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Hitachi Building Systems Co., Ltd. (Japanese: 日立ビルシステム株式会社) is a division of Hitachi Ltd. which runs in the manufacturing, development and sales of elevators, escalators and moving walkways. The business officially started in 1956, and it is one of the "big four" (major) Japanese elevator manufacturers alongside Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Fujitec and Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corporation (TELC). It is also one of the largest elevator manufacturers in the Japanese market.

History

Although the division began in the 1950s, Hitachi had already entered the elevator industry in the 1920s. In 1932, it installed its first elevator in Japan, followed by its first passenger elevator in 1933 and an escalator in 1937. In 1956, Hitachi Building Services Co., Ltd. was established. Ten years later, it established a branch in British Hong Kong as a mean of expanding its business outside Japan, followed by another branch in Singapore in 1972. In 1968, Hitachi installed high speed elevators with a speed of 300 meters/minute at the Kasumigaseki Building in Tokyo, Japan, which, at that time, were the fastest elevators in Japan.

In 1995, Hitachi Elevator (China) Co., Ltd. was established in Guangzhou, China.

In 2008, Hitachi installed one of the largest double deck elevators in the world with ultra high speed at the Shanghai World Finance Center in Shanghai, China. Two years later, Hitachi completed the G1 TOWER, a 213 meters tall elevator test tower in Hitachi's Mito Works in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.

In 2013, Hitachi Ltd. announced that it would split its elevator and escalator business and transferred it to Hitachi Building Systems as an attempt to expand its business in Japan. The integration was completed in 2014.

In 2017, Hitachi acquired UK-based elevator company Temple Lifts Limited as an attempt to enter the European elevator market.[1][2]. The first Hitachi elevators to be installed in the United Kingdom was delivered in 2019 for a luxurious hotel in London[3].

Also in 2017, Hitachi re-entered the South Korean market after 19 years by establishing Hitachi Elevator Korea, but it withdrew in early 2019 due to poor sales performance in the country[4]. Previously, Hitachi had been on the South Korean elevator market since the late 1960s by forming a technical partnership with GoldStar but exited the country in 1999 when LG Industrial Systems's elevator division (the successor of GoldStar) was sold to Otis. By the time Hitachi re-entered South Korea, it received an order of high speed elevators for the Hyundai Global Business Center (GBC) skyscraper in Seoul, but was abandoned following Hitachi's withdrawal of its South Korean subsidiary. It is expected that the order will be received by either Hyundai Elevator, Otis Elevator Korea or thyssenkrupp Elevator Korea. It is unknown whether the maintenance office and service personnel for existing installations still remain in the country.

In 2018, Hitachi entered the Australian elevator market through a partnership with a local elevator company, Orbitz Elevators[5][6], making it the first Japanese elevator manufacturer to have sold its elevators in Australia. Previously, Hitachi had sold an occasional few escalators in the country prior to the 21st century, probably around the 1980s.

In 2019, Hitachi developed their first ultra high speed elevator and firstly installed at Guangzhou Chow Tai Fook Finance Centre, in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China. Obtaining a stop speed of 75.6 km/h (21 m/s), it was awarded by the Guinness World Records as the fastest elevators in the world[7], surpassing the record previously held by Shanghai Tower's Mitsubishi elevators in Shanghai, China from 2016 until 2019, also made by Japanese company.

Also in January 2020, Hitachi completed its "H1 TOWER" elevator test tower in Guangzhou, China. This new tower surpasses its "G1 TOWER" in the Mito Works, Japan with 288.8 meters high and it is one of the tallest elevator test towers in the world.[8]

