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MEBS: Premium elevators that push the right buttons

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Article - April 14, 2023

The elevator business may have experienced its ups and downs, but MEBS has remained a stalwart in the market and can trace its roots back to 1931.

INSPECTION IN ELEVATOR SHAFT

Mitsubishi Electric Building Solutions Corporation, or MEBS, was formed in April 2022 through the merger of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation’s building systems business (started 1931), responsible for elevator manufacturing and installation, and Mitsubishi Electric Building Techno-Service Co., Ltd. (est. 1954), which dealt primarily with elevator maintenance services and elevator renewal.

A global presence in 96 countries, with 13 manufacturing facilities and more than 900,000 individual units, MEBS’  industry share in the countries where it operates currently stands at around 10%.

MEBS supplies comfortable, high-efficiency and high-performance elevators by utilizing unique technological capabilities such as the "Poki-Poki Motor".

The company has developed and delivered some of the world’s fastest elevators, for example in the Shanghai Tower, where it installed an elevator capable of traveling at speeds of up to 1,230 meters per minute in 2016.

And it’s not just about speed either. Its elevator operates with such precision that a coin can remain on its side as the shaft moves up and down. The company's technological expertise is applied in creating the group’s so-called "comfortable elevator".

So, why depart from such a successful model? It is a question company president, Tadashi Matsumoto, is only too happy to field. “I believe that when we have so many competitors that are offering products at a much cheaper cost, it’s really important that we focus on providing goods and services at the same time.”

The product, in other words, is no longer necessarily the be-all and end-all.  “What’s more important for the customers,” Mr. Matsumoto continues, “is that this elevator technology should be used for 20 or 30 years; that it will operate in a safe manner and be maintained well.”



The merger, therefore, enables an integrated business operation system from new installation to maintenance and renewal, and includes the development and manufacturing of elevators, escalators and building systems.

What’s more, all the qualities that make MEBS a first-rate component manufacturer – field knowledge, experience of the domestic market, advanced technologies, the strength of the components themselves – provide an invaluable insight into the field of maintenance.

The relationship between these two fields is evolving beyond mere symbiosis. By combining component technologies and knowledge gained in the maintenance field with new information technologies such as cloud computing and AI, it is possible to provide integrated solutions. For instance, a cloud service called Ville-feuille can be linked to elevators, robots, and access control security systems.

Looking to the future, sustainability is of course a primary concern. MEBS has a vision of enhancing the value of buildings through total optimization of electricity demand and supply by collaborating with a division within Mitsubishi Electric. Specifically, it is such an initiative that will combine the transmission of renewable energy with power distribution panel data from buildings and power consumption data from building facilities, leading to more efficient use of energy throughout buildings.

Growth is on the agenda too. “Our vision for 2025,” Mr. Matsumoto confirms, “is to become a top-level building solutions provider.” With an established presence in Southeast Asia, East Asia, South America and the Middle East, MEBS is now looking to expand its business in the US and European markets.

To this end, the group has recently acquired Motum AB, a Swedish elevator and escalator business company that engages mainly in maintenance and renewal. By utilizing not only their maintenance stock but also their know-how and network, it is hoped the acquisition will strengthen the company’s business management base both in Sweden and the rest of Europe and beyond.

If all comes to fruition, the company aims to achieve its growth target of more than 650 billion yen in net sales, and an operating margin of more than 10% in the fiscal year 2025.

The key, as Mr. Matsumoto states, will be to “view all stakeholders related to buildings as our  customers and focus on the best ways of generating value for them.”

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