101 this year
KONE has been involved in businesses as varied as textile manufacturing, medical technology and the design of hydraulic piping systems over its 101-year history, but its main focus has always been the elevator and escalator business. Employing around 34,000 people worldwide, KONE is one of the global leaders in the industry today, with around a quarter of a million customers, a presence in some 50 countries worldwide, seven production units, and seven global R&D centres.
Innovation has long been a key priority for KONE, in areas such as optimising total lifetime costs, achieving significant energy savings, and delivering more sustainable solutions. Examples of its impressive track record include the invention of the machine-room-less elevator, the introduction of counterweight-less elevators, the launch of the first double-deck elevators featuring KONE’s Destination Control System, and the introduction of the world’s first autowalk that can be installed without a pit.
Over half of the world’s population live in cities and other urban areas today, and the world is already home to more than 20 ‘megacities’ with populations of more than 10 million. Larger and large cities inevitably bring problems, such as overcrowding and growing pressure on the environment.
Which is why KONE’s focus is very much on innovative solutions that can make it easier for people to move around in the buildings that form the heart of modern cities – what KONE describes as People Flow™.
Optimising People Flow™ can most easily be done when architects, consultants, and construction companies are planning the systems for a project. KONE experts can help ensure that elevators, escalators, and autowalks, for example, are located in a way that will minimise queues forming. KONE can also ensure that things continue to run smoothly through things like proactive maintenance and modernisation.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the company’s founding in 1901, KONE organised its first People Flow Day in October 2010. This saw around 800 KONE employees visit hotels, offices, medical facilities, public transport locations, residential buildings, and retail units to meet users and get a hands-on feel for typical usage and people’s expectations. Over 125 buildings at more than 70 locations were visited as part of the day, and more than 125 customers interviewed.