Vertical technology

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 31 October, 2008, 12:00am

Fast and efficient 'limousine' service will mean less frustration for passengers

The lift technology at the International Commerce Centre is a new and, in many ways, revolutionary system called Schindler ID.

The underlying concept is simple, logical, and has that hallmark of genius that you wish you'd thought of it yourself. If passengers can enter their destination floors into the lift system before they reach the lift car, then the system has more time to manage their journeys more efficiently, and can save everyone time.

Lift travel can be slow and frustrating, particularly during morning and lunchtime rush hours. It can also be crowded and involve a lot of waiting. The problem is not that the lifts aren't fast enough. It's that they have to stop at too many floors. It is exactly the same principle that makes public buses slower than private cars. Schindler ID's claim is to be the 'limousine' of lift systems.

Passengers at ICC need only present a proximity access card to a console as they enter the lift lobbies. The card contains information about the individual passenger's default destination floor and immediately allocates that passenger to a specific lift in the group. That lift is signed up as the passenger passes through the security turnstile, such as A, B or C.

All the passenger has to do is walk to the allocated lift and wait. The system manages everything else. In addition to saving time by not having to pause to enter floor requests, it is also a highly effective lift security system. There are easy options for inputting floor destinations other than your default (provided you have security clearance).

And, as more passengers enter the lobby, the Schindler ID control system groups passengers by destination. The number of stops on each round trip for all the lifts in the zone is reduced, which means passengers reach their destinations faster and the lifts return to the lobby more promptly to start the next trip.

In practice, the Schindler ID principle can deliver performance improvements of up to 30 per cent for a group of six lifts. For staff working on the higher floors, travelling up and down at least twice a day could save hours of wasted time every year.

That achievement on its own is impressive enough, but the lifts at ICC go even further. The ICC will be served by 40 double-deck lifts. The idea of using two lift cars in the same shaft is not a new one. It increases the handling capacity of the shaft and releases more space for tenant use. In the ICC, however, for the first time the double-deck lifts are coupled with Schindler ID, resulting in a valuable performance-enhancing 'double-whammy'.

Vertical transport professionals often say that passengers only notice the lifts when something goes wrong. At ICC, Schindler ID is likely to attract a lot of passenger attention for all the right reasons.