Otis Elevates Industry Standards for a Taller, Faster, and Smarter World

From installing the world’s first safety elevator in the New York Crystal Palace to creating seamless elevator experiences for humans and robots, Otis has a remarkable track record of invention. Today, the company moves over two billion people a day. Whether in the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower, or the Lotte World Tower, Otis has likely brought you up to some of the most memorable views of your life.

In Taiwan, Otis is also an integral part of people’s everyday commute. The company recently installed units at the Taichung MRT stations – a project for which it won the 2022 Elevator World Project of the Year Award, competing with projects around the world. In the vertical mobility industry, this is the equivalent of winning an Academy Award for Best Picture.

Otis escalators are part of Taichung MRT’s sustainable development approach, with an intelligent lubrication system that uses up to 98% less oil than manual lubrication systems. The escalators also have a standby mode and provide a low idle speed to minimize power consumption. The company’s inclusive mobility solutions, which draw from decades of experience with infrastructure projects, include structures that protect children and adjustments to accommodate for the elderly and those with limited mobility.

Ian Lau, managing director of Otis Taiwan, notes that his team managed to reach all project milestones within the deadline thanks to thorough planning. “The Taichung MRT project had a 13-year timeline,” he says. “Installing the escalators and elevators is part of the later stages, but we made sure to be involved from the start.” 

Otis faced demanding escalator installations, where multi-ton truss sections were maneuvered by cranes into the metro’s concrete structures. The installations required prior careful calculation and review since some of which were as close as five to six meters from the surrounding buildings.

“Seven of the MRT stations are elevated stations in residential and commercial areas, so we needed to build them overnight to make way for the morning traffic,” says Lau. “Because of these circumstances, communicating early, clearly, and regularly with all stakeholders – from government and contractors to the local community – was vital to maintain a positive relationship and, above all, safety.” 

In fact, Otis has Three Absolutes when conducting business: safety, quality, and ethics. As a result, the company implements a speak-up culture where all workers are encouraged to report any safety concerns and are authorized to stop working should they notice a possible hazard. “Otis’s safety requirements are always more stringent than the local regulations – not only for our own mechanics and engineers but also our subcontractors,” notes Lau.

This mindset, combined with the use of cutting-edge technology, is likely why Otis is also a 2021 Golden Torch Award winner for Outstanding Customer Satisfaction. “But above all, I think these awards are a recognition of our people’s hard work to deliver our values to customers, stakeholders, and colleagues,” says Lau.

The near-future Otis passenger experience includes technologies that transform the way people move in a taller, faster world. Already, Otis has implemented touch-free elevator buttons to prevent virus spread and is piloting an API solution for integrating service robots with elevators in hotels and hospitals. At the forefront of innovation, the Otis ONE Internet of Things (IoT) service collects data to predict possible malfunctioning and service needs and proactively provides clients with a repair schedule.

“We’ve implemented this technology to personalize customer needs and communicate the elevator’s health status in real time,” says Lau. “But we want to do more than that – we also want to help our clients meet their ESG goals. For example, our Gen2 elevators are equipped with energy-saving features that can save up to 75% of their energy usage.”

Many of these advanced features will be implemented when Otis installs 278 units of escalators, elevators, and moving walkways at Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 3, which is expected to be completed by 2026. The company will use its ReGen® drive technology to capture energy usually emitted as heat and use it as clean power.

“Terminal 3 will elevate Taiwan’s status as one of the most important transportation hubs in East Asia,” notes Lau. “We’re very excited and honored to be part of this project and realize the airport’s smart and green vision.”