Technology has made major strides over the past few decades. Devices that were once just a plot in science fiction movies are now commonplace in the real world, introducing faster and more efficient ways to work. Technology is changing at an increasing pace, and it seems that new technologies are designed to disrupt, which in some cases means to replace human labour with machines. What does the future hold for elevator mechanics? Is automation coming for your job?
Older mechanics will remember using a giant board where all the places that needed to be serviced and inspected were written out. When the list was full, it was wiped off and started all over again. Those same technicians might have used pagers where several long beeps meant a regular job while short beeps meant that there were people stuck in an elevator and the techs needed to call the office, get the address and rush to the location.
Today, AI and automated systems are already working hand in hand to protect elevator passengers from disruptive malfunctions and relieve the stress on service technicians. Predictive maintenance is here today, in a city near you – not in a galaxy far, far away.
There are two different predictions on how advances in automation will affect job prospects for humans. Optimists see machines freeing human workers to do higher-value, more creative work. Pessimists predict massive unemployment, or a world in which humans exist to serve the robot overlords. What people need to understand is that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Humans and automation can evolve and work together. By combining human emotion and instinct, with digital solutions, AI and virtual reality, technicians can optimize the way they prepare and run their elevator service, resulting in faster turnaround times and less downtime.
These technologies are a real revolution for elevator maintenance! While only a small percentage of the elevator technician’s tasks are replaceable by the machine, the rest remains at the heart of the mechanic’s professional expertise. Far from replacing it, these technologies will help experienced technicians identify and solve problems more efficiently, enhance their knowledge and simplify their training. Nothing can really replace human instinct, and when it comes to the intricate work, some things will always need hands-on attention.