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Going Up And Down

February 16, 2012

In mankind’s existence travel involves going from point A to point B.  Since the earliest times, this meant going from one location to another. More specifically it meant horizontal travel.  With modernization and buildings getting higher and higher going from point A to point B can now also mean moving in a vertical direction. For this the elevator was invented.

One Finnish company started as a machine shop which reconditioned equipment and was incorporated in 1910 with the name Kone (meaning machine in Finnish). It became part of a larger business which had an elevator division. The company was in other businesses aside from elevators in the two world war years always looking for new sources of income.

The company’s future lay with elevators though when it eventually divested its other businesses and focused on elevators.  A lot of the company’s knowledge and expertise were actually obtained by acquiring other companies that was even larger than itself. As a company Kone made a technological breakthrough in 1996 when its engineers were able to apply linear motor technology that allowed for the elimination of the machine room.  This breakthrough made Kone the class leader in the elevator industry.

It has parlayed this success by continuing to look for new ways to improve existing elevator technology. There are enormous challenges with buildings getting taller and more capacity demands for elevators.  They do have the right approach in looking at “people flow” instead of merely focusing on elevators which is the means of moving people.

The company’s other notable businesses include escalators and automatic doors as well as providing related services. Its business involves going up and down but the company has been managing to go only one direction-up.

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