Huawei says a software-defined networking (SDN) architecture will be used to introduce a platform that can help manage and monitor elevators. It has announced Schindler as its first customer and partner in this area. The connected elevators platform will enable centralized operations and management, lowering operating expenses of elevator maintenance by as much as 50 percent, according to Huawei.
Here’s how it works, according to Swift Liu, president of the Huawei Enterprise Network Product Line. An edge computing device is installed in an elevator system, including the elevators themselves. This device communicates with an IoT gateway, which in turn can upload data to the cloud. In the cloud, the management system can remotely monitor the elevators and run big data analysis to predict problems and maintenance issues.
Liu points out that elevators might be a bigger problem than you thought: With the average elevator system being interrupted 2 days per year, and 15 million elevators world worldwide, it all adds up to about 30 million elevator interruptions per year.
As part of its connected elevator announcement, Huawei is partnering with Schindler to deliver automated monitoring and maintenance systems.
“If we can see the something is not going right, we can send a technician ahead of time before the elevator breaks down. It allows much more intelligent dispatching of elevators,” said Daryoush Ziai, CEO of Schindler China, an elevator and transportation systems manufacturer. “This is just an example of how this partnership can improve the user experience.”
Ziai said that connected elevators aren’t just about maintenance improvement. For example, the elevators will be wired as information portals with screens, providing opportunities for media, advertising, and customer service.