Wednesday, 29 January 2020
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Digital platform connects people and machines

Kone has introduced a new digital solution to make the buildings of the future possible: it connects people, buildings and machines. In future, it will be possible to connect all new Kone installations to this system.

Kone 24/7 Connect is part of the digital platform. It accelerates maintenance processes and makes them transparent. Operators and employees can see the condition of their lifts at any time. (Photo: © Kone)

Buildings are increasingly being equipped with sensors, linked in a network and flexibly managed to enhance the security and comfort of tenants and users and make the building fit for the future.

To enable people in buildings to move even more easily, safely and conveniently, networked solutions are also in demand to guarantee the optimal flow of people within buildings. How is this possible? Kone wishes to provide the answer with the new digital platform developed in cooperation with IBM.

It permits:
1. intelligent services, based on artificial intelligence (Kone 24/7 Connect)
2. open interfaces and applications of Kone and third-party providers based on them
3. the possibility of using data regarding flows of people to plan new buildings as well as to optimise management of existing properties.

"Kone has step-by-step created a multitude of options to plan and use buildings in a way that is more economic, environmentally-friendly and convenient than used to be possible for architects, planners, investors, IT providers and suppliers of technical building equipment with its digital platform," explained Erik Kahlert, Managing Director of Kone Germany.

Intelligent maintenance procedures for more reliability

Kone began with the connection of lifts to the IBM’s Watson AI platform in the first quarter of 2017 in order to enhance safety and availability of lifts through predictive maintenance and grant operators transparency: Kone 24/7 Connect. New lifts will in future be fitted with the corresponding technology in advance. Once the lift is "ready-to-connect," it can be connected to the cloud if the lift operator so desires.

HandwerkThe lift constantly reports information about its condition to the cloud via sensors. "Waton’s IoT recognises current disruptions as well as foreseeable problems and reports them to Kone – together with diagnosis and recommendations on troubleshooting to accelerate processes," noted Kone Business Development Manager Sebastian Warnsmann.

This is because with the advance diagnosis by the AI platform of IBM, the service technician already knows where he has to look for the error – if necessary, he can already drive to the lift with the matching spare part. The repair appointment can also be discussed and agreed with the building operator or carried out directly as part of the next regular visit to the lift. In this way, breakdowns can be avoided through preventive repairs.

Provide the potential for connection

Watson learns – every day: the more lifts that are connected to the cloud and the more reports on repaired disruptions and maintenance are notified to the cloud, the more precise the recommendations to Watson IoT will be in future.

The open interfaces of the digital platform of Kone are intended to provide the potential for connection to all technical building systems and apps of third party providers.

For example, building operators will be able to call, analyse and manage their lifts and escalators via the smartphone. The open interfaces permit adjusting Kone solutions to existing or new operator apps, but also applications of third party providers.

New opportunities thanks to the use of data on the movement of people

Kone maintains more than a million lifts and escalators of all manufacturers, which are used by an estimated billion people daily, explained Warnsmann. "This results in enormous potential for optimising lift operation and building use."

Every lift itself provides many dozens of parameters. On top of this, data is provided on maintenance and repairs that have occurred – and before long – data on use, i.e. the current traffic flows.

If this information is combined with the building technology, new operating options will arise in future, emphasised Kone: For example, the heating and air conditioning technology could be scaled down on the floors that are not as busy or cash desk staffing could be adjusted as needed, "There are no limits to operators’ ideas."

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