M.J. Mohamed Iqbal, Managing Director, Toshiba Elevators and Escalators Image Credit: Clint Egbert

Please name some cutting-edge technologies you are implementing across elevators you are bringing to the UAE. How will these benefit riders in terms of comfort, speed and safety?

Toshiba has been the first to achieve travel speeds exceeding 1,000 metres per minute. While the factors of speed are decided and tailored to suit projects, what we have been supplying in the UAE are mostly high-speed elevators with dual safeties on cage and counterweight. We have also offered rope brakes where specified.

What is the average expected lifespan of your latest elevators, and what are the factors influencing this? How do you measure this lifespan? Is it total travel time, distance travelled or number of trips? 

The lifespan of an elevator or any electromechanical equipment for that matter depends on a collective set of factors. The travel time and distance travelled would be a measure of the amount of usage and although these have an effect on the individual component lifetime, the installation as a whole can go on to be in operational usage as long as it’s being maintained and serviced as designed and intended by the manufacturer. 

M.J. Mohamed Iqbal, Managing Director, Toshiba Elevators and Escalators

The lifetime of an elevator can be broadly determined between 25 years to 30 years. Factors limiting this life cycle are technological advancements and are not limited by the installation itself. We no longer use memory chips and certain drives and tapes, which had been in vogue from as early as the electronic age itself. Similar technological advancements and end-user preferences for new technologies drive the need to replace elevators that are otherwise fully functional and operational as designed.

What kind of green technologies have you integrated into your elevators?

When we talk in terms of green elevators, it’s no longer just about energy efficiency but also has to do with factors such as environmental and energy conservation, as well as energy production. In terms of environment-friendly elevators, almost all our elevators have a reduced amount of pollutants such as grease and oils – except in spaces where safety is concerned, such as buffers.

Toshiba has developed energy-regenerating systems where the idle cycle of the elevators is used to generate and feed energy back to the supply systems.