How KONE uses Big Data in practice
With numbers like these, breakdowns or faulty equipment can cause delays for thousands of people. In recent years, KONE has begun to capture as much data as possible from its machinery, with the aim of ensuring everything is operating efficiently, and allowing technicians to diagnose and react to problems as soon as they are predicted, rather than having to wait and act after something goes wrong.
KONE’s system – which can interface directly with the company’s own escalators and elevators to access machine data directly, or use sensors to collect data from machinery installed by other manufacturers – gives real-time readouts on everything from start and stop times, to acceleration, temperature, noise levels and vibrations running through cables. All of this information is analysed in terms of machine performance, and to plan maintenance effectively.
CEO Henrik Ehrnrooth tells me, “We are connecting elevators and escalators to the cloud … that means we’re collecting a lot of data, and this enables us to provide significant value for our customers … When you’re managing a building, it’s important to have a full understanding of what’s going on, all the time – what is happening? How is the equipment performing? How are people moving in the building?” With this goal of providing maximum value for customers in mind, KONE recently announced that it will package its machine data and provide it to customers – lift and elevator operators – under the name 24/7 Connected Services.
The technical details
The data gathered from machines is put into the cloud, where KONE analysts can interrogate it using sophisticated AI and machine learning techniques, courtesy of IBM’s Watson platform.
The plan is that the Watson system will soon be able to act as a real-time adviser to technicians, via hand-held terminals, giving them instant insights to problems they come up against during their day-to-day routines. As Ehrnrooth says, “They will be told ‘there is X% likeliness that this is the problem, and this is how you should fix it’, and that assistance will come from what the system has learned while it’s been running, and the technical documentation that’s been fed into it.”
Ideas and insights you can steal
KONE shows us how the increasing connectedness of machines and the staggering amount of data that can be collected from machinery can lead to significant operational improvements – particularly when humans and machines work together effectively, as in the case of KONE’s analysts, technicians and the machines they are working to improve.
You can read more about how companies are using Big Data to drive success in Big Data in Practice: How 45 Successful Companies Used Big Data Analytics to Deliver Extraordinary Results.
Bernard Marr is a world-renowned futurist, influencer and thought leader in the field of business and technology. He is the author of 18 best-selling books, writes a regular column for Forbes and advises and coaches many of the world’s best-known organisations. He has 2 million social media followers and was ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top 5 business influencers in the world and the No 1 influencer in the UK.