Market Study – Elevator Industry
Background – History of Elevators
Elevator Industry as an Oligopoly
News from the Industry
Elevators have become an integral part of any building facility over the past few decades. In our everyday life, we depend on them for vertical transportation in offices, schools, public buildings, airports, sub-stations etc. With over 4 million elevators in operation today, it accounts for an important facet of the building industry. To gain some idea of the effect of this one advancement, consider that today, elevators move the equivalent of the world’s population every 72 hours. Thus, it is unarguably an important sector of the building industry and a worthy topic for market research. This report addresses specifically the Indian Elevator market. 5 major players – Otis, Schindler, Thyssen-Krupp, Kone and Johnson dominate the elevator market. Each of these organizations is internationally present and is densely spread out throughout the country. With numerous offices, hundreds of projects running simultaneously and a huge inventory of men, materials and machinery, these companies are reaching new heights as Indian construction industry is progressing. Another key thing to note here would be that all of these companies also manufacture and install escalators and moving walkways. They also provide service and maintenance for elevators and escalators on a contract basis. Otis alone services about 1.2 million elevators and escalators worldwide.
2. Background – History of Elevators
An elevator is a device for vertical transportation of passengers or freight to different floors or levels, as in a building or a mine. The term elevator generally denotes a unit with automatic safety devices; the very earliest units were called hoists. Elevators consist of a platform or car traveling in vertical guides in a shaft or hoist way, with related hoisting and lowering mechanisms and a source of power. Rudimentary elevators, or hoists, were in use during the middle ages and can be traced back to the third century BC. They were operated by animal and human power or by water-driven mechanisms. The power elevator debuted mid-19th century in the U.S. as a simple freight hoist operating between just two floors in a New York City building. In 1853, Elisha Graves Otis was at the New York Crystal Palace exposition, demonstrating an elevator with a "safety" to break the cab's fall in case of rope failure, a defining moment in elevator development. By 1857, the country's first Otis passenger elevator was in operation at a New York City department store, and, ten years later, Elisha's sons went on to found Otis Brothers and Company in Yonkers, NY, eventually to achieve mass production of elevators in the thousands. Today, Otis is the world’s largest elevator manufacturer. In 1889 came the direct-connected geared electric elevator, allowing for the building of significantly taller structures. By 1903, this design had evolved into the gearless traction electric elevator, allowing hundred-plus story buildings to become possible and forever changing the urban landscape. Multi-speed motors replaced the original single-speed models to help with landing-leveling and smoother overall operation. Electromagnet technology replaced manual rope-driven switching and braking. Push-button controls and various complex signal systems modernized the elevator even further and safety became an integral part of the design. The year 1926 saw the birth of the modern elevator in the Woolworth building, then the tallest building in the world. The progress in this field has been astonishing ever since, and today we have intelligent elevator systems that can be remotely tracked for maintenance and rework. Today, there are intricate governors and switching schemes to carefully control cab speeds...
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