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SRM: Synchronous Reluctance Motor. Introducing a new lifting technology in the elevator market

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SRM (SRM: Synchronous Reluctance Motor. Introducing a new lifting technology in the elevator market)

Reporting period: 2018-08-01 to 2018-11-30

The market for traction units for elevators has been dominated by the gearbox systems so far. However, in recent years, a new typology of gearless motors that uses the permanent magnet (PM) technology has appeared in the elevator market. This technology introduces significant advantages compared to the old one, especially in the field of safety. However, despite being more efficient than gearbox lifts, PM technology has a series of constraints associated: 1) It is very expensive which translates into a very high final price per unit; 2) it is highly dependent on the cost of the magnets, which is influenced by the unique source of extraction: China; 3) lifespan is compromised by high operating temperatures and oxidation. These drawbacks hinder the profit margin of the lift manufacturers and the affordability of the system.

To address these problems, ITG has patented and developed a new alternative lifting system, called SRM for the elevator market whose key features are the non-dependence of magnets, a significant reduction in costs associated with the device and provide better reliability over time.

Elevators are an indispensable element in the life of many people, especially those who have diseases that limit their movement. It is therefore ITGs goal to finalise SRM development to allow lift manufacturers to benefit from a cost-effective solution and lift users to enjoy a safer trip.
During this Feasibility Study, ITG has analysed the technical and business aspects affecting the SRM project. The requirements to scale-up production of SRM has been identified as well as its efficiency, performance and environmental aspects involved. An inverter Feasibility study and an execution plan for the phase 2 project was also defined. During this study, ITG also found crucial to develop a proprietary break and to implement IoT features.

On the business side, a deep market analysis led to a high market potential for SRM. The regulatory map was analysed and the IPR landscape defined. Main risks that may prevent SRM from a successful market entry were identified and mitigation actions planned. Finally, a detailed financial analysis of the SRM as well as its impact on company´s financials showed promising projections for the first 5 years of commercialisation.

These results gave ITG confidence on the technical, commercial and financial feasibility of the SRM project and therefore decided to continue investing on it.
There are several lifting systems on the market: hydraulic, geared and gearless. The latter are the most technologically advanced, achieving a series of advantages, such as higher travel speeds, longer lifecycles, big distances covered and more efficient use of energy. Nevertheless, ITG has put strong efforts on improving current gearless technology to achieve a market differentiation.

When compared to current gearless motors, SRM avoids the dependence on permanent magnets, it is a much affordable solution (€1,000/motor) and consumes 15% less energy. It has also lower number of components, allowing for a much longer life spam with less maintenance requirements.