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Elevator Renovation In Nebraska Capitol

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A rendering of the 1 World Trade Center. Photo © Silverstein Properties.

The Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln recently under-went an exterior restoration project, and in August, the Lincoln Journal Star reported plans to renovate the build-ing’s four elevators. The project was expected to start within the next few months and take two years to com-plete. The 30-year-old elevators – which measure only 4-1/2 ft. X 5 ft. wide, will receive updated machinery, con-trols and technology, but not cab renovations.

Contractors will take one elevator out of service at a time in order to maintain building accessibility. The elevators will not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, but most standard-sized wheelchairs are able to fit into the cabs. The new systems will be safer, more energy efficient and will reduce maintenance.

Thyssenkrupp Acquires Gess

ThyssenKrupp Elevator has acquired all shares in General Elevator Sales and Service, Inc. (GESS). In opera-tion for over 40 years and headquartered in Orlando with branches in Tampa/Clearwater, Fort Meyers/Naples, Jacksonville, Daytona Beach and Boca Raton, GESS is one of the largest elevator service, maintenance and modernization providers in Florida. The acquisition is viewed as an important step toward systematically expand-ing ThyssenKrupp’s technology business.

C.E. Electronics Hires Sales Veteran

C.E. Electronics Ltd., an elevator indicator supplier, announced that Bob Wells joined the company in September as Business Development manager re-sponsible for increasing sales in Europe. Wells has been charged with building the sales of the company’s range of color thin-film-transistor displays across the U.K. and Europe. He has 16 years of industry experience from time at Memco, where he was a Sales director and manager responsible for such markets as the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Japan. He holds a diploma in Business Studies from Thames Valley University. Wells can be contacted at e-mail: bwells@ceelectronics.co.uk.

Otis To Open Facility In South Carolina

Otis recently announced its plans to open a manufac-turing facility in Florence, South Carolina, which will produce Otis elevators that have yet to be manufactured in the U.S. The new 423,000-sq.-ft. facility will include a 150-ft. test tower, manufacturing, engineering, a contract logis-tics center and field support operations. The co-location of these functions is currently situated in four cities and will reduce lead times. The facility will also consolidate much of Otis’ North American new equipment operations and bring more than 360 jobs to the state. Operations are expected to begin during the second quarter of 2012.

TÜV SÜD America Joins Social Media

Headquartered in Peabody, Massachusetts, TÜV SÜD America, Inc., a subsidiary of TÜV SÜD AG of Germany, has launched its company profile on several social media websites in an effort to provide the latest technical com-pliance and safety updates on certification, inspection and testing news, among other offerings. The company can now be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

NAESA International Elects Board Of Directors

NAESA International held its 40th Annual Workshop on August 16-18 in Portland, Oregon, during which the board of directors were elected for the organization’s 2011-2012 term. William Watson, Seattle elevator chief, and Lawrence Watson, chief inspector for Missouri, were reelected as AHJ representatives. The board welcomed new AHJ member Michael Stewart, chief inspector for Colorado, and a new private-inspector representative, Frederick Slater of A-1 Elevator Inspections in Florida.

Bill Snyder of Elevator CSI in Florida was reelected as a private-inspector representative.

Also elected were members of the executive committee. Dean McLellan and Bill Snyder remained president and vice president, respectively; Doug Warne was elected secretary; and James Borwey was elected treasurer.

Yaskawa’s One Millionth Inverter

Yaskawa America Inc. of Waukegan, Illinois, an-nounced in September that it manufactured its one mil-lionth inverter in the U.S. that same month. Mike Knapek, president and CEO, explained:

“This is a major milestone for our company, as it represents our commit-ment to building our products in the U.S. While we are certainly a global player, our manufacturing presence is heavily focused here. . . . We benefit greatly from the work ethic of our em-ployees and the commitment they make to making quality products on time for our customers.”

