(19)
(11)EP 2 834 181 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
09.10.2019 Bulletin 2019/41

(21)Application number: 12873526.3

(22)Date of filing:  03.04.2012
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B66B 1/34  (2006.01)
H04W 4/80  (2018.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2012/031928
(87)International publication number:
WO 2013/151533 (10.10.2013 Gazette  2013/41)

(54)

ELEVATOR SYSTEM USING DUAL COMMUNICATION CHANNELS

AUFZUGSSYSTEM MIT ZWEI KOMMUNIKATIONSKANÄLEN

SYSTÈME D'ASCENSEUR UTILISANT DEUX CANAUX DE COMMUNICATION


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
11.02.2015 Bulletin 2015/07

(73)Proprietor: Otis Elevator Company
Farmington CT 06032 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • MARVIN, Daryl J.
    Farmington, Connecticut 06032 (US)
  • JAYACHANDRAN, Vijay
    West Hartford, Connecticut 06117 (US)
  • LERNER, Bruce P.
    Cheshire, Connecticut 06410 (US)

(74)Representative: Dehns 
St. Bride's House 10 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8JD
London EC4Y 8JD (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 0 239 662
JP-A- 2002 114 459
KR-B1- 100 259 507
US-A1- 2002 199 120
EP-A2- 0 544 543
KR-A- 20040 052 419
KR-B1- 100 440 428
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    FIELD OF INVENTION



    [0001] The subject matter disclosed herein relates generally to elevator communication networks and, more particularly, to an elevator communication network using dual communication channels. Car controller communication is provided over a ring network (e.g., RS-422 ring network) and fixture communication is provided over a controller area network (CAN) bus.

    DESCRIPTION OF RELATED ART



    [0002] Typically, an elevator control system for controlling multiple elevator cars will arrange multiple elevator cars in a group. Each elevator car is associated with a car controller that performs car-related signaling and motion functions, while a separate group controller or a distributed controller coordinates the group of car controllers. The car controllers and group controller communicate over a network or bus.

    [0003] Elevator control systems also include fixtures that communicate with the elevator control system. For example, each hallway may include at least one destination entry fixture such as, for example, a destination entry keypad that can transmit a destination request to the group controller and provide visible and/or audible indication that an elevator car is about to arrive. More advanced fixtures, for example a touch screen, require higher amounts of data and consume higher bandwidth on the network. This use of higher bandwidth by certain fixtures may result in a disruption in communicating control information between one or more car controllers and the group controller. A delay or loss of control information has a higher impact on elevator car operation than a similar delay or loss of fixture information.

    [0004] An elevator control system according to the preambles of claim 1 and 6 is known from EP 0 544 543 A2.

    BRIEF SUMMARY



    [0005] According to one aspect of the invention, there is provided an elevator control system, comprising: at least one destination entry fixture coupled to a controller area network (CAN) bus that provides a first communication channel, the at least one destination entry fixture operable to transmit destination information over the CAN bus; a plurality of elevator car controllers each associated with a respective elevator car, the plurality of elevator car controllers coupled to the CAN bus to receive the destination information; the plurality of elevator car controllers coupled to a ring network that provides a second communication channel; a group controller operable to determine an elevator car to be dispatched in response to receiving the destination information; and a security-group bridge providing communications between an outside network and the CAN bus, and wherein the security-group bridge communicates allowed destination information to the CAN bus, wherein the allowed destination information is based on received passenger credentials.

    [0006] [Deleted]

    [0007] [Deleted]

    [0008] According to another aspect of the invention an elevator control system according to claim 6 is provided.

    [0009] Other aspects, features, and techniques of the invention will become more apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the drawings.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0010] Referring now to the drawing wherein like elements are numbered alike in the FIGURES:

    FIG. 1 depicts an elevator control system using dual communication channels in an embodiment of the invention; and

    FIG. 2 depicts dual communication channels in the elevator control system of FIG. 1, including a ring network (e.g., RS-422) and a CAN bus, in an embodiment of the invention.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0011] Embodiments of an elevator control system include dual communication channels for transmitting and receiving data. One communication channel is provided over a ring network (e.g. RS-422 ring) and another communication channel is provided over a CAN bus. The elevator control system includes car controllers associated with respective elevator cars that communicate with each other via the RS-422 ring network. Destination entry input fixtures are connected to the CAN bus and communicate bi-directionally over the CAN bus to one or more elevator car controllers. In an embodiment, a wireless network is provided to transmit and receive information from a supervisory computer to wireless transceivers that are coupled to respective elevator car controllers and destination entry input fixtures.

