TOF/Start – a solution that really works

Escalators – along with elevators – have become an integral part of our everyday lives. But it is not only increasing pedestrian traffic that is raising the demands on the safety and efficiency of escalators; climate change also calls for new solutions to save more energy.

On average, an escalator transports up to 13,500 people an hour. In some busy places, they run non-stop and consume about 7.5 kW/h. 

CEDES has been developing innovative sensor solutions for many years, always with the aim of significantly reducing energy consumption. The patented TOF/Start escalator sensor uses TOF technology (TOF - Time of Flight), i.e. it can distinguish whether a person is just walking past or actually approaching the escalator. The area for ignoring cross-traffic and the width of the escalator can be set individually. If a passenger enters this detection area, the sensor accelerates the escalator in time to transport the passenger safely and efficiently. TOF/Start, however, reliably ignores cross-traffic, thereby ensuring the escalator does not start up unnecessarily. “As a result, TOF/Start helps to significantly reduce energy consumption”, says CEDES.

Escalator manufacturer Schindler already uses TOF/Start and has nothing but positive things to say about it. “Constant starting and stopping of an escalator can be a problem. And this is where TOF/Start comes into play. The product is an absolute novelty on the market, and new things always take a little time to become established. But the CEDES solution works perfectly. Simple installation, setup and connection. TOF/Start is truly plug & play and couldn't be any easier," says Ben Meyer, Product Manager at Schindler Switzerland.

New start with TOF/Start

Ben Meyer knows only too well from experience that some building constellations prove to be less advantageous than others and standard sensors are unable to guarantee energy-efficient operation of the escalator. "An alternative solution is definitely needed in special installation situations. For instance, when the area in front of the escalator is a passageway. In this case, we're glad to have a supplier like CEDES on our side who can solve this task," explains Meyer. 

He is convinced that TOF/Start has the potential to become a superior alternative or retrofit solution, in particular, for modernizing escalators, something that is becoming increasingly popular. "Modernization involves upgrading old escalators to operate automatically. With old systems, you’ll still find surface-mounted solutions instead of integrated technology, but TOF/Start offers a discreet solution with a small sensor," claims the Product Manager.

Economical and future-ready

In addition to its easy installation and the small and unobtrusive design, Meyer sees the main advantage of TOF/Start in its energy-saving potential. Needless to say, his main interest is in solutions that work perfectly and keep his customers satisfied. In our modern world, saving energy is becoming one of the most important aspects, if not the most important one of all. In his view, it would therefore be great if more of these sensors could be installed in the future.

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