Discovery of the “Centralized motion method” principle
Most curving escalators once proposed around the world were based on methods
for movement in a concentric circle. But none ever made it to market. Even
though the speed of horizontal movement when creating a semi-circle is regular,
making it possible to move concentrically, the structural problem is that
movement in the horizontal direction slows to the extent that there is vertical
movement in the inclined section. Mitsubishi Electric overcame this issue by
developing the "centralized motion method," in which the central point moves in
stages based on the angle of incline.
Innovation supporting 3D movement
Unique technologies were required to achieve the complex three-dimensional
(3D) movement of the spiral escalator. For example, a special chain capable of
supporting a wide variety of angles required for the spiral orbit was introduced to
move the steps. Horizontal rollers are installed on the outer-side of the chain,
enabling the structure to manage the inward force generated by the arching
configuration. This enables the escalator steps to move along the fixed orbital
plane with high accuracy.
Elaborate processing only possible using manual labor
As spiral escalators require complicated three-dimensional movement, various
components must be processed into unique shapes such as curved trusses and steps
with arch-like grooves. The complex shape of the track makes it one of the parts that
requires a meticulous process utilizing intricate manufacturing technologies.