The Otis Elevator company has begun rolling out its new IoT system, Otis ONE – an enhanced service that gives customers real time data and transparency to elevator operations. With Otis ONE, building managers can monitor elevators via the web or phone apps, and maintenance engineers will be able to spot, diagnose, and fix a problem before anyone in the building notices.
“Our customers are asking for three things—predictive [maintenance], proactive communication, and transparency,” said Christopher Smith, vice president, service innovation for Otis Elevator. “Whether it’s up time or down time, they want less disruption to the building. Customers know they will be running better and will be moving their people more efficiently. What building owners really care about is a service call that shuts down an elevator and causes disruption to their building.”
The company maintains more than two million elevators, with more than 300,000 currently using its Remote Elevator Monitoring (REM) system. With REM, maintenance engineers can “dial in” to an elevator to get information, but it is not a real-time system. In the ONE system, sensors similar to accelerometers on an iPhone are installed on an elevator along with an edge gateway that connects to partner Microsoft and its Azure Cloud. The data collected goes into a dashboard accessible to Otis engineers and building managers.
Otis has also developed a series of mobile apps used by maintenance crews to enable them to share data about problems and their solutions. An example, called ‘Tune’, enables engineers to enter any elevator, connected or not, and quickly assess ride diagnostics by placing the iPhone on the floor of the cab. The app uses speed and vibration data to provide insight into the health of an elevator’s equipment.
“We’ve had usage data on elevators that’s been locked in the system for many years and now we are surfacing this data. And customers say they can use this information to better manage their building,” Smith said.