Società Anonimo Bolognese Industrie Elettromeccaniche


1921 (Bologna, Italy)

Acquired by

Kone (1985)



Sabiem (Società Anonimo Bolognese Industrie Elettromeccaniche) was a major elevator manufacturer that was based in Bologna, Italy and existed from the early 1920s until the mid 1980s. The company also produced dumbwaiters[1], as well as escalators under partnership with German-based Eggers Kehrhahn.

Sabiem had its headquarters in Bologna, in the same area of Borgo Panigale where the Ducati (a famous motorbike brand) factory is located.


The history of Sabiem can be traced back to November 1918 when the company was established as Officine Elettromeccaniche Bolognesi (OEB), a company specialized in mechanical and manufacturing equipment. In 1921, the company changed name to Società Anonimo Bolognese Industrie Elettromeccaniche (SABIEM) but it did not began manufacturing elevators until 1929. During that time, Sabiem made 23 different types of machines for various applications like pasta-making machines, cigarette packaging machines, servomotors and more. In 1929, Sabiem started focusing on making elevators and moved to its new factory in Vira Emilia, in the district of Santa Viola. They made agreements with several major elevator manufacturers such as Otis, Westinghouse, Stigler, and Siemens. This resulted the company becoming a major elevator manufacturer in Italy. In the 1930s, Sabiem opened branches in several South American countries.

After World War II, the company continued making elevators with innovative technologies and partnerships to grew itself as a major elevator manufacturer for foreign markets. They expanded their businesses by opening branches in Mexico, Venezuela, South Africa, and also Hong Kong. Sabiem remained an independent company until 1985 when Kone took over it as a mean of entering the Italian market.

Outside Italy

Sabiem exported their elevators to various countries through branches and also agents/third-party distributors. They were distributed in Mexico, Venezuela (where it was an important market), Cuba, South Africa, Israel, Lebanon, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and even Taiwan.

In Hong Kong, Sabiem elevators were distributed by Shan On Engineering Co. Ltd. from the 1960s until around 1980s. They are mostly found in old private apartment, commercial and even industrial buildings. Some elevators are also found in old public housing blocks estates in the 1970s to 1980s. After Kone bought Sabiem, Shan On installed some Kone elevators for public housing estates under Sabiem's name and Kone being a stakeholder of this company. Nowadays, Shan On Engineering still maintains some of the existing Sabiem elevators throughout Hong Kong, including modernizing some of the old ones, until December 8, 2017, which has been taken over by Kone in Hong Kong, China[2]. Sabiem elevators were also distributed and installed by a smaller, less known agent called Gilman & Co. Ltd., which have been taken over by Shan On Engineering.

Sabiem elevators were introduced to Malaysia and Singapore in 1960[3]. They were distributed by Paterson, Simons & Co. Ltd., who also supplied Marryat & Scott elevators in the region. Sabiem elevators in Singapore were also supplied by Haven Automation, which was acquired by Kone in the mid 1980s[4].

In South Korea, Sabiem elevators were distributed and installed by Neungsoo Commercial Co.[5]

Elevator fixtures

Main article: Sabiem Elevator Fixtures Guide

Notable Installations

Main article: List of notable Sabiem elevator installations

Notable past overseas distributors

Company name Country(s) Remarks
Gillman & Co. Ltd. Hong Kong, China 1959[6]-1973
Haven Automation Singapore 19??-1980s
Herouth Israel
Neungsoo Commercial Co. South Korea 1960s
Paterson Simons & Co., Ltd. Singapore and Malaysia 1960s
Shan On Engineering Co. Ltd. Hong Kong, China 1973[6]-2017
Acquired by Kone Hong Kong[2]
The Thai British Trading Co. Ltd. Thailand
PT. Wira Mustika Indah Indonesia


  • Most Sabiem elevators installed in the 1950s-1970s had their interior cab and doors made of extruded anodised anti-corodal aluminium. Some other elevators (especially later models in the 1970s), however, were finished with painted steels or wood-based surfaces. Sabiem stopped using aluminium materials for their elevator interior in the early 1980s.
  • Orona, a Spanish elevator manufacturer, started making elevators in the 1960s under license from Sabiem[7]. The elevators had design and fixtures from Sabiem and were branded as "Orona Sabiem"[8]. This lasted until 1975 when the license expired, and Orona started manufacturing elevators under their own name.



Hong Kong

Shan On Engineering Co. Ltd.

Other countries



Sabiem Traction Lift Elevator 5 Sabiem機器帶動式升降機5

Sabiem Traction Lift Elevator 5 Sabiem機器帶動式升降機5

1960s Sabiem elevator in Hong Kong, China.

Sabiem Elevators original from 1965

Sabiem Elevators original from 1965

1965 Sabiem elevator equipment.



1999 Sabiem (Kone) elevator in Hong Kong, China.

Notes and references

External links

Other/smaller/historic elevator companies
AmtechA&P. StevenAnlevAnlev ElexArmorASEAAsea GrahamAtlas (Northern California)Automobile Rotary Lift Co.Axel LiftsBennie LiftsBoralCNIMDaldossDeveDong YangDopplerElectraElevadores AtlasElevadores SûrElevators Pty. Ltd.ElexEllis & McDougallEvans LiftsFalconiFiamFlohrGeneral (CA, older)GiantGoldStarGraham BrothersGrupo ExcelsiorGuangriHammond & ChampnessHAS ElevatorsHaughtonHaushahnHävemeier & SanderHitachiIFEIGVIndoliftInter-UpIsraliftIZAMETJ&E HallJohns & WaygoodKfirKleemannKoppel A.W.LGMANMarryat & ScottMiamiMillarMontgomeryMorris VermaportMP LiftsNipponOmegaOrenstein & KoppelOrona/Electra VitoriaPaynePickerings LiftsPneumatic Vacuum ElevatorsR. StahlReliableRheinstahlSabiemSchlierenSchmitt & SohnSeabergSEC ElevatorsSemagSergeShenyang BrilliantSITESSJECSmith, Major & StevensStaleyStannahStarlift VoorburgStiglerTechnosThymanToshibaU.S. ElevatorVýtahy OstravaWaygood & Co.WestinghouseXJYungtayZREMB
Full list: List of elevator and escalator companies
See also: Third-party elevator maintenance companies
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.