Connected, Controlled

Typical airport installation screen showing elevators, escalators and moving walks. Workstations are in operations, elevator-service and security rooms.

IDS/Lift-Net offers VT management systems that provide custom data in real time throughout NYC and beyond.

In modern building management, maintaining real-time connection to passenger conveyance systems is essential for passenger security and equipment efficiency/reliability. Not only do property managers need to know the position and real-time status of each piece of equipment, they need to have certain controls.

Integrated Display Systems, Inc. (IDS)/Lift-Net™ is making Internet of Things (IoT) technology available to the vertical-transportation (VT) industry. The Chicago-based company provides this technology all over North America and the world, and has been a major player in New York City (NYC) for more than 25 years. IDS/Lift-Net installations can be found in the VT systems in NYC’s major airports, government facilities, office buildings, schools, hospitals and transit systems. They include:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  • One World Trade Center (WTC) transportation hub and retail
  • Carnegie Hall
  • Yankee Stadium
  • Metropolitan Transportation Authority (600-plus elevators and escalators)
  • New York University

Information gathered can be specific to a building, networked around a campus or made available on secured connections from anywhere over the internet. Because the information from monitoring systems is available to users even in remote locations, the benefits of any typical IDS/Lift-Net system are immediately realized and return on investment usually within the first year of operation.

Increasingly, building managers are requesting features and functions customized for purposes such as serving a jail, transporting an official (such as a judge) or dealing with a volatile situation like a riot or active shooter. These features and functions allow management to customize operation and predetermine how equipment will react under various conditions — sometimes simply for convenience, but also for emergency operation and response.

VT equipment at MTA’s new 34th Street/11th Avenue subway station at Hudson Yards has IDS/Lift-Net software for that reason. During a recent tour of the VT system, Gerry Matawa, an installation expert at KONE, shared with ELEVATOR WORLD:

“What would happen if, God forbid, the subway got infiltrated? You hit this crisis button, and what the IDS/Lift-Net software does is shuts down all ‘down’ escalators. That deters people from coming in if there is a situation and leaves all the ‘up’ escalators running to get people out. This is a highly technical emergency-management system.”

In a predictive traffic environment, additional functions, such as for parking and other areas, can be placed on a timer-based schedule to automatically accommodate anticipated traffic patterns.

Traffic Analysis and Reports

A modern monitoring and management system will track, record and report on up-to-the-minute movement, status changes and equipment malfunctions. This data is stored and can be recalled, exported and replayed for any selected time and date. Thanks to such a system, specific events can be analyzed, even well after the fact. The system will provide immediate and historic statistics about traffic, car/group service, hall-call (HC)/car-call (CC) wait times, distribution and traffic summaries. Customized reports in graph and spreadsheet formats allow system overview and performance evaluation at a glance.

As network technology evolves, monitoring and control options become increasingly advanced. Many network components used to implement these systems can be obtained off the shelf. When off-the-shelf components are unavailable, engineers have new options for powerful, embedded components to create solutions to complex problems.

Methods of Communication

IDS/Lift-Net communicates with most manufacturers’ elevators, escalators and moving walks using prearranged serial data communication protocols. Frequently, the IDS/Lift-Net serial protocol (developed and published by IDS specifically for this purpose) is used, though other data protocols are used when requested by an equipment manufacturer.

The communications may be implemented over a variety of interfaces, including RS 232, RS 422/485, Ethernet or a token ring local area network via Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol or User Datagram Protocol connections. IDS/Lift-Net hardware-interface panels may also be used to connect older, relay-based equipment on a point-to-point basis. In addition, IDS/Lift-Net is often used to send a subset of the conveyance equipment’s real-time data to external, third-party building management systems (BMSes) using OPC, BACnet, Transmission Control, Modbus and other standard BMS protocols.

Display images from IDS/Lift-Net workstation screens are on the next page.

IDS/Lift-Net Web Services

Many IDS/Lift-Net installations are implemented over very-high-security networks known as “air gap.” On these installations, such as at airports, and military, transit and government facilities, no chance of outside infiltration is tolerated, and internet connections to the outside are prohibited. As we move forward with better tools and more robust protocols, however, more of our customers are recognizing the benefits of having the appropriate personnel in touch with their conveyance systems, regardless of physical location.

Customers who desire IDS/Lift-Net web services are provided a special login for our secure website. The IDS/Lift-Net computer on a customer’s website will open a secure, outbound connection using a special encrypted tunnel, developed by IDS, to our leased internet servers. The server will then send real-time, service mode and fault data to the customer’s individual pages on the IDS/Lift-Net website.

The web-services information is displayed on standard browsers and implemented with provisions for phone and tablet screen sizes. Java or similar plugins are not required to view the information. Data obtained from a variety of equipment is “normalized,” so all equipment appears standard to the user. Modern web tools such as a Structured Query Language database and display devices such as dashboards and other drill-down devices are provided. Complete, scalable Global Positioning System mapping display, including fault indication, is also provided.

Mouse-Over Feature

With its interactive design, IDS/Lift-Net will identify each device and its operating and fault status simply by moving the mouse over a picture of the specific device.

Password Protection

Password access controls all levels of interaction. Specific profiles allow various levels of access and control. This allows user tracking to specific times and dates, while limiting access to authorized personnel.

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Ricky Williams

Ricky Williams

is vice president of Business Development at IDS/Lift-Net. Based in the New York City area, he is skilled in negotiation, budgeting, operations management, technical sales and engineering sup-port. He holds a BS from the New York Institute of Technology, with a focus on Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

Elevator World | March 2021 Cover