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Alabama Company Acquired by Kone

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The One WTC spire is hoisted in place (photo by Ken Goldstein).

KONE has acquired Prattville, Alabama’s Elevator Maintenance & Repair, Inc. (EMR). AL.com explains this will expand the Finland-based company’s reach in the state’s major cities of Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile. The Alabama company, previously owned by Jim and Nancy Haines, will be rebranded under the KONE name.

KONE Executive Vice President Larry Wash said of the deal:

“We are thrilled to be adding great new customers in these three Alabama markets. We also extend a warm welcome to the new team members from EMR, who will be bringing a broad range of valuable talents and many decades of collective experience to KONE through this acquisition.”

GC Chosen For Kakaako High Rise

Forest City Hawaii has chosen Honolulu-based Nordic PCL Construction Inc. as the general contractor (GC) for the US$500-million 690 Pohukaina mixed-use project in Kakaako, Hawaii (ELEVATOR WORLD, November 2012). According to Pacific Business News, the project may include Hawaii’s tallest building at 650 ft. Benjamin Woo Architects LLC, also based in Honolulu, has been tapped as architectural firm for the 800-unit rental project. The development is to rise on state land under a 65-year lease. An 18-month-long development process, which includes an environmental assessment, is underway.

Kone Escalator Contract for Transit System

KONE has received a contract to build escalators for Washington, D.C.’s mass transit system at its Coal Valley Plant in Illinois. The project is expected to last at least seven years. The US$154-million deal is the largest in the company’s history and will create up to 25 new production and engineering jobs, in addition to the plant’s current 74 workers. Montgomery Elevator opened the plant in 1971, and KONE bought the company in 1994.

Otis Launches New Mobile Application

In May, Otis announced the launch of its new mobile application for its existing eService online customer-    service platform. Designed for iPhone and Android smartphone users, the application will provide customers with instant access to open service calls, elevator performance data and service-call logging in select markets. “We have an ongoing commitment to making servicing elevators easier, faster and more efficient,” Sam Talbot, director of Otis worldwide service marketing, said. “We understand our customers are on the go today more than ever before; this new application gives them new flexibility to report an issue or get the status of their   equipment by pressing just a few buttons on their smartphones,” Talbot added.

NEII Announces New Board Members

The National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII®) announced the election of its new board of directors in April, including officers and Trust Committee members. The following make up the board for 2013 and were profiled in the July 2012 issue of ELEVATOR WORLD:

  • Richard T. Hussey, president
  • Sterrett Lloyd, vice president
  • Michael Bauschka, treasurer
  • Edward A. Donoghue, secretary
  • Michael Corbo
  • Randy Wilcox
  • Katsuji Okuda
  • Jakob Züger
  • Larry Wash

President Hussey served as vice president last year. He remarked:

“I am honored and excited to work with this board of talented individuals and proven leaders in the building transportation industry. The success of this organization is a direct result of the hard work and deep commitment [its members] have shown to expanding NEII’s leadership position as an authority in the areas of codes and safety, ushering the adoption of the latest innovations in the industry and ensuring the safety of both the riding public and elevator technicians.”

The NEII Board of Directors is responsible for managing and directing the affairs of the association as it pertains to its mission statement, which includes promoting safety in new and existing building transportation; promoting laws and regulations that permit the introduction of safe, innovative technology; endorsing adoption of current model codes by local government agencies; and advocating responsible laws and regulations at all levels of government. The Trust Committee is solely responsible for administering the rights and obligations of NEII with regards to its benefits and educational trusts. The committee saw no changes since last year (EW, July 2012).

One WTC Tops Out

Manhattan, New York’s One World Trade Center (WTC) topped out at 1,776 ft. on May 2 when the U.S.-flag-adorned final piece of its 408-ft. silver spire was hoisted to its top. The spire is composed of 18 parts and weighs 758 T. A beacon is at its peak to ward off aircraft, and the spire will provide public transmission services for TV and radio broadcasts. An LED-powered light emanating from it will be able to be seen from miles away. The tower’s opening is set for next year.

Pride and Service Acquires New York Company

Pride and Service Elevator announced its acquisition of The Elevator Man, Inc., a privately owned elevator-service company in Bronx, New York, in April. Pride and Service is located in New York City and has been providing maintenance, repair and modernization services for more than 30 years. The acquisition is part of the company’s strategic plan to grow its business in the tri-state area. Both companies are affiliated with the Local #3 elevator division.

Kathy Danziger, former president of The Elevator Man, said of the acquisition:

“Due to the untimely passing of my husband (ELEVATOR WORLD, September 2012), Ken Danziger, in 2012, I believed the best solution was to find another Local #3 elevator company [that] would provide our customers with the same level of service that we have been providing for more than 20 years. Pride and Service was [a great] fit.”

Schindler To Supply Texas Health Facilities

In May, Schindler was awarded a US$899.4-million contract with University Health Systems to supply and install 27 machine-room-less Schindler 400AE elevators for Health System’s expansion project. The elevators are being installed at a new six-story Clinical Pavilion on the Robert B. Green campus in downtown San Antonio and at a new 10-story tower at University Hospital in the South Texas Medical Center. Schindler will also provide maintenance for all the elevators in the University Health System facilities in San Antonio.

