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Escalating to higher elevations

Escalating to higher elevations

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It is expected that India’s elevators and escalators market is projected to achieve a CAGR of 8.9 per cent by 2021 and cross US $2 billion by the year 2023, writes Jini Job.

Over the years, it has been detected that India’s elevators and escalators market, even though it is slow, has been progressively drifting towards the installation of technically advanced and high-quality units. Today, majorly one can see the builders and owner installing these machines not only just for transportation purposes but also to uplift the structure interior and appearances. Moreover, the maintenance and modernisation of elevators and escalators in India have resulted in a surge in the revenue generated due to the increasing installed base that has accumulated through the years.

Elevators and escalators are placed in buildings for effective movement of people and goods within its premises. These escalators and elevators are installed in commercial, residential as well as mixed-use buildings, retail outlets, hotels, restaurants, IT parks and many others. They are also installed in public places to improve vehicle parking management.

With the much-needed boost the segment received from the rising urbanization, introduction of new compliances and policies under the latest Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) and increasing number of high-rise residential and commercial buildings across the country, India’s elevators and escalators market is projected to achieve a CAGR of 8.9 per cent by 2021 and cross US $ 2 billion by the year 2023. Further, government initiatives such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) and Smart Cities Mission, and growing implementation of smart, quick and environment-friendly elevators are anticipated to aid growth in the India elevators and escalators market in this period. Furthermore, rising demand for elevators with Automatic Rescue Device is also expected to boost the country’s elevators and escalators market in the coming years.

In India, elevators and escalators market can be segmented by type of carriage as passenger, freight, others that include automatic rescue device;  by type of machinery: traction, hydraulics and by type of elevator door as a unit with automatic, manual doors. The elevators market, by weight, can be classified as units up to 350Kg, 550Kg, 750Kg, 1150Kg and more than 1150Kg. The end user-based market of the elevator segment is mainly the residential, commercial, industrial and government institutions.             

The elevator & escalator market growth is mainly driven by the residential segment and also the activity and initiatives in Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities. It is likely to get even stronger in the near future, with the focus on initiatives like “housing for all” and development of smart cities. This creates a need for taller buildings with even more efficient and innovative mobility solutions.

“Seventy-five percent of the volume is in residential but commercial being fast-growing with volume close to 25 percent with CAGR of 10 percent”, quotes. Ashok Ramachandran, President, Schindler India Private Limited.” Another segment that is also growing is an infrastructure-based investment. Government is pushing a lot of new metros, airport expansions and railways modernisation. This has generated a significant demand for escalators.”

Some of the major players operating in India elevators and escalators market are Schindler India Pvt. Ltd., KONE Elevator India Pvt. Ltd., Johnson Lifts Pvt. Ltd., OTIS Elevator Company (India) Ltd., Thyssenkrupp Elevator (India) Pvt. Ltd., Mitsubishi Elevator ETA India Pvt. Ltd., Fujitec India Pvt. Ltd., ESCON ELEVATORS PVT LTD., Kinetic Hyundai Elevator & Movement Technologies Ltd., and Blue Star Elevators (India) Ltd., among others.  These top elevator manufacturers are also putting their best foot forward to stay ahead in the race and to serve the rising requirements and demands massively.

Mitsubishi Elevator India has set up its 5,000 units per annum plant at Vemgal near Bengaluru, Karnataka. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric Corporation the plant will start serving the Indian market from December onwards. Swiss elevator manufacturer Schindler inaugurated its production plant and has begun manufacturing at Chakan in Pune, Maharashtra in 2017. Other company that is expanding its manufacturing in India and has doubled its capacity in its Bengaluru plant last year Otis India. Otis India has been spending around Rs 100 crore in the expansion.

Stable growth of the construction industry attached with the expansion of high-quality public transport systems in India is responsible for this market’s impressive growth rate Rapid urbanisation and high disposable income of the population is a critical driver that is expected to drive the market growth. Due to rapid urbanisation, the annual disposable income of the country is growing. This upsurge in disposable income is expected to augment the buying power of clients, which in turn will result in the increased expenditure on infrastructure development during the next five years.          

Reports show that Southern Indian region dominated the country’s elevators market in the last few years, as a result of increasing government projects, rising commercial and high rise buildings and focus on smart cities in the region. Passenger elevators have grabbed the highest volume share in India elevators market, on the explanation of an increasing number of housing projects, government infrastructure development projects, premium hotels, and so on, according to the latest report. 

Noticeable trends in the elevator industry are the increasing share of high speed and the growing emphasis on smart and energy-efficient elevators. Companies have begun to advertise their wares and services in the lifts. This allows them to reach the buying public and make their pitch.    

