They make going shopping feel like an amusement park.
Whee! Mummy, isn't this fun?!
We're finally back on this spirally escalator. You spent all day shopping for clothes, but we should have been on these magic stairs. Around and around we go, higher and higher, just like a ride at playland. Can we go back down and ride the escalator up again? Please, Mummy, can we?
—Little girl in Shanghai, aged 5
Shanghai New World Daimaru Department Store
Elevator and Escalator Technology
by Mitsubishi Electric
Mitsubishi Electric is the world’s only manufacturer of spiral escalators
The arching spiral escalator
once thought to be physically impossible...
only achievable by Mitsubishi Electric!
The secret is our technologies
(only achievable by Mitsubishi Electric)
Escalators shaped in visually unique arc forms would be a work of art that involves complex engineering, intermixing rotational and vertical movement. For this reason, it was a concept that long existed around the world without ever being realized.
Then, in 1985, Mitsubishi Electric invented a new technology called the “centralized motion method.” Further developments were successful, thus making way for the introduction of the spiral escalator.
Now, 30 years later, Mitsubishi Electric still remains the only manufacturer capable of producing these escalators, which can be found in numerous facilities throughout the world. Unique arcs flowing gracefully upward are not only eye-catching, but the panoramic views made possible by spiral escalators have led to grand visions for advanced spatial designs in modern architecture.
Discovery of the principle “centralized motion method”
A number of curved escalators have been attempted in various regions around the world, with most of the proposals being to base product operation on the use of “concentric circles.” However, all such attempts have failed. If the speed of motion is parallel in a planar direction when drawing a semicircle, it is possible to move in concentric circles, but as horizontal speed is delayed by the vertical movement required for the inclined section, structural issues come into play. Mitsubishi Electric overcame those issues by developing the “centralized motion method,” in which the central point moves in stages based on the angle of incline.
Innovation and elaborate processing support three-dimensional motion
Original technologies were required to achieve the complex three-dimensional movement of our spiral escalators. For example, in the case of the chain required to enable the steps to move, a special chain capable of supporting a wide variety of angles was introduced. Furthermore, elaborate processing technologies were required for handrails and handles, which have complex shapes and are difficult to process. Finally, in allowing consideration for three-dimensional torsion, a final accuracy of 0.1mm or less was ensured, thus realizing smooth, precise motion.