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 elevator and escalator industry leader, invites 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 and are also less energy efficient. In addition, hydraulic elevators operate at lower speeds compared to rope elevators. They are designed for low-rise buildings but can take heavy loads.

To further improve the efficiency and sustainability of elevator systems, ropeless elevators offer exciting 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 promote sustainability in all areas, KONE envisions finding new solutions for cost-effective elevator markets with remarkable energy and power consumption reduction, 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 work in the 50-200 bars range, where the higher pressure levels could be suitable for other use cases outside of the elevator modernization business. The solutions would preferably also offer low noise, increased energy efficiency, and long life with high reliability and minimized maintenance needs.

Your opportunity with KONE

Working with KONE, a global elevator and escalator industry leader, 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 in elevator systems is not mandatory, but a willingness to co-develop and innovate the end solution with KONE is essential. Eventually, if your relationship with KONE proves successful, it is possible 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.

Examples we're looking for

Hydraulic hoisting system

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

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 a 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.

The KONE mission is to improve the flow of urban life. As a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, KONE provides elevators, escalators, and automatic building doors, as well as solutions for maintenance and modernization to add value to buildings throughout their life cycle. Through more effective People Flow®, KONE makes people's journeys safe, convenient, and reliable in taller, smarter buildings.

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