IIoT helps equipment manufacturer to slash maintenance costs

Posted on 15 Jun 2017 by Jonny Williamson

The maintenance services of world-leading manufacturer of escalators, elevators and moving walkways, Schindler Group, have received a lift thanks to a new digital Industrial Internet of Things platform.

IIoT- Access to real-time information is one of the principle benefits the digitisation of elevators brings – image courtesy of Pixabay.
Access to real-time information is one of the principle benefits the digitisation of elevators brings – image courtesy of Pixabay.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has grown to become an essential part of the digital revolution, and no manufacturing company which is providing maintenance services to customers should disregard the potential opportunities or disruption this shift brings.

The interconnectivity of ‘things’ can, for instance, help an elevator manufacturer make its products becoming increasingly smarter and transmit data in real-time via the cloud.

In this way, relevant information about predictable sources of technical errors in the elevators can be analysed, and possible service issues can be anticipated and resolved before they occur.

Schindler’s products transport millions of people every day, and soon it will also move gigabytes of data.

The company has partnered with GE Digital to connect one million elevators, escalators and moving walkways to the Industrial Internet and use GE’s cloud-based software and analytics platform, Predix, to securely connect and analyse the data.

Schindler has implemented ‘Schindler Ahead’, built on Predix, to enable its engineers to have real-time access to operational, performance, and commercial data to better maintain its products.

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The data flow will help the company identify, analyse and resolve possible service issues before they happen. That kind of predictive analysis helps reduce downtime, lower the chances of customer disruption, and possibly even improve design.

On the side-lines of GE’s premiere Industrial Internet event, Mind + Machines Europe 2017 – which took place in Berlin this week, Joachim Hartmann, solution architect from GE digital, explained to The Manufacturer: “The main weakness point of every elevator system, and is responsible for many downtimes, is the door and its opening/closing mechanism.

“Therefore every door in Schindler’s elevator systems is linked with sensors which send data about the technical condition of the door to the cloud. In the past, Schindler sold complete maintenance service packages where the elevators were inspected several times a year as a matter of course. Now, the maintenance service engineer only arrives on-site when the need arrives.”

This is one of the principle benefits the digitisation of elevators brings, according to Hartmann. Having maintenance services based on real-time information allows Schindler to become more efficient, productive, profitable and a more reliable partner for its customers.

Related articles: Minds+Machines Europe 2017 – Day 1: key takeaways / Day 2: key takeaways