Nothing is more important to Otis than safety
As urbanization continues and the need for housing grows, India’s elevator industry will continue to grow just as rapidly, says SEBI JOSEPH, President, Otis India
The elevator and escalator market is becoming increasingly competitive. What is Otis India’s total market share? What are your plans to increase the market share?
340 million people, or 30 percent of the country’s population, currently live in cities. According to a recent McKinsey report, by 2030 it is expected that cities will house 590 million people or 40 percent of the population, and that India will have 68 cities with populations of more than 1 million. As urbanization continues and the need for housing grows, India’s elevator industry will continue to grow just as rapidly. Future cities and developing economies hold a lot of potential for infrastructure growth and therefore, urbanization is a major driver for the elevator segment in India.
Otis India is positioned to deliver to this growing segment with the recently expanded facility in Bengaluru, which has tripled in size and doubled in manufacturing capacity. The facility includes a new elevator test tower, standing at a height of 51.2 meters with the ability to test up to five elevators at a time. Co-located with the factory is Otis’ R&D center in India that has also significantly expanded its engineering capacity in recent years. At the factory, Otis manufactures elevators specifically designed for Indian customers.
Which are the sectors which will act as a catalyst for the growth of elevator and escalator industry in India?
Residential real estate is an important part of our business and will continue to be, given urbanisation trends across India. The commercial sector is also significant. Additionally, infrastructure development also presents a great opportunity for growth with the government’s focus on building 100 smart cities. If realised, this commitment toward speeding up the pace of urbanization by investing in smart cities, ports, metros and airports could provide immense growth to the elevator segment.
Can you please brief us of the market for moving walkways in India, its growth potentials and future prospects?
Infrastructure development presents a great opportunity for growth with the new government’s initiative to build 100 smart cities. This commitment toward speeding up the pace of urbanisation by investing in smart cities, ports, metros, railways and airports could provide immense growth to the escalator and travolator segment. Currently escalators make up for a very small portion of vertical transportation needs.
What are the types of elevator you are planning to launch for affordable housing segment? What is the estimated revenue affordable housing sector will generator for the elevator sector?
Late last year (2016), Otis announced the launch of the Gen2 Core, an energy efficient elevator designed to meet the needs of the Indian mass and affordable housing segments. With a speed of 0.7 meter-per-second (MPS) and options of machine-room or machine-room less arrangements, this elevator is ideal for low-rise residential buildings.
Built on Otis’ flagship Gen2 technology platform, Gen2 Core offers an upgrade from traditional rope-geared systems to the permanent magnet (PM) gearless-belted technology. The Gen2 Core uses Otis’ patented, flexible polyurethane-coated steel belts, the ReGen™ regenerative drive, which captures energy that is normally wasted during braking and feeds it back into the building’s electric grid, Compact Gearless Machine and Pulse™ monitoring system.
A majority of the Indian residential segment have buildings that are less than 6 to 7 stories high. The Gen2 Core offers this segment an elevator that is environmentally responsible. As India continues to urbanize we need to look at sustainable solutions, and the Gen2 offers just that through its energy saving and space conservation features.
Affordable homes make up almost 90 per cent of the demand for homes in India. Otis already has been deploying Gen2 technology in elevators for high-rise buildings since 2010 and the Gen2 Core elevators are built on this technology platform.
The current housing deficit in India stands at 19 million units and 95 per cent of this deficit is around the Economically Weaker Sections and Low Income Group segments. This segment is likely to get a boost as the Government is aiming to provide housing for all by 2022. Affordable homes do not just mean the cost accessibility of the home, but also lower operational and maintenance costs. Sustainable features are keys to any affordable housing project. This product offer environmentally responsible elevators for low-rise buildings across the country especially into tier-1 and -2 cities.
Can you please brief us of the IoT initiatives taken by Otis India?
AT&T and Otis Elevator Company are collaborating on opportunities to enhance connectivity through the use of Internet of Things (IoT) products – services and technologies that employ digital technologies to better connect with customers and with elevator, escalator and moving walkway equipment. As part of this collaboration they are expanding their long-standing relationship to develop the connectivity to support advanced elevators. We will use AT&T IoT technology to aggregate data from cell networks and connect to a new enhanced cloud environment. In addition, Otis is working with Microsoft, to use Microsoft’s cloud technology, data analytics and a CRM system. Combined, these two new partners will provide the connectivity to create data, a place to store the data and the capability to analyze the data, and a database of customers who can use the results of the data analysis.
What are the maintenance and modernization services Otis India offers to increase the lifespan and trouble-free operation of elevators and escalators?
Service is a critical to ensure the performance standard of elevator and escalator are maintained, as well as to prolong the life of the equipment. Otis provides 24/7 service and support in major metropolitan areas via the centralised helpline – OTISLINE. To ensure easy access to customers we have the largest service network with 80 centers servicing 300 cities.
To show our commitment to service, we conduct an AES, or Annual Equipment Survey, a complete health check done on all elevators we maintain. At the end of the check, each elevator is certified as safe and is checked on important parameters. This is done irrespective of the type of maintenance contract the customer holds with us. Our commitment to customer focus, with outstanding equipment performance, is key to our business success. For example, the Otis Elite™ service program combines cutting-edge technology with our service expertise to deliver a priority service that goes beyond maintenance to offer an array of customer focused benefits.
