Manufacturers increasingly add digital components to their traditional products. This is usually on the basis of sensors within the hardware, which generate data about for example the functioning, use and condition of maintenance. KONE, manufacturer of lifts and escalators goes even further. They combine this data flow with artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Not only in the context of preventive maintenance, but also of so-called ‘advanced people flow experience’.
Every day, KONE collects large amounts of data collected from the cloud-connected elevators and escalators at customer sites. Thanks to the manufacturer’s 24/7 Connected Services, products can be better monitored, maintained and repaired before they malfunction. This first of all improves the performance of the products and increases reliability and safety.
But it goes on. KONE’s mission is to provide the best ‘people flow experience’. This in addition to creating the best elevators and escalators. “It is increasingly about offering added value through the best possible user experience”, says Ilse Vanderlocht, Maintenance Director at KONE for Belgium & Luxembourg. “Take for example our advanced people flow solutions. Here we look very closely at how people move through the building. It helps our customers to improve this flow. So their business and processes will run better and smoother.”
This is only possible with smart use of data and technology. KONE uses state-of-the-art internet of things (IoT) technology to continuously collect huge amounts of data from critical parameters: like use, movement and speed. This data is then collected and processed in the cloud. The cognitive IBM Watson technology is able to understand and learn from it. Based on the collected data, the equipment can quickly see when something is not working properly. When needed action can be taken. Immediately or during the already scheduled service. Depending on the urgency.
In addition to self-learning – based on deviations from standard patterns – the system is also able to communicate with KONE specialists. Data analysts and other technicians can continue to improve the systems with this information. Technology thus forms an extension of human skills.
Customers on the other hand can continuously see how a specific system functions and performs, and monitor if maintenance is required or has been done. If desired, in real time via an app on smartphone. This means that customers can always think ahead.
Connecting is crucial
The roadmap of KONE is based on even more intensive data usage.
Ilse Vanderlocht: “Connecting our people and our equipment is crucial for our business in the coming years. In the future, we will therefore look even better at how we can apply data in a smart way, to help our customers as well as possible.”
KONE’s challenges in using data for a better customer experience are mainly in the field of data privacy. “That is a sensitive subject that must be dealt with seriously. We guarantee our customers that the data we capture from our products is in the first place useful to them, and also very well secured.”
“We try to put the customer in the center of everything we do”, concludes Ilse Vanderlocht of KONE. “We do this by listening carefully to them and responding to their wishes and requirements. The challenge is that these needs and expectations will increase every day. This therefore requires attention on a daily basis. In concrete terms, this means that we regularly talk to our customers. We organize meetings, we do interviews with them. Especially to be able to understand what their business is all about, and to translate that into a support that helps them to be successful.” Look at the full interview of Ilse Vanderlocht, Maintenance Director at KONE.
Cognitive IBM Watson technology is crucial in enabling a better customer satisfaction by a better tailored and optimal performing product. Click here for more information how IBM can leverage your existing business.
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