Anselme Cote of RATP Talks Experience, Safety and Retirement Plans
With more than 40 years of elevator-industry experience, Cote shares his perspective.
With more than 40 years of elevator-industry experience and a passion for safety, Anselme Cote’s industry perspective is worth sharing. Cote works for RATP Group, a public-transportation network in France, in the maintenance department of equipment and systems, where he is responsible for standardization and R&D. “My office is in Paris, and I live in a nearby suburb,” Cote explained. In addition to his role at RATP, Cote serves as a court expert in the field of elevators and escalators.
Cote began his elevator career in 1968 following his mechanical and general engineering studies. “One of my first jobs was to supervise an extensive program to install elevators and escalators to modernize the Paris Metro. We installed 600 escalators and 300 elevators in 10 years,” Cote said. Following this project, he became a team leader responsible for the engineering of electromechanical installations. “I started my career at a time when there were very few escalators, and installing one was a big operation,” Cote said. “These devices were bulky and were transported in several sections.”
For elevators and escalators Cote is a member of AFNOR (a French association revolving around standardization, certification, and training). In addition, he represents France at the European level. He participates in the plenary committee CEN/Technical Committee (TC) 10, which defines the work program for all groups and he has been appointed convener of Working Group (WG) 9 for inclined lifts. He is also a member of the CEN/TC 10/WG 2 for escalators. During the last 10 years, Cote has been in charge of standardization in the field of automatic guided transport. He was appointed by the International Electrotechnical Commission/TC 9 to chair WG 45, which was responsible for establishing a safety standard for automated urban guided transport (AUGT).
“From my earliest experiences in the elevator industry, I was fascinated by the techniques used, which combine the mechanical, electrical, automation and, today, computers. It’s comprehensive engineering work and is constantly being improved.” — Anselme Cote
Cote credits many professionals for guiding him throughout his career. “In the 1970s, I remember Guy Cazenave of Otis teaching me about escalators and Pierre Bianchini of KONE, who taught me about the electric parts of elevators,” Cote explained. “During the 1990s, Libero Maspero of Maspero Elevator and Achim Hütter of Hütter-Aufzüge GmbH shared their knowledge of inclined elevators,” he added. Cote also credits Sam Lott for sharing his knowledge during his time with AUGT and his colleagues in the standardization working groups.
Regarding influential projects, Cote believes his experience with normative work has been the most rewarding, because it has the ability to positively impact the industry and benefit society in general. “Contributing to the development of a product that will be useful to society and improving the safety of products by standardizing are two of the greatest satisfactions,” Cote said.
Looking ahead, Cote says he would like to extend his experience with the French courts regarding the difference between buyers and manufacturers and serious accidents. “For RATP, my goal is to consolidate its position among the top-five world leaders of public transportation. RATP is now active in 12 countries,” Cote explained. When asked what advice he would extend to those wishing to join the elevator industry, Cote said, “It is always important to give the most priority to everything that concerns the safety of people, staff and passengers.” Though he plans to be fully retired in mid 2014, Cote would like to continue his normative activities and share his experience with incoming professionals.
For the future of the elevator and escalator industry, Cote suggests developing new products such as high-speed moving walks and automatic multi-cabin systems (ground or aerial). “This will require compliance with the world’s sustainability needs, as well as lowering energy consumption and improving riding comfort,” Cote said.
Well versed in reading ELEVATOR WORLD, Cote believes the magazine provides a global review for the entire industry. “It provides essential information on the state of the market, [and] technical and normative developments. And, it gives voice to those who improve the technique of innovations,” he said. Cote also regularly reads magazines pertaining to transportation networks. Outside of work, Cote enjoys spending time with his wife, two daughters and granddaughters. “I try to maintain my fitness, so I practice my favorite sport, which is soccer, and I play the guitar,” Cote said. Though he admits to reading numerous technical publications, Cote enjoys the occasional novel. He explained, “I recently read The Old Man Who Did Not Want to Celebrate His Birthday.”