Notable products

Current products

Elevators

  • VFI-II: Standard passenger elevator with machine room for Asian and Middle East markets. Successor of VFI.
  • HVF: High speed elevator for high-rise buildings. Manufactured since 1980s.
  • UVF: Ultra high speed elevator for high-rise buildings. One of its installations, located in Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, is the fastest elevator in the world, operating at the speed of 21 m/s.
  • OUG Series ON-1: Machine room less elevator (up to 32 floors)
  • UAG Series SN-1: Machine room less elevator (up to 24 floors)
  • MCA: Passenger elevator with smaller machine room, manufactured by Hitachi China.
  • HGP-S: Passenger elevator with smaller machine room, manufactured by Hitachi China.
  • HCA: High speed elevator for high rise buildings, manufactured by Hitachi China.
  • LCA: Machine room less elevator, manufactured by Hitachi China.
  • LF: Freight elevator, manufactured by Hitachi China.
  • F-EL: Freight elevator.
  • Urban Ace: Standard machine room less passenger elevator, only sold in Japan since 1999.
  • mini Urban Ace: 4-persons capacity version of Urban Ace for small residential and commercial buildings, only sold in Japan.[9]
  • Residence Ace: Small machine room less elevator for low to mid rise residential buildings, only sold in Japan. It cannot be installed in office and commercial buildings.[9]
  • SVC/SED: Home elevator for private houses, sold in Asia and the Middle East.
  • FIBEE: Destination dispatch elevator.

Elevator modernization solutions

  • GS-1: Elevator modernization (only available in Thailand and Philippines).
  • GS-2: Elevator modernization (only available in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong).
  • G_Select & G_Select + U: Elevator modernization only available in Japan, launched in 2012 and 2017 respectively.
  • Y_Select: Elevator modernization for older hydraulic elevators, only sold in Japan since 2018.

Escalators and moving walks

  • SX Series: Standard escalator manufactured by Hitachi Elevator China.
  • TX Series: Standard escalator, launched in August 2017.
  • VX Series: Standard escalator, only sold in Japan.
  • VXS Series: Space saving version of VX Series, only sold in Japan.
  • EX Series: Moving walkway
  • Autoline MX Series: Moving walkway, only sold in Japan.

Discontinued products

Elevators

  • Type A Elevator: Standard passenger elevator introduced in 1961.
  • New Type A Elevator: Standard passenger elevator introduced in 1968.
  • BUIL-ACE: Standard passenger elevator introduced in 1970s.
  • BUIL-ACE ASTRO: Introduced in 1978.
  • BUIL-ACE QUALITY 80: Microcomputer control elevator, introduced in 1979.
  • BUIL-ACE QUALITY 80 II: Introduced in 1981. The traction type elevators had been converted to VVVF control since 1985. This model is also known as YPM in China.
  • BUIL-ACE PULIDO: Standard passenger elevator introduced in 1989.
  • BUIL-ACE NewPULIDO: Passenger elevator introduced in 1996.
  • HGP: Passengers elevator model with gearless motor.
  • VFMG & VFHG: Standard elevator model. With the speed range of 2 - 4 m/s (for VFHG) and no more than 1.75 m/s (for VFMG).
  • NPX & NPH
  • YP: Traction elevator model, ACVV controls are used.
  • YPVF: Successor of YP and YPM, AC-VVVF controls are used.
  • VFI: Standard passenger elevator with machine room which was mainly sold in Southeast Asia and Middle East. Succeeded by VFI-II.
  • H-EM: Passenger elevator manufactured by Hitachi Elevator Asia in Singapore.

Escalators and moving walks

  • Escalane: Standard escalators, mostly could only fit one person.
  • Crystallane: Standard escalator with transparent glass balustrades. It was launched in 1956.
  • U Series: Standard escalator launched in 1975.
  • V Series: Standard escalator launched in 1979.
  • CX Series: Standard escalator launched in 1986.
  • EX Series: Standard escalator launched in 1993. It should not be confused with the current moving walkway model sold in markets other than Japan.
  • MX Series: Standard escalator launched in 2005.

