“As urbanization drives the increased need for housing, the need for smart and efficient technologies to support growth will become a must. This is why there is an increasing demand for ‘green’ elevators, such as Otis’ Gen2™elevator with ReGen™ drive, which captures energy that would otherwise be wasted by the elevator and feeds it back into the building’s power grid. The Otis Gen2 elevator and ReGen drive combine to reduce energy consumption by up to 75 percent under normal operating conditions, compared to conventional systems with non-regenerative drives.
Sebi Joseph, President, Otis India shares insight with Sandeep Sharma about innovations, project installations, manufacturing base/capacity, energy efficient elevators, emerging trends and technologies, managing supply chain and installations effectively, market for elevators and escalators in India, challenges and opportunities in the Indian real estate, hospitality and public infrastructure space. Edited Excerpts…
Which are your recent prestigious project installations across India?
Otis earlier this year announced the finalization of an agreement with Mantri Developers Private Limited, to provide more than 1,000 elevator and escalator units for various Mantri Developers residential, commercial, retail and villa projects over the next few years.
Otis India will provide state-of-the-art, high-speed elevators to the Indiabulls BLU project in Worli, Mumbai. Indiabulls BLU is an ultra-luxury residential project located in South Mumbai’s most upscale and coveted neighbourhood. The project will provide luxurious sea-facing apartments with ultra-modern facilities. Three of the four towers in the project will be served by 37 Otis elevators, including 18 SkyRise® elevators, with speeds of four meters per second. These towers will soar above the 200 meter mark and feature Otis’ CompassPlus™ destination dispatch technology. Installation of the elevators will be done using scaffold-less methodology, which can improve work-site safety, reduce cost and installation time.
Otis has also been selected to provide high-speed elevators to the prestigious Altair project in Colombo, Sri Lanka, which when complete will be the tallest residential building in Sri Lanka and will have the country’s fastest elevators. Altair will reach 240 meters — 68 floors — consisting of two towers with one tower leaning against the other. Otis will supply a total of 19 elevators, including Sri Lanka’s fastest elevators with a travel speed of 5 meters per second. Seven out of the 19 units will be supplied from Otis India’s Bengaluru factory.
What are the emerging trends and technologies in the elevator and escalator space?
As urbanization drives the increased need for housing, the need for smart and efficient technologies to support growth will become a must. This is why there is an increasing demand for ‘green’ elevators, such as Otis’ Gen2™elevator with ReGen™ drive, which captures energy that would otherwise be wasted by the elevator and feeds it back into the building’s power grid. The Otis Gen2 elevator and ReGen drive combine to reduce energy consumption by up to 75 percent under normal operating conditions, compared to conventional systems with non-regenerative drives.
As for existing elevators, they can be made energy efficient by adding the Variable Frequency Drives (VF drive) in the door system and elevator control system. VF drives regulate power and help with optimizing energy usage.
ReGen™ drives can additionally be fitted to an existing system. And auto-fan and auto-light switch off operations can also be adopted and LED lights can be used to replace tube lights inside the elevator car.
Otis is also working on developing smart elevators. A smart elevator is a connected elevator capable of communicating with passengers, building manager’s service staff and other building systems to improve the passenger experience and elevator performance, especially through improved elevator maintenance.
We think the next developments in elevator technology would leverage digitalization. Otis technologies such as the Compass™ Destination Management System, which constantly evaluates real-time passenger traffic to improve flow and travel time in busy mid- and high-rise buildings, are the start of this trend. In Europe, Otis has launched its new, more connected elevator, which features its eView display, an in-car interactive system that can be used by building managers to broadcast information and supports interaction with elevator occupants if they are trapped, for example.
In addition, Otis is working with leading IT providers, including Microsoft and AT&T to develop its digital platform to enable its connected elevators of the future
Could you share with us details about your manufacturing base, capacity and production process?
Otis India’s manufacturing facility commenced operation in Bengaluru in 1995. Co-located within the factory is Otis’ R&D center, which has significantly expanded its engineering capacity in recent years. The factory also has a test tower, which stands at a height of 51.2 meters with the ability to test up to five elevators at a time. The test tower includes mechanical and electrical test labs that are equipped with high-end test equipment and staffed by a strong technical team to ensure new products are tested and certified to stringent Otis safety, quality and reliability standards.
We recently expanded the facility, tripling its size and doubling its capacity, enabling Otis India to produce a wider range of smart, energy-efficient products localized for the Indian residential and commercial segments
The Bengaluru Factory strives to locally design and manufacture quality products for India’s unique needs, while leveraging global technologies in alignment with the Make in India initiative.
What are the key actions involved in managing your supply chain and installations effectively?
