Smart elevators can monitor performance, make decisions on maintenance in real-time, and avoid costly downtimes. The global IoT elevators market, which includes vertical passenger transport as well as AI-supported commodity transportation, is expected to accrue a revenue worth of $56 billion by 2026, with a CAGR of approximately 15% for the period 2020-2026.
IoT (Internet of Things) technology can enhance the service of elevators, improve their safety, and facilitate the upgrading of key components. It can also help provide lower waiting periods, offer mobile connectivity, and facilitate the use of more power-efficient systems.
Over the last decade, advances in IoT and AI have drastically changed the way elevators function. Paired with a surge in urbanization and a growing need for residential and commercial amenities, as well as a requirement for technologies that allow for smooth, safe, and efficient people flow, the sector has become a particularly lucrative option for the coming years.
As organizations look into the implementation of large-scale smart devices to face internal and external challenges, it’s expected that more intelligent and connected IoT elevators will steer a market expansion in the years to come, in particular in the remote monitoring sector.
How IoT Elevators Work
The IoT elevator market includes hardware (such as M2M gateway and Elevator Gateway), software, on-premise and cloud services, design, engineering, installation, refurbishing, maintenance, and repair.
The advantage of IoT devices is that they can manage large streams of performance data and predict maintenance requirements, taking a fraction of the time and effort a human technician would need to do the same analysis.
These devices can monitor operating conditions such as critical safety circuits, load weighing, number of door cycles and trips, wait times, and traffic trends. They can also improve preventive maintenance schedules because they work on a model based on the observed heat, friction, and noise, keeping track of wear and tear.
The constant stream of real-time data provided by IoT elevator monitoring devices can enable service professionals to diagnose problems before even reaching a building, saving valuable on-site time. Once they get to the elevator, a technician can already have corroborating information and suggested actions, and spend their time focused on fixing the problem.
Remote monitoring can also catch problems when they start, as opposed to doing so when an elevator is noticeably showing issues or going out of order. This saves potential significant down-time, which can now be planned and carried during off-peak hours if necessary.
Amongst key players in the IoT elevator market are Otis Elevator Company, Toshiba Elevators, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, ThyssenKrupp AG, KONE Corporation, and Schindler Group. Among the latest developments in IoT elevators are IBM Watson/KONE, Otis/Digi, and Huawei.
IBM’s Watson IoT platform can already monitor elevator performance based on parameters and data processed in real-time in the cloud. The first manifestation of its specific services is KONE 24/7, a service that uses Watson and Predictive Maintenance Insights to bring tailored intelligent services to elevators. The AI system synthesizes incoming data, analyzes it, and provides the results to technicians who can identify the issues and make proactive decisions before potential problems become an issue.
Otis Elevator recently won the Business Impact Award at Digi International’s Global IoT Conference. The company developed a predictive maintenance solution that improves response rates in hundreds of thousands of locations worldwide. The Otis ONE platform personalizes the service experience through real-time updates, proactive communication tools, and predictive maintenance insights for all mechanical, electrical, and electronic components of an elevator.
Huawei Elevators Connection Solution is based on SDN and edge computing, and manages millions of elevators with interconnecting third-party IoT platforms. Their gateway supports pre-analysis and collaboration between devices and the cloud, implementing reliable preventive maintenance in real-time. The solution also provides in-depth learning from Big Data and includes AI fault identification and health assessment.
The Future of the IoT Elevators Market
Due to IoT and AI, smart elevators can generate data, identify problems, and make decisions on maintenance in real-time. This can reduce unexpected breakdowns and avoid disruptions to the movement of people within buildings, removing also the need for human technicians to frequently visit a site.
The ability for remote technicians to monitor heat changes, friction, and noise fluctuations, as well as more facilities to maintain equipment, are expected to drive market trends in the coming years. The elevators of the 2020s and 2030s will have a sort of ‘mind of their own,’ sending messages to the server in a smart building ecosystem that will automatically work out the best user experience.
The IoT elevators market is expected to gain traction in the coming years because of the massive implementation of smart equipment in high-rise buildings, malls, hospitals, and hotels. This is particularly the case for the North American market, where the presence of major players and the availability of a strong IoT infrastructure in the region, as well as a large proportion of digitization and technological breakthroughs, will be able to offer new growth avenues.
The next generation of IoT elevators could include machines that can be called with a mobile device, hold the doors longer for elderly passengers, help determine the optimum time to leave and return home, and offer a tailored journey based on facial recognition.