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Using the internet of things during a blizzard

Updated: Mar 11, 2020

Denver's technicians and MAX weather and blizzard of elevator shutdowns.

Taking on the storm

On March 13, 2019, the strongest blizzard on record hit Colorado, causing nearly 500 elevators to shut down in Denver and its surrounding areas. Luckily, 300 of the affected units were equipped with MAX. With focus, teamwork and MAX, our Denver technicians brought over half the elevators back in service overnight.

The severity of the blizzard’s heavy snowfall and strong winds caused multiple power outages and electrical spikes. This whiplash in electrical activity resulted in power fluctuations and continual elevator shutdowns. Most of the major roads and buildings were also shut down, including the branch office.

Clearing the path

By the time the storm hit, only a few service technicians and office staff were on hand to manage the multiplying issues. The team was eventually able to easily mobilize and prioritize which elevators needed to be serviced using the MAX PowerBI reporting dashboard to see the faults on specific elevators of high-profile customers.

“We were able to proactively reduce the sheer number of out-of-service units we needed to respond to by using the MAX dashboard to 'scrub-out' which units were affected by the power outage versus true elevator shutdowns which helped us manage the limited manpower available,” said Brien Montera, Denver Branch Manager.

Our technicians accessed the MAX data via a mobile system, in real-time, leading them directly to the problem and enabling them to fix it fast so they could move on to the next unit. Our technicians worked through the night to get roughly 250 units back up and running as safely and as quickly as possible.

Learning about MAX

The team took screenshots of the MAX faults that were tied to elevator entrapments resulting from the power-related issues.

That data was shared with the customers who didn’t realize the elevator shutdowns were linked to the power fluctuations. These customers could then prevent entrapments by informing tenants to use the stairs until the electrical issues and brown-outs stopped.

“We minimized the storm's impact on our customers' business operations by using the data from MAX to proactively plan our approach in this crisis,” said Brien.

Overall, the storm’s impact could have been catastrophic, but our technicians got our customers swiftly back on the move. MAX does more than report data - it stops emergencies before they ever happen.

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