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Brugg Obtains ISO 9001:2008 Certification

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Brugg Wire Rope, LLC announced in November 2011 that it passed “rigorous independent external and internal audits” to obtain ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System Certification. The company earned its certification on its first official audit, conducted by the Swiss Association for Quality and Management Systems (SQS), in October 2011. Under a global program involving all operations within the Brugg Group of Companies, Brugg’s certification is valid until August 3, 2013. The conglomerate utilizes an overall management system called SYDQuES, which focuses on and is named for system documentation, quality, environment and safety.

ISO 9001 certification, under the SQS program, mainly reviews and judges a company’s quality management system, management responsibility, resource management, product realization, measurement, analysis and improvement. Customers and many in the market see such certification as a litmus test of a company’s commitment to overall quality. The certification covers “production of elevator ropes, wire rope and wire-rope products; as well as trading with elevator ropes, wire rope [and] wire-rope products; lifting equipment; and technical consultation.”

VDA Acquires Elevator Advisors

In November 2011, Van Deusen and Associates (VDA) announced it acquired Atlanta-based elevator consulting firm Elevator Advisors. The acquisition is meant to diversify the VDA Atlanta office’s portfolio and increase local representation. Elevator Advisors brings numerous metropolitan-area projects to VDA, including the Georgia Aquarium, Federal Reserve Headquarters and several projects at the Georgia Institute of Technology, among others. J. Robert Beyer, who served as president of Elevator Advisors, brings more than 40 years of industry experience to VDA. Beyer stated, “This new association will improve the level of services that Elevator Advisors’ clients have come to expect.”

Founded in 1980 and headquartered in Livingston, New Jersey, VDA is one of the world’s largest vertical-transportation system consultancies. VDA’s services include comprehensive design and engineering for elevators, escalators, moving walks and a variety of material-handling systems in new and existing buildings. The company also provides evaluations of existing vertical-transportation equipment, along with periodic quality-control evaluations of preventive maintenance. VDA has branches in Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Greensboro, North Carolina; Minneapolis; New York City; Norwalk, Connecticut; Philadelphia; and Washington, D.C.   

Concern Voiced Over Proposed Residential Complex

Oakland, California’s Oakland Heritage Alliance (OHA) has expressed concern over a proposed 42-story high-rise project known as Emerald Views Residential Development. The tower would be constructed on the side of the historic August Schilling Garden, behind the historic 244 Lakeside apartments. OHA believes the building would threaten the garden and negatively impact the surrounding area. The group has urged officials that further analysis of reduced height and footprint should be performed. In addition to calling for the garden to be maintained, OHA believes alternatives should be considered, such as relocating the building to another vacant parcel or reducing the number of stories.

Hawaiian Condominium Tower Planned

 A&B Properties, Hawaii’s fourth largest private landowner, unveiled a new residential condominium project in December 2011. Known as Waihonua at Kewalo, the planned 43-story tower, located between the Ala Moana Shopping Center and the Ward Centers, will be the final high-rise condominium in Honolulu’s premiere residential high-rise neighborhood. Plans call for the construction of 345 units with seven penthouse residences on the top floor. The building was designed by Hawaii-based architects Design Partners, Inc. in consultation with Pappageorge Haymes of Chicago. The design was inspired by the history of the Kewalo area and the ocean, mountain and city views.

Certified Elevator Acquired 

Certified Elevator Co., Inc., an independent elevator company in Denver, has been acquired by KONE. Both companies will combine their elevator operations and work under the KONE name over the next few months. Certified Elevator was founded in 1986 and specializes in elevator maintenance, repair and modernization. KONE Executive Vice President and Area Director of KONE Americas Vance Tang commented, “We are thrilled to be adding great new customers and employees through this acquisition.”

Maxton Training Class

Maxton Manufacturing Co. held Maxton control-valve training at the University of Louisville on November 16. The training was administered by Billy Shrum, technical manager at Maxton. Participants included three elevator mechanics and one apprentice and their supervisor, each of whom received 4.0 credit hours toward continuing-education certification. The crew maintains 135 elevators across the university, 80 of which are hydraulic elevators. The mechanics learned about Maxton products, factors that affect performance of the valve and hydraulic system, valve adjustment, troubleshooting and tips for mechanic efficiency.