Today safety has become the main point of focus for the elevator and escalator manufacturers followed by convenience and environment-friendly units or components and after-sale services that would help them establish a lasting relationship with their existing consumer base and expand themselves exploring the newly opened market spaces. Technological advancement has been done to roll out a series of products with more features and for the up-gradation of the existing designs and units.

At Schindler India Pvt. Ltd., their president asserts that Schindler Products are designed to meet international standards in terms of Safety. “Three Key features that we would like to highlight are – Automatic Doors, Automatic Rescue Device and Schindler Ahead,” said  Ashok Ramachandran. “Schindler Products come only with automatic doors and protective devices and not manual doors. This prevents the possibility of any injuries in landing door areas, and also our products come with Automatic Rescue device, which allows the passenger to be safely evacuated in cases of power failures.”           

At KONE India, for its Managing Director, Amit Gossain, ‘Safety first’ is what the company has always believed in. “It is one of the highest priority areas that is embedded in our strategy. Our elevators are designed to both maximise passenger safety and inspection of equipment to ensure safe operations at all times. We aim to provide safety in general to everyone and want all our employees, users of our equipment and partners to return home safely every day.”    

KONE is in the process of launching KONE Care 24/7 connected services in India where the system enables vast amounts of data from elevator sensors to be monitored, analysed and displayed in real-time, improving equipment performance, reliability and safety. When a problem occurs, detailed information is sent about the cause and how urgent the matter is.               

Schindler India also and imbibed technology in its manufacturing process in the form of Schindler Ahead. Schindler Ahead diagnoses the health of elevator and its current status on a real-time basis remotely. This will help in doing proactive maintenance and ensure greater availability of a safe working elevator for passenger use.

In the escalators product portfolio, Schindler asserts to be the provider of the strongest and safest steps in the market and guarantees safe rides even after years of operation of the escalators. Each step in their elevator can hold up to 2000kg of weight while travelling and is made up of a single piece dye-casted aerospace aluminium material. The steps come with a yellow plastic safety demarcation, which is made up of state-of-the-art fire resistant and oil resistant material. The escalators come with LED Step Gap Lighting and LED Comb Lighting that provides easy visibility at entry and exit points. Even though the gap between steps and skirting is already minimised, there are skirt brushes which provide extra safety by avoiding entrapment, which is especially crucial for children with small feet and for passengers wearing loose footwear and brushes at the handrail entry point prevent trapping of passenger’s digits. There is an additional safety deflector outside the escalator balustrade to avoid accidents. The escalators are also provided with sensors which trigger a cut off mechanism for the motor if the water level rises above a certain specified limit preventing damage to the motors and equipment and consequential hazard to the users of the escalator. There is also an option of providing IP54 rated systems which improve the safety of the equipment from dust and water issues.             

Other safety features which come standard with the escalators are emergency stop button, antifriction coating, steps with grippers and many optional features.    

In addition to the safety factors, other focal points for the companies include energy efficiency technology. Manufacturers have started to pay high importance to the sustainability in their entire value chain, right from infrastructure, equipment choice, facility, material choices, selection of the process to minimise the wastages and achieve higher yield, use of green power.

Ramachandran explains this, “For example, we have 1 MW of solar power in our facility which meets almost our 70 per cent of the power demand. Lesser and lesser usage of wood in our packing, treatment of hazardous waste within our facility – In fact, we have zero discharge plant wherein we treat
100 per cent of our sewerage and effluent within the campus with dedicated STP & ETP, and the treated water is used for gardening purpose. Our facility is platinum rated by IGBC.”         

To improve energy efficiency, materials that have a lower environmental impact and are 100 per cent recyclable are used. The development of much lighter components has resulted in further energy savings. “We continuously improve the energy efficiency of our escalators too with the ECOLINE power management where our customers can define whether the escalator should run at full speed during peak times or automatically slow down or even stop when there are no passengers.” He continued.       

Energy efficiency today is attained by various means. It could be from the design of the elevator or escalator or by the technology that drives it. The energy efficiency rating determines the energy efficiency of an elevator. The elevator’s frequency of use, travel height and speed are important factors which have substantial influence over the efficiency rating. Elevators are rated according to their energy performance. They range from “A” to “G” with “A” being the best-in-class system.               

High disposable income, the young working population along with a considerable base of middle-class households has demanded the development of the residential sector in the nation over the years as a result giving a more significant push to the elevator and escalator markets to grow. A substantial proportion of demand can also be attributed by the growing mall culture in the country which has picked up extensive momentum in the past decade. Additionally, many planned metro rail schemes and railway modernisation projects for simplification of the public traffic hereby shows the bright projection of the market in the future. The ever upgrading features and services after the purchase, along with environment-friendly products, have given the consumers a wide range of choices among the players in the market birthing a healthy competition amongst the companies.

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