A system this sophisticated needs an exceptional set of fixtures to facilitate the multitude of features that are built in. These fixtures are the Personal Occupant Requirements Terminals that give PORT Technology its name. Our all-new set of PORT terminals feature a range of specifications enclosing standardised internal hardware. Whatever the architectural aspiration or functional requirement at a particular touch point, there is a PORT terminal to satisfy it.
PORT Technology provides more functionality than any elevator system in history, It is feature rich and these are constantly evolving. As well as providing the most efficient use of an elevator group, the passengers it serves will really enjoy the seamless way they are whisked to their destination with a minimal number of intermediate stops. In addition, the security features implicit in the design ensure their peace of mind throughout the journey.
PORT Technology builds on Schindler’s unique 30 year experience of a system known as Destination Control which radically improves the traffic handling efficiency of a group of elevators.
In the 1990s building height was beginning to be limited by the number of additional elevators required to provide good service. It was generally understood in the industry that an approach whereby passengers could register their destinations before boarding would provide higher service levels from a specific group of elevators and solve the problem. However, no one in the industry had been able to make a practical system based on this concept. In 1992, Schindler introduced Miconic 10, the first practical Destination Control system and revolutionised the market. In the early 2000’s as it became clear that destination control was the way forward, other companies offered products but by then Schindler was already on its second generation system – and PORT is the third!
When a passenger communicates to PORT the destination they require, either via a terminal, RFID card or smartphone, the system analyses every possible combination of ways that this journey can be provided considering all the other calls in the system and the current deployment of each elevator. Using a special algorithm representing many years of research, the optimum allocation is determined and communicated to the passenger via the terminal or phone. They can then stand in front of the assigned elevator door ready to quickly step in and be transported with minimal stopping to their floor.
We believe that PORT Technology dispatching represents a pinnacle in the industry today. But we are not standing still. Every year we get more data from the many thousands of units we have running worldwide which are utilised by our research teams to incrementally improve performance. We do not intend to give up our performance lead in a hurry!
Efficiency in an elevator generally can be understood to mean two things, both of which are related. The passenger handling efficiency and the energy efficiency.
The rate at which an elevator can handle passengers is, of course, critical to the overall operation of the building. In an office building, for example, especially during the morning peak, if the number of elevators installed cannot efficiently move people to their floor queues will form, frustrating passengers and lowering the prestige of the facility. A PORT installation will ensure that passengers travelling to the same floor are guided to the same elevator cab when required. This means that the number of stops that the cab makes in its journey up the building is minimal, resulting in a shorter time before it is able to return to the lobby. With each cab arriving back at the lobby more often, greater capacity to serve arriving passengers is generated and traffic handling efficiency is much higher.
Turning to energy efficiency, we should point out that, on an individual basis, each Schindler elevator is equipped with the latest in drive and materials technology to provide the highest levels of efficiency. But with PORT we can go further. A PORT elevator can operate in such a way that the group itself can gain energy efficiency using a feature we call Energy Control Option or ECO. In ECO mode the system provides an acceptable waiting time for all passengers while serving them in an energy-efficient manner. This solves the problem of typical elevator groups consuming the most energy when passenger demand is low. When there are only few passenger calls, which is the case most of the day, each passenger can be picked up very rapidly by an elevator and, with barely no other cab occupants, transported fast to their destination floor. Like this, elevators tend to travel long distances for few passengers only. Furthermore, since elevators are typically counterbalanced at 50% loading, the cabs in the system are then moving in an unbalanced state which is not energy efficient. ECO mode solves this problem. In order to save energy, ECO mode can use less elevators with more people per cab, resulting in shorter trips and better load balancing. As a result, ECO mode minimises energy usage of elevators while taking care that passenger waiting times do not exceed a specified level: Customer satisfaction and highest energy efficiency at the same time.
Security is built into the heart of a PORT system and can operate on many different levels. Where a current building or, indeed, global corporate system already exists, a simple interfacing regime exists to seamlessly integrate it. Many clients, today, however, when made aware of the many levels of security built into the PORT system, have wanted to bring it into the heart of their building security strategy.
At the heart of the PORT security concept is communicating to the customer that we want them to identify themselves in order to serve them. So, for example, when a customer shows their RFID card to a barrier, they do not just gain admission but they are told which elevator to go to for transport to their preferred morning destination. A PORT elevator has terminals with a card reader integrated which means that, wherever it is positioned, a security transaction can take place. Often this is at a barrier where the sleek PORT design can easily be integrated. Or, if required Schindler can supply our proprietary Speed Gates.
As well as an RFID card solution, myPORT provides an even greater level of functionality which can be used in conjunction with or as a replacement for cards. Finally, although this section primarily deals with PORT as it relates to elevators, the system can be greatly expanded to provide all aspects of access control within the building.
The passenger experience is what every aspect of PORT design is intended to enhance. We want every contact with our users to be one which delights them with a sense of security, comfort and convenience. From the moment they enter a building and, without having to touch any surface, gain admission, walk to their elevator and are speedily transported to their floor, our aim is to provoke a great sense of wellbeing and a feeling that the system is there to provide them with a personalised service.
We will learn where they typically want to go at certain times and try to anticipate their needs. We will always try to allocate them an elevator that is not too full and reaches their destination without many intermediate stops and, above all, we will always attempt to provoke the feeling that each journey they make is considered by PORT to be of great importance.