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Destination Dispatch Helps to Improve Elevator Efficiency

from buzzle.comDestination dispatch is an optimization system for multi-elevator systems that groups passengers with the same destination into the same elevators to reduce waiting and travel time. Passengers enter their destinations using a key pad, touch screen, or proximity card and are directed to the next elevator that will be traveling to that floor.

Two destination dispatch configurations are currently in use. In the hybrid configuration, destination hall panels are only located on the busiest floor, such as the lobby, or on select floors. Other floors have conventional up-and-down buttons, and floor buttons are operational inside the car. This configuration helps to improve traffic flow from the busiest floor and is helpful in buildings with heavy up peak traffic, when most riders are going up, such as at the beginning of a work day. Handicap mode is generally not supported in this configuration, except on the main floor that uses a keypad.

In a full configuration system, destination hall panels are located on each floor and elevators receive destination information from all floors to provide the most expeditious service for complex traffic patterns. This system does not have floor buttons – only door open and close and emergency buttons. Handicap mode is supported in this configuration. The full configuration is more popular than the hybrid.

Destination dispatch offers several benefits over traditional elevator systems. It can reduce waiting and travel times since the elevators do not make unnecessary stops, improve efficiency and performance, create better organization of traffic flow in building lobbies, and improve accessibility by allowing a passenger with limited mobility to move to the necessary car in advance.

The performance of destination dispatch systems can be impaired somewhat if one person enters the destination for a group of people going to the same floor or presses the button for the same floor multiple times, since the elevator system will not know how many passengers are actually going to that particular floor. This can be prevented by assigning users RFID cards that identify them and their destinations.

Destination dispatch systems are becoming increasingly popular and have been used in skyscrapers around the world.

A New Take on Elevator Music

people in elevatorMuzak, the background noise pumped into public places, such as hotel lobbies, stores, and elevators, has long been known as a way to influence behavior. Music with a fast tempo has been shown to boost workers’ productivity (“Inspiration is all about emotion,” according to management experts INNOVA Group), while slower music encourages shoppers to take their time.

Yowei Shaw, a freelance public radio reporter and producer in Philadelphia, has been trying to engage people in public spaces through her residency with the Asian Arts Initiative’s Social Practice Lab. She wanted to use Muzak to foster a sense of community among people who ride in elevators.

For her project, “Really Good Elevator Music,” Shaw asked six local musicians from Philadelphia’s Chinatown North/Callowhill neighborhood to create recordings to promote a sense of community. The collaboration resulted in a 13-track album that is playing in the elevators of the mixed-use Wolf Building throughout March.

The artists interpreted the request in different ways. Some used street sounds and interviews with local residents. They also utilized tempos, instruments, and musical keys that are more upbeat than typical elevator music. One track features a recording of eighth grade students practicing a Miley Cyrus medley for their middle school graduation.

Shaw has used surveys to get reactions to the project from the public. She has also ridden the elevators herself to gauge people’s reactions. She said responses have been mixed, but her goal was not necessarily to make everyone like the music. She wanted it to encourage conversation and interaction in a place where people usually avoid contact with each other.

Mitsubishi Plans to Build Elevator Factory in South Korea

Mitsubishi Elevator factory South KoreaMitsubishi Electric Corporation announced recently that it plans to construct a new factory for Mitsubishi Elevator Korea, Ltd. in the Songdo area of the Incheon Free Economic Zone in South Korea.

KMEC’s development and manufacturing bases will be relocated to the new facility. The move is expected to increase Mitsubishi Electric’s ability to respond to needs for high-speed elevators around the world. The company plans to expand annual production 2.5 times to produce a total of 4,000 elevators per year.

The new facility’s research and development center will absorb some development functions that are currently located at the Inazawa Works, Mitsubishi Electric’s factory in Aichi Prefecture, Japan that produces elevators and escalators. KMEC will be able to more closely collaborate with the Inazawa Works in product development and improve its response to global market needs.

