German manufacturer celebrates 55 years with a strong reputation in the hydraulic elevator sector.
ALGI Hydraulics has produced hydraulic elevators and components for more than 50 years. Based in Eltville, Germany, the family-owned business has concentrated on the systematic in-house expansion of a complete hydraulic product range. Its efforts have been to build a reputation as a reliable manufacturer to the worldwide elevator market and, specifically, as a specialist hydraulic-elevator company.
ALGI was founded by master electrician Alfred Giehl, Sr., who began producing fuses for vehicles, test lamps and air pumps. By 1956, he had progressed to manufacturing hydraulic rams in a plant only 25 m2 in area. The company manufactured single and telescopic multistage rams in 1959 for passenger and freight elevators. Stahl (now part of ThyssenKrupp) was one of its first customers around this time, during which it grew to reside in a 6,000-m2 facility.
By 1964, ALGI’s first synchronized ram had been produced, and special honing machines have since been developed in house for machining these components. The company began developing a mechanical valve block in 1967 in response to a strong worldwide demand for high-quality, dependable hydraulic power. By 1976, its highly successful AZSTB mechanical valve block was in full production. Many of even the earliest examples of this equipment are still in use on passenger and goods elevators worldwide.
“From the start of [our founder’s] journey to the present day, the family [has been] proud to have such a long legacy and to have delivered equipment from small independent elevator companies up to large multinational organizations, including Schindler and ThyssenKrupp.” – ALGI’s U.K. sales team
At the core of the family business was an enthusiasm to expand and produce more products; hence, in the 1980s, ALGI opened a design and assembly plant for car frames. By 1995, a dedicated plant was in full production of elevator cabins for passenger, goods and vehicle applications. The AZRS series electronic valve blocks (the first electronic valves and still successful today) were launched in 1997. The product guarantees the added advantages of controlled travel curves, independent of viscosity and system pressures.
ALGI can manufacture rams up to 600 mm diameter and up to 30 m in length, and capacities ranging from 320 kg to 50,000 kg. In 2007, it launched the variable-voltage, variable-frequency (VVVF) Eco Spin hydraulic drive for the global elevator market. This modern drive reduces energy consumption by up to 60% and allows the lift to operate at 120 trips per hour over several hours, without the need for any additional oil cooling. Its frequency inverter is in direct control of the hydraulic system, intended to maximize travel comfort, and equipment accuracy and longevity. The VVVF drive delivers a very quiet solution, and bypass noise in the valve block during acceleration and deceleration are eliminated. The drive also eliminates the need for motor contactors in the controller.
Using the Eco Spin in modernizing hydraulic units can allow non-energy-efficient systems to be refitted quickly and cost effectively. The AZSTB series of mechanical control blocks can be modernized through the addition of three components. ALGI states control in the upward direction with Danfoss frequency inverters has proven to be a reliable addition to older mechanical valve blocks. The down drive is controlled through two lowering valves, making the installation of a braking resistor unnecessary. Noise-insulated throttles contribute to downward noise reduction.
ALGI uses its “interface box” when modernizing value blocks. Connections plug in to facilitate a fast, easy modernization that can lead to energy savings of up to 30% in hydraulic inverter operation alone. Oil temperatures are reasonable as well, estimated at 40°C after 600 trips in 5 hr. without an oil cooler.
ALGI reports that due to space in most buildings being at a premium, its machine-room-less (MRL) solution is very popular with new builds and modernizations. The company produces a range of equipment, including tower systems installed in the shaft beside the guide rails. Its MRL units travel up to 16 m high with a maximum load of 1000 kg.
The company’s passenger and heavy freight equipment are in daily use, with many high-profile customers and installations from across Europe and the Middle East. Examples include the Presidential Flight, U.A.E. in Abu Dhabi; the Louis Vuitton flagship store in London; the U.K. Royal Mail; Deutsche Bahn (German Railways); the Frankfurt Airport; and car manufacturers BMW, Audi and Daimler.