Nippon Otis Advances Innovative Camera-Based Elevator Rope Inspection System

New technology inspired by rail industry to improve speed, accuracy of elevator rope inspections

TOKYO, March 21, 2017 – New elevator rope-testing technology developed by The Nippon Otis Elevator Company (“Nippon Otis”) and the Meidensha Corporation can automatically measure rope diameter, greatly improving the accuracy and efficiency of elevator rope inspections. Otis, the world’s leading manufacturer and maintainer of people-moving products, including elevators, escalators and moving walkways, is a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

The new Rope Tester system leverages the Meidensha Corporation’s “Catenary Eye®” Overhead Catenary System (OCS) that uses cameras installed on trains to inspect rail lines using image processing while in transit. With elevators, especially in high rise buildings, this same technology can be applied, shortening inspection time and increasing maintenance productivity.

The inspection of roped elevators requires a service engineer to measure rope diameter, conduct a visual inspection, and check for wire breaks. Conventional rope testers that use a magnetic inspection process at low speed have been the norm. With the Catenary Eye® system, the elevator car can be moved once at its normal speed from the lowest to highest floor. The camera captures the rope diameter over the entire rise and measures it automatically. The data obtained can be used to quickly assess the state of rope wear and to help predict the rope’s remaining lifetime, enabling a more individualized and condition-based maintenance and replacement plan.

Basic research in the new technology has just been completed, and preparations are underway to begin using it in the field. Further improvements will be made to enable remote monitoring, including connecting images taken at working sites with Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

Nippon Otis will continue to develop revolutionary new, safe elevators and elevator maintenance technologies to support increased comfort and efficiency for building managers and elevator users as they move within buildings.

System configuration


・Line sensor camera (stereo)

・Note PC

・Lighting and power sources


・Video recording application

・Analysis application

About Otis
Otis is the world’s leading manufacturer and maintainer of people-moving products, including elevators, escalators and moving walkways. Founded more than 160 years ago by the inventor of the safety elevator, Otis offers products and services through its companies in more than 200 countries and territories. Otis is a unit of United Technologies Corp., a leading provider to the aerospace and building systems industries worldwide. By combining a passion for science with precision engineering, the company is creating smart, sustainable solutions the world needs. For more information about Otis and the CompassPlus system, visit, or follow Otis on LinkedIn, YouTube and as @OtisElevatorCo on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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