    [0012] Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary elevator system 100 including an elevator control network 120 with dual communication channels according to an embodiment of the invention. Elevator system 100 includes, in one embodiment, two elevator hoistways 116 and 118 for moving passengers between a plurality of landings, such as floors 102 and 104. Additional hoistways and/or floors may be provided in other embodiments. In the example shown, elevator hoistways 116, 118 accommodate elevator cars between the lowest floor 102 to a higher floor 104. Each of the hoistways 116, 118 has a corresponding car controller 126, 128. The car controllers 126, 128 perform car related activities and coordinate with a group controller. A group controller 122 performs group-related signaling and dispatching functions as a group between the elevator cars. In an exemplary embodiment, one of the car controllers 126, 128 also provides the group controller functionality, eliminating the need for a separate group controller 122.

    [0013] The car controllers 126, 128 are configured for communication and communicate with each other via a ring network 202 (FIG. 2), which in exemplary embodiments is an RS-422 ring network. The RS-422 ring network 202 provides a ring topology where control and dispatch data is forwarded around the RS-422 ring network. In some embodiments, nodes on the RS-422 ring network are store and forward devices that typically transmit data in a single direction. It is to be appreciated that the communication between the car controllers 126, 128 described herein may be practiced in a networked environment using logical connections to one or more remote computers having processors. An exemplary car controller 126, 128 may include a general purpose computing device in the form of a computer, including a processing unit, a system memory, and a system bus that couples various system components including the system memory to the processing unit. The system memory may include read only memory (ROM) and random access memory (RAM).

    [0014] The elevator system 100 includes a plurality of destination entry input fixtures such as, for example, a turnstile device 106, a keypad 108, and a touchscreen 110 for communicating destination information received from a user to the car controllers 126, 128. The destination entry input fixtures 106, 108, 110 are connected over a CAN bus 204 (FIG. 2) for bi-directional communications with car controllers 126, 128. Destination entry input fixtures 106, 108, 110 designate a destination floor. In addition to destination entry fixtures, there can also be other human interface devices such as hall car request buttons and hall indicators (e.g., lantern and/or gong) that can also be part of the overall fixtures for the elevator system.

    [0015] The CAN bus 204 provides a first communication channel and the RS-422 ring network 202 (FIG. 2) provides a second communication channel. The destination entry input fixtures 106, 108,110 may receive information from car controllers 126, 128 via the CAN bus 204. A group controller 122 provided with car controllers 126 or 128 directs the passenger to a hoistway that will provide the most efficient route to their destination based upon at least the operation conditions of the elevator cars in the hoistways 116, 118.

    [0016] FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of elevator control network 120 including a communication RS-422 ring network 202 connecting the car controllers 206, 208, 210, 212 and a separate CAN bus 204 connecting hall fixtures 220, and/or destination entry input fixtures 214, 216, 218 to car controllers 206, 208, 210, 212. Hall call buttons may also be connected to CAN bus 204. RS-422 ring network 202 is separate from CAN bus 204, and is typically a lower bandwidth network as compared to CAN bus 204. This configuration prevents the high bandwidth demands or certain fixtures on the CAN bus 204 from interfering with communications between the car controllers 206, 208, 210, 212 on the RS-422 ring network 202.

    [0017] Control network 120 includes, in an embodiment, car controllers 206, 208, 210, 212 configured for communication with each other via a communication RS-422 ring network 202. Car controller 206 is associated with elevator car 205, car controller 208 is associated with elevator car 207, car controller 210 is associated with elevator car 209, and car controller 212 is associated with elevator car 211. Car controllers 206, 208, 210, 212 communicate with each other over the RS-422 ring network 202 for scheduling elevator cars 205,207,209,211.

    [0018] Car controllers 206, 208, 210, 212 operate as a group with one car controller providing the functions of a group controller. For ease of understanding and explanation, car controller 206 is the designated group controller in the example shown in FIG. 2. The elevator car controller 206, providing group control functions, processes passenger destination information received from destination entry fixtures 214, 216 and 218 on behalf of the other car controllers 208, 210, 212. As each passenger enters his or her passenger destination information as a call service request, the group controller 206 communicates with car controllers 208, 210, 212 to determine operational properties (e.g., location, door position state, number of passengers, etc.) of elevators when determining the most efficient elevator to be assigned to the call service request. The group controller 206 then schedules one of the elevator cars 205, 207, 209, 211 based in part on the passenger destination information received over CAN bus 204. The passenger is directed to a hoistway, for example hoistway 116, that will most efficiently service his or her call service request based on the previous decision. It is to be appreciated that each of the car controllers 206, 208, 210, 212 receives the same real-time and historical passenger destination information over the CAN bus 204 in case the designated car controller 206 ceases to function. For example, if elevator car 205 is not operational, another car controller 208, 210, 212 is designated as the group controller.

