Published in Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun

“Linear Motor Elevator / Realizing 3D Movement, Changing High-rise Buildings”

◆ Next-generation elevators will change high-rise buildings

Venture company Linearity (Kyoto City, President Sandor Markon) is developing a self-propelled elevator that is directly driven by a linear motor without using ropes. The important feature is that the trajectory is not limited to the vertical direction, but can be moved freely in all directions such as sideways, diagonals, and curves. If this linear motor elevator is realized, it will not only stay in the building, but also connect to public transportation in the city, solving the “last mile” movement.

President Markon said, “Transportation and mobility, which had been completed within the building, will be connected and developed to the next stage. Not only will the degree of freedom in architecture increase, but the possibilities for community development will expand infinitely. Only we and architects can do it. I want to realize it together with the developers,” he called for cooperation. First of all, aiming for practical application, we aim to exhibit at the 2025 Osaka Kansai Expo.

In a linear motor elevator, devices with built-in coils are lined up in the hoistway, and the magnetic force generated by applying an electric current to the coils moves the transport car in a ropeless manner. This device can be arranged freely, and it also supports curved trajectories. Vibration and noise can be suppressed because it moves with magnetic force. Significantly reducing the number of parts that wear out also helps improve service life and maintainability.

“The era when the basic shape of a building was constrained is finally coming to an end,” he emphasizes. This is because the ropeless system eliminates the need for building straight sections for elevators. It can also be installed in high-rise buildings with complex structures such as circular, arched, and spiral shapes, and is characterized by increased architectural freedom.

◆ From Single to “Multi Car”

It is not uncommon for high-rise buildings in urban areas to have dozens of elevators in operation. It is said that their occupied space takes up 40% or more of the space in the building, which is a major cost factor. Against this background, the company developed a group control management system using AI (artificial intelligence). As a result, the same hoistway can be shared by many transport cars.

“By sharing the hoistway facilities, we can reduce the space by 50% to 60% compared to the conventional system, and make effective use of scarce land in urban areas,” he said. “If we attract tenants to the reduced space, we can expect additional revenue for the developer. We should also be able to save costs for unnecessary hoistways and halls,” he emphasizes. For users, it is clear that convenience will improve if elevators arrive one after another at the same platform.

◆ A new “safety” with magnetic force

The next-generation urban mobility market, including flying cars, is expected to reach 25 trillion yen in 2035. Security is key in new markets. After prefaced by the fact that elevators are inherently very safe,'' he said,In addition to inheriting all the technologies that ensure the safety of conventional elevators, such as the mechanical brakes, we have improved them to a level that is said to be safer than walking.” he emphasizes. In fact, even if the power supply to the motor that generates the magnetic force is interrupted, a function is provided to prevent the transport cage from falling using an induced current. In the unlikely event that other safety mechanisms do not operate, we will have a structure that will never have free fall.

He majored in electrical engineering in his native Hungary. While attending Kyoto University, he pursued research and development at Fujitec. After retiring from the company, he launched Linearity in 2017. Since its establishment, he has received support from the Turkish venture company Desird Design R&D, and recently built a new factory to be ready for mass production.

“If the freely changeable track does not end inside the building, but extends to the subway station, people who get off at the station can immediately get on the elevator and reach the desired floor without interruption” he says. The day of realization is drawing near.