Existing relationships expand, and a new market is entered.

Otis Announces Expanded Technology Partnerships

During the Hannover Messe trade show in Hannover, Germany, in April, Otis announced expanded partnerships with AT&T and Microsoft aimed at enhancing connectivity, improving performance, lowering costs and delivering better results to customers. Otis divisions worldwide will use AT&T Internet of Things (IoT) technology to aggregate data from cell networks and connect to a new, enhanced cloud environment. AT&T’s global SIM card and IoT services, such as Control Center, M2X and Flow Designer, will also allow Otis to access real-time equipment performance data. AT&T will serve as the primary mobility provider for Otis’ field crews.

With Microsoft, Otis aims to develop digital solutions for smart-building equipment, such as elevators, to enhance energy efficiency and productivity. Otis stated:

“With nearly two million units under contract and more than 30,000 mechanics spending approximately 60 million hr. servicing elevator and escalator equipment annually, Otis is transforming elevator service by applying new digital tools to better serve and connect with customers. Utilizing Microsoft technology, Otis will expand use of the Microsoft Azure IoT suite, customer relationship management system (Microsoft Dynamics) and stream analytics (Corona Intelligence Suite), using big data to drive condition-based monitoring and maintenance.”

thyssenkrupp Enters Nigeria

thyssenkrupp has entered the Nigerian market through a partnership with JMG Group as its official elevator/escalator distributor, Naija247News reported. JMG General Manager Rabi Jammal observed large cities such as Lagos continue to see infrastructure and high-rise development, and the partnership will help fill the need for energy-efficient, safe transportation solutions for Africa’s largest economy. Paulo Amaral, thyssenkrupp’s head of Central African Countries, added that products such as the TWIN elevator system and ACCEL moving walk offer new opportunities for real-estate developers in Nigeria. 

Beijing Survey Reveals High Number of Unsafe Elevators

A Beijing Municipal Administration of Quality and Technology survey found 94% of 3,053 “high-risk” elevators examined  in the city are unsafe, the Global Times reported. A Beijing official who oversees inspections attributed the issues to aging equipment: of the 196,000 elevators in the city, 54,000 are older than eight years – the point at which malfunctions become more likely. He advised passengers to avoid riding elevators that lack current safety-inspection certificates and to refrain from trying to free oneself or others in the event of a stopped elevator.

Hitachi Elevator Asia Shares Safety Message in Skit

Hitachi Elevator Asia is spreading the word about vertical-transportation safety to public primary-school students in Singapore using a humorous skit with a serious message, The Straits Times reported. In a little under a year, Hitachi brought the skit, featuring a pair of “technicians” who sing and dance while demonstrating proper (and improper) elevator/escalator behavior, to more than 30,000 students in more than 30 schools. Put together by an events company hired by Hitachi, the program features illustrated booklets that encourage the children to interact with onstage actors by answering yes-and-no questions about lift and escalator safety. Hitachi told ELEVATOR WORLD: “The program started out of concern over a gradual increase in accidents in Singapore and around the region, which Hitachi believes could have been prevented. It plans to expand the program to private, special-needs and kindergarten schools.”

Taller Buildings Taking Shape in Costa Rican Capital

Construction data shows there has been a 30% increase in the amount of space for buildings taller than five stories approved in the greater San José, Costa Rica, metropolitan area from April 2014-March 2015, The Tico Times reported. Slightly more than 1 million m2 has been approved. Projects underway or on the drawing boards include the 25-story Latitude Los Yoses residential tower and the 40-story Torre 40 office building which, if built, would surpass the 30-story Torres Paseo Colón, Costa Rica’s tallest building. Observers are confident about the continued brisk pace of residential highrise construction in the city due to changing demographics and scarce land, but less so about continued demand for office towers since vacancy is at 15%.

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