6 November, 2019

5 Challenges Facing the Elevator Industry and How to Overcome Them.

Technology is driving change across industries, and the elevator industry is no exception. Times are changing – customers nowadays expect faster service, machine downtime has never been that critical to success, and there is some pretty stiff competition out there. According to Statista, global demand for elevator equipment and services is on the rise – from 89 billion dollars in 2015 to a projection of 125 billion dollars in 2021. It’s official: there is an enormous potential for innovation in the elevator industry.

One question becomes more and more relevant: What are the top pain points of the industry, and most importantly – how to overcome them?

Compliance – a complex landscape

How are you dealing with increasingly complex compliance checks? Compliance is becoming a significant issue as companies are growing their service territory beyond specific cities, states, and countries. Since regulations are constantly changing, there is an added cost and effort to keep track of all relevant changes. Meeting the compliance codes in different legislations requires a specific approach and additional certifications. In the case of elevators, safety plays a prominent role – ensuring elevator systems are compliant with industrial safety requirements comes at a price.

Reactive maintenance – a vicious circle 

Here comes another critical factor – maintenance. Maintaining the equipment to provide value for the customer is at the core of a customer-centric approach. Providing a positive customer experience is not possible through reactive maintenance – shutting down elevators altogether means unhappy customers. It is often the case that leadership is still on the fence when it comes to a more proactive approach, namely investing in an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solution.

Why does reactive maintenance lead to a vicious circle? When failures occur, there is an urgent need for unplanned repairs. Thus the planned maintenance is postponed, which ultimately leads to unplanned downtime and an increase in backlogs. Predicting failures is critical to avoiding unnecessary downtime.

The human factor –  a shift in skillset

According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers in the US, 73 percent of manufacturers cite the skills gap as their top concern. The advent of new technology leads to a shift in skillset, but it is unclear whether job training will adequately prepare employees. Jobs are being transformed by Industry 4.0 – some employees are unprepared for technological changes in the elevator industry, while others might not have been properly trained by trade schools when entering the workforce. That’s why it is of high importance to address that issue, especially in an industry that has been providing job security for a long time.

IIoT implementation – dealing with ‘garbage data’

To fully benefit from the Industrial IoT companies must ensure that their data is accurate and consistent. By using the so-called ‘garbage data’ elevator manufacturers and service providers cannot realize the potential of the Industrial IoT and improve business outcomes. Thus they get discouraged to invest in IIoT solutions since they cannot foresee the advantages. As a result, poor IIoT implementation deters companies from implementing data-driven solutions.

Legacy equipment – reinventing retrofitting 

Another concern in the elevator industry is the need to ditch legacy systems. Always pushed to find new ways to reduce costs, companies are concerned about the price of digital transformation. Especially when it comes to retrofitting, the traditional perspective prevails – ‘If it is not broken, do not fix it’. There is a lack of understanding about the benefits and drawbacks of retrofitting old equipment versus buying an entirely new piece of equipment. Some companies are unaware that legacy equipment can be retrofitted with an IIoT solution, and what that means for their business outcomes.

Elevator 4.0

The Industrial Internet of Things has the power to move the needle in the elevator industry. It is possible to resolve complex compliance issues and secure new revenue streams by utilizing digital compliance processes. Reactive maintenance becomes a thing from the past, thanks to predictive maintenance models, which lead to lower service costs. In addition to that, retrofitting an elevator car results in cost savings and higher customer satisfaction. Is this all possible?

Relayr delivers first-class IIoT technology combined with powerful financial and insurance offerings. We empower manufacturers, operators, and service companies for industrial equipment to achieve their desired business outcomes.