Going Up? Elevators, Windows 10 And The Internet Of Things

People are excited about the Internet of Things for a variety of reasons.  It’s already made us more connected.  And as more and more things are connected, a number of industries are poised to become faster, more efficient and more reliable.

When Reliability Really Matters

Let’s think about the industries in which reliability is crucial – transportation, power, security.  Or how about elevators?  Can you think of a worse place to be than trapped in a 7-foot by 5-foot box between floors of an office building with a group of strangers?  Or what if you’re the guy in the lobby, late for an important meeting, stabbing the up button repeatedly?

Elevator Math

Yes, elevator reliability is pretty important.  And as the world’s buildings get taller – an average of more than 1400 feet in 2010 – speed becomes even more important.  That’s where elevator math comes in.  Yes, there is such a thing as elevator math.  Considering most tall buildings have more than just one elevator, the lifts have to be programmed to do a number of things:  provide even service to each floor, minimize how long passengers wait for an elevator to arrive, minimize how long passengers spend to get to their destination floor and serve as many passengers as possible.  Sophisticated algorithms are specifically developed for each and every elevator system to make sure all of that happens.

Of course, nothing throws a wrench in a well-tuned algorithm like a malfunction, system failure or break down.

And that’s why ThyssenKrupp Elevator, the world’s leading elevator manufacturer, uses Windows 10 and the Internet of Things to connect their elevators to the cloud.

Elevators That Think

Each of ThyssenKrupp’s elevators are equipped with sensors that monitor things like door functionality, the temperature of the motor, where the elevator car is aligned within the shaft and more.  That data is then sent to the cloud where it is analyzed in real time and dispersed to devices running Windows 10.

Both desktop devices at corporate offices and service centers as well as mobile devices used by technicians, display the data in a comprehensive dashboard.  That dashboard allows ThyssenKrupp to identify problems literally as they happen. Technicians know what the underlying issues are before they even arrive at the site.  And even the elevators themselves help in the diagnosis.  The powerful Machine Learning power of Microsoft enables the system to not only generate a specific error code, but to suggest several reasons for that error code, reducing the amount of time a technician has to spend on diagnostics.

Beyond Repairs

It’s not just about repairing elevators.  With this technology, ThyssenKrupp can also schedule preventative maintenance.  Real time data from the sensors can alert technicians when a tune-up is needed to avoid a breakdown in the future.

The dashboards can also give company executives valuable business insights like which elevators are used more often at which times of day.  This type of business intelligence allows the company to adjust algorithms for more efficient energy usage and may even influence future projects as designers better learn how many elevators are needed and which installation areas are most efficient.

So the next time, you catch a lift to your office on the 23rd floor, down to the food court at the mall or up to an important appointment, thank the Internet of Things and elevator math for getting you there quickly and safely.

 

Written By: Gina Haraway

Gina Haraway is Avnet Embedded's Director of Supplier Business Development, Microsoft Global. With over 20 years of experience in the technology industry and 6 years at Avnet, Gina has held several positions and has extensive knowledge and experience in inside & field sales, account development and supplier business development. She is a regular contributor to http://www.IntelligentSystem.com.

 

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