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A more energy-efficient flow

KONE Corporation
Making it easier for people to move around today’s increasingly urban environments lies at the heart of KONE’s business philosophy. KONE elevators have long set industry benchmarks with their eco-efficient performance and design – and now offer even better energy efficiency, better design, and better levels of ride comfort.

KONE is one of the global leaders in the elevator and escalator industry, with around 400,000 customers worldwide, a presence in some 50 countries, seven production units, and seven global R&D centres.

R&D has been a key factor in KONE’s success and has focused on areas such as total lifetime costs and lower levels of energy use. KONE was the first company to launch the machine-room-less elevator, for example, as well as counterweight-less elevators and doubledeck elevators featuring the innovative KONE Polaris™ Destination Control System. Thanks to innovations such as KONE MonoSpace®, KONE MaxiSpace™, and KONE InnoTrack™, the company has become a true technological leader, with its systems featured in architectural landmarks such as Capital City in Moscow, the Hongqiao Transport Hub in Shanghai, North LaSalle in Chicago, and Tour First in Paris.

A strong commitment to customers has also always been a key priority and has made KONE a partner that customers can rely on throughout the life cycle of their buildings.

"A reputation for challenging 
conventional wisdom."

A new era in energy efficiency

KONE took elevator technology a significant step forward when it announced that it was going to bring a new generation of energy efficiency to its volume elevator offering, in the shape of the machine room-less KONE MonoSpace® and the KONE N MiniSpace™.

KONE’s People Flow Day provides a new perspective on the real-life needs and expectations of building users.
These KONE elevators are up to 35% more energy-efficient than the company’s previous industry-leading elevator platform, thanks to a completely redesigned KONE EcoDisc® hoisting machine, a highly efficient drive, and enhanced standby solutions. This makes them ideal for meeting the demands of green building certification schemes such as LEED and BREEAM and other initiatives aimed at further reducing buildings’ carbon footprint.

KONE’s new volume products are the first in the industry to be awarded an A-class energy rating according to the VDI 4707 guideline, the benchmark for elevator energy efficiency.

The updated KONE EcoDisc hoisting machine is complemented by a wide range of other upgrades designed to deliver industryleading ride comfort: a new motor control system, an enhanced braking system, a redesigned hoisting system, and an improved car structure. These improvements translate into very low noise levels, both inside and outside cars, a smooth, vibration-free ride, and 100%-accurate floor levelling. Each and every KONE elevator also now receives a comprehensive test for ride comfort before being handed over to the customer, an industry first.

To further enhance the user experience, KONE now offers the KONE Design Collection, the outcome of years of expert design research and drawing on the latest trends in architecture, design, and material technology. The Collection offers over 50 car interiors for both new buildings and modernisation projects, designed to appeal to a wide variety of tastes and environments. The extensive range of ceilings, wall materials, floors, handrails, mirrors, and other accessories on offer – featuring numerous unique patterns and finishes that have been created especially for KONE – have won four red dot design awards.

KONE’s latest elevators are up to 35% more energy-efficient than the company’s previous industry-leading elevator platform, thanks to features such as a completely redesigned KONE EcoDisc® hoisting machine.

Getting a first-hand feel

To gain a better understanding of the underlying factors affecting things such as the location of elevators, escalators, and autowalks in today’s urban environments, KONE organised its first People Flow Day in 2010 and has followed it up with others since.

Hundreds of KONE people visit hotels, offices, and other locations, where they talk to customers, interview members of the public, record on-the spot observations, and log behaviorial patterns. By studying how, where, and why they are able to move about different buildings, they can gather a mass of first-hand information that KONE can to use to strengthen its offering and services in the future.

Particular attention is paid to things such as the accessibility challenges faced by wheelchair users, the visually impaired, senior citizens, people in a rush, and families with young children in buildings such as medical facilities, retail centres, hotels, residential buildings, offices, and stations.

Visits to a number of locations equipped with KONE systems have confirmed that KONE’s People Flow™ thinking can be of real benefit in overcoming these challenges.

For all the obvious benefits that the latest technology can – and does – bring, however, one of the most valuable findings of KONE People Flow Days has been that relatively small things can have a disproportionally large impact. Better signage, careful placement of decorations and advertising, clear instructions, and avoiding blocking key routes can make well-designed and efficient buildings even better and more user-friendly.

> Liisa Kivelä
(Published in HighTech Finland 2013)