator cabs placed one on top of the other, in a single cage frame. And Sonic is the company’s extra-fast passenger lift. “It’s the perfect high-speed (12 m per second) choice for skyscrapers, office towers or other tall buildings.”

Safety first

Employees who work at Otis’ Bengaluru factory use a customised operating system designed to deliver world-class quality with safety in mind. As Joseph informs, “Otis mandates a set of safety standards that apply to every jobsite. We survey all our equipment annually and check every elevator we maintain to certify its safety.”
For TJEI, safety is imbibed in its corporate philosophy and DNA, and it has a zero-accident track record in India. Kyushima says, “Toshiba elevators are well equipped with several safety features like automatic rescue device, power failure emergency operation, three-dimensional infrared light sensors around doors, over-speed protection and automatic landing to the nearest floor in case of system failure.
”TJEI is additionally developing a predictive or remote maintenance system to provide monitoring and inspection services. 
“Data gathered from the elevator is analysed at the central monitoring system to assess replace or repair plans, thus ensuring predictive or preventive maintenance,” he adds.
thyssenkrupp Elevator India has high safety guidelines in all steps of the value chain, including R&D, operation, manufacturing and installation, to ensure zero accidents in the field and manufacturing processes. “All employees are trained on safety parameters regularly and safety drills conducted at customer sites to sensitise and educate them on safety measures,” says Mehan. “Similarly, our products have a host of in-built safety features.”
With its Swiss lineage, Schindler is obsessed about safety. “We have sufficient mechanisms,” says Ramachandran. “From the insulation phase, we have a Schindler inspection standard, which is a 100 point safety check done before handing over the lift to the customer.” This is over and above mandated government legislative requirements. “We check 50 per cent more than what is required by the government and offer an inspection certificate to the customer.” Also, as a mandated company requirement, every lift comes with a two-hour fire rated door.  
KONE Care Maintenance is designed to detect issues before problems arise, reduce hazards, and prevent accidents from taking place. “We use the KONE Modular Based Maintenance (MBM), the most advanced preventive maintenance method in the industry,” says Gossain. “Our elevators are designed to maximise passenger safety and enable easy inspection of equipment to ensure safe operations at all times.”
Indeed, safety and speed now go hand in hand!

Realty Opportunities

Aparna Constructions has five ongoing projects and three upcoming projects with about 15 million sq ft currently under development. These are fully integrated gated communities comprising multiple residential towers; each tower will have at least two high-speed automatic passenger elevators and one high-speed fire/service elevator – all with V3F (variable voltage variable frequency) drives for superior ride quality. The company’s residential high-rise tower projects include Aparna Sarovar Zenith, Aparna One and Aparna Luxor Park. As Rakesh Reddy, Director, Aparna Constructions and Estates, says, “The company will develop around 5 to 30 boutique malls across Telangana and 
Andhra Pradesh in the near future. We have received approvals for setting up a 3-lakh-sq-ft mall at Nallagandla in Hyderabad. These commercial projects will require escalators, passenger elevators and freight elevators.”
Brigade Group purchases a huge number of elevators. For the coming financial year, the company’s approximate requirement will be 50 elevators and escalators. 

Rajesh G Nair, Assistant Vice President-Purchase, Brigade Enterprises, says, “We incorporate features like potential free contacts for BMS integration, Automatic Rescue Device, stainless finishes, jerk-free slow stop elevators, and incorporating visual media within the car.”
Also, Emami Realty is working on four projects – two housing projects, one township and one commercial project – for which Dr Nitesh Kumar, CEO, Emami Realty, plans to procure around 
50 elevators. 
“We will acquire the required number of elevators in a phased manner.” 
The company prefers features and design commensurate with luxury living such as SS finish with back mirror, glass doors and walls, modern and soothing interior looks, optimal speed, energy-efficiency, adequate capacity, CCTV surveillance  and access control.
For the next three years, Prestige Constructions will require close to 400 units across 30 projects. Highlighting the requirement in the immediate future, KN Balasubramanyam, Assistant Vice President-Contracts & Procurement, Prestige Constructions, says, “It shall be for about 125 units. We are making it a standard to have DCS-operated elevators in most of our elevators for commercial spaces with an interface for access control, CCTV, displays, and finishes based on the category of the project.”
Two immediate projects for Purvankara include Adora de Goa in Goa and Provident Neora in Bengaluru. As Srikanth Srinivasan, President-Procurement, Puravankara, says, “We 
are negotiating on a requirement of about 80 elevators between both projects.” 
Apart from this, the company’s requirement would not be less than other 70-80 elevators in the coming year and a half. “For our luxury affordable housing Provident brand, functionality, cost and the brand are important because we have been doing co-branding for some projects.” Overall, the company is opting for machine-roomless elevators. 

 - SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN

To share your views on the market for Elevators & Escalators in India, write in at feedback@ConstructionWorld.in 
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