Past Opportunity

Sustainable Elevator Hydraulics with KONE

Hydraulics
Elevator shaft

Industry

People, Material & Robotics Flow

Revenue

2020

€9,9B

Employees

2020

60,000

Countries

2020

60+

About

Hydraulic elevators are cost-effective products for the low-rise elevator segment. However, they are not the preferred solution due to poor sustainability and lower ride comfort. To overcome these disadvantages, KONE, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, is inviting solution providers to innovate a hydraulic hoisting system that uses renewable resources and provides users with a high quality, comfortable ride.

Opportunity overview

Today, hydraulic elevators are losing popularity due to their disadvantages over electric traction elevators that operate with ropes. The current elevator hydraulics is based on a fixed flow pump with valve control. Its machinery is immersed in a large amount of mineral oil. Compared to rope elevators, hydraulic elevators do not offer as smooth and comfortable rides while they are also less energy efficient. In addition, hydraulic elevators operate with lower speeds compared to rope elevators. They are designed for low-rise buildings, but they can take really heavy loads.

To further improve the efficiency and sustainability of elevator systems, ropeless elevators offer interesting development opportunities. As hydraulic elevators are a common type of elevator in terms of existing equipment base, KONE is interested in their modernization possibilities. KONE’s vision is to create the best people flow experience where sustainability is a source of innovation and a competitive advantage. To modernize the technology and to promote sustainability in all areas, KONE envisions finding new solutions for cost-effective elevator markets with remarkable reduction of energy and power consumption, combining the benefits of hydraulic and electric traction elevators.

The solutions KONE looks for should utilize hydrostatic power transmission for a hoisting system while also operating with environmentally friendly fluids, instead of mineral oils. The hoisting solutions should operate in the range of 50-200 bars, where the higher levels of pressure could possibly be suitable for also other use cases outside of the elevator modernization business. The solutions would preferably also offer low noise, high energy efficiency, and long life with high reliability and minimized maintenance needs.

Your opportunity with KONE

Working with KONE, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, provides an opportunity to co-create novel offerings with an industry leading player, and benefit from their extensive industry know-how and large operational volumes. In the short term, the selected solution providers will get support to develop concept prototypes for further evaluation. Previous expertise from elevator systems is not mandatory but willingness to co-develop and innovate the end solution together with KONE is important. Eventually, if your relationship with KONE proves successful, there is possibility to be a component provider for KONE modernization and, in the future, for their new equipment business. The hydraulic elevator market alone has the potential to modernize up to tens of thousands of elevators for new more efficient and sustainable solutions.

Focus Areas

Examples of solutions we’re interested in

Hydraulic hoisting system

We are looking for innovative and sustainable hoisting systems using hydrostatic power transmission which operate in the range of 50-200 bars.

Variable displacement pump or motor

The ideal solution would be a variable displacement pump/motor that operates without control valve losses, is low-noise, care-free, and offers long-life with high energy efficiency.

Sustainable liquids

The ideal solution would operate with environmentally friendly fluids and use no mineral oils in the hoisting system.