Smart Solutions for Smart Cities
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Published: September 30, 2019

admin | Insight | 30 September, 2019

    Smart Solutions for Smart Cities

    The need for smart people flow solutions

    With each passing year, cities keep on growing as the inward migration of hundreds of thousands of people continues unabated. With burgeoning populations, city planners find themselves relying more on vertical designing, planning and construction in order to ensure the viability of the city’s infrastructure to support the population’s needs.

    With the increasing ubiquity of technology in our everyday lives, technology has become an important tool for use in terms of enabling the safe, efficient and smooth movement of the city’s population as they go about their daily lives. How do we utilise technology to ensure the proper design and function of an increasingly crowded city environment with ever taller skyscrapers?

     

    Image © Kone Pte Ltd.

    Image © Kone Pte Ltd.

    Putting the groundwork in place

    A key element of providing intelligent people flow solutions is to integrate advanced technology into different building systems. Simply having top quality escalators, lifts and related solutions in place is not enough in itself. Integration of hardware like elevators, escalators and turnstiles with control software greatly increase the utility and function of each, as each component of the system now works together in harmony to deliver a seamless experience for people moving in, out and around built environments. A finely balanced ecosystem of solutions that demonstrates the best benefits that the Internet of Things (IoT) can offer.

    Coupled with this is the advance of connected services, such as KONE’s  24/7 Connected Services, which helps to support other key elements of people flow within buildings and wider aspects of equipment management. This includes keeping lifts up and running and fine-tuning performance through the use of remote monitoring and predictive analytics.

    Connecting to greater possibilities

    Advancements in IoT technologies means it is now possible to collect data, that was previously inaccessible, and harness the power of these data, providing us with insights into customer needs with the help of predictive data analytics. It is now viable to harness the streams of data that are generated every day by lifts, escalators and other key components of any building that help get people from point a to point b.

     

    Image © Kone Pte Ltd.

    Image © Kone Pte Ltd.

    Billions of sensors are currently embedded in everyday objects from cars to bridges and from toasters to refrigerators. They help to monitor the status of components, activity levels, traffic flows, even indicating when repairs are needed. Connectivity alone is only part of the solution. In the case of lifts which are often working around the clock, data needs to be processed by sophisticated cloud-based analytics systems, or platforms, which can analyse results and create meaningful insights about what is happening.

    On a base level, this means building owners, or facilities managers and engineers can anticipate when lift components will need servicing or replacing, or if adjustments need to be made to cater for busy periods throughout the day, thereby improving people flow.  For planners, property developers and architects, this opens up more possibilities into the design and function of buildings, removing existing constraints and expanding the boundaries of what more can be done.

    Another key benefit of the leading analytics platforms is that they “learn” from traffic patterns and performance, thanks to cognitive computing and algorithms. So improvements to people flow experience are not just delivered at the initial design and planning stage, but rather in a continuous manner over time, even after the completion of the building’s construction. This is essential, as the population of a building does not necessarily stay stagnant, and therefore its usage by its occupants may change over time. Continuous learning allows for continuous improvement, allowing for buildings to “grow” and “develop” further, unlocking more value for buildings and its occupants, an illustration of how technology delivers greater possibilities. 

    Enabling a safer environment

    One of the most important benefits of 24/7 Connected Services is improved safety. By analysing information on vibration levels and delays with doors opening and much more, our technicians can have the latest information at their fingertips, to provide the right spare parts, better customer service and help keep equipment running.

     

    Image &copy Kone Pte Ltd.

    Image © Kone Pte Ltd.

    It is likely that predictive capabilities will play a growing role in one other key element of lift and escalator safety: modernisation. Increasingly, the focus here is on the development of modernisation solutions for upgrading or replacing existing equipment with new solutions that meet or exceed the latest safety standards, improving equipment reliability and user safety. Products are installed by professional technicians following strict modernisation processes that include safety requirements. It is also important to work closely with customers, to fully understand their needs in terms of the people who use equipment, whether that relates to the approach taken to design, manufacturing, installation and day to day usage. Installation methods and processes are designed to improve the safety of installers and third parties whilst enabling product quality and reliability. 

    Keeping People Moving

    As urban populations continue to grow, ensuring a smooth movement of people from one place to another will become ever more crucial. The flow of people in and around buildings across any urban environment will have a significant impact on the overall quality of life. That’s why transportation systems like lifts and escalators are so important and it’s also why efficient and effective servicing and management of these systems is vital. Ultimately too, that is why the latest connected services will be crucial in delivering analytical capabilities required to keep these systems running and people moving across our cities and throughout buildings for today and long into the future.

     

    This story is produced in collaboration with Kone Pte Ltd

     

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