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Communications — People and Systems

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‘Tis the season for communication. In this issue, we cover five spring events that spurred people-to-people communication. In addition, the spring meetings gave our staffers venues to see a lot of the industry in groups, gather other stories, do interviews, spread the word of our services and get the pulse of the industry.

NAEC’s Educational Conference 2018 was held in Carlsbad, California, where the weather was perfect for four days of education and outdoor recreation, according to Senior Associate Editor Lee Freeland. In meetings, the association highlighted the immense growth of all of the education programs (CET®, CAT® and VTMP) offered by the group for their members. Barely a week later, suppliers gathered across the country in New York City, which Associate Editor Kaija Wilkinson covers in Sometimes, Less is Simply More. The Elevator Conference of New York’s (ECNY) Annual Supplier Showcase is very restricted in size by its location at the Villa Barone Manor in the Bronx. However, companies endure a waiting list to get a spot there. It’s exclusive, it is seductive – and just immensely popular. Maybe it’s the food, maybe it’s the service or maybe it’s just a great time for everyone to get together in a short (six hours) time frame. ECNY also supports the Vertical Initiative for Elevator Escalator Women (VIEEW) meetings, and every year this grows. Much of the discussion this year concerned new programs focused on women and how the group can encourage more women to enter the trade. A large group of women from the VIEEW took the time before ECNY to visit One World Trade Center at the invitation of thyssenkrupp.

Over in Europe, John Gale reported on A Sustainable Future, as the subject of the European Lift Association (ELA) conference in Stockholm, Sweden. Speakers there focused on modern building trends and their impact on the environment. Of particular interest to your editor is the “circular economy,” where building systems, after their normal lifespan, are broken down and recycled or regenerated for new use. Also, in Turkey, Bülent Yılmaz wrote on the Inelex Fair that drew thousands to the venue. Some 80 companies exhibited at the event in Izmir, where there was also an accompanying symposium.

Back in the U.S., Managing Editor Angie Baldwin and Sales/Marketing Manager Caleb Givens traveled to Illinois for the International Association of Elevator Consultants (IAEC) Annual Forum 2018. If you are going to be in Chicago, you might as well go to Moline and visit your friends at KONE Spares – which is just what they did. In People, Parts and Performance, Baldwin writes about how this company sells some of the oldest available parts in the industry, while at the same time researching and reengineering new parts. In Chicago (on our cover), the consultants had a big crowd this year (IAEC Annual Forum Celebrates 25 Years), and they have enjoyed good growth over the quarter century. All agreed it was a good time to be in this industry.

Our other focus this month is Communications Systems in elevators. The first is The Future of Elevator Communications by David Bryant that speaks to the anticipated elimination of landlines and the need to “future proof” elevator call service. A similar approach in The Future of Emergency Communications by Thomas Worthington is a Readers Platform that promotes the use of cellular service. He notes that 95% of the U.S. has access to a cell tower, and it is about half the cost of analog service. John Pierce, in Elevator Communication Systems, urges installers to break out of their comfort zones and meet customers’ request for cellular service. Emergency communications is not the only communication going on in an elevator system. In the article CANopen Group Defines Communication Protocol by Dalen Miller and Colin Zauner, they describe a standard protocol so all networked devices in the system can talk to each other in a vendor-neutral design. Our Assistant Editor Matt Irvin wrote a product spotlight, Taking the Trouble out of Troubleshooting, featuring a new system for finding faults in safety circuits. The device works with all controllers.

Needless to say, there are many other features and news items in this fully packed issue, but one of interest to me is an interview with Rick Barker, called From Old Parts to Large Systems. Barker worked for several OEMs and a consulting design firm before starting his own successful company. I had a long lunch with him about a year ago and found him a fascinating source of knowledge about the industry. Now, we communicate regularly.

We hope you enjoy this issue. If you do, or you don’t, you can find me at ricia@elevatorworld.com.

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