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KONE Celebrates 100 Years of People Flow Solutions

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article image KONE's People Flow Solutions

Kone Elevators , one of the global leaders in the elevators and escalators industry completes 100 years of providing people flow solutions.  

While KONE has been involved in diverse businesses as an industrial engineering company, their primary focus has always been the elevator and escalator business, leading the industry with innovative, safe and eco-efficient solutions to deliver the best People Flow experience.  

KONE has been present in Australia since 1889 with the South Sydney Hydraulic Company.  

From its humble beginnings as a tiny machine shop in Helsinki, the global elevator and escalator company KONE has come a long way over the last 100 years with annual net sales of close to five billion euros, 34,000 employees and operations worldwide.  

KONE is an acknowledged technology leader, having established itself as a major player in the world’s fastest growing markets and solidified its position in its traditional markets.  

Matti Alahuhta, President and CEO of KONE Corporation says that KONE has continuously adapted to the needs of a changing world, creating new opportunities for growth.  

Urbanisation, an aging population and the increasing importance of safety being the key challenges faced by society in the modern world, KONE is presently focused on sustainable urban development through eco-efficient solutions that offer energy savings in buildings and enable the best user experience.  

KONE Elevators Australia and New Zealand (KEA) has operated in Australia and New Zealand since 1985. Employing over 1100 people, KONE operates 23 branches across all Australian states as well as four offices in New Zealand.  

KONE Elevators Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Robert Cameron says that KONE’s commitment to customers encompasses design, manufacturing, installation, maintenance and modernisation.  

Short history of KONE  

KONE traces its roots to a machine shop that opened in Helsinki in 1908. The business was incorporated as KONE (meaning ‘machine’) Ltd. on October 27, 1910 and subsequently sold to Strömberg, a producer of electric motors and equipment as well as importer and installer of elevators.  

At the beginning of 1924 KONE became an independent company as Strömberg and was sold to the Herlin family. In the following decades cranes and hoists were added to the product line while equipment maintenance and repair became central to business strategy.  

The new Hyvinkää factory was opened in 1967 with a capacity of 2,000 units per year, double the size of Finland’s total elevator market and far more than KONE’s total annual output at that time.  

KONE went international in 1968 with the acquisition of ASEA’s elevator business. In 1974 KONE completed the acquisition of Westinghouse’s European elevator business.  

The focus on the elevator and escalator business grew further with the purchase of the Montgomery Elevator Company, the fourth largest elevator company in the United States in 1994 as well as the subsequent buy-out of the remaining shareholding in its escalator partner, Germany’s O&K Rolltreppen.  

KONE also expanded its operations in the rapidly growing markets of China, India, Russia and Middle-East.  

KONE’s technological progress continued with the introduction of the new EcoDisc hoisting machines and MonoSpace machine roomless elevators in 1996.    

Since 2005, KONE has outperformed the competition in terms of growth and profit margin improvement.

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