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Not to be confused with Tonic Electronic Engineering, which using similar Chinese name.

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 (M.R.L.) 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, Suzhou, China. Kone is also an escalator manufacturer, and a moving walkway manufacturer.

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 introduce 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]. 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.

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, with association with it's daugher company, Motala Hissar AB, launched KONE ProSpace, a very small elevator that is the successor of MOTALA Hissar MC6000, and also very similar to it. Kone ProSpace is designed for smaller buildings that previously did not have any elevators, and the elevator space is very efficient compared to a normal elevator. KONE ProSpace initially launched in the scandinavian market but has since been expanded to the rest of europe [7].

Notable products

Kone Traffic Master System

Main article: Kone Traffic Master System

​Kone M-series

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

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 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 an cheap hydraulic alternative model to the 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. In Italy, ProSpace is called MySpace.

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

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

Former

All of these companies have been acquired by Kone.

Company name Country Remark
Isralift Israel 1990s-2013
Lift Modus d.o.o. Croatia and Bosnia 1999-2015[15]
Marryat & Scott Kenya Kenya Late 1980s-2014[16]
Marryat East Africa Uganda Late 1980s-2014[16]
Thai Lift Industries Thailand 1993-2005

Notable Installations

Main article: List of notable Kone elevator installations

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.[17]

Trivia

  • The company name in Finnish language is known as "KONE Oyj".
  • In the Finnish language, Kone means "machine" or "device".
  • Liftkompleks is a distributor of Belarussian subsidiary of Kone in Belarus.
  • 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)[18]. 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[19].
  • 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[20]. 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.[21]

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. MacGREGOR’s marine elevator business is being transferred to KONE while MacGREGOR concentrates on marine cargo handling: the service continues, May 3, 2005
  9. hkelev - Lifts in Europe
  10. Kone Cargotec Acquires MacGREGOR Group
  11. Nowadays, MacGregor Navire (or entirely Cargotec) and Kone still be a partnership.
  12. Originally a distributor for Kone elevators in Israel, but also make their own elevators.
  13. Kone MRL Traction Elevator
  14. Kone Elevator & Escalator - Octagon Automobile & Machinery Services
  15. KONE acquires its Croatian distributor Lift Modus d.o.o. - Kone Corporation
  16. 16.0 16.1 KONE as a company - Kone Uganda
  17. Price fixing cartel incident
  18. Page 24 Advertisements Column 1 - The Straits Times, 4 December 1975, Page 24 - NewspaperSG
  19. KONE Elevator Glossary - ACU elevator announcer
  20. Custom typography reaching new heights - Underware.nl
  21. Guide on how to get the KONE Information font

See also

External links

Major elevator companies
DoverExpress LiftFujitecHitachiHyundaiKoneMitsubishi ElectricOtisSchindlerSigmaThyssenthyssenkruppToshiba
Full list: List of elevator and escalator companies
See also: Third-party elevator maintenance companies