KONE is a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry. It provides elevators, escalators and automatic doors for buildings, as well as solutions for modernisation and maintenance to add value to buildings throughout their life cycle. KONE focuses on the flow of people, facilitating safer, convenient and reliable journeys through taller and smarter buildings. Jarkko Pekkala, head of sales of the marine division, speaks to World Cruise Industry Review about the company’s effective solutions.

KONE is a leader in the global elevator and escalator industry, with a dedicated unit that solely concentrates on maritime environments.

Please could you tell us about how KONE’s solutions can benefit cruise ships specifically?

Jarkko Pekkala: KONE provides smooth and reliable people flow when boarding and disembarking the cruise ship. We have worked continuously to develop efficient vertical transportation solutions that maintain the highest comfort levels. One of the biggest challenges when it comes to vertical transportation is the variation in demand for elevators across different journeys and times of the day. Our technology and services ensure that passengers can move smoothly, safety, comfortably and without waiting during their voyage.

How has KONE developed intelligent elevators and what’s the next step in their evolution?

KONE’s solutions are designed to provide quick and efficient people flow and operational reliability to meet the specific requirements of marine customers. We have a luggage mode that improves luggage deliveries to cabins on arrival and also when passengers are leaving the vessel. This makes for quicker boarding times, enhancing passengers’ experience.

Our group controller uses learning logic, a system we have developed, that maximises the capacity of elevators.

Please could you tell me more about how KONE’s solutions enhance the end-user experience and make people flow more efficient?

Cruising is becoming more technologically advanced and making use of intelligent software. KONE, too, has taken significant steps in this direction so we can already talk about intelligent elevators.

We are supporting ship personnel to manage passenger flow with intelligent operation modes, our latest generation of elevators use advanced software to automatically detect where they are most needed and immediately go and serve the crowded decks and lobbies.

To what extent does KONE focus on being environmentally friendly?

Our elevators are oil free, compared with hydraulic elevators. KONE’s regenerative drive machinery transfers electricity back to ships’ energy systems to be used, for example, in shaft lighting or cabin ventilation. We reuse and maximise resources, which contribute to an environmentally friendly business model.

How does KONE use feedback from its customers to inform future strategies and products?

We cooperate closely with our customers during the new building design phase, project execution and maintenance to ensure that best value throughout the elevator or escalator’s life cycle.

Please could you tell us about any upcoming developments at KONE?

We are dedicated to improving people flow in the marine environment by improving our product offering and project execution processes. We create new intelligent software and advanced maintenance services to take customers’ experiences to the next level.