CEDES Insights: Digital Products

Our President Business Development for IoT and Digital Products, Daan Smans, explains what digital products are, provides a look into CEDES’ journey towards its Digital Product suite Elevate, and gives a heads-up of what’s next.

We all use digital products. Think of apps on our smart phones, streaming services on our televisions, or our cars that tell us when they need their next maintenance visit. But how do you define a digital product? and how does it differentiate from a physical product? At its core, a digital product is any product that is created, distributed, and consumed in a digital format. Unlike physical products, digital products can be downloaded, streamed, or accessed online. 

CEDES is renowned for being at the forefront of new technology. Already in 1991, we introduced the back then groundbreaking light curtain technology in the elevator industry – and many other novel door safeguarding and cabin positioning sensors since. Over time, we discovered that fusing the data acquired through different sensors can provide a very detailed picture of the equipment’s overall health state.

We learned from our customers that elevator doors account for – at least! – 7 out of 10 breakdowns and that ride quality is oftentimes regarded as a proxy for quality of service by the service provider. We also learned that few if any existing monitoring solutions actually monitor the most critical components: the elevator doors and cabin. Therefore, CEDES found itself in an excellent starting position to enter the IoT (“Internet of Things”) domain. Given our existing portfolio of door safeguarding and positioning sensors, we could provide:

  1. IoT enablement there where it matters most: the elevator doors and cabin. 
  2. Easy and affordable access to scalable technology, since every elevator tech knows how to install our sensors.
  3. Universality across all makes, models, and vintages of elevators since our sensors are used across them all.

To be able to offer our customers an easy to understand, easy to implement, and easy to use Digital Product, we first had to resolve the vast complexity that is the end-to-end chain of the various technologies needed to bring to life and operate IoT-based Digital Products. The fundamental question was: “how do you transform raw sensor data into actionable insights?”.

For example, elevator doors that do not open or close properly can be major inconveniences and potential safety hazards. Common symptoms are repeated door cycling, slamming of the doors, or shaky door wings. By fusing data from optical sensors, accelerometers, gyroscopes, etc., we get a detailed yet holistic picture of the doors’ health state, whereas positioning sensors enable us to do this on a per-floor basis. This way we can detect where and when potential door issues arise and indicate what is wrong and thus needs fixing. Among other benefits, this enables data-driven maintenance, an increase of the first-time-fix rate, and overall optimization of time spent on site.

Our journey to date resulted in our Elevate digital product suite, which we launched at the 2023 NAEC Convention for North America, respectively at the 2023 Interlift tradeshow for Europe. Since then,  CEDES Elevate  has found growing adoption with industry leaders across North America, Europe, and also Asia–Pacific.

But this is not where the journey ends: during this year’s R+T show we introduced our cutting-edge IoT technology to the Entrance Automation space and directly won an  innovation award ! We are both proud and grateful to be recognized as technology leader once more, and greatly appreciate the trust that our customers and the market at large put in our abilities to always predict, protect, and perform.

Daan Smans

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