    [0019] Also shown, elevator control network 120 includes, in one embodiment, a plurality of destination entry input fixtures such as, for example, a turnstile device 214, a keypad 216, and a touchscreen 218 that are connected to the designated car controller, 206, via a CAN bus 204. Destination information is provided by passengers via destination entry input fixtures 214, 216, 218.

    [0020] Alternatively, a destination entry input fixture may receive destination information from an item or device that is carried by the passenger. For example, the destination entry input fixture may include a card reader, which allows a passenger to submit destination information by passing a security card (which includes stored information about the passenger's destination floor) through the card reader connected to, in one example, a turnstile device 214. The destination entry input fixture may also include an electric transducer or receiver, which receives a signal related to the passenger's destination floor from a transmitter carried by the passenger. The destination entry input fixtures 214, 216, 218 may be located next to the elevators on each floor, which are used by passengers to enter their desired destination floor via numbered keys on, in some embodiments, touch screen 218 or keypad 216. Alternatively, the destination entry input fixtures may be provided on less than all floors, with two-button hall call fixtures provided on the remaining floors. Each of hall lanterns/gongs 220 and destination entry fixtures 214, 216, 218 includes a CAN controller (not shown) that is configured for bi-directional communication over the CAN bus 204.

    [0021] A building security system 226 is in communication with a security-group bridge 224 over data line 246. The building security system 226 receives passenger credentials through a security card reader 228 and may communicate allowed destination information for that passenger to group controller 206 or destination entry fixtures 214, 216, 218 via security-group bridge 224 and CAN bus 204. The destination entry fixtures and group controller 206 direct the passenger to a hoistway that will provide the most efficient route to their destination. The security-group bridge 224 may also enable other outside networks to access the CAN bus 204.

    [0022] Further, elevator system 120 includes supervisory computer 222 that provides an outlet for distributing a variety of potential information, including video animation, display screen updates, digital advertising, software updates, etc., to fixtures mounted in elevator cars 205, 207, 209, 211 or destination entry input fixtures 214, 216, 218 as well as receiving information from the fixtures mounted in elevator cars 205, 207, 209, 211 or destination entry input fixtures 214, 216, 218. This information may be transmitted over a wireless network from wireless transceiver 244 located at supervisory computer 222 to wireless transceivers 230, 232, 234, 236, 238, 240, and 242 that are coupled to car controllers 206, 208, 210, 212 and destination entry input fixtures 214, 216, 218. The wireless transceivers 230-242 are powered by the existing infrastructure so no new wiring needs to be installed. Instead of wireless transceivers, an alternative high speed interface (e.g. Ethernet, VDSL) could also be used. This, however, would entail additional wiring in the system. In either embodiment, the wireless network or the alternative high speed interface provide a higher bandwidth than the standard CAN bus.

    [0023] The technical effects and benefits of exemplary embodiments include a destination entry elevator system using dual communication channels including a ring network (e.g., RS-422 ring network) and a CAN bus. The elevator control system includes car controllers associated with respective elevator cars that communicate via the RS-422 ring network. Destination entry input fixtures are connected to the CAN bus and receive and transmit information over the CAN bus to the car controllers. In an embodiment, a wireless network transmits and receives information between a supervisory computer and wireless transceivers that are coupled to the respective elevator cars and destination entry input fixtures.

    [0024] The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting of the invention. While the description of the present invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description, it is not intended to be exhaustive or limited to the invention in the form disclosed. Many modifications, variations, alterations, substitutions, or equivalent arrangement not hereto described will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Additionally, while the various embodiments of the invention have been described, it is to be understood that aspects of the invention may include only some of the described embodiments. Accordingly, the invention is not to be seen as being limited by the foregoing description, but is only limited by the scope of the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. An elevator control system (100), comprising:

    at least one destination entry fixture (106, 108, 110) coupled to a controller area network (CAN) bus (204) that provides a first communication channel, the at least one destination entry fixture (106, 108, 110) operable to transmit destination information over the CAN bus (204);

    a plurality of elevator car controllers (126, 128) each associated with a respective elevator car, the plurality of elevator car controllers coupled to the CAN bus (204) to receive the destination information;

    the plurality of elevator car controllers (126, 128) coupled to a ring network (202) that provides a second communication channel;

    a group controller (122) operable to determine an elevator car to be dispatched in response to receiving the destination information; characterized by

    a security-group bridge (224) providing communications between an outside network and the CAN bus (204), and wherein the security-group bridge (224) communicates allowed destination information to the CAN bus (204), wherein the allowed destination information is based on received passenger credentials.


