Interview: Omer Al-Jamel, KONE MEA, on changing regulation and demand in the region

The vertical movement specialist is adapting to changes in the regional market

Has the introduction and enforcement of green codes and solutions in the market meant KONE has had to adapt or modify its products?

Our environmental policy is to provide innovative, safe, high-quality and environmentally efficient products and services. We strive for continuous improvement in all our business operations. In addition to complying with or exceeding applicable laws, rules and regulations, we work with our suppliers and customers to increase environmental awareness and minimise our operational carbon footprint, as well as improve energy, material and water efficiency.

KONE manufactures its products in compliance with the latest green codes, ISO2545, to deliver the latest eco-efficient solutions to the customer. Consequently, the enforcement of these codes in the market did not require any modification to our existing products. In fact, we were the first company to achieve the best A-class energy efficiency classification for an elevator installation, according to ISO 25745.

Our current machine room-less volume elevator, KONE MonoSpace 500, is up to 90% more energy-efficient than our elevators from the 1990s. The KONE EcoDisc hoisting motor and highly efficient drive system delivers even better energy efficiency, helping to reduce both operating costs and the building’s carbon footprint.

Has there been an increase in demand for green-friendly products?

After the enforcement of the green codes, customers became aware of the importance of green-friendly products and their effect on lowering the total cost of ownership. The demand has increased from customers, and especially those stakeholders who are responsible for paying for the running costs. To them, the benefit is higher as energy consumption is expensive.

What are some of the other major trends in the market?

The global elevator and escalator industry is shaped by two major mega trends: urbanisation and technological disruption. The world’s cities are constantly growing. They attract billions of people, and by 2050, more than two in every three people on the planet will live in urban areas. Estimates tell us that around 200,000 people move into cities across the globe each and every day, which is the equivalent of 140 people every minute. It is by understanding urbanisation and focusing on improvements for people that KONE can create better buildings, better low-carbon cities and a better world.

Rapid technological advancements in connectivity, mobility and computing power are changing many aspects of our lives. Technological disruption drives change and means a faster pace of business and new expectations for ways of working. New technology gives us a great opportunity to serve our customers in smarter and more exciting ways. Any small saving in energy consumption of equipment would create a greater impact on the aggregate on a global level.

What are some of the latest KONE R&D developments?

KONE’s R&D activities aim to optimise material use, including packaging and waste; avoid the use of hazardous substances; maximise material durability and recycled content; and minimise water consumption, among others. There are a number of innovations that increase energy efficiency, including:

  • KONE UltraRope sets a new benchmark for high-rise buildings. The super-light KONE UltraRope technology provides unrivalled elevator eco-efficiency, reliability and durability, while also improving elevator performance. It eliminates the disadvantages of existing steel ropes – high energy consumption, rope stretch, large moving masses and downtime caused by building sway. KONE UltraRope can enable future elevator travel heights up to a thousand metres.
  • KONE’s comprehensive and flexible People Flow Intelligence solutions are designed to meet market demands. They are based on industry-leading technology that can be adapted according to changing needs, which enables efficient building management and adds real value to a property. KONE People Flow Intelligence comprises solutions for access and destination control, as well as information communication and equipment monitoring.
  • KONE JumpLift is a construction time elevator with a temporary machine room that can be moved upwards as construction progresses. It enables a faster, safer construction process, earlier closing of the facade, reduced downtime and safer transportation in all weather conditions.

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