Kone's ambitious plans with IoT maintenance methods
Kone’s new connected and customisable elevator maintenance package integrates with IBM’s IoT network
Kone Corporation launched a set of tailor-made maintenance packages for elevators and escalators’ in July 2018. Kone Care, which was launched in European markets, made its debut in the UAE.
The new features allow customers to build their own contract, based on their specific needs — a slight shift away from Kone’s existing maintenance setup offered to its customers in the region, more on that later. Through its Kone Care Online portal customers will be able to request maintenance services, track maintenance status and equipment health through the new online platform.
The company also launched Kone Care Mobile which gives customers the ability to track their units through a smartphone application, which allow users to request maintenance services. In addition, it will facilitate the monitoring of the treatment of the maintenance request.
Samer Halabi, regional managing director said: “The previous maintenance package, while appreciated by many of our customers, was relatively standard in comparison. We, however, offered customers some amount of flexibility but now we are giving complete flexibility in their hands.
“It’s almost as if customers can cherry pick the services using a tool. Even before the launch of Kone Care we had our set of tools that manage the maintenance and performance through our systems. This in turn gave the customer the visibility to view our own systems or to bridge to the different facilities management systems that they are using.”
Kone also launched its 24/7 Connected Services option to facilitate the prediction of potential equipment faults, diagnosis of maintenance and take action. The system makes use of IBM’s IoT Platform — Watson. This allows the vast amount of data collected from elevator and escalator sensors to be monitored, analysed and displayed in real-time.
Halabi says that its customers and users are a crucial cog in its quest for insights that help them get served better in the bargain. This fits well with Kone’s strategy in an attempt to enjoy a larger share of the pie.
The service systems can be deployed almost immediately thanks to the nature of IBM’s Watson platform, which can be connected without a lot of manpower involved.
Kone Care has made its debut in close to 20 countries and the firm’s ultimate aim is to connect all its elevator and escalator units globally within the next two years.
The firm also has a voracious appetite and hasn’t limited its outlook by setting a target in terms of the number of units that connect to the service by the end of this years. “The maintenance systems can also be used on other manufacturer’s elevators systems,” says Halabi which broadens the company’s customer base as it approaches it from a ‘more is better’ stance.
The new maintenance systems connects using telecom service providers Du and Etisalat, and Kone said it is in talks with the telcos to ensure uninterrupted service across the the UAE. Kone is also looking to work with telcom service providers in other countries. This is a crucial step in the delivery of its service as Kone doesn’t want to tarnish its reputation with a drop in its service due to technical glitches, Halabi revealed.
He also says that the system doesn’t incur any additional costs of installation from the building owner or the FM operator. Kone also provides the device and all the requisite hardware and software involved in the maintenance package. “We have to look at how our customers’ systems can run for maximum duration without downtime. Their assets have to gain an advantage, and that’s what we look at doing,” he says.
Halabi added that no two elevator units have the same amount of wear and tear — according to a pilot programme that it ran in the UAE. This is because every elevator is used differently, carrying a variety of payloads on each trip.
Halabi says in conclusion: “The Connect 24/7 will also allow the owners to see the performance and usage of each car within the building. And with time, thanks to its deep learning capabilities, the owner will be in a position to customise his repair and maintenance plans. The benefits need to be measured over a course of time and unit by unit — which can then be passed on to tenants.