Further strengthening the services offered is eService for Otis customers. This service allows building owners and managers who have an existing maintenance contract with Otis to view their elevators’ performance details around the clock. In addition, our work with Microsoft and AT&T will provide the connectivity to create data, a place to store the data and the capability to analyze the data, and a database of customers who can use the results of the data analysis.
What are the key features imbibed in Otis India elevators to ensure operational safety?
Nothing is more important to Otis than safety. Otis’ founder, Elisha Otis, invented the elevator safety brake, making elevators safe for human passengers and enabling the tall buildings of today. We continue the tradition, with a modern safety brake, which engages when the system detects that a car is descending too quickly, and other safety features including emergency lights and alarms which are other standard features that come with most elevators. Other advance safety features include: Infra-red door protection system which is a door protection system that consists of invisible infrared beams across the entrance of the elevators. If any beam in the curtain is broken, the door protection system re-opens the elevator door instantly without touching passengers. The Overload detection feature does not allow the elevator doors to close in the event that the car is carrying passengers beyond the specified limit. The elevator resumes operation only when the extra weight is removed. The Automatic Rescue Device (ARD) is especially useful in places where power supply is irregular. In the case of a power outage and an elevator cab stopped between floors, a lot of people tend to panic, or attempt to exit the car without the help of safety personnel, which actually puts them in danger. In the event of a power failure, the ARD will bring the elevator car to the nearest floor and will stay on that floor with door open till the power supply is resumed. Seismic sensors installed in buildings are designed to detect earthquakes, with the idea of stopping the elevator at the nearest floor during a case of emergency. This ensures passenger safety as the Seismic sensor can be linked into the elevator controller and can halt the elevator after detecting an earthquake. Other add-on safety features for elevators include Fire Alarm Home Landing, Intercom, and Emergency Power Operation.
With the technology upgrades that have taken place in the industry today, an elevator can also be used to protect tenants or building occupants from intruders, offering security from external threats. Secure Access technologies can require certain codes be entered to allow access to particular floors. Additionally, the elevators can be programmed so that when a passenger inserts a card into the card reader, he or she will be allowed to register a call to certain floors only. This aims to prevent unauthorized access.
Preferences for elevators for high rise buildings have changed over the years. What are the current preferred elevators for the high rise buildings?
Otis offers the Otis SkyRise® system designed for the world’s tallest buildings, which uses the SkyMotion machine. The SkyMotion machine’s lighter weight makes it easier to install and its smaller footprint saves building space. In addition, all SkyRise elevators come standard with the Otis SkyBuild self-climbing construction elevator. With the SkyBuild™ elevator, crews and materials get where they need to be quickly and safely — without a crane, without an external lift and without exposure to the weather. SkyBuild’s unique hydraulic piston system enables it to climb one floor at a time as the building rises. Each climb can be accomplished between shifts, reducing the impact on other trades. And once construction is complete, SkyBuild goes directly into service as a SkyRise elevator.
There is an opportunity for growth in this technology, especially in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. We recently expanded our manufacturing facility in Bengaluru, which has tripled in size and doubled in manufacturing capacity, and Otis India is positioned to deliver to this growing segment. The Bengaluru facility includes a new, 51.2 meter elevator test tower with the ability to test up to six elevators at a time. In 2015, Otis India introduced the Gen2 Infinity. Locally manufactured at the Bengaluru factory, this is a higher speed (1.75 meters per second) passenger elevator that caters to mid-rise residential buildings, which are fast becoming a common feature across tier 1 and 2 cities in the country today. The Otis Bengaluru factory is gearing up to offer even higher speed elevators on Otis’ global flagship technology platform – the Gen2.
An exciting Otis product that speeds people movement for high-rise is the CompassPlus™ destination management system. Using patented Otis technology, the system constantly evaluates real-time passenger traffic to improve flow and travel time in busy mid- and high-rise buildings. Instead of using standard hall call buttons, passengers enter their specific floor in the Compass fixture. The system assigns passengers traveling to nearby floors to the same car. This minimizes the number of stops per trip and significantly reduces car crowding as well as passenger wait and travel times. The technology can also been adapted to integrate with security systems. The optional Compass seamless entry is specifically designed to integrate building security and elevator-dispatching systems through various access devices.
The Web-based EMS Panorama™ system enables building staff to monitor, control and manage a full range of operation-critical functions for an elevator from any computer with an internet connection. The EMS Panorama system offers comprehensive, real-time data that shows building managers the full picture, enabling them to respond quickly to passengers’ needs and make informed decisions about equipment operations. Elite™ Service is a priority service that goes beyond maintenance. Otis has invested in an extensive technological infrastructure to bring this service offering and unparalleled benefits to customers. It offers customers guaranteed uptime, faster response times and improved visibility of Otis’ actions. Dedicated Elite Service engineers deliver enhanced customer service to minimize elevator downtime.