Otis Elevator recently won the Business Impact Award at Digi International’s Global IoT Conference. The award recognized Otis for using Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to continue making buildings smarter in several innovative ways. Those improvements include enhancing traffic management, maximizing maintenance effectiveness, and improving uptime. Digi provides the cellular connectivity to pull in data from more than two million elevators that move approximately two billion people every day.
Keeping a Watchful Eye on Safety
With elevators installed in hundreds of thousands of locations worldwide, reliability is of paramount concern to Otis Elevator. Nearly 33,000 field professionals work on the front lines, ensuring that the company’s products are operational – and safe – every day.
The company devised the Otis ONE™ platform to provide greater transparency into the maintenance lifecycle for customers and technicians alike. This connected solution personalizes the service experience through real-time updates, transparent information sharing, proactive communication tools, and predictive maintenance insights.
According to Ezhil Nanjappan, Director of IoT and mobility solutions at Otis Elevator, the system carefully monitors all of the mechanical, electrical, and electronic components of the elevator. It also tracks factors that can predict the need for maintenance before operational issues arise.
“We created our Otis ONE solution to transmit data from our elevators to a centralized cloud environment,” said Nanjappan. “That’s where our customers and technicians can get the information they need to minimize downtime and help ensure proper and safe operation.”
Data communication is handled by the Digi WR21 cellular router that provides connectivity over 3G/4G/LTE. Software-selectable multi-carrier options and regional LTE variants ensure the broadest coverage. “Digi’s solution was flexible enough to take the data and send it real-time to our cloud environment,” Nanjappan said. “Digi also showed it could scale up to support our global footprint.”
An IoT App for Elevators Worldwide
The Otis ONE digital platform combines cloud technology, machine learning, and IoT to provide users with live information and predictive maintenance insights. It gathers information directly from products via smart sensor technology.
With the platform, Otis Elevator customers can instantly view the entirety of their connected Otis Elevator portfolio with the click of a button.
“Otis ONE enables our service teams to provide a faster and more efficient service experience,” Nanjappan said. “Using a proprietary model, Otis ONE turns customer-equipment data into predictive insights to stay ahead of potential issues. This keeps equipment running safely and passengers on the move. It also means that when service is required, we can proactively contact the customer and our service professionals can arrive on site with the information and parts needed to enable a faster return to service.”
The application has been installed and validated at hundreds of U.S. customer sites in preparation for a global rollout.
Top Line Improvements, Productivity Gains in Elevator Maintenance
Nanjappan explained that Otis ONE serves two important purposes. “First, Otis ONE provides a new service avenue for the company. We can bundle this with our maintenance services in a complete and transparent subscription, which our customers value.
“Second, it provides important gains in the efficiency and productivity of our field-service technicians. They receive important information about all of the elevator’s components – what’s working and what’s not. Then, they can arrive at the site with the proper replacement parts and tools. This increases our first-time-fix rate.”
According to Nanjappan, Otis Elevator plans to continually refine the Otis ONE app based on feedback.
“As we go through this journey, it seems best to start with a few key use cases and then expand based on our successes and user feedback. We think that model will work well for us as we continue to promote it around the world.”