The new facility will place a special emphasis on the integration of sales, engineering, development, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance. KMEC’s product development and verification processes will more fully reflect market needs.

Mitsubishi Electric plans to upgrade its high-speed elevators. It will begin to offer elevators that can travel at speeds of up to 360 meters per minute in the near future.

Producing high-speed elevators in South Korea will help Mitsubishi in terms of price competitiveness. KMEC will be better able to supply global markets, particularly in the ASEAN and Middle Eastern regions, as well as in other locations.

The new factory will increase production of NexPia series elevators that were designed for South Korean low-rise buildings. The demand for new elevators and escalators is expected to reach about 24,000 units in the fiscal year that ends in March.

Could Driverless Cars Become as Commonplace as Elevators?

driverless carSelf-driving cars have the potential to revolutionize transportation. Some people who are working on developing the technology compare them to another form of transportation that most people take for granted: elevators. Chris Urmson, who leads Google’s self-driving car project, and Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, have both compared driverless cars to elevators.

Elevators changed both people’s perceptions and the way they physically moved in buildings and cities. Before the dawn of the elevator, residents wanted to live on lower floors to avoid having to climb long flights of stairs. After elevators became commonplace, people preferred to live on higher floors.

With elevators a possibility, architects could design taller buildings. This led to cities full of skyscrapers and created new public spaces with their own rules of etiquette.

elevatorsElevators have changed dramatically over time. In the early days, trained operators used cranks and levers to move people from floor to floor. Today, people simply press buttons. Motion sensors can detect a person and hold a door.

Urmson pointed out a parallel in the way both elevators and driverless cars were introduced. With elevators, people could not imagine completely giving up control to the machine, so they relied on an elevator operator. Over time, people gained confidence and realized they did not need operators.

Urmson believes that driverless cars may soon become so common that people will take them for granted like elevators. Musk predicted that in the future people may prefer driverless cars so much that human driving will be illegal.

Space Elevator Q&A

space elevator Ask Me AnythingThe concept of building an elevator to space has intrigued scientists for years and may become a reality. Four people behind a documentary about the concept called “Skyline” sat down for an Ask Me Anything session with Reddit’s Ask Science community. They were aerospace engineer Jerome Pearson; retired software engineer and past president of the International Space Elevator Consortium Ted Semon; Michael Laine, founder of LiftPort Group, a company that has been working on a space elevator since 2002; and filmmaker Miguel Drake-McLaughlin.

The scientists believe that a space elevator will become a reality. However, they believe the technology needed to build one on the moon is currently more advanced than the technology needed to build one on Earth.

Scientists are working on several materials that could potentially be used to build a space elevator cable. They include carbon nanotubes, boron nitride nanotubes, carbyne, graphene, and diamonds.

Current designs call for a tether extending 60,000 miles into space. It would take four or five days to get to geostationary orbit and only a few hours to get to low Earth orbit. Climber speed would be very slow in the atmosphere and faster after leaving the atmosphere.

The lifter could be powered by lasers or solar power. With solar power, there would be “dead” periods when the elevator was in the Earth’s shadow, but they would get shorter and would eventually disappear as it went higher. A hybrid system using lasers or electric power and then switching to solar power might also be used.

The scientists say a space elevator would have no maximum load. It could be scaled up to carry thousands of tons at one time. Several loads could be transported on the tether at once according to a schedule.

The scientists propose using a space vehicle, the ElectroDynamic Debris Eliminator, to capture space junk in low Earth orbit so it would not collide with the space elevator. It could be used to build structures in LEO.

Severe weather could potentially damage the space elevator. Scientists would put it near the equator in an area that generally does not have strong storms. The elevator would have redundant cables in case one was damaged by a storm. If a storm occurred in the area of the space elevator, operations would be stopped until it passed.

The space elevator would be built in a remote location in the ocean far from populated areas and shipping lanes. If the cable collapsed for some reason, the location would be so remote that it would not pose a danger to people.

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