In recent years, the elevator and escalator industry has undergone a remarkable transformation.
With the advent of smart elevators, cable-free designs, regenerative drives, robotization, contactless elevator buttons, and destination control systems, elevators and escalators are evolving into intelligent, efficient systems.
With 62% of consumers expected to increase their use of touchless technologies, passengers will soon be interacting with elevators as they do with other home devices. The report also highlights how vertical mobility is taking a big leap forward in delivering customized experiences.
While on the one hand, the industry is driven by innovation, on the other hand, it is being shaped by evolving legislation.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides federal investments in a wide range of infrastructure projects and is expected to help generate new demand for construction services, equipment and materials.
Driven by increased spending on infrastructural activities across commercial sectors, a report projects that the market for elevator installation and modernization will reach a staggering $106.2 billion globally by 2026, showcasing a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.3%.
While these investments and technological advancements promise to reshape the industry, they also present a unique set of challenges, particularly in the domain of maintenance.
Challenges in Elevator Maintenance
Transitioning to Electronic Elevators
In many ways, elevators and escalators are transitioning from mechanical devices to electronic ones. This shift requires an entirely new set of skills and ways of working. Traditional maintenance practices, which often involved manual inspection and reactive repairs, are becoming increasingly inadequate for these advanced systems.
For instance, regenerative drives, while energy-efficient, come with their own complexities. Repairing them involves dealing with advanced electronic components and control systems. Finding technicians with expertise in repairing these intricate electronics can be challenging. Moreover, regenerative drives operate with high voltage and current levels, posing safety concerns. Repairing them safely necessitates specialized training and precautions.
Regenerative drives utilize advanced electronic components and control systems. Repairing these intricate electronics requires specialized knowledge and equipment.
Regenerative drives are a relatively new technology, and finding technicians or engineers with expertise in repairing them might be limited. This lack of specialized skills can make repairs more difficult.
High Voltage and Currents
Regenerative drives often operate with high voltage and current levels. Repairing these components safely requires working with potentially dangerous electrical systems, necessitating specialized training and precautions.
Regenerative drives are part of a larger system involving motors, control systems, and often interconnected devices. Repairing a regenerative drive might involve troubleshooting and integrating various components, adding complexity to the process.
Diagnosing issues in regenerative drives can be intricate. Malfunctions might not always be obvious, and the drive’s interaction with other system components can make it difficult to pinpoint the root cause of a problem.
Availability of Parts
Finding replacement parts for regenerative drives can be problematic. These components might not be as readily available as those for more common systems, potentially leading to delays in repairs.
Repairing regenerative drives can be costly due to the specialized nature of the technology, the need for expert labor, and the potential expenses associated with sourcing rare components.
Some regenerative drive manufacturers might have limited or exclusive repair services, making it harder for third-party technicians to access the necessary information or components for repairs.
Regenerative drives often rely on complex software algorithms for efficient energy conversion and control. Repairing software-related problems requires a deep understanding of the programming and control logic.
Regenerative drives are often used in applications where energy efficiency is crucial. Repairs need to be conducted with minimal downtime to maintain the overall efficiency of the system.
The Promise of AI in Elevator Maintenance
In the face of these challenges, AI-powered solutions are showing immense promise in elevating the efficiency and safety of elevator and escalator maintenance. AI has the potential to revolutionize this industry by making it more proactive, predictive, and efficient. It’s the data generated by these machines that holds the key to unlocking AI’s potential. Connected elevators, equipped with sensors and state-of-the-art technology, provide a wealth of data about their performance, usage patterns, and potential issues.
While the elevator and escalator industry is witnessing a remarkable evolution, these advancements come with their own set of challenges, particularly in maintenance. Traditional methods are struggling to keep up with the complexity of modern elevators, especially electronic components like regenerative drives.
AI is set to be the game-changer, making maintenance proactive and predictive. In Part 2, we’ll delve deeper into how AI transforms elevator maintenance, and we’ll explore how Bruviti, a leader in AI-driven maintenance technology, leverages AI for intelligent elevator and escalator maintenance. Let’s explore how innovative solutions are shaping the future of elevator maintenance.