Gustavo Paredes
President and Director General
Schindler Mexico
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View from the Top

Digital Twins and IoT to Move Buildings of the Future

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 10:15

Q: How has Mexico’s rapid urbanization and the trend of verticalization increased the demand for mobility solutions such as Schindler’s?
A: We are in the business of moving people both vertically and horizontally. The verticalization of cities that results from density and urbanization, escalators, elevators and moving walkways plays a significant role in how we urbanize cities. We enable movement and urban development through our solutions. When thinking about the way cities are growing, there is a juncture between making cities livable and making them more productive. The bigger the city the more energy it consumes. It is our job to optimize the urbanization of cities. Cities are continuing to push the development of mixed-use products, such as the “live, work, play” spaces to increase the quality of life of its citizens.
At Schindler, we continuously improve the efficiency of how people move as cities continue to grow. With more than 20 million inhabitants, greater Mexico City continues to adopt urbanization and Smart City developments. Mexico City will always have a growing demand for vertical development and a demand for our solutions. But we also see a significant amount of activity in secondary cities such as Guadalajara and Monterrey. Cities such as Leon, San Luis Potosi and Tijuana are also markets to watch.
Q: How is Schindler incorporating Digital Twins and the IoT to improve the efficiency of its solutions?
A: On the operational side, Schindler has a two-pronged strategy to deliver the best vertical transportation experience, through a digital solutions portfolio called Schindler Ahead. First, we forecast when a failure will happen through predictive analysis. Today, the industry has greatly advanced in preventive maintenance, which is what operators do when they carry out routine maintenance. Schindler Ahead will provide us with cognitive analysis by analyzing data through EDGE computing and feeding the information into the cloud. With the use of fault detection algorithms, it will be able to generate scenarios that will predict when a failure will occur. This will allow us to replace parts before failure, translating into uptime, cost-effectiveness and a better customer experience. This is EDGE computing that will incorporate sensors in the cabin, monitoring operations and feeding information to the cloud. To this end, we have partnered with GE Predix, which provides us with the platform to carry out this analysis. The second part of the Schindler Ahead solution provides the ability to manage content while interacting with our products. We will be able to communicate the relevant information when users use any of our elevators and escalators. This will not only provide an added value for developers but also for customers. Building owners will be able to drive content and traffic.
Q: What are the main challenges of introducing innovative movement management systems in Mexico’s older buildings?
A: We place a great deal of importance on life cycle management. We do this to understand the purpose and life cycle of the building itself and tailor a modernization program. Buildings tend to change over time, especially commercial buildings. For example, open space concepts have evolved and are not what they were 10 years ago, as perhaps a building was originally designed. Open space requires greater density on the floor and amenities, which means different people and more traffic to manage. We work with our clients to modernize their assets while looking at what the foreseeable purpose of the building will be. If we see that there will be more retail space, then we will see that the traffic in the building will vary between that and the office. Each requires a different traffic pattern.
We also look at energy consumption needs and that could change the technology that we use, depending on the investment capability of the client. The energy market is also changing and the ability to put energy on the grid is key. There is a wide array of technology that allows this and we ensure its feasibility for the client.