A partnership, promotions, a factory opening and vows to change
AFAG Messen, Virgo Communications Join Forces
Augsburg, Germany-based AFAG Messen und Ausstellungen GmbH and Bangalore, India-based Virgo Communications and Exhibitions are partnering, the tradefair organizers announced in August. AFAG’s trade fairs consist of 20 events, both international trade fairs like Interlift and “supraregional” public exhibitions and events. Covering areas that include elevator technology, Virgo has been organizing business-to-business events, such as the Global Lift & Escalator Expo in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and South Africa, since 2014. AFAG observed:
“In addition to our existing representatives in China, Turkey and Italy, our Virgo colleagues will strengthen AFAG’s acquisition activities abroad. This new partnership between AFAG and Virgo, which will support each other in their respective home markets for both new and existing exhibitions, will create new synergies for both companies, as well as opportunities to develop new target groups.”
Gunn Consultants Elevates Four to Partne
Gunn Consultants, a vertical-transportation (VT) consultancy with offices in Vancouver and Calgary, Canada, has promoted four associates to partner, the company announced in June. Albert Ng, P.E., QEI, joined Gunn in 2014 after a career in technical sales and management. He has worked in the Calgary branch since 2015, where he serves as office manager. Andrew Wilson, who joined Gunn in 2015, brought 35 years of VT experience, including field sales, supervision and management with Dover Elevator (now thyssenkrupp Elevator), Schindler and Fujitec Canada. He manages new construction in the Vancouver office. Sam Hamze, QEI, left Technical Safety BC (TSBC) to join Gunn in 2016. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and has experience as an elevator contractor, safety codes officer and safety manager at TSBC. He manages the Vancouver office’s inspections and maintenance department. Jerry Chang, P.E., PMP, QEI, joined Gunn in 2013 after graduating from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He currently manages the modernization department in the Vancouver office.
Wittur Opening Global Technology Centre in Italy
Wittur will soon open its Global Technology Centre (GTC) in Bergamo, Italy, the company announced on August 6. Focusing on the Sematic brand, the center will house global teams from application engineering, product development, R&D and special projects. Majority owned by Bain Capital, Wittur has approximately 4,700 employees and does business in more than 50 countries. Wittur said of the GTC:
“It will be a place where customers can visit and mix with experts from across the globe in all aspects of lift development in specially designed product-creation spaces. University partnerships will be announced shortly. By mixing customer views with all aspects of lift design and development, Wittur believes it can shorten the product-development lifecycle. . . .”
Gender Parity in Executive Ranks
Otis Worldwide Corp. has joined the Paradigm for Parity® coalition, committing to closing the gender gap in its leadership ranks, the company announced in July. As a member of the coalition, the OEM vows to achieve a 50% level of women among its executives by 2030 and will do so by employing Paradigm for Parity’s “5-Point Action Plan.” Otis President and CEO Judy Marks participated in a virtual signing event with Sandra Beach Lin, co-chair of Paradigm for Parity. “This commitment is welcome progress for all 69,000 Otis colleagues and a major milestone for our industry,” Marks said. The company noted that women comprise one-third of its executives globally and 40% of its U.S.-based leadership.
In adopting the 5-Point Action Plan, Farmington, Connecticut-based Otis commits to:
- Eliminating, or minimizing, unconscious bias in the workplace
- Significantly increasing the number of women in senior operating roles
- Measuring targets and maintaining accountability through regular progress reports
- Basing career progress on business results and performance, rather than physical presence in the office
- Providing sponsors, not just mentors, to women well-positioned for long-term success
In the announcement, Otis said it is the first vertical-transportation company to join the coalition. Paradigm for Parity describes itself as an association of “CEOs, senior executives, founders, board members and business academics who are committed to achieving a new norm in corporate leadership: one in which women and men have equal power, status and opportunity.”
“Our Commitment to Change”
On August 11, Otis CEO Judy Marks and fellow members of the executive leadership team signed “Our Commitment to Change,” an action plan first shared with the OEM’s 69,000 colleagues around the world in July. The plan lays out steps the company will take “to ensure Otis is a place where every voice feels welcome, safe and heard.” Observing that it has already made substantial progress in diversifying its executive ranks, with more than one-third of its executives women and 24% of its U.S. workforce identifying as people of color, Otis says the new plan involves committing to:
- Conducting an independent company review to uncover and eliminate biases
- Accelerating anti-racism, unconscious bias and inclusion learning
- Creating a “Perspectives on Inclusion” advisory group to ensure transparency and hold the company accountable for achieving measurable progress
- Amplifying an ongoing commitment to science, technology, engineering and mathematics curricula and vocational education by joining with business partners to develop a diverse talent pipeline
- Making social justice and racial equity an integral part of company programs
- Promoting and expanding mental health and wellbeing benefits, policies and practices
Liftbook App Wins Liftinstituut Certification
Liftinsight, a Rotterdam, Netherlands-based provider of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and data services for the vertical-transportation industry, announced in July that Notified Body Liftinstituut has certified the company’s Liftmanager®, an online liftbook app for elevator maintenance. Under European rules, each elevator is required to have its own liftbook — a permanent record of all maintenance schedules, work, tests and so on — equivalent to a North American maintenance control program.
Regulations require the liftbook to be stored either in the elevator machine room, on the cartop or in the hoistway, but these locations usually make it impossible for the elevator (building) owner to access. Liftmanager removes this information roadblock, giving the elevator owner or future maintenance providers online access to the elevator’s complete service history. Liftmanager also secures the liftbook data from accidental loss. Liftinstituut’s certification — its first ever for an online app — indicates that Liftmanager meets all regulatory and legislative requirements for a liftbook record and its role in elevator safety.
Liftmanager can help elevator maintenance providers eliminate errors and missing data. In addition, it is designed to work with Liftinsight’s Liftboxs® and Liftboxs®-Doors IoT sensors, which can be easily installed on an existing elevator, making the online liftbook a dynamic document that can correlate the elevator’s actual usage with its maintenance record. In addition, Liftinsight will analyze the data through artificial intelligence and big data algorithms, which is then returned in the form of predictive maintenance.