Elevator World India magazine - IoT Reaches VT

This editorial was first published in the Q2 issue of Elevator World India magazine.

This editorial was first published in the Q2 issue of Elevator World India magazine.

IoT Reaches VT
By Subramania Bharathiyar, Strategic Marketing Manager, Inovance Technology India

The vertical transportation (VT) industry is seeing significant technological changes in many areas, including commissioning, control, motors, maintenance and remote access. These exciting innovations across the sector provide a range of opportunities and challenges to elevator OEMs, as well as significant benefits to end users.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming increasingly popular throughout the manufacturing industry and is now making its mark in the vertical transportation segment. When it comes to elevator technology, IoT solutions can be used to create smart elevators, which deliver a host of new capabilities, including remote elevator status monitoring and control, remote commissioning support, and predictive maintenance data.

In addition, the increasing use of permanent magnetic synchronous motors (PMSM) and the move towards gearless elevators delivers a range of benefits for vertical transportation, including higher power density and torque in a lighter, more compact package. PMSM motors are brushless and gearless, using permanent magnets to generate the magnetic field for the motor and delivering greater efficiency, controllability and a smoother ride.

IoT creates smart elevators

Smart technology is revolutionizing the vertical transportation market by providing real-time information and remote access to elevators. OEMs looking to stay ahead of the curve should ensure they have explored the potential offered by IoT, with more than 64 billion IoT devices predicted to be installed worldwide by 2026[1]. IoT refers to a network of connected physical devices that collect and exchange data, which can be shared in order to automate and optimize processes such as manufacturing and transportation.


IoT-WL135, Inovance's smart IoT device          NICE1000+, designed for the Indian Market

IoT technology is being developed for the elevator industry and its end users, making vertical transportation smarter, more responsive, less complex and more efficient. This includes remote monitoring, testing and control in real-time, up-to-the-minute status reports, text/email alerts and self-learning capabilities.

Inovance has its own IoT device which delivers connectivity between the 4G router and the rest of the world, providing remote monitoring via a smartphone or PC via internet servers based in Chennai or in the Cloud. Inovance has been working in smart elevator technology R&D for several years and our Monarch Smart Elevator IoT solution includes all the key features required by customers in elevators of the future.

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What can smart elevators do?

There are varying levels of control and complexity that can be accessed via smart technology, ranging from remote monitoring for proper functioning and alerts delivered on any abnormal conditions, to remote commissioning (allowing a less skilled technician to commission an elevator) and predictive maintenance to advise of the need for action before a breakdown occurs.

From the very beginning of the active life of an elevator, IoT can help to improve control, monitoring and service. This can start with remote elevator commissioning, including parameter setting, with an option to download/upload remotely in Excel format, validation and I/O status monitoring in preparation. The final commissioning can then be performed by a technician working with remote support from a skilled expert.

During operation, smart solutions enable passenger trap alerts to be sent based on car panic/alarm buttons and car load status, if an elevator is stopped out of floor, while floor call control and emergency communication systems can be used to call the elevator over the internet.

Other benefits IoT technology can deliver to optimize performance and enhance user experience when it comes to vertical transportation include enhanced energy savings (through the use of intelligent algorithms and sensors), advanced security features such as biometric scanners and access control systems and increased capacity by reducing wait times and tackling bottlenecks. User experience can be enhanced through features such as virtual assistants or touchscreen interfaces, and wait times cut by taking into account factors such as time of day and building occupancy to optimize operations.

Predictive Maintenance can save costs, time and labor

IoT can also deliver remote elevator control for error reset and password control, basic controls to avoid unwanted call backs, and advanced predictive maintenance, with functional and error data collected and store in a server to alert OEMs when predictive maintenance needs to be carried out. Predictive maintenance solutions can monitor data relating to an array of different functions, including the operation count of doors, brake, car, counterweight, VFD run duration for the cooling fan, capacitor, motor temperature, and controller warning errors.

Many existing maintenance practices are labor intensive and time consuming, considerably disrupting business operations. IoT technologies work with sensors to make elevators more efficient, responsive and able to predict the likelihood of breakdowns before they occur, significantly reducing downtime and disruption to business operations, as well as reducing time spent on false callouts. OEMs can monitor the overall health of the elevator remotely and schedule maintenance proactively, with convenient access to real-time data from sensors.

PMSM Motors: Faster, smaller, smoother

Another key trend that is emerging in the vertical transportation industry is the use of permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM). PMSM motors are starting to play a central role in elevators, and one that will only get more important over time, as they are smaller and more compact than traditional geared AC induction motors, and deliver a wide range of benefits for OEMs and end users.

Brushless PMSM motors are now being used to create gearless elevators and provide high levels of efficiency, better controllability, smoother operation and increased reliability. The high torque and high power density they deliver means they provide more power in a smaller frame size and, as the technology develops, costs are coming down.

Indian elevator OEMs are increasingly switching to PMSM gearless elevator technology, which offers smooth ride comfort, low audible noise and EMI, and optimized direct-to-floor technology. Our range of PMSM motors is designed for high-performance servo applications, to deliver smooth performance at high and low speeds.

Our Monarch NICE motor control range is designed for PMSM gearless machines and integrates the elevator drive and motor controller into a single product. Having a complete solution, such as NICE, which comes with pre-adjusted parameters suited to PMSM machines means easy configuration. The safe, reliable and durable NICE range also supports different variants of encoder, meets EN81 standards and will meet BIS 17900, with products being used by most of the elevator OEMs in India.

Looking to the future of India’s elevator industry

The elevator industry in India is undergoing significant change, with the latest innovations marking an exciting time for companies involved in vertical transportation. This is a transformative period and OEMs need to be aware of the key trends affecting the market, as well as the challenges and many benefits they can offer to manufacturers and their end users. As technology continues to advance, new capabilities and features will emerge that enhance the performance of elevator controls and systems to improve user experience, and make them even safer, smarter and more efficient.