Helping the industry see there's more to digitalization than minimizing paper.
ELFIN was established in 2012 in Cologne, Germany, becoming one the of the leading innovators of cross-linking in the elevator industry. The company is specialized in web technologies and open CAN-based cross-linking of controllers, sensors and actors, as well as digital signage.
Managing director Jörg Hellmich was one of the founding members of the CANopen Special Interest Group Lift in 2001. At the time, he was working as an experienced developer and project manager in the field of embedded software and hardware development, dealing with elevator controllers, electronic components and lift monitoring systems. Today, he has more than 25 years of experience in the elevator industry. He continues to be the group’s chairman and the driving force of the CANopen Special Interest Group Lift. When he met two friends who had decided to launch a management consulting firm, he was caught by their spirit of enterprise. Jörg Hellmich jumped on the bandwagon and laid the foundation of ELFIN Technology. Since then, ELFIN has grown steadily and recently established a subsidiary based in Plauen in Eastern Germany. Today, ELFIN consists of three segments: agriculture consulting, engineering and lift technology. “At our core, we’re an inventive company. We move things through development.” says Michael Braun, one of the three founders.
Always at The Cutting Edge
Since the company was founded, the role of digital technology in the elevator industry has been rapidly shifting. Jörg Hellmich recognized this at an early stage and decided to become a part of the digital transformation. His vision was to create completely interconnected elevators. Today, elevators are more complex, and the interconnection of components has meanwhile become a standard. “We’ve changed massively over the past years,” says Jörg Hellmich. “In the beginning, we were very focused on consulting and external development projects and didn’t really do own ideas. Over time, we’ve seen that cloud-based monitoring of elevators became much more important and we’ve responded to that. It’s not enough just to have products and services any more, the industry has to turn information and data into effective action and this is where we aim to help.”
ELFIN is the abbreviation of the company’s value proposition: Developing high value services and products meeting the conditions ELegant, Functional and INnovative. Through intelligent solutions, the company pushes the boundaries of smart and connected products to make them universally accessible. Consequently, ELFIN Technology also strives for the CANopen-Lift protocol to become a worldwide accepted standard. CANopen-Lift is an open, internationally standardized application profile, which allows manufacturer-independent interoperability of components in lifts.
Products and Innovations
True to its mission, ELFIN Technology started with several client projects in the area of interconnecting electronic components in elevators and through the internet. Just two years later, the company started the development of own products too. As a result, an internet gateway was launched as the first ELFIN Technology product in 2014. A recent success story has been the flexyPage displays. The intelligent displays give the company a leading edge. Thanks to the compatibility of CANopen-Lift, a variety of lift and sensor data, such as the load, speed, altitude or floor position of the elevator, can be displayed. In addition, the elevator display is complemented by the web applications, flexyPage Editor, flexyPage Manager and flexyPage Campaign. These programs allow for customized and flexible screen designs, management and remote configuration of all devices and users, as well as time-controlled advertising and usage for digital signage – just to name a few. The display sizes vary from 10.1 to 65 inches, are available in different models, and suit a wide range of installation methods. Altogether, flexyPage is the leading elevator display comprising the largest functional scope. In addition, ELFIN Technology provides products and services based on embedded Linux, cloud services, CANopen and Modbus. Their services encompass the product’s entire development process to transform ideas into market-ready products. Other products include the Universal Gateway LCL-01 for elevators and escalators and the Home-Pi SHC-01, a Smart Home Controller. Nowadays, ELFIN’s clients range from start-ups to well-known international brands across a wide range of sectors, e.g. the automation and the elevator industry.
Challenges and Future
What is certain is that digital technology will transform the industry. Thus, ELFIN is actively facing challenges posed by the new requirements, business areas, and services that are emerging. “We need to notice that in a digital world, it is not only products and services anymore. What becomes more and more important is the customer experience” says Jörg Hellmich. “Soon the elevator displays will become a standard equipment”. Later this year, the company plans to launch new touch display models and new widgets.
Meet ELFIN Technology
If you are interested in meeting Jörg Hellmich and his team, ELFIN will be at Interlift 2017. The company will exhibit in hall 3, stand 3106. You can find more information about ELFIN, its services and products at elfin.de/en.
|Jörg Hellmich, Managing Director of ELFIN Technology.|
The founders of ELFIN: Michael Braun, René Specht and Jörg Hellmich.
|The ELFIN headquarters in Cologne, Germany.|