     
    2. The system of claim 1, wherein a first destination entry fixture is operable for bi-directional communication with the group controller (122) over the CAN bus (204).
     
    3. The system of claim 1, further comprising at least one wireless transceiver (230-242) coupled to a wireless network, and preferably wherein the at least one wireless transceiver (230-242) is operable to receive information from a supervisory computer (222) in wireless communication with the wireless network, and preferably wherein the wireless transceiver (230-242) is coupled to the at least one destination entry fixture (106, 108, 110).
     
    4. The system of claim 1, wherein the group controller (122) communicates with the at least one destination entry fixture via the CAN bus (204).
     
    5. The system of claim 1, wherein the ring network (202) is an RS-422 ring network.
     
    6. An elevator control system (100), comprising:

    at least one destination entry fixture (106, 108, 110) coupled to a first communication channel, the at least one destination entry fixture operable to transmit destination information over the first communication channel; and

    a plurality of elevator car controllers (126, 128) each associated with a respective elevator car, the plurality of elevator car controllers coupled to a second communication channel for elevator car control; characterized by

    a security-group bridge (224) providing communications between an outside network and the first communication channel, and wherein the security-group bridge (224) communicates allowed destination information to the first communication channel, wherein the allowed destination information is based on received passenger credentials.


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Aufzugsteuersystem (100), Folgendes umfassend:

    mindestens eine Zieleingabehaltevorrichtung (106, 108, 110), die mit einem Controller-Area-Network-(CAN-)Bus (204) gekoppelt ist, der einen ersten Kommunikationskanal bereitstellt, wobei die mindestens eine Zieleingabehaltevorrichtung (106, 108, 110) zum Übermitteln von Zielinformationen über den CAN-Bus (204) betreibbar ist;

    eine Vielzahl von Aufzugskabinensteuerungen (126, 128), die jeweils einer jeweiligen Aufzugskabine zugeordnet sind, wobei die Vielzahl von Aufzugskabinensteuerungen mit dem CAN-Bus (204) gekoppelt ist, um die Zielinformationen zu empfangen;

    die Vielzahl von Aufzugskabinensteuerungen (126, 128), die mit einem Ringnetzwerk (202) gekoppelt ist, das einen zweiten Kommunikationskanal bereitstellt;

    eine Gruppensteuerung (122), die betreibbar ist, um eine Aufzugskabine zu bestimmen, die als Reaktion auf das Empfangen der Zielinformationen zu schicken ist; gekennzeichnet durch eine Sicherheitsgruppenbrücke (224), die Kommunikation zwischen einem externen Netzwerk und dem CAN-Bus (204) bereitstellt, und wobei die Sicherheitsgruppenbrücke (224) zulässige Zielinformationen an den CAN-Bus (204) übermittelt, wobei die zulässigen Zielinformationen auf empfangenen Fahrgastanmeldedaten basieren.


     
    2. System nach Anspruch 1, wobei eine erste Zieleingabehaltevorrichtung zur bidirektionalen Kommunikation mit der Gruppensteuerung (122) über den CAN-Bus (204) betreibbar ist.
     
    3. System nach Anspruch 1, ferner mindestens eine drahtlose Sende-/Empfangsvorrichtung (230-242) umfassend, die mit einem drahtlosen Netzwerk gekoppelt ist, und wobei vorzugsweise die mindestens eine drahtlose Sende-/Empfangsvorrichtung (230-242) zum Empfangen von Informationen von einem Überwachungsrechner (222) in drahtloser Kommunikation mit dem drahtlosen Netzwerk betreibbar ist und wobei vorzugsweise die drahtlose Sende-/Empfangsvorrichtung (230-242) mit der mindestens einen Zieleingabehaltevorrichtung (106, 108, 110) gekoppelt ist.
     
    4. System nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Gruppensteuerung (122) über den CAN-Bus (204) mit der mindestens einen Zieleingabehaltevorrichtung kommuniziert.
     
    5. System nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Ringnetzwerk (202) ein RS-422-Ringnetzwerk ist.
     
    6. Aufzugsteuersystem (100), Folgendes umfassend:

    mindestens eine Zieleingabehaltevorrichtung (106, 108, 110), die mit einem ersten Kommunikationskanal gekoppelt ist, wobei die mindestens eine Zieleingabehaltevorrichtung betreibbar ist, um Zielinformationen über den ersten Kommunikationskanal zu übertragen; und

    eine Vielzahl von Aufzugskabinensteuerungen (126, 128), die jeweils einer jeweiligen Aufzugskabine zugeordnet sind, wobei die Vielzahl von Aufzugskabinensteuerungen mit einem zweiten Kommunikationskanal zur Aufzugskabinensteuerung gekoppelt ist;

    gekennzeichnet durch

    eine Sicherheitsgruppenbrücke (224), die Kommunikation zwischen einem externen Netzwerk und dem ersten Kommunikationskanal bereitstellt, und wobei die Sicherheitsgruppenbrücke (224) zulässige Zielinformationen an den ersten Kommunikationskanal übermittelt, wobei die zulässigen Zielinformationen auf empfangenen Fahrgastanmeldedaten basieren.


     


    Revendications

    1. Système de commande d'ascenseur (100) comprenant :

    au moins un dispositif d'entrée de destination (106, 108, 110) couplé à un bus CAN (Controller Area Network) (204) qui fournit un premier canal de communication, l'au moins un dispositif d'entrée de destination (106, 108, 110) étant utilisable pour transmettre des informations de destination sur le bus CAN (204) ;

    une pluralité de dispositifs de commande de cabine d'ascenseur (126, 128), chacun associé à une cabine d'ascenseur respective, la pluralité de dispositifs de commande de cabine d'ascenseur étant couplée au bus CAN (204) pour recevoir les informations de destination ;

    la pluralité de dispositifs de commande de cabine d'ascenseur (126, 128) étant couplée à un réseau en anneau (202) qui fournit un second canal de communication ;

    un dispositif de commande de groupe (122) utilisable pour déterminer une cabine d'ascenseur à envoyer en réponse à la réception des informations de destination ; caractérisé par un pont de groupe de sécurité (224) fournissant des communications entre un réseau extérieur et le bus CAN (204), et dans lequel le pont de groupe de sécurité (224) communique des informations de destination autorisée au bus CAN (204), dans lequel les informations de destination autorisée sont basées sur des justificatifs de passager reçus.


     
    2. Système selon la revendication 1, dans lequel un premier dispositif d'entrée de destination est utilisable pour une communication bidirectionnelle avec le dispositif de commande de groupe (122) sur le bus CAN (204).
     
    3. Système selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre au moins un émetteur-récepteur sans fil (230-242) couplé à un réseau sans fil, et de préférence dans lequel l'au moins un émetteur-récepteur sans fil (230-242) est utilisable pour recevoir des informations à partir d'un ordinateur de superviseur (222) en communication sans fil avec le réseau sans fil, et de préférence dans lequel l'émetteur-récepteur sans fil (230-242) est couplé à l'au moins un dispositif d'entrée de destination (106, 108, 110).
     
    4. Système selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le dispositif de commande de groupe (122) communique avec l'au moins un dispositif d'entrée de destination via le bus CAN (204).
     
    5. Système selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le réseau en anneau (202) est un réseau en anneau RS-422.
     
    6. Système de commande d'ascenseur (100) comprenant :

    au moins un dispositif d'entrée de destination (106, 108, 110) couplé à un premier canal de communication, l'au moins un dispositif d'entrée de destination étant utilisable pour transmettre des informations de destination sur le premier canal de communication ; et

    une pluralité de dispositifs de commande de cabine d'ascenseur (126, 128), chacun associé à une cabine d'ascenseur respective, la pluralité de dispositifs de commande de cabine d'ascenseur étant couplée à un second canal de communication pour la commande de cabine d'ascenseur ;

    caractérisé par

    un pont de groupe de sécurité (224) fournissant des communications entre un réseau extérieur et le premier canal de communication, et dans lequel le pont de groupe de sécurité (224) communique des informations de destination autorisée au premier canal de communication, dans lequel les informations de destination autorisée sont basées sur des justificatifs de passager reçus.


     




    Drawing









    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description