TECH REVOLUTION: MULTI HERALDS WORLD’S FIRST CABLE-LESS HORIZONTAL LIFT SYSTEM
BY Zoe Phoon
More than 160 years after the invention of the conventional elevator, the world’s first cable-less, horizontal lift system named MULTI was launched in Germany recently.
Developed by thyssenkrupp Elevator, a global urban mobility leader, MULTI made its debut at thyssenkrupp’s 246m-tall test tower in Rottweil town.
The first of its kind to operate without cables, the MULTI elevator system uses linear motor technology similar to that in maglev (magnetic levitation) trains.
As the nature of building constructions evolves, it is also necessary to adapt elevator systems to better suit the requirements of buildings and high volumes of passengers, the German company said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) said MULTI is the first fully functional unit of the new system.
Instead of one cabin per shaft moving up and down, MULTI involves multiple cabins operating in a loop, like a metro system inside a building.
Without the use of cables, MULTI runs on a multilevel brake system with wireless data and energy management on the cars.
CTBUH said this is perhaps the biggest development in the elevator industry since the safety elevator invention 165 years ago.
The hard to achieve part for elevators has been to move beyond being pulled vertically by a rope under tension towards a system that allows movement in inclined or horizontal directions.
MULTI, more than any other product delivered to date, really shows the way forward for that potential.
This has the capacity to transform the industry at large, changing the way tall buildings are designed, and allowed for much more efficient designs as well as better connectivity in buildings, CTBUH added.
Leading European real estate developer OVG Real Estate is the first customer, partnering with thyssenkrupp to install the maiden MULTI system in the new East Side Tower in Berlin.
OVG Real Estate said the system needs fewer and smaller shafts than conventional elevators and can increase the building’s usable area by up to 25%, representing extra revenue from the additional space.
It pointed out that current elevator-escalator footprints can occupy up to 40% of a highrise building’s floor space depending on the building’s height.
According to thyssenkrupp, MULTI can achieve up to 50% higher transport capacity and reduce peak power demand by as much as 60% compared to conventional elevator systems.
MULTI enables unprecedented possibilities in the architecture and design of buildings because it can move sideways as well as vertically and without any height limitations.
The company believes MULTI will transform the way people move, work and live in the built environment. It will reduce waiting time for passengers and take up significantly less space in buildings.