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In addition to increased connectivity, the new Gen2 elevator also features enhanced aesthetic options, providing more than 400,000 possible combinations of textures, colors, lighting and materials to fit any architectural style; image from Otis.

Companies refocus, purchase others, open facilities and more around the world.

Toshiba Shifts Focus from Speed to Capacity

With elevators theoretically reaching their maximum possible speeds, Toshiba Elevator is shifting its focus to capacity, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. From 2004 until this year, Toshiba held the world’s fastest elevator title with a pair of 1,010-mpm elevators in Taipei 101. Toshiba has already developed a lift with a 75-person capacity that operates in the Izumi Garden Tower in Tokyo. It aims to develop units capable of carrying 100 people. R&D will be conducted at Toshiba’s western Tokyo facility.

Nippon Otis Acquires Schindler’s Japan Service Business

Nippon Otis Elevator Co. has completed the acquisition of Schindler’s elevator/escalator service business in Japan, which consisted of Schindler Elevator with approximately 380 employees and Mercury Ascensore Ltd. with approximately 220 employees. The new company, Otis Elevator Service Co., will be the exclusive, authorized OEM maintenance service provider of Schindler equipment in Japan with access to all OEM spares and parts. Schindler will remain in Japan to fulfill legal and societal obligations with respect to ongoing litigation (ELEVATOR WORLD, June 2016).

Half-Million Milestone for Otis’ Gen2

Otis recently sold its 500,000th Gen2® elevator, which the company says speaks to the model’s innovative design that features an energy-efficient drive, easy installation and flat belts (rather than traditional ropes) to minimize vibration. Gen2 has become one of Otis’ best sellers in its 163-year history, with 250,000 units sold by 2012. It has been installed in more than 180 countries and territories. Manufactured in Gien, France, the 500,000th unit will be installed in a structure in Magdeburg, Germany.

Joint Venture to Provide IoT Elevator Technology in China

China Information Technology, Inc. (CNIT) announced it has reached an agreement with Fujian Haojing Investment Management Co., Ltd. and Linyi New Waves Digital City Technology Co., Ltd. to form Shandong Haojing Internet of Things Technology Co., Ltd. (SD Haojing), which will provide cloud-based ad terminal technology targeting 210,000 elevators in Shandong Province, China. SD Haojing expects to install its Internet of Things (IoT) products in 60,000 elevators in the province within three years.

Siam Hitachi to Expand Production, Reach

Siam Hitachi Elevator Co., headquartered in Bangkok and primarily serving Asia, plans to expand production and grow exports, The Nation reported. A joint venture with Siam Motors, Siam Hitachi is one of two overseas production facilities of Japan’s Hitachi Elevator. It handles the Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos markets. Siam Hitachi Executive Vice President Dhanet Yongratanamongkol said the facility aims to increase production from 3,200-5,000 units and grow exports from 40-80% of its products by 2020 by adding up to two additional production lines. The Middle East and European low- to mid-rise markets would be a particular focus. Siam Hitachi also hopes to increase local suppliers from 65-80% in the next few years as it deals with a slack domestic market.

Schindler Opens Pune Training Center

Schindler India has opened a new Technical Training Centre in Pune. Its fourth such center in India adds to existing facilities in Mumbai, Bangalore and Noida. It is equipped with three elevator shafts and electronic control simulators to engage trainees in actual installation in elevator shafts with real-life simulators. Schindler India Sr. Vice President — Technical Nimish Deshpande explained, “An elevator is not a plug-and-play kind of product. . . . Just as important as the design and quality of the elevator. . . is that it is installed and serviced by trained experts.”

Buildings up to 32 Stories Set to Rise in London

Four new buildings designed by Arup that range in height from eight to 32 stories are poised to rise in the Broadgate area of London, following local officials’ approval of revised plans, Architects’ Journal reported. The structures will house 61,867 m2 of office space, as well as events facilities and retail. Called 2-3 Finsbury Avenue Square, the development is backed by British Land. It is expected to start taking shape sometime after UBS vacates space in a pair of 1980s Peter Foggo-designed buildings, which will be demolished.

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