Scale model of first rope-free elevator unveiled

Thysenn-Krupp's cable-free elevator system, 'Muiti', is able to accommodate horizontal movement and multiple cabins per shaft

The 1:3 scale model of ThyssenKrupp’s rope-free elevator system, Multi, features four cabins on loop operation.
The 1:3 scale model of ThyssenKrupp’s rope-free elevator system, Multi, features four cabins on loop operation.

A scale model of the world’s first rope-free elevator system has been unveiled by German lift manufacturer, ThyssenKrupp.

The premiere of the 1:3 model, which features four cabins on loop rotation, comes one year after the company announced its ‘Multi’ elevator concept.

The prototype elevator uses linear motors instead of ropes, allowing for horizontal movement. This design enables Multi to operate as a “vertical metro system”, according to its creators.

TyssenKrupp claims that Multi’s configuration also increases transport capacities and efficiency, whilst reducing elevator footprints and peak loads for buildings’ power supplies.

Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Elevator, commented: “As we promised 12 months ago, we present today the first model of our ground-breaking Multi elevator system.

“Multi will be our answer to tomorrow’s challenges: as the nature of building construction evolves, it is also necessary to adapt elevator systems to better suit the requirements of buildings and high volumes of passengers,” he added.

The first scale model includes 10m shafts, and boasts linear motor technology inspired by the magnetic levitation train, Transrapid. Unlike conventional systems, Multi is able to incorporate multiple self-propelled elevator cabins per shaft, running in a loop.

To compensate for the lack of cables, the technology employs a multi-level brake system and inductive power, which transfers from shaft to cabin. Multi requires smaller shafts than conventional elevators, and its designers have said that it can increase a building’s usable area by up to a quarter.

The next step, according to ThyssenKrupp, is to develop a full-size version of the Multi system for testing purposes.

“For Multi, after this phase, we will install, test, and certify the first system in our new test tower in Rottweil, Germany,” revealed Schierenbeck. “The tower is set to be completed at the end of 2016, and will play a key role in the implementation of the global innovation strategy, [which] is a major factor for the success of the company.”

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