A JV is formed, factory news and more

Construction of the test tower is on track and set to begin operations in December.

Schindler forms China JV with Volkslift

Schindler reported in June that it has established a joint venture (JV) with Chinese elevator company Volkslift Elevator (China) Co. Ltd. The agreement entails Schindler initially acquiring a 25% equity stake in Volkslift with options to purchase the remaining shares. Based in Zhejiang Province, Volkslift is a local independent Chinese elevator and escalator company with its own design, manufacturing, installation and maintenance operations. The agreement, the details of which are confidential, is subject to approval by the relevant authorities. 

Schindler summed up its motivation:

“China is the world’s largest elevator and escalator market, accounting for more than half of all global new installations. The new JV will further accelerate Schindler’s growth in this region by enhancing geographical and customer coverage in areas where Schindler has been less present to date. It is a further consistent step in the execution of Schindler’s growth strategy.”

Shanghai Daily analyzed:

“KONE is the largest player in China, with a 20% market share, followed by Otis. Schindler, in fifth position behind Japan’s Hitachi and Mitsubishi [Electric], is playing catchup by building new factories and buying rivals in regions where it has been weak. ‘This deal will help close the still-significant gap that Schindler has to the largest elevator and escalator makers in China,’ wrote Bank Vontobel analyst Christian Arnold.”

Mayr Opens Chinese Factory

Mayr Power Transmission’s new plant in Zhangjiagang, China, near Shanghai, has been inaugurated. Its production area of 8,000 m2 provides space for up to 200 employees in production and additional workplaces in the office building. Mayr stated it is expanding and continuing to develop its capacities in the country’s Middle Kingdom. Its Mayr China branch now has 110 employees and is 10 years old, having developed from a simple representative office into a company with its own production.

Mayr CEO Günther Klingler explained, “The Chinese market, as the most important growth market, plays a significant role for us. With the new plant, we are facing the challenge of processing the market locally and offering customer-tailored solutions for China.” Mayr China applies the same quality standards as in Germany and is certified to ISO 9001.

In addition to the plant in China, Mayr is expanding the complex at its German headquarters in Mauerstetten. There, construction work for a new communications center called “mayr.com,” and new production and assembly halls, is underway.

Tianjin ORAC to Add Robots to Assembly Line

Tianjin ORAC Elevator Co. Ltd., based in Tianjin, China, plans to add robotics to its assembly line to improve efficiency in the midst of strong sales, China Daily reported. The company intends to invest US$10 million in the technology. Tianjin ORAC projects annual sales to grow by 30%, resulting in revenue to reach up to US$106 million in 2016. Sales soared from approximately 2,000 elevators in 2015 to an estimated 5,000 in 2016. Holding more than 80 patents, the company produces elevators, escalators and components and owns numerous brands.

thyssenkrupp Test Tower on Track in Rottweil

thyssenkrupp’s 807-ft.-tall test tower in Rottweil, Germany (ELEVATOR WORLD June and December 2014), is on schedule and on budget, poised to start operations in December and open to the public in May 2017. A service elevator is already transporting workers to the upper levels at approximately 13 fps, and a panoramic elevator that will take visitors up 761 ft. to Germany’s highest viewing platform has been installed. In June, one of the company’s largest drive units — similar to that serving One World Trade Center in New York City — was being manufactured at its Neuhausen, Germany, plant. The drive unit will eventually power the tower’s fastest elevator, which will travel at 59 fps. The structure will serve as the exclusive testing ground for thyssenkrupp’s MULTI system, which is ropeless and travels both vertically and horizontally via maglev technology.  thyssenkrupp shared some interesting tower trivia, including that it:

  • Weighs 40,000 T, the equivalent of 8,000 African elephants
  • Will feature a self-cleaning, LED-lit membrane that totals 182,986 sq. ft., the equivalent of two soccer fields
  • Will boast an elevator that travels 40 mph, twice as fast as Olympian Usain Bolt’s world-record speed
  • Totals 4,167 cu. ft., which, if it were a beer glass, would hold enough beer for 20 Oktoberfests

Calling the tower “a beacon for thyssenkrupp Elevator,” CEO Andreas Schierenbeck stated:

“Thanks to the dedicated teamwork of everyone involved, the tower has been erected fully on schedule. In the future, the test tower in Rottweil will play a key role in the implementation of thyssenkrupp’s global elevator strategy, which is critical to the success of the company.”

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Elevator World | August 2016 Cover