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Schindler worldwide

Schindler R.I.S.E: A travel diary

Over the past couple of years, our innovative and autonomous robotic system, Schindler R.I.S.E (Robotic Installation System for Elevators), has been working its way around the Middle East and Asia Pacific. We review some of the destinations and projects that have benefited from our robot superstar.


Hong Kong

At the end of 2022, our robot, named "Lea", arrived in Hong Kong, where it was put to work on a development in the busy commercial area of Wan Chai. Hong Kong is well known for its skyscrapers – it’s the city with the most high-rise buildings (that are over 150 meters tall) in the world. 

The site at 54 Queen’s Road East is surrounded by other buildings but Lea was small enough to be transported on-site by trolley. Once installed in the shaft, it drilled and set anchor bolts autonomously, moving up a level on its own each time it had completed a floor. Used in combination with Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology, Lea was able to process data from the building's digital model to find the best spots to drill to avoid rebar – steel rods used to reinforce concrete. 

"The robot really helped to simplify the installation process," says Paul Lee, our Project Manager. "The operator was able to communicate with the robot using a tablet, minimizing the risk of working at height and in a dusty environment."

Ir Thomas HO, Chairman of the Construction Industry Council (CIC), also paid us a visit, curious to get up close and personal with Schindler R.I.S.E and to see first-hand how elevator shaft drilling can be operated by a tablet. He was quick to note the positive impact that Schindler R.I.S.E has had on the elevator industry, by putting workers’ safety first. "The CIC has been emphasizing the importance of enhancing quantity, speed, efficiency, quality, and safety," he said. "We all look forward to seeing a higher level of safety integration from the industry."

Dubai

The futuristic metropolis, sitting on the shores of the Arabian Sea, is a technological marvel in itself – with glitzy malls and neck-craning skyscrapers all connected by superhighways. 

The Uptown Tower, a 340-meter-tall skyscraper, designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture and built by BESIX Group, used Schindler R.I.S.E to help improve health and safety on site.  

The 78-storey super-tall glass tower is home to about 200 luxury hotel rooms and suites, restaurants, health spas, conference facilities, as well as 229 uniquely designed residences. 

In more ways than one, Schindler R.I.S.E is a textbook example of how automation can improve workers' health and safety on construction sites – by allowing workers to focus on tasks that are less repetitive and physically demanding. The technology also allows for increased accuracy, which, in turn, leads to better quality installations.

"We are proud to be contributing to the success of this great project through our innovative robotics system, which helps to improve our workers' health and safety but also provides a new standard for installation quality and speed," said Urs Püntener, Head of Global Fulfillment, at the time.

Shanghai

By the end of December 2021, Schindler R.I.S.E had made its way to Shanghai – for its first project in China, to help install five elevators in Tower 2 of the Xujiahui Center. 

Situated on​​Hongqiao Road, the Xujiahui Center is one of the largest commercial complexes in downtown Shanghai – the construction site was roughly 782,000 square meters. The project has two main buildings – standing 70 floors tall and 43 floors tall – which provide amble office and commercial space, while also being home to a five-star hotel and luxury shopping mall.

"Schindler R.I.S.E contributes to greater safety and efficiency on high-rise construction sites," said Paolo Compagna, Schindler's COO. "The robot takes over the drilling of the thousands of anchor bolts required for the installation of elevators, freeing up fitters' time to focus on other quality aspects during installation, while enhancing their safety. This innovation enables our clients to complete their projects faster and more efficiently, which has become even more important at a time when many are faced with global construction site delays."

​Interestingly, the Shanghai Xujiahui Center Project was also the first project in China to use Schindler CLIMB Lift during construction – another innovative solution that improves safety while helping to improve the efficiency of onsite logistics. ​

Singapore

The last stop before Hong Kong was another of Asia’s financial hubs – Singapore. The city is home to the amazing Jewel Changi Airport and a stunning downtown skyline, but can now also boast having the world’s highest Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) building – Avenue South Residence. 

Standing nearly 200 meters tall, Avenue South Residence’s two towers house over 1,000 apartments, and in total 10 of the elevator shafts were drilled by Lea the robot. 

While on-site, Lea and the team were visited by Desmond Lee, Singapore's Minister for National Development, to see how Schindler R.I.S.E promotes safety and enhances efficiency. 

Domonic Stutz, the senior project engineer in Singapore who initially suggested Schindler R.I.S.E should be used, said: "Lea did an outstanding job, not only impressing the VIPs and the local media, but also advancing safety and efficiency on the building site."