University Health System is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification and is using the elevators’ energy efficiency to contribute toward its requirements. Schindler claims its permanent-magnet motor technology increases the efficiency of the elevator system’s hoisting machine, allowing for reduced energy consumption. The 400AE’s Power Factor 1 regenerative drive is also energy efficient and re-circulates energy back into the building’s electric system.

 Perkins + Will is the architect for the University Hospital project, and RTKL Associates and Overland Partners are the architects for the Clinical Pavilion project. Construction Managers at Risk Zachry Vaughn Layton and Bartlett Cocke will oversee the University Hospital and Clinical Pavilion projects, respectively.

Updated Construction Chart Book

The Center for Construction Research and Training has announced the release of the fifth edition of The Construction Chart Book: The U.S. Construction Industry and Its Workers. The 142-page book presents data on the following facets of the U.S. construction industry: economic, demographic, employment/income, education/training, and safety and health issues. This edition covers 55 topic pages (five more than the previous version), with descriptive text and charts on opposite pages. There are also more charts to illustrate the data, as well as topics not covered in previous editions, such as green construction; details of unemployment and reemployment rates of displaced construction workers; exposures to work-related hazards among construction trades; and details on illnesses, injuries and fatalities by trade. A new section examines OSHA inspections, violations and citations.

Published once every five years using public and private data sources, the book is intended as a resource for thousands of construction professionals and safety and health consultants, trainers, researchers and students. It, along with Microsoft® PowerPoint files of its charts, can be accessed online at no charge at website: www.cpwr.com. Print editions can be purchased via phone: (301) 495-8500 or e-mail: sbenjamin@cpwr.com.

PFlow Promotes Reilly To Manager

 PFlow Industries has promoted

Michael Reilly to manager of Product Engineering. He will report to Mark Webster, vice president of Engineering. “I am fortunate to have [Reilly] leading our design engineering group,” Webster said. “He is an excellent engineer with a passion for his work and enjoys tackling the daily design challenges we face as a custom equipment manufacturer.”

Reilly has nearly six years of experience performing project engineering, scheduling and other functions within the Engineering department. He has also played a key role in several recent process improvements. As manager, he will lead PFlow’s team of technical designers and drafters and take on the additional responsibility of managing all engineering work associated with the company’s products. Reilly has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He is also named on a patent for a carrier-type vibrating module used in the inspection and packaging of semiconductor integrated circuits.

Peelle Patents Wireless Control

The Peelle Co. has announced the patenting of its Wireless Freight Door Control System. Patent No. 8,447,433 is its 222nd, describing a control system the company has had as standard equipment since 2011. It provides constant wireless communication between all landing and car doors, intended to create a more reliable, truer operation. The system is fully compliant with ASME A17.1/CSA B44 and has been tested and approved to A17.5. It also holds along with Electromagnetic Compatibility and Federal Communications Commission approvals.

Peelle claims the system reduces wiring time during installation by 40-50%, due to fewer wires than other operating systems. It provides closed-loop feedback and true door positioning, eliminating the need for limit switches and sensors, which can also save time during installation. Its variable-voltage, variable-frequency drive is self learning and self adjusting. The product does not require a machine room, uses less energy than traditional start/stop methods and requires less wiring material for installation. An LCD display provides onboard diagnostics, displaying live status of all control system equipment. The controller comes ready for use with plug-and-play setup.

Vertical Dimensions Receives Patent For Quick Cab

Vertical Dimensions, LLC in Seattle, has received a U.S. Patent for its Quick Cab Elevator Interior System, which was introduced worldwide in April 2011 (ELEVATOR WORLD, April 2011). The system is designed to be installed by local elevator service providers and is delivered with stainless-steel vented bases and reveals, wall panels, a frieze, handrails, pads and pad studs.

ST. Paul To Undergo Multiple  Rebuilding Projects

More than 50 rebuilding projects are underway or planned in St. Paul, Minnesota. According to Twin Cities, more than US$2 billion in development is planned, and the city’s mayor has a slogan for it: “Pardon the inconvenience, we’re rebuilding.” The largest of the projects is the US$957-million Central Corridor light-rail line. The 17-story central post office building on Kellogg Boulevard is being redeveloped for residential space, and the 32-story Kellogg Square building will also see improvements.  Additional projects include parking garages, museums, plazas, retail and residential space, parks, and medical facilities.

U.S. Construction

According to FMI, a management-consulting and investment-banking provider for the engineering and construction industry, the value of U.S. construction put in place is forecasted to increase to US$919 billion this year. Overall, the increase would account for approximately 8% over 2012 levels. Growth is to be seen in residential projects, lodging and commercial construction. According to Reuters, U.S. office construction reached a 14-year low, as the demand for office space is not high. In the first quarter, only 1.578 million sq. ft. of new office space came on line in the U.S., fewer square feet than some Manhattan, New York, office buildings. Victor Calanog, vice president of research for Reis, a commercial and market information provider, commented on the decline in office construction, “We’re looking at rising vacancies at least over the next couple of years.”

NAESA Accreditation In Progress

NAESA International announced in May that it submitted its application for accreditation to the American National Standards Institute, which has begun the review process. NAESA expects to receive a definitive response later this year. As of the announcement, the association’s recertification period was on course to continue without changes to the process.

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