IoT Safety Predictive Monitoring of Lift Operations, Shafts and Buildings

Andrew Gorin and Paolo Riva

Wednesday 21st September 2022

The current market is lacking single reliable and cost-effective solutions for lift and building health monitoring systems that are suitable for both of them. A purposely designed safety device turning any lift into a building structural monitoring system that enables continuous remote monitoring and real-time diagnostic of both the operational status of lifts and health of building structures. A cloud-connected sensor package would continuously track variables like vibrations, accelerations, displacements, and other physical phenomena. The data gathered from specifically positioned sensors would be wirelessly transmitted to the cloud and screened via bespoke analytical software using reliable specific algorithms based on machine learning and cognitive computing. As a result, many lift or building anomalies can be detected in real-time. Users can receive alerts, notifications, and reports, through a dashboard, on smartphones, tablets, and PCs for further engineering analysis. This solution would allow lift companies and building owners to plan and act prior to breakdowns, damage, or accidents, subsequently reducing their financial costs in the medium/long terms (predictive maintenance). There are no potential disadvantages in combining lift monitoring with building monitoring and there is no risk of conflicts between building and lift maintenance contractors as the root cause of a threshold breach are differentiated by the two separate signals for lifts and buildings. The data analysis focuses on one or the other given the different frequencies responses. However, both collected data can easily be combined and provide additional information that would otherwise not be available. The reading combination of data would increase people’s overall safety, optimize maintenance, improve performance, and protect the long-term value of assets. Buildings and lifts are also prone to a gradual ageing process. In accordance with EU Commission data, about 80% of the EU building stock is over 25 years old and people spend approx. 86.9% of their life inside buildings, including lifts. Additionally, all buildings are subject to hazards due to fast-growing urbanization and adverse nature, including earthquakes, landslides, floods etc. Progressive deterioration or defects of building structures and lifts are, in most cases, hidden and evolve unnoticed until a failure occurs. Currently, lift and building maintenance is based on several periodic inspections, resulting in high costs and low efficiency causing CO2 dispersion. A purposely designed safety device can provide a solution to monitor lifts and buildings 24/7/365 remotely by using the lift shaft as a vector. A user-friendly solution which enables an accurate maintenance planning, therefore reducing the number of site visits to the ones needed, therefore minimising traffic and personnel on the road from making unnecessary site visits, helping to generate a more efficient ecosystem.

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