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Getting where you want to go faster

In a world of ever-taller office buildings, KONE has developed advanced new elevators and control systems capable of moving people to where they need to go in these buildings more efficiently than any previous technology.
KONE Corporation

One of the world’s leading elevator and escalator companies, KONE has been very prominent in developing new technologies for many years. Building on its KONE EcoDisc® drive concept, for example, the company was the first to launch a truly commercial machine-room-less elevator, the KONE MonoSpace®.

The KONE EcoDisc® permanent magnet synchronous motor hoisting machine rapidly made a name for itself as the elevator innovation of the twentieth century, and was half the size and weight of previous systems, and used half the energy they needed as well. EcoDisc® also made it possible – for the first time – to use a single elevator technology in all buildings, regardless of travel height.

A KONE Alta™ double-deck passenger elevator.

Extra-large versions of the EcoDisc® lie at the heart of the Alta™ range of elevators specifically designed for super-tall buildings as high as 500 metres. Capable of transporting as many as 70 passengers at up to 17 metres a second, these units are probably the world’s fastest and most powerful elevators so far.

By eliminating the need for elevator counterweights, KONE MaxiSpace™ technology enables cabins to be as much as a third larger than traditional units in the same space. This means that a 6- or even 8-passenger elevator can be installed where only a 4-passenger unit could have been before.

Managing high traffic flows

KONE Alta™ double-deck elevators, with two elevator cars one above the other in the same hoistway, offer increased transportatio capacity and help maximise the rentable space available in prime high-rise office developments.

The market for these elevators is growing all the time as more and more tall office buildings are being built, and fast and efficient solutions need to be available to move large numbers of people to and from their offices at the beginning and end of the working day in particular, and between floors and the ground during the day.

A key factor in making the most of the potential of double-deck elevators is KONE’s new destination control system. Combining the increased capacity offered by double-deck units with the ability to match people’s destination with the optimum decks to get them there is unique in the industry, and dramatically increases a system’s ability to handle peak traffic situations in high-rise buildings

Choose your floor in advance

In contrast to a tradition floor selection system, the KONE DDD system is based on a numeric keypad on a Destination Operation Panel (DOP) located alongside a bank of elevators. Passengers indicate their destination floor on the DOP and are directed via the display to the specific elevator that will take them where they want to go with the minimum number of intermediate stops. The passenger then merely waits for his or her ‘personal’ elevator to arrive.

The efficiency of the control system is based on its knowing the departure and destination floor of each and every passenger and the exact number of passengers in the system at any time. The distance between each DOP and the adjacent elevators is also parametrised to ensure that passengers have enough time to reach their elevator.

A special call button or access card is provided for disabled passengers to reserve extra space in cars and allow for the longer time they take to move between a DOP and an elevator.

The new system overcomes many of the original problems with double-deck systems. Traditional up and down buttons initially proved relatively slow, as a result of too many stops being made to serve passengers, and they were unable to fully use their potential capacity. Fixed stopping sequences on even and odd floors are also unnecessary with the new KONE DDD system.

In principle, double-deck elevators need to maximise the number of coincidental stops they make to pick up passengers waiting or travelling to adjacent floors. As traffic loads also need to be taken into account, KONE DDD uses a genetic algorithm to determine which deck is selected to serve a call – to ensure that passenger loads are more balanced and that no one has to enter a crowded deck when there is more space either above or below.

All in all, KONE’s destination control technology has been shown to increase passenger handling capacity by 50-60% compared to conventional double-deck control systems, and in up-peak mode can offer over 200% more handling capacity than conventional single-deck elevator groups.

Passengers indicate their destination floor on a DOP panel and are directed to the specific elevator that will take them where they want to go with the minimum number of intermediate stops.

The first in London, the first anywhere

The Broadgate Tower project in the City of London, due for completion in 2008, will be the first high-rise building to be equipped with double-deck elevators and KONE’s destination control system.

The 35-storey tower and 13-storey 201 Bishopsgate building on the same site – designed by world-famous architects Skidmore Owings & Merrill – will feature a total of 32 KONE elevators and eight KONE escalators.

The tower’s two banks of five KONE Alta™ double-deck passenger elevators will feature a destination control system accessed via a touch screen user interface. The 12 floors of 201 Bishopsgate will be served by eight KONE Alta™ passenger elevators, also equipped with destination control.

High-performance SilentRide™ will be featured in the KONE Alta™ elevators for a smooth and quiet ride.

The Broadgate Tower will be the third-tallest building in the City of London and will feature the latest KONE technology, in the shape of double-deck elevators managed by an advanced destination control system.

> Heli Aalto
(Published in HighTech Finland 2008)