Not to be confused with Tonic Electronic Engineering, which uses similar Chinese name (通力, tung1 lik6).


Kone (officially typeset KONE, and pronounced "KOH-nay" or "KOH-neh") is the fourth-largest elevator manufacturer in the world and (possibly) the world's largest production of machine room less (MRL) elevators (also pioneering in this market as the world's first manufacturer massively-producing MRL traction elevators). It is currently headquartered in Espoo, Finland. Kone also has it's own elevator test centers located in Tytyri, Finland called Kone High Rise Laboratory which is a limestone mine currently still running, and Kunshan, Jiangsu, China. Kone is also an escalator, moving walkway and automatic doors manufacturer, thus making Kone the most complex manufacturer of building systems.

History

1910 to 1970s

Kone was established on October 27, 1910 as an importer of the Swedish elevator company Graham Brothers. However, the licensing agreement between both companies ended in 1917, after Finland declared independence from Russia. In 1918, Kone decided to make their own elevators.

In 1919, Kone had produced five elevators and by 1924, the company had produced more than 100 elevators. 3000 elevators were produced by KONE in the 1940s. In 1967, a new elevator factory was established in Hyvinkaa, Finland, replacing the previous factory that was located in Haapainiemi Street.

In 1968, Kone acquired the Swedish elevator manufacturer Asea-Graham, which had branches in Denmark and Norway. In the 1970's Kone acquired several European companies such as Stigler (Spain), CNIM (France), Orenstein & Koppel (Germany) and Marryat & Scott and few other companies in England. In 1975, Westinghouse's European Elevator was acquired by Kone, and later forming the Kone Westinghouse brand. Westinghouse was the market leader in France and Belgium.

1980s to 1990s

Kone entered the American elevator market in 1981 by acquiring the New York-based Armor Elevator Company. In 1985, Kone entered in the Italian market by acquiring Fiam and Sabiem. Later in 1994, Kone acquired Montgomery Elevators in the United States. In the same year, Kone entered the Indonesian market by forming a joint venture with Indolift, and eventually the company was fully acquired by Kone a year later.

In 1996, Kone introduced their machine room less elevator product line MonoSpace and its signature hoisting machine EcoDisc, which was the world's first machine room less elevator system. Shortly after that, many rival companies such as Otis, Schindler and others began making their own MRL elevators due to KONE's product advantage and popularity. 

In 1998, Kone made a partnership with Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corporation to made machine room less elevator system for Toshiba. These elevators were known as the "SPACEL-UNI" elevators.[1][2]. Additionally, as a part of the venture, Kone sold a small batch of its self-branded MonoSpace elevators to Japan; most of these installations are currently maintained by Toshiba. In 2004, Toshiba associated with Kone to make double deck elevator.[1] The first one was installed in Kone Test Centre, Tytyri, Finland. Another such elevators were installed in Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan.

2000s to present

In 2001, Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corporation and Kone announced has signed an Strategic Alliance Agreement[3]. They also strengthen their alliance for escalator production in China in 2005[4].

In 2007, Kone announced that they would stop producing hydraulic elevators, and replace them with the EcoSpace MRL. This is because hydraulic elevators are inefficient due to environmental concern such as land pollution caused by hydraulic oil fluid and consumes much more energy, up to 30-40% more. Even after, Kone continued to maintain and modernize most of such installations in North America originally coming from Armor, Montgomery, MontgomeryKONE, KONE and other manufacturers.

In June 2013, Kone launched a new high-rise elevator technology, called KONE UltraRope, which enables future elevator travel heights of 1 kilometer (about .62 miles). KONE UltraRope is extremely light due to its carbon fibre core and a high-friction coating. Because of these qualities, elevator energy consumption in high-rise buildings can be cut significantly.[5].

In 2014, Kone launched a new elevator modernization system called KONE NanoSpace. It is a machine-room-less elevator full-replacement solution which can replace an old elevator in as little as two weeks compared to the industry average of six, significantly improving the comfort of residents living in multi-floor buildings.[6]

At the same time, Kone, by association with its Swedish daugher, Motala Hissar AB, launched KONE ProSpace, a small elevator that is the successor of MOTALA Hissar MC6000, and is technically very similar to it. Kone ProSpace is designed for buildings that previously did not have any elevators, and the elevator space is very efficient compared to a normal elevator. Also, thanks to the self-supporting shaft, it can be installed without any major modifications to the building’s existing structure. KONE ProSpace initially launched in the Scandinavian market but has since been expanded to the rest of Europe[7]. Also it uses Kone KSS fixtures (mostly KSS 280) instead of Motala's own fixtures.