Subsidiaries

Company Based in Notes
Hitachi Elevator Engineering Co. (Hong Kong) Ltd. Kowloon, Hong Kong, China Established in 1966.
Macau branch established in 1980.
Hitachi Elevator Asia Pte. Ltd. Jurong East, Singapore Established in 1972 as Hitachi Elevator Engineering (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
Changed to current name in 2010.
Hitachi Elevator (China) Co. Ltd. Guangzhou, China Established in 1995
Formerly known as Guangzhou Hitachi Elevator Co., Ltd.
Hitachi Lift India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, India Established in 2008
Hitachi Elevator Philippines Corporation Manila, Philippines Established in 2011.
Hitachi Elevator (Myanmar) Co. Ltd. Yangon, Myanmar Established in 2015.
Hitachi Elevator Vietnam Co., Ltd. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Established in 2016.
Hitachi Elevator (Cambodia) Co., Ltd. Phnom Penh, Cambodia Established in 2017.
Joint venture between Siam-Hitachi and CMED Group Co., Ltd.
Hitachi Elevator (Thailand) Co. Ltd. Bangkok, Thailand Established in 2017.
Spun off from Siam-Hitachi Elevator Co., Ltd.
Temple Lifts Limited London, United Kingdom Established in 1989, fully acquired by Hitachi in 2017[1][2].
Hitachi Elevator Laos Co., Ltd. Vientiane, Laos Established in 2019.
Joint venture between Siam-Hitachi and Tangchareon Construction Sole Co., Ltd. of the TCR Group.
Hitachi Elevator Engineering (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hitachi Elevator Saudi Arabia Limited Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

G1 Tower

Hitachi G1 test tower in Mito Works, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.

The G1 Tower is Hitachi's elevator test tower located in Hitachi's Mito Works in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. It was completed in 2010 as part of Hitachi Ltd.'s 100th years anniversary. The tower has ten floors; nine floors above ground and a basement floor. It has a height of 213 meters and it is one of the tallest elevator test towers in the world.

Elevator fixtures

Main article: List of Hitachi elevator fixtures

Notable installation references

Main article: List of notable Hitachi elevator installations

Notable acquisitions

  • 1976 - J&E Hall Canada's elevator division (Canada)[10]
  • 2017 - Temple Lifts Limited (United Kingdom)[2]

Overseas distributors

Current distributors

Company Country Notes
Ahmadiah Contracting & Trading Co. Lebanon
Ahmadiah International Elevator Co. W.L.L. Kuwait
Al-Futtaim Engineering L.L.C. United Arab Emirates
E. Zaum Ltd. Israel
Gulf Elevators & Escalator Co. Ltd. Saudi Arabia
Huu Nghi Engineering Corporation Vietnam
Kuwait Jordanian Co. Jordan
Lanka Elevator Engineering (Pvt) Ltd. Sri Lanka
Orbitz Elevators Australia Distributed since 2018.[5][6]
Petrobuild International Elevators Co. W.L.L. Qatar
Thang Uy Trading Co. Ltd. Vietnam
Universal Engineering Services L.L.C. Oman

Former distributors

Company Country Notes
Hi Eles Industrial Corporation Philippines 1971-2011
Changed name to Hitachi Elevator Philippines Corporation.
Marubeni Corporation Singapore 1960s-1972
PT. Sarang Teknik Utama Indonesia Indonesia Since the 1960s.
Distribution has been passed over to PT. Hitachi Asia Indonesia since the 2010s.
Siam Motors Co., Ltd. Thailand 1974-1992[11]
Yungtay Engineering Taiwan 1966-19??

Accidents

Elevator downfall accident in Jakarta

On November 16th, 2007, a 1980s Hitachi elevator in Ratu Plaza office Tower in Jakarta, Indonesia plummeted down due to broken hoisting ropes. Four people were injured as the result of the accident[12]. After the accident, the elevator was replaced into a Mitsubishi Elenessa machine room less elevator[13].