Metro Escalator Project Update

Three new escalators at the Foggy Bottom Metro Station in Washington, D.C., one of the city’s most heavily trafficked stations, were commemorated on November 30, 2011, after renovation work. In addition, Union Station showcased its seven renovated escalators. The Foggy Bottom project started in January 2011, with one escalator opening in July 2011 and the second in September 2011. The new escalators will receive a new canopy and staircase entrance sometime early this year. The upgrade cost US$5.9-million.

In fall 2010, the Metro agency had escalators across the rail line reviewed. A recent status report showed that 530 of the 588 escalators were in service. According to The GW Hatchet, less than one-third of the escalator shutdowns at Foggy Bottom were a result of planned maintenance. Metro officials claim the new escalators have a longer life expectancy than the previous equipment, some of which were installed as far back as 1974.

USGBC Launches LEED APPS

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently launched App Lab, a new smartphone application that can help builders organize and lay out Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED) building plans more efficiently. It is designed to provide easy access to compatible software, which, in turn, should help builders achieve more certification points within their budget. App Lab also allows users to navigate through building codes and collaborate with community groups and other project stakeholders. According to Scott Horst, USGBC senior vice president, “The LEED App Lab has been highly anticipated as a way to leverage multiple partners to expand the presence of green building.”

Avanti Elevator Becomes AECO Certified

In December 2011, John Koshak of Elevator Safety Solutions, Inc. announced the issuance of an accredited elevator/escalator certification organization (AECO) certificate by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) for the Avanti Wind Systems, Inc. “Shark” model elevator for use in wind-turbine towers. After a thorough review of the elevator, UL issued the certificate validating the Shark and certifying its design complies with the essential safety requirements of ASME A17.7/CSA B44.7. This allows simplified permitting (without the variance process) in jurisdictions where A17.7/B44.7 is adopted. Avanti’s products include service lifts, ladders with built-in fall arrest safety rails and climbing assistance devices.

Industry Sportsmen Support Boys’ Towns Of Italy

by Nicholas J. Montesano

On the rainy fall morning of September 23, representatives of the elevator industry, including those from Centennial Elevator Co., Century Elevator Co., Vertech Elevator Co., BP Elevator Co., Nouveau Elevator Co. and PS Marcato Elevator Co., stepped up to shoot for a cause. Sponsored by the Sportsmen for Charity, the sporting clay outing fundraiser was held at the Peconic River Sportsman’s Club in Peconic, New York, and benefited Boys’ Towns of Italy, the mission of which is to provide a caring environment for destitute youths from all over the world. The organization’s nurturing environment helps turn these wayward youths into educated, productive citizens.  

The Sportsmen for Charity, founded by five members of the New York-area real-estate and construction industry, hosts sporting clay shoots throughout the year to help raise money for various charities, including the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, American Diabetes Association and many other causes. The Boys’ Towns of Italy event was well attended by many of the elevator industry’s local sportsmen. The event started with “The Star-Spangled Banner” and a salute to U.S. veterans, followed by a safety presentation and 100 rounds of sporting clays. In the afternoon, the shooters returned for a fun-filled time of awards, silent auctions and presentations that included a special award for Saint John’s University basketball coach Luigi “Lou” Carnesecca, who, despite being in his 80s, was still able to rank as one of the top guns at the shooting event.  

All participants look forward to helping this cause at next year’s event. Sporting clay shoots with such organizations as Sportsmen for Charity and individuals such as Scott Akin of Elevator Doors, Inc./Elevator Cabs, Inc. are taking center stage in raising money for various charities with the great support of all the elevator industry’s sportsmen.

MAD Elevator Touch Screens Approved, Installed

Mad Elevator Fixtures of Etobicoke, Canada, received approval from the New York City Department of Buildings in October 2011 for its Touch to Go elevator touch screens. The technology is compliant with ASME A17.1 2003, ICC/NCANSI A117.1-1998 and the New York City Building Code, and was recently installed for the first time in three elevators at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

MEM Introduces Modular Mrl Elevator

Modular Elevator Manufacturing, Inc. (MEM) has introduced what is said to be the industry’s first modular machine-room-less (MMRL) elevator. The MMRL is a full-sized commercial elevator designed as a self-contained, freestanding unit that can be delivered and installed in one day. It has a lift capacity of 3500 lbs. and travels at a speed of 350 fpm.

According to MEM, the MMRL is most suitable for buildings taller than five stories, does not require a separate equipment room and uses less space. It is installed in MEM’s freestanding modular hoistway, which is often connected to the building the elevator is servicing without having to share the same foundation. The MMRL uses less power than conventional systems due to its efficient design and counterweighted configuration.

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