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Breaking the norm.

While cities around the globe are growing and buildings become bigger and taller, planners and architects are confronted with the challenge of transporting a rising number of people comfortably and quickly to their destinations. Thyssenkrupp has launched Multi, a service that addresses this issue - increasing transport capacities by 50%.

This alone provides dramatic improvements for mobility in high rise buildings. In contrast to the self-contained elevator, the new technology is not restricted with height limitations. The innovative thing about Multi is that it enables passengers to go horizontally as well as vertically.

A study carried out in 2013 showed that the one cabin per shaft model was similar to one train running between two cities on the same railway line - it's a complete waste of resources.

Just like the circular system seen on a traditional paternoster, Multi uses rope-less linear technology to operate elevators, and a single loop can incorporate multiple cabins. It works with the well-proven linear motor technology, which is also used in the Transrapid magnetic monoral train, coupled with our innovative transportation system 'accel'. This technology allows us to activate only those sections in which individual cabins are located. The active part is on the shaft-side and the passive part on the cabin-side. So energy consumption is only active when cars are accelerated, moved and decelerated.


With a targeted speed of 5 m/s (18kmph), the system will offer near-constant access to an incoming elevator cabin every 15 to 30 seconds, with a transfer stop at about every 50m. This means reduced waiting time for passengers, and the option of double entries on the ground floor improves ease of access in large buildings.

Multi also offers much higher capacities and faster journey times compared to traditional high-speed elevators, which are limited by the effects of pressure on the human body - with many people experiencing discomfort while travelling in elevators at speeds higher than 10 m/s (36kmph).

Although the ideal building height for Multi installations starts at 300m, this system is not constrained by a building's height. With no ropes, a multi-level brake system and wireless power transfers from shaft to cabin, Multi requires smaller shafts than other elevator systems. This also significantly reduces costs for building developers: A reduced need for shaft space translates into a decreased elevator footprint and more usable floor space and thus higher revenues for building owners.

From a cost point of view, Multi will be more cost-effective than traditional elevators, and not only in the long run. The benefit for investors by gaining floor space over the building height of 100 and more stories (or above approximately 300m) is much higher than the initial investment cost for the elevator system.

With one cabin per shaft, traditional elevators take up more space as buildings increase in height. The most relevant benefit of the Multi is the additional usable space it generates in tall buildings. Traditional elevator shafts can occupy up to 40% of the floor space in an average-sized building. Multi's rope-free system also liberates architects and developers' concerns about elevator shaft height and vertical alignment.

One of the challenges that we have overcome is the fact that we could provide the application of an optimised linear drive system for a vertical transportation system on a very high performance level.

We succeeded in developing a guiderail system of very high accuracy and tolerance to building movements and settlement. In addition, a completely new component for turning cars from vertical to horizontal movement could be realised. We call it 'the exchanger'.

About the author: Markus Jetter is the head of product development at Neuhausen, Thyssenkrupp Elevator AG. He has been working in the elevator industry since 1991 and has held various positions within the company. Since 2013, Jetter has been concentrating on the research and development of rope-less elevator systems.

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Publication:Construction Week
Date:Sep 11, 2017
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