Notable products

Kone Traffic Master System

Main article: Kone Traffic Master System

​Kone M-series

Main article: List of Kone elevator fixtures#M buttons

This design which is unofficially called as M-series among elevator fans, was introduced in 1982/83, It was a standard elevator design geared mostly towards the Scandinavian market. It commonly used the M buttons fixture line with proprietary traction or hydraulic equipments. They were known for using Traffic Master 256, an elevator logic that controls the traction motor using thyristors, and was well-known for it's efficient direct-approach levelling. They were also used with Hydronic 300 hydraulic tanks, developed by Kone's Swedish branch office.

​Kone Novel Elements

Main article: List of Kone elevator fixtures#Novel Elements

Introduced in the early 1990s as the successor of their 1985 design, it had a more modern approach and with it, it introduced traction elevators controlled by inverters. At this time, the TMS50 controller was introduced, succeeding the TMS256. The TMS50 was also used among the first Kone MonoSpace elevators before the LCECPU was introduced. Novel Elements was the last model to feature hinged doors and no inner doors. The next model segments only had automatic doors.

Kone KMS

Kone KMS (shorts for Kingmaster) was another elevator control system that Kone made, probably around the 1980s. Not much is known as it is rare and uncommon compared with TMS (see above), but it is known to use selector.

Kone EcoDisc

Main article: Kone EcoDisc

Kone EcoDisc is the world's first gearless hoisting machine for machine room less elevator system introduced in 1996 along with the MonoSpace elevator. It has different series and sizes depends on the application. There are also other Kone motors which are based on EcoDisc such as Kone PowerDisc and Kone EcoReel. The EcoDisc is also used in many Toshiba SPACEL series elevators in Japan, which was developed together with Kone in 1998.

Kone MonoSpace

Main article: Kone MonoSpace

Kone MonoSpace is a standard machine room less elevator model powered by Kone EcoDisc hoisting machine for low to mid-rise buildings. Introduced in 1996, this is the first machine room less elevator system in the world.

Kone Stella

Kone Stella was a cheap hydraulic alternative model to MonoSpace introduced in 1998 by Kone's Italian branch. It uses a variant of Hydronic 300, which was sold to an Italian generic supplier that also designed the Stella series with Kone Italy.

Kone MiniSpace

Main article: Kone MiniSpace

Kone MiniSpace is a standard compact/mini machine room traction elevator model for low to high-rise buildings, launched in 1998. Like MonoSpace, it is also powered by EcoDisc.

Kone MaxiSpace

Kone MaxiSpace is a machine room less elevator designed for existing buildings, either installing a new elevator where there wasn't one before or replace an old existing one. It eliminates traditional counterweight in the shaft which can increases the space in the elevator car up to 50%. It is also faster to install and does not require too much construction costs on installation. MaxiSpace is powered by Kone PowerDisc (GMX1), which is a motor based on the EcoDisc. It was launched in 2004.

Kone NanoSpace

Kone NanoSpace is a machine room less elevator for replacement of old elevators, which can replace in as little as two weeks. This elevator system replaces traditional large counterweights in the shaft with two balancing weights. NanoSpace features the KONE HybridHoisting hoisting system which consists of belt and ropes; the belt moves the elevator car and the ropes suspend the car in the shaft. The motor (KONE EcoReel) which is based on the Kone EcoDisc but much more compact, is installed in the shaft pit. Installation only requires two weeks as there are fewer components and large equipments are installed at the bottom of the shaft. The controller cabinet is only located on the lowest floor instead on the highest floor.

Kone ProSpace

Kone ProSpace is another machine room less elevator system, designed for existing buildings that previously did not have an elevator. It is a complete elevator solution that is smaller and efficient, so small that it can be installed in limited spaces like a stairwell. ProSpace is a self-supporting elevator without the need of major building alterations or putting stress load in the building. Like MaxiSpace and NanoSpace, Kone ProSpace installation only requires as little as in two weeks because it is lightweight, requires little space and does not have machine room. Furthermore, the quicker installation minimizes distruptions in the building. ProSpace was launched in association with Motala Hissar AB, and it is a successor of the MOTALA Hissar MC6000 because of its similar design. It was launched in 2014.

Kone TranSys/MonoGoods

Main article: Kone TranSys

Kone TranSys a freight and service machine room less elevator model which is based on Kone MonoSpace. In the United Kingdom, it is marketed as Kone MonoGoods. TranSys was launched in 2000.

Kone Alta

Main article: Kone Alta

Kone Alta was a high speed elevator model for high-rise buildings which comes in either single or double deck cars, and powered by the EcoDisc MX100 hoisting motor. It was launched in 2000.

Kone JumpLift

Main article: Kone JumpLift

Kone EcoMod

EcoMod is the world's first escalator modernization solution introduced since 2004. The current version is called EcoMod 2, which was introduced since 2010.