Trivia

  • As of 2020, Hitachi is the second largest elevator manufacturer in Japan behind Mitsubishi.
  • The Chinese elevator company Guangzhou Guangri Elevator Industries Co. Ltd. was established in 1996 under joint investment with Hitachi. In fact, most of their elevators were made under Hitachi's technology.
  • Taiwan-based Yungtay Engineering has partnership with Hitachi ever since it started out in 1966 as a distributor of Hitachi elevators in Taiwan. As the result, some modern Yungtay elevators uses Hitachi's elevator fixtures, and some older Yungtay elevators are actually rebranded Hitachi elevators which are branded as Yungtay-Hitachi. There are plans for Hitachi to acquire Yungtay since 2018.
  • South Korean elevator manufacturer GoldStar had a technical partnership with Hitachi from 1968 until the 1990s, and therefore the design of its elevators was almost identical to Hitachi. These elevators were manufactured at its Changwon factory in South Korea for both domestic and overseas markets.
    • The relationship with GoldStar was actually the beginning for Hitachi in South Korea. However, it exited the country in 1999 when LG Industrial Systems's elevator division was sold to Otis. After 19 years, it returned to South Korea in 2017 but it eventually withdrew in 2019 (see History section above). Because of this, Hitachi Elevator Korea can be considered as a "spiritual" successor of GoldStar.
  • Hitachi escalators were also sold in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Hitachi no longer sells escalators to these countries, possibly because the products no longer conform with the current codes and requirements.
    • An example in the United States can be found in the Starks Building in Louisville, KY.
    • Few examples in Australia are found in 24-32 Hughes St in Cabramatta and Spotlight Campbelltown, Sydney.
  • J&E Hall's Canadian elevator and escalator division was acquired by Hitachi in 1976, and some Hitachi escalators in Canada are branded as J&E Hall-Hitachi.[14]
  • In Southeast Asia, Hitachi has manufacturing plants located in Singapore and Thailand:
    • In Singapore, it is located in Jurong East.
    • In Thailand, it is located in Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate Phase 9, Chonburi.
  • Hitachi is the third Japanese elevator company to enter the European elevator market after Fujitec and Mitsubishi. It is also the first Japanese company to enter the Australian market.
  • In Japan, Hitachi operates a joint-venture with its largest competitor Mitsubishi to produce home elevators. This joint venture is known as Mitsubishi-Hitachi Home Elevator.

Gallery

Logos and nameplates

Others

See also

  • Guangri - Chinese elevator manufacturer that has a relation with Hitachi.
  • Yungtay Engineering - Taiwanese elevator manufacturer which was originally a distributor for Hitachi in Taiwan.

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Hitachi Enters the Lift Market in Europe with acquisition of UK-based Temple Lifts (PDF) - Hitachi Ltd. (Archived version)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Temple Lifts Ltd announces investment by Hitachi Ltd - Temple Lifts Limited (Archived version)
  3. Temple Lifts deliver the first two of Hitachi’s machine-room-less elevators to be installed in the UK (Archived) - Temple Lifts
  4. 히타치엘리베이터 한국 사업 접는다 (Korean) - Sedaily
  5. 5.0 5.1 Orbitz Elevators & Hitachi Partnership (PDF) - Orbitz Elevators (Archived version)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Hitachi Elevators: Hitachi in Oceania - Hitachi Australia
  7. Guinness World Record - Fastest lift (elevator) (archived version in 2019)
  8. Hitachi Completes Construction of the H1 TOWER, One of the World's Tallest Elevator Test Towers, at its R&D and Manufacturing Facility in Guangzhou, China (PDF version) - News Releases - Hitachi Ltd.
  9. 9.0 9.1 mini Urban Ace and Residence Ace are OEM products of Mitsubishi which are only sold in Japan.
  10. Hitachi - BUSINESS TIMES, 9 November 1976, Page 5 - (NewspaperSG)
  11. Siam Motors split its elevator division to Siam Elevator Co. Ltd. in 1988. In 1992, "Siam-Hitachi Elevator Co., Ltd." (SHE) and "Bangkok-Hitachi Elevator Service Co., Ltd." (BHESCO) was established under joint venture between Siam Elevator Co. Ltd. and Machinery and Equipment Co., Ltd. and Hitachi (Japan) Limited. Both SHE and BHESCO merged in 2010 into Siam-Hitachi Elevator Co., Ltd. Siam-Hitachi Elevator still exists but it has separated from Hitachi Elevator Thailand which was established in 2017.
  12. Elevator downfall accident in Jakarta (Indonesian)
  13. Mitsubishi MRL Elevator at Ratu Plaza Office Tower, Jakarta (B1-G)
  14. VINTAGE J&E HALL / HITACHI ESCALATOR

External links

Official ebsites from Hitachi and its subsidiaries

Affiliated companies

Major elevator and escalator companies
Full list of companies List of elevator and escalator companies
Operating FujitecHitachiHyundaiKoneMitsubishi Electric (Shanghai Mitsubishi) • Otis (Otis ElectricSigma) • SchindlerTK ElevatorToshiba
Defunct Dover ElevatorsExpress LiftOrenstein & KoppelThyssenthyssenkruppWestinghouse
Other companies Third-party elevator maintenance companies
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