Toshiba Elevator And Building Systems Corp., headquartered in Tokyo, has developed an elevator maintenance support system with the use of a mobile phone, and launched its operation on April 27, 2007. It helps to quickly restore elevators in times of wide-area disaster such as earthquake and flood and at times of sudden malfunction. Every field engineer carries a mobile phone equipped with a dedicated console terminal that enables them to retrieve information stored at the service information center on the spot.

The latest system has three features. First, it serves to quickly establish a restoration system in times of wide-area disaster. In such a case, e.g. large-scale earthquake, the system will make a routine inspection of all elevators in the affected area and build a restoration support system based on the overall circumstances of the damage and restoration. It also helps engineers record starting and finishing times of the restoration work at the site with a dedicated code by using a mobile phone so that the progress of recovery can be tracked in real time.

Second, the system supports sending out personnel when a sudden malfunction has occurred. It gives a call-out from the service information center to field engineers by e-mail and quickly position them. Engineers who have received the instruction will log onto the dedicated mobile website by using the browser function of the mobile phone to check the details of the trouble. In this way, the staff can efficiently start a recovery work by effectively utilizing technical know-how accumulated through the past works on the site.

Third, it helps confirm the safety of field engineers. By connecting a mobile phone to Toshiba Corp.'s safety confirmation system, the latest system can also be used to acquire information on the safety of personnel in times of wide-area disaster.