Did you know that there are over 700,000 elevators operating in the United States alone? This figure comes from ElevatorHistory, who also estimates that elevators carry the world’s population in occupants every three days.
Despite their prevalence, we usually don’t give much thought to the convenient transportation system. But that’s not to say there isn’t anything noteworthy happening in the world of elevators. In fact, many interesting technologies have appeared in recent years. They aim to make elevators more efficient, secure, reliable, and affordable to run.
Let’s take a look at 5 rising trends in elevator technology that you can expect to see in due course.
Owners and facility managers have several reasons to make use of analytics tools in their elevators. This includes predictive maintenance. Through onboard sensors and diagnostics, you can identify, assess, and address potential service issues before they occur. This saves money and possibly lives.
Another feature of smart elevator technology is real-time insights. Owners can connect to their elevators via Bluetooth through an app on their smartphone or tablet. This enables a detailed look into the status of the elevator system from any location, providing some much-needed peace of mind.
From here, you can gain custom reports on equipment status and performance, as well as instant notifications. Commonly mentioned benefits of these solutions include:
- Future-proofing with regular updates
- Improved uptime and reliability
- Better planning for repairs and modernization
- Easier to switch from analog to digital networks
- Increased property value
It should come as no surprise that the large touch screens that we’re used to seeing everywhere have made their way into elevators. Manufacturers now include interactive panels that display a range of useful information. This includes cab functionality, system monitoring, and emergency call features. Some even offer entertainment.
Another popular technology that’s moving into the elevator industry is cloud computing. Data collected from the aforementioned monitoring systems can be sent to a cloud service for analysis. If any anomalies are detected, the information will be compared with available data to determine the correct solution, such as required maintenance.
Engineers will be able to rectify issues before breakdowns, which reduces cost and downtime. The analysis is performed in areas including:
- Status of embedded components
- Acceleration speeds
- Door opening and closing mechanisms
Thanks to some cross-industry innovation, elevator manufacturers have been able to develop elevators that can move without cables – not only vertically, but also horizontally. These systems are typically constructed from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic and are powered by linear motors operating on magnetic rails.
Aside from being safe and maneuverable, cable-free elevators are also more energy-efficient, which helps building owners reduce their carbon footprint.
There are a few other ways that elevators are becoming more environmentally-friendly. This includes gearless traction designs as opposed to hydraulic lifts, which use around 80% less power. Drive systems that recover energy, as well as in-cab sensors that disable unnecessary features, are also being implemented.
Looking forward, it’s safe to say that elevators are going up. Only time will tell what exciting technologies lie ahead.