At Otis, we support the Make In India initiative and we are continuously working toward localization of imported parts. We also focus on lean supply chain principles to ensure smooth flow of material by dual sourcing, supplier education on quality and lean process certification for critical safety parts, while ensuring the compliance and upgrading of the overall system quality. Working with our parent company, United Technologies Corp., we run a company-wide Supplier Gold Program to ensure a high level of supplier performance, which is monitored globally.
What is the market for elevators and escalators in India? What’s your market share in India?
340 million people, or 30 percent of the country’s population, currently live in cities. According to a recent McKinsey report, by 2030 it is expected that cities will house 590 million people or 40 percent of the population, and that India will have 68 cities with populations of more than 1 million. As urbanization continues and the need for housing grows, India’s elevator industry will continue to grow just as rapidly. Future cities and developing economies hold a lot of potential for infrastructure growth and therefore, urbanization is a major driver for the elevator segment in India.
Otis India is positioned to deliver to this growing segment with the recently expanded facility in Bengaluru, which has tripled in size and doubled in manufacturing capacity. The facility includes a new elevator test tower, standing at a height of 51.2 meters with the ability to test up to five elevators at a time. Co-located with the factory is Otis’ R&D center in India that has also significantly expanded its engineering capacity in recent years.
What kind of challenges and opportunities do you see in the Indian real estate, hospitality and public infrastructure space?
Residential real estate, especially in mid and high-rise buildings, is an important part of our business and will continue to be given urbanization trends across India. The commercial sector is also significant.
Additionally, infrastructure development also presents a great opportunity for growth with the new government’s initiative to build 100 smart cities. If realised, this commitment toward speeding up the pace of urbanization by investing in smart cities, ports, metros and airports could provide immense growth to the elevator segment.
Going Green is the buzzword in all kinds of industry. How far your offerings are energy efficient?
In the recent past there has been an increased demand for ‘Green’ elevators. As of July 2016, the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) has 3.82 BN SQFT of registered real estate under development as “Green”. This constitutes over 3708 registered projects.
Otis’ flagship products, the Gen2 range, are geared towards efficiency whilst providing environmentally responsible features and benefits. Some of the key components of the Gen2 range are the coated steel belt, the ReGen™ drive, the permanent magnet machine and the Otis’ PULSE™ system all of which, when combined, increase the life, efficiency, safety and reliability of the elevator. Otis is the pioneer of this technology, which helps achieve substantial energy savings and facilitates environment responsibility.
The Otis Gen2™ elevator with a ReGen™ drive can reduce energy consumption by up to 75 percent under normal operating conditions, compared to conventional systems with non-regenerative drives. Otis has sold approximately 500,000 Gen2 elevators worldwide since its launch. The reason for this tremendous success is that developers and building owners are becoming environmentally conscious and thereby aim for green certifications like LEED etc. Otis’ Gen™ elevators and ReGen™ drive technology supports these green buildings.
RECENT INNOVATIONS FROM OTIS
Compass™ Destination Management System - Using Otis’ patented technology, the system constantly evaluates real-time passenger traffic to improve flow and travel time in busy mid- and high-rise buildings. Instead of using standard hall call buttons, passengers register their specific floor in the lobby before they enter the elevator. The system assigns passengers travelling to nearby floors to the same car. This minimizes the number of stops per trip and significantly reduces car crowding as well as passenger wait and travel times. The technology has also been adapted to integrate with security systems. The optional Compass seamless entry is specifically designed to integrate building security and elevator-dispatching systems through various access devices.
The Gen2 Switch – This is an easy to install, single phase battery operated, elevator system that will be a boon to parts of India that suffer from frequent power cuts. Under normal running mode, the single-phase power supply charges a pack of batteries, which in turn supplies power to the elevator motor. So in the event of a power failure, a fully-charged battery pack can continue to operate the elevator up to a 100 trips in a seven storey building thus eliminating the inconveniences of a power outage. It’s also simpler as it uses 230 volts single-phase power supply instead of conventional three-phase 400 volts power supply, thus making it “Plug & Go.” Additionally, the design coupled with its compatibility with alternative energy sources like solar panels makes it truly sustainable.
The Web-based EMS Panorama ™ system enables building staff to monitor, control and manage a full range of operation-critical functions for an elevator from any computer with an internet connection. The EMS Panorama system offers comprehensive, real-time data that shows building managers the full picture, enabling them to respond quickly to passengers’ needs and make informed decisions about equipment operations with great certainty.
Elite™ Service is a priority service that goes beyond maintenance. Otis has invested in an extensive technological infrastructure to bring this new service offering and unparalleled benefits to customers. It offers customers faster response times and guaranteed uptime. Dedicated Elite Service engineers deliver enhanced service to minimize elevator downtime.