Up to One-Third More Space: KONE Introduces Revolutionary MaxiSpace(TM) Elevator Technology Platform

Mar 29, 2004, 00:00 ET from KONE

    ESPOO, Finland, March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- KONE, a leading global elevator
 and escalator company, announces the introduction of a radically new
 technology platform, KONE MaxiSpace(TM), that eliminates the need for
 counterweights in elevators. Elevators using this technology can have cabins
 as much as one-third larger than traditional elevators designed for the same
 hoistway space. In many cases KONE will be able to offer a 6- or even 8-
 passenger elevator where previously only a 4-passenger unit could have been
 installed. In addition to increasing an elevator's capacity, KONE
 MaxiSpace(TM) enhances passenger comfort and improves access for wheelchairs
 and prams.
     At the heart of the new platform are an incredibly small and powerful
 hoisting machine, the KONE PowerDisc(TM), and an innovative, flexible roping
 arrangement using high-tensile-strength ropes. KONE PowerDisc(TM) is a
 gearless motor that is substantially lighter and more compact than any
 existing elevator hoisting machine on the market. Although it weighs only 70
 kg and can easily fit into a tiny space in an elevator shaft, it is as
 powerful as machines many times its size.
     In addition to adding useable space, the KONE MaxiSpace(TM) solution
 provides the performance, comfort and safety of the most advanced gearless
 equipment. Products based on KONE MaxiSpace(TM) technology also promise to be
 safer and faster to install than other elevators available today.
     KONE astonished the construction market in 1996 with the announcement that
 it had eliminated the need for elevator machine rooms. The KONE MonoSpace(R)
 elevator has since become the industry standard for machine-room-less elevator
 applications in new buildings. The product range based on the technology used
 in MonoSpace(R) elevators has been expanded to cover every kind of
 installation from heavy-duty freight elevators to high-speed passenger units
 for the world's tallest skyscrapers.
     Now MaxiSpace(TM) technology will enable KONE to supplement this industry-
 leading product line with new offerings designed especially for the existing-
 building market. Of the 4.1 million elevators in service in Europe, more than
 two-thirds are over 20 years old (almost 45% were built before 1970). The
 majority of them are small units in residential buildings. The KONE
 MaxiSpace(TM) platform is ideally suited for replacing these existing
 elevators or adding elevators to buildings by inserting slim hoistways into
 existing stairwells. The market for such activities is expected to increase
 greatly as both the population and the installed elevator base continue to
 grow older.
     Webcast and Teleconference
     A telephone conference for journalists, conducted in English, will begin
 at 3:00 p.m. Finnish time, and will also be available as an audio webcast at
 www.konecorp.com. Callers may access the conference directly at the following
 telephone numbers:
      Non-US callers: +44 (0) 20 7162 0183
      US callers: +1 334 323 6203
      Password: Kone
     An on-demand version of the conference will be available at
 www.konecorp.com later the same day.
     KONE is a service company known worldwide as a technology leader. Its
 innovative products transport hundreds of millions of people daily in all
 parts of the world. KONE sells, manufactures, installs, maintains and
 modernizes elevators and escalators, and services automatic building doors.
 KONE is part of KONE Corporation, whose annual net sales in 2003 totaled
 EUR 5.3 billion.