Company plans to build sideways-moving elevators

December 14, 2014 by Meg Graham, Chicago Tribune

ThyssenKrupp wants to turn elevators sideways, move people around faster and fix products before they break.

The company, whose North American headquarters is in Chicago, unveiled the latest in a crop of new innovations in late November - an elevator that could move sideways in addition to up and down. The Multi system would use magnetic levitation technology with linear motors to move elevators through a circuit.

Incoming CEO Patrick Bass will tackle Multi and other projects beginning Jan. 1 when he takes the helm at ThyssenKrupp North America.

"Our headquarters in Chicago is a hub to help maximize and leverage and look at the innovations we can bring," he said. "Which also matches nicely to the footprint and direction for Chicago - of wanting to go from the traditional industrial Rust Belt city to now: a technological, innovation-driven center."

He says Multi would fit into that. The system would decrease elevator wait times to a maximum of 30 seconds, cut buildings' elevator footprint by up to half and conserve energy.

The company has begun building a 246-meter-tall test tower in Rotweil, Germany, to showcase the system. The tower, scheduled for completion in 2016, is designed to get people thinking about how building design could change without the architectural restraints of a strictly up-and-down elevator.

"(After) the birth of the elevator 160 years ago, we allowed the building industry to transform," Bass said. "The problem was elevators didn't change enough. The industry became a detractor. We're limiting building heights and building shapes."

ThyssenKrupp is also thinking about sideways movement on another place: the ground.

In October, the company announced Accel, which looks like a moving walkway but works like a magic carpet. Pedestrians step onto a belt, which then speeds up and returns back to normal speed before they step off. This technology could be used at airports.

"The biggest problem in an airport is getting them into a terminal so they can either shop or make their plane," Bass said. "That's the revenue driver. The more time I spend in that tunnel, the more money I lose as an airport."

It could also be used in conjunction with public transportation.

"Instead of this old traditional railway, now you have Accel in this nice enclosed open-sunlight visible walkway that you're walking three times faster than anything before," Bass said.

Lastly, ThyssenKrupp is thinking about using data to keep everything moving smoothly. The company says it has partnered with Microsoft and CGI Group to connect its devices with the cloud to use data for predictive and preventative repairs.

"It's about up time. It's about reliability," Bass said. "We need to know what's happening with these () cars. Real-time. That comes through the Internet of Things."

Explore further: UltraRope announced to one-stop zoom up tall buildings

Related Stories

UltraRope announced to one-stop zoom up tall buildings

June 12, 2013

(Phys.org) —Elevator tech has hit a wall, or at least the wrong floor of the person's destination, with limitations that are unable to accommodate the world's tallest buildings. As buildings rise, logistical demands rise ...

Intel has end-to-end reference model for IoT

December 12, 2014

Intel has declared its move to simplify and unify connectivity and security for the Internet of Things. Earlier this week, Intel announced platform, products and expanded company ecosystem designed to speed IoT adoption and ...

Watch your step: Elevator-related injuries and older adults

February 9, 2010

In the first large-scale epidemiological study of elevator-related injuries in older adults in the United States, researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine and an Ohio State University colleague report in ...

Smoke in tower forces halt to all Chicago flights

May 13, 2014

Smoke inside a regional radar facility has forced a halt Tuesday to all incoming and outgoing flights at both of Chicago's airports, shutting down one of the nation's most important aviation crossroads.

Going up? Kickstarter hopefuls raise space elevator cash

August 27, 2012

(Phys.org)—A Space Elevator Project has gone past its $8,000 goal on Kickstarter, although the group's ultimate goal is to raise a cooler $100,000 up to $3 million as the project achieves phase to phase progress. The company, ...

Going up: Japan builder eyes space elevator

February 22, 2012

A Japanese construction firm claimed Wednesday it could execute an out-of-this-world plan to put tourists in space within 40 years by building an elevator that stretches a quarter of the way to the moon.

Recommended for you

Permanent, wireless self-charging system using NIR band

October 8, 2018

As wearable devices are emerging, there are numerous studies on wireless charging systems. Here, a KAIST research team has developed a permanent, wireless self-charging platform for low-power wearable electronics by converting ...

Facebook launches AI video-calling device 'Portal'

October 8, 2018

Facebook on Monday launched a range of AI-powered video-calling devices, a strategic revolution for the social network giant which is aiming for a slice of the smart speaker market that is currently dominated by Amazon and ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Nik_2213
not rated yet Dec 14, 2014
I wonder how many of their patent apps will be rejected because StarTrek (TOS) got there first...
Agomemnon
not rated yet Dec 14, 2014
I wonder how many of their patent apps will be rejected because StarTrek (TOS) got there first...

my guess is none. Remember Apple's iPad is an exact copy of Star Trek and/or a Mead paper pad and they sued Samsung!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.