Sustainability, Technology & Safety Standards in Toshiba Elevators
Katsuhiko Sato, Managing Director, TJEI
Smart, efficient, safe
A well designed and planned vertical transportation system is the lifeline of the building. A smart elevator is capable of communicating with the passengers and operators to improve the passenger experience and elevator performance. Regardless of the building or project category, safety and time management remain inherent to vertical transport solutions.
Technologies like the Destination Control System increase the efficiency of the lift operation and reduce waiting times, especially in larger buildings, and transport passengers rapidly, safely and without long travel and wait time.
Compact Performance Magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) for space saving enables over 30% less power consumption compared to the conventional electric motor. With gearless traction without gear oil for low vibration there is low noise and better environmental conservation. The roller guide is used instead of a conventional sliding guide shoe. Lubrication oil and lubrication unit are eliminated and replaced by a long-life rubber roller to reduce environmental pollution.
Toshiba’s innovative solutions
Toshiba is known to harness the full range of technological innovations developed over 140 years, to provide modern and innovative solutions for high speed, safe, and reliable elevators. For many years, Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corporation (TELC) held the Guinness World Record for installing the fastest elevator in the world at the TAIPEI 101, Taiwan. Continuing the tradition of setting new industry benchmarks, TELC was also honored with a Gold award at the iF Design Awards for its Destination Control System ‘Floornavi’.
Furthermore, sustainability being the top priority of the company, many technology features that save power are now standardized in TJEI’s elevators.
Ensuring accident-proof performance
Looking at the elevator accidents’ track record in India, a common factor is non-OEM certified service and maintenance. Lack of experience and unavailability of genuine spares are the major causes of such accidents. As an OEM, we would like to urge elevator users to realize the importance of services provided by a genuine OEM. Long-term benefits should not be ignored on account of short-term gains. Since we are dealing with vertical transportation with human lives, OEMs are extremely careful in ensuring a safe passage by providing routine and timely preventive maintenance.
Since the inception of TJEI in 2012, we have maintained Toshiba’s legacy of providing products that are high in quality, while earning a zero–accident record in India. This is achieved by conducting a rigorous ‘7 – Step Quality Check’ of the installation at every project site. Sustainability being the top priority of the company, many technology features that save power are now standard equipment on our elevators.
Driving elevator safety-standards a step ahead through training and development, we established a national Training Centre and Distribution Centre that focuses on enhancing the competence and expertise of Toshiba field engineers for elevator sales, installation, and maintenance. In addition to educational facilities, TCDC will also have a storage area for elevator components for use during elevator installation and maintenance. TCDC will also function as a reliability center equipped with various quality control facilities. The Center will provide the most advanced engineering solutions and focus on the development of human resources along with ongoing investments for engineering facilities.
Importance of timely maintenance and upkeep
As tremendous technological and engineering advances are being made in the vertical mobility sector, safety has become a common goal for all stakeholders in the industry – from legislators and regulators to equipment manufacturers, engineers who install, operate, maintain, repair and ride in elevators. Building managers also value the importance of building resiliency in these events.
One technology that keeps the elevators going without fail by predicting the maintenance and scheduling it during non-peak hours, and thus reducing the downtime is Remote Monitoring System (RMS). TJEI uses its proprietary RMS to continuously observe the performance of the elevators at a centralized monitoring centre and remotely supervise the status of its elevators. It also supervises the condition of the main components, foresees any faults that may cause a breakdown, and detect the reason instantly.
Using this technology, the downtime caused due to elevator breakdown can be reduced substantially as the building owners are pre-informed when a particular key component needs to be repaired or replaced. In an RMS-powered elevator, clients will experience less downtime and more efficient uptime.
But technology without trained and dedicated engineers would get handicapped. To offset this, we have built a team of dedicated engineers and service technicians that work in tandem with the RMS service alerts and are always available to upkeep Toshiba elevators. Even during the trying times, our own Corona warriors, the maintenance technicians of TJEI, stepped out to attend to customers.
Elevator and escalator systems in India today
The rise of urbanization in India means an influx of people moving to urban cities and vertical mobility becoming an integral component to the operation of these densely populated areas.
With the impetus on developing high-rise buildings and smart cities, the elevator and escalator market is witnessing a paradigm shift in envelopment during the design phase. Builders, architects, and elevator manufacturers work together to develop elevator systems that are attuned with the building design, are operationally safe, efficient, and cost-effective too. Moving ahead, the industry is now shifting towards elevators and escalators that aid in substantial energy savings with environmentally responsible features.
At the same time, we need to develop local vendors with a series of quality management systems in order to grow India’s E&E industry. Many of the components that go into the elevator system are precision components requiring advance machining and tooling equipment. The industry is also combatting low availability of skilled labor and infrastructure to make a complete ecosystem for elevator components made in India. We have imported many parts from China so far and spent time and money to achieve the current level of quality and cost-effectiveness.
The pricing challenge
In the recent past, India has seen several reforms like demonetization, implementation of GST, and RERA, which have had a direct and deep effect on the GDP, liquidity, and thereby on the Real Estate business. It has brought about a forced change in the pace of the Industry, in buyer sentiments and investment patterns, and during the transition period, it further changed the purchasing and selling patterns in the E&E Industry.
So, developers and vendors have taken their fair share of advantages from each other and collaborated to face these challenges, with developers benefiting from lowered price levels and vendors securing orders from a shrunk market and ensuring continuity of business. Whilst the market was striving to restore the health of the industry through this mutual exchange of benefits, we were struck by the pandemic in 2020. Price challenges continued to prevail as the relevant costs continued to increase, and have cascaded since last year.
We hope to see opportunities growing towards stabilization in the next 2-3 years, backed by a strong industry-specific resolution by the Central as well as the State Governments. Until such time, vendors with their low-cost products and a diverse market presence will continue to swim against this tide. So, the organized players will have to be highly geared up to deal with the changing conditions in order to meet their business goals.