Notable acquisitions

Year Company Country(s) Notes
1968 Asea-Graham Sweden Became KONE Asea Graham in between 1972 and 1974.
1970 Sowitsch AG Austria
1972 Falconi Ascenseurs France French division of Falconi SAIR.
1973 Havemeier & Sander West Germany Became KONE Havemeier Sander until the 1990s.
1974 Whitbread Lifts United Kingdom
1975 Westinghouse European Elevators Belgium
France
The European operations of Westinghouse USA.
1976 Elevadores Induco Brazil
1979 Marryat & Scott Ltd. United Kingdom Became Kone Marryat Scott until the 1980s
1981 Armor Elevator Company United States Became KONE Armor for a while.
1985 Sabiem Italy
1985 Montgomery Elevator Canada Canada Canadian branch of Montgomery Elevator Company.
1986 Bennie Lifts Ltd. United Kingdom
1987 Fabbrica Italiana Ascensori Montacharichi
(FIAM)
Italy
1987 Orenstein & Koppel Rulltreppen GmbH Germany Became O&K KONE until the late 1990s.
1989 Starlift Voorburg Netherlands Became KONE-Starlift for a while.
1990 Bassetti Ascensori S.p.A. Italy
1990 Elevators Pty. Ltd. (EPL) Australia Became EPL KONE for a while.
1990 Leonard Lifts Ltd. United Kingdom
1992 Ellis & McDougall Lifts Ltd. United Kingdom
1994 Montgomery Elevator Company United States Became MontgomeryKONE until 2000.
1995 Indolift Indonesia Became KONE Indo Elevator until now.
2005 Soolim Elevator Company[8] South Korea Originally an independent company that had a partnership with Haushahn. It later became a small-medium sized company after Kone withdrew its South Korean operation in 2011.
2005 MacGregor Navire Sweden MacGregor Navire was the sole distributor and installer of Kone elevators and escalators for cruise liners and cruise ferries since 1994[9].
They have over 50% market share in whole marine elevator & escalator market. It was taken over in 2005 as Kone Marine.[10][11][12]
2005 Thai Lift Industries[8] Thailand Was a distributor of Kone elevators in Thailand since 1993.
Became Kone Thai Lift Industries for a while.
2011 CNIM Canada Canada Canadian division of CNIM.
2011 Long Elevator & Machine Co. United States
2012 Southwest Elevator Company United States Had branches in Arizona, California and Nevada.
2013 Isralift Israel Was also a distributor of Kone elevators in Israel.
2014 Janzhoff Aufzüge GmbH Germany
2014 Klostermann Aufzüge GmbH Germany
2014 Marryat Scott Kenya Kenya
2014 Marryat East Africa Uganda
2015 Lift Modus d.o.o. Bosnia and Herzegovina
Croatia
2016 thyssenkrupp Hissit Oy Finland The Finnish subsidiary of thyssenkrupp.
2016 GiantKONE China Successor of Zhejiang Giant Elevator.
2017 Shan On Engineering Co. Ltd. Hong Kong, China Was a distributor of Sabiem elevators since 1959.
Unknown Ameco Heis A/S Norway
Unknown Bauer Hiss AB Sweden
Unknown Ascenseurs Drolet Canada Based in Quebec.
Became Ascenseurs Drolet KONÉ Inc. (or Drolet KONE) for a while.

Remarks:

  • KONE bought itself in ASEA-Graham's shareholders in 1968 and started partnership with it, sharing technology between them in Scandinavia. KONE aquired the rest of ASEA-Graham's elevator business from ASEA in 1972 and renamed it "KONE Asea Graham". The Asea-Graham brand was dropped in 1974.
  • Orenstein & Koppel was first acquired in 1987. In 1996, Kone bought the remaining escalator business of O&K and became O&K KONE until the late 1990s when the O&K name was completely dropped.

Distributors

Current

Company Country(s) Notes
Al-Sabriyah Elevators & Escalators Co. Kuwait Since 1994
Ascensori Falconi Switzerland Serves the Canton of Ticino and Grisons.
Not to be confused with Falconi SAIR.
Comin Asia Laos
Comin Khmere Cambodia
DEYA Elevators Services Inc. Puerto Rico Since 1996 [13][14]
Elebest Engineering Malaysia Serves the state of Sarawak.
IKMA Services Azerbaijan Since 2005
Khan Group International Afghanistan
Kresta Laurel Limited Nigeria
Lek Tong Companhia do Equipamento do Engenharia Lda. Macau, China Chinese name:
力通工程設備有限公司[15]
Liftkompleks Belarus
Mekanika Limited Malta Subsidiary of Gasan Group.
Octagon Automobile & Machinery Services Myanmar [16]
One Elevadores Brazil
Scan Engineering (Pvt) Ltd. Sri Lanka
Maldives
Thien Nam Elevator Vietnam Since 2006
Yusoki Sdn. Bhd. Brunei

Former

With the exception of Tanjung Raya Eramas, all of these companies have been acquired by Kone.