WMATA To Accelerate Escalator Repairs

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced in September that it is expediting Metro escalator repairs at various stations. A request for proposals was expected to be issued shortly after the announcement and called for maintenance and repairs at stations in Virginia, including Orange Line stations from Rosslyn to Vienna. In addition, the proposals would in-clude options for repairs from Foggy Bottom in Washington, D.C., to New Carrollton in Maryland. The Washing-ton Dulles International Airport is also to receive escalator support for its new stations.

According to The Washington Examiner, 102 of the system’s 588 escalators were out of service at the same time in September. Despite the escalator breakdowns and issues, a 2010 report from the Metro Board of Directors Committee on Customer Service revealed increased mainte-nance compliance.

As part of the system’s capital program to rebuild and replace escalators, the first replacement escalators were installed in July at Foggy Bottom, and the second of three new entrance escalators was expected to go into service in September. In early 2012, three escalators will be replaced at the 19th Street entrance of Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. A more detailed schedule of repairs was expected to be released later this fall.

Draka/Prysmian Integration

The parent company of Draka Elevator Products, Draka Holdings, was acquired by the Prysmian Group, an energy and telecommunications cables industry leader, in March. More recently, the group unveiled its new organi-zational structure, marking an important step forward in its integration with Draka. Prysmian set a new mission and strategy to promote both the Prysmian and Draka brands under the new Prysmian Group corporate umbrella.

Prysmian CEO Valerio Battista explained:

“The launch of the new organizational structure marks a fundamentally important step in the integration process between Prysmian and Draka. We have put together the best of the two companies, with the goal of designing an organization that is lean, efficient and fast in managing change and promoting innovation, while being able to stay close to customers and markets.”

The new Group’s matrix structure organization revolves around two business units: energy cables and systems, and telecom cables and systems. Most of the product lines will be managed by both geography and business, from building wires and underground power transmis-sion and distribution, to fiber-optic and copper telecom cables and special cables for industrial applications for renewable energy and the oil-and-gas industry. The more globalized product lines, such as those of Draka, will be managed cross nationally by the business unit. Sterrett Lloyd will continue leading the elevator business unit as president.

The new mission of the companies is to support the sustainable supply of energy and information as primary drivers in the development of communities, providing its customers with superior cable solutions based on state-of-the-art technology. The group has also decided to retain and promote both the Prysmian and Draka commercial brands, even while creating the new Prysmian Group cor-porate brand. Globally, the group has sales around EUR7 billion (US$9.58 billion) and 22,000 employees across 50 countries and 98 plants.

Elevator U Donates to EESF

At September’s National Association of Elevator Con-tractors Convention held in New Orleans, Martin Culp, Elevator U president, presented the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) with a check for US$2,500 on behalf of the organization. The organizations worked in conjunction to develop the Rise Up Safe Rider program, which promotes the safe use of escalators, elevators and moving walks among college students. EESF and Eleva-tor U were scheduled to jointly attend the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International/Association of Physical Plant Administrators of Universities and Colleges Housing Facilities Conference, held on October 3-6 in Orlando, to promote the program. Elevator U has been a member of EESF since 2008.

Maxton Receives CSA Certification

Maxton Manufacturing Co. has recently received a certificate of compliance from the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) for an increased working pressure rat-ing on the UC1/1A/2/2A hydraulic elevator control valve. The increased working pressure from 530 to 600 psi will allow Maxton customers to specify projects requiring a higher rating.

Carrajat Seeks Elevator Preservation

Patrick Carrajat, founder of the Elevator Museum, one of the nation’s first (ELEVATOR WORLD, July 2011), is lobbying for the preservation of the historic SkyStreak elevators housed at the New York State Pavilion in Queens. Originally built for the 1964 World’s Fair, the futuristic elevators whisked pas-sengers to the top of the pavilion, the highest point at the fair. The elevators, which used revolution-ary technology that did not require traveling ca-bles, still stand at the city-owned pavilion, in decay and disrepair. Carrajat hopes the city will do-nate at least one eleva-tor to him, so it can be restored and placed on display at the museum.

The city Parks Depart-ment has loaned out property in the past based on three criteria: experi-ence handling artifacts, sufficient display space and the curator’s willