Società Anonimo Bolognese Industrie Elettromeccaniche


1921 (Bologna, Italy)

Acquired by

Kone (1985)



Sabiem (Società Anonimo Bolognese Industrie Elettromeccaniche) was one of major elevator manufacturers that was based in Bologna, Italy and existed from the early 1920s until the mid 1980s. The company also produced escalators.


The history of Sabiem can be traced back to November 1918 when the company was established as Officine Elettromeccaniche Bolognesi (OEB), a company specialized in mechanical and manufacturing equipment. In 1921, the company changed name to Società Anonimo Bolognese Industrie Elettromeccaniche (SABIEM) but it did not began manufacturing elevators until 1929. During that time, Sabiem made 23 different types of machines for various applications like pasta-making machines, cigarette packaging machines, servomotors and more. In 1929, Sabiem started focusing on making elevators and moved to its new factory in Vira Emilia, in the district of Santa Viola.

In order to make elevators with advanced technologies and patents, Sabiem made agreements with several major elevator manufacturers such as Otis, Westinghouse, Stigler, and Siemens. This resulted the company becaming a major elevator manufacturer in Italy. In the 1930s, Sabiem opened branches in some South American countries.

After World War II, the company continued making elevators with innovative technologies and partnerships to grew itself as a major elevator manufacturer for foreign markets. They expanded their businesses by opening branches in Mexico, Venezuela, South Africa, and also Hong Kong. Sabiem remained an independent company until 1985 when Kone took over it as a mean of entering the Italian market.

Outside Italy

Sabiem exported their elevators to various countries through branches and also agents/third-party distributors. They were distributed in Mexico, Venezuela (where it was an important market), Cuba, South Africa, Israel, Lebanon, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and even Taiwan.

In Hong Kong, Sabiem elevators were distributed by Shan On Engineering Co. Ltd. from the 1960s until around 1980s. They are mostly found in old private apartment, commercial and even industrial buildings. Some elevators are also found in old public housing blocks estates in the 1970s to 1980s. After Kone bought Sabiem, Shan On installed some Kone-based Sabiem elevators for public housing estates. Nowadays, Shan On Engineering still maintains some of the existing Sabiem elevators throughout Hong Kong, including modernizing some of the old ones, until December 5, 2017, which has been taken over by Kone in Hong Kong, China[1]. Sabiem elevators were also distributed and installed by a smaller, less known agent called Gilman & Co. Ltd., which have been taken over by Shan On Engineering.

Sabiem elevators were introduced to Malaysia and Singapore in 1960[2]. They were distributed by Paterson, Simons & Co. Ltd., who also supplied Marryat & Scott elevators in the region. Sabiem elevators in Singapore were also supplied by Haven Automation, which was acquired by Kone in the mid 1980s[3].

In South Korea, Sabiem elevators were distributed and installed by Neungsoo Commercial Co.[4]

Elevator fixtures

Main article: Sabiem Elevator Fixtures Guide

Notable Installations

Main article: List of Notable Elevator Installations of Sabiem Elevator


  • The headquarters of Sabiem was located in Bologna, in the same area of Borgo Panigale where the Ducati (a famous motorbike brand) factory is located.
  • Most Sabiem elevators installed in the 1950s-1970s had their interior cab and doors made of extruded anodised anti-corodal aluminum. Some other elevators, however, were finished with painted steels or wood-based surfaces.



Hong Kong

Shan On Engineering Co. Ltd.

Other countries



Sabiem Traction Lift Elevator 5 Sabiem機器帶動式升降機502:07

Sabiem Traction Lift Elevator 5 Sabiem機器帶動式升降機5

1960s Sabiem elevator in Hong Kong, China.

Sabiem Elevators original from 196500:31

Sabiem Elevators original from 1965

1965 Sabiem elevator equipment.



1999 Kone-based Sabiem elevator in Hong Kong, China.

Notes and references

External links

Other/smaller/historic elevator companies
Access Elevator & LiftsAmtechA&P. StevenAnlevAnlev ElexArmorASEAAsea GrahamAtlas (Brazil)Atlas (Northern California)Automobile Rotary Lift Co.Axel LiftsBennie LiftsBoralCNIMDaldossDeveDiebold AufzügeDong YangDopplerElectraElevators Pty. Ltd.ElexEllis & McDougallEvans LiftsFalconiFiamGeneral (CA, older)GiantGoldStarGraham BrothersGuangriHammond & ChampnessHAS ElevatorsHaughtonHaushahnHävemeier & SanderHitachiIFEIGVIndoliftInter-UpIsraliftIZAMETJ&E HallJohns & WaygoodKfirKleemannKoppel A.W.LGMANMarryat & ScottMiamiMontgomeryMorris VermaportMP LiftsNipponOmegaOrenstein & KoppelOrona/Electra VitoriaPaynePickerings LiftsPneumatic Vacuum ElevatorsR. StahlReliableRheinstahlSabiemSchlierenSchmitt & SohnSeabergSEC ElevatorsSergeShenyang BrilliantSITESSJECStaleyStannahStarlift VoorburgStiglerTechnosThymanToshibaU.S. ElevatorVýtahy OstravaWaygood & Co.WestinghouseXJYungtayZREMB
Full list: List of elevator and escalator companies
See also: Third-party elevator maintenance companies

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