Company Country Notes
Isralift Israel 1990s-2013
Lift Modus d.o.o. Croatia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
1999-2015[17]
Marryat & Scott Kenya Kenya Late 1980s-2014[18]
Marryat East Africa Uganda Late 1980s-2014[18]
PT. Tanjung Raya Eramas Indonesia 1991[19] (brief)
Thai Lift Industries Thailand 1993-2005

Notable Installations

Main article: List of notable Kone elevator installations

Elevator fixtures

Main article: List of Kone elevator fixtures

Incident

In November 2006, Kone was fined 479 million Euros by the European Union after found out that Mitsubishi was doing price fixing over 9 years. Other manufacturers that was involved in the price fixing cartel incident was Otis, Schindler and Mitsubishi Electric Elevator Europe.[20]

Trivia

  • The company name in Finnish language is known as "KONE Oyj".
  • In the Finnish language, Kone means "machine" or "device".
  • After Westinghouse's European elevator division was acquired by Kone in 1975, it became "KONE Westinghouse" for a short period. KONE Westinghouse products were also sold in Singapore and Malaysia under its sole distributor Harrisons Lister Ltd. (which was originally a distributor of Schindler elevators and escalators in both countries from the 1950's until 1975)[21]. None of these products have been discovered in these countries so far.
  • Kone provides ACU F and ACU I (Announciator Control Unit) for the accessible floor announcement options. ACU F is the speech synthesis unit and available in specific language only. While the ACU I just provide the interface and it can connect to the native floor announcement unit[22].
  • Both the 3rd and 4th generation Kone logo contains several meanings. The four blue vertical boxes represents elevator cabins, shafts and perhaps buildings too, while the white vertical lines represents the color of the Finnish flag which serves as a connection with the country's heritage.
  • Kone's current typeface (font) used in all of its official websites, brochures and certain elevator fixtures/signalizations is known as KONE Information, which was made in 2012 by Dutch typeface designer Underware[23]. Originally used on the KSS 280 and KSS 800 fixtures, it has since been used in all of its websites, brochures, other forms of media and even selected fixtures since the mid 2010s. While the font itself isn't available for commercial download, it is actually possible to obtain it by "extracting" the Web Open Font Format (.woff2) file from their websites using a browser debugger and convert it to TrueType Format (.ttf) using an online font converter.[24]
  • Kone MonoSpace elevators in the United Kingdom from late 1990s-2004 has the Drucegrove Digitalker voice announcer, Otis used that voice at that time in Otis 2000 and early Otis Gen2 elevators.

Gallery

Logos

Nameplates

Others

Note

  1. 1.0 1.1 Kone - Toshiba alliance
  2. Kone - 2002-2004
  3. Toshiba and KONE Corporation to Take Stake in One Another. Toshiba Corporation, 20 December, 2001.
  4. KONE and Toshiba Establish a Joint Venture for Escalator Production, KONE Corporation, 20 April, 2005 .
  5. KONE Press Release June 10, 2013 - KONE UltraRope
  6. KONE’s NanoSpace Replaces an Old Elevator in Two Weeks
  7. KONE lanserar ProSpace, en ny hisslösning för fastigheter som saknar hiss (SV)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Kone Corporation Annual Report 2004 (Archived, refer to Page 9)
  9. MacGREGOR’s marine elevator business is being transferred to KONE while MacGREGOR concentrates on marine cargo handling: the service continues, May 3, 2005
  10. hkelev - Lifts in Europe
  11. Kone Cargotec Acquires MacGREGOR Group
  12. Nowadays, MacGregor Navire (or entirely Cargotec) and Kone still be a partnership.
  13. Deya Elevator Services - History
  14. [1]
  15. Kone MRL Traction Elevator
  16. Kone Elevator & Escalator - Octagon Automobile & Machinery Services
  17. KONE acquires its Croatian distributor Lift Modus d.o.o. - Kone Corporation
  18. 18.0 18.1 KONE as a company - Kone Uganda
  19. "Mutu, standar keselamatan dan pelayanan diutamakan" - KONSTRUKSI Magazine, May 1991 (PDF available in Indonesian)
  20. Price fixing cartel incident
  21. Page 24 Advertisements Column 1 - The Straits Times, 4 December 1975, Page 24 - NewspaperSG
  22. KONE Elevator Glossary - ACU elevator announcer
  23. Custom typography reaching new heights - Underware.nl
  24. Guide on how to get the KONE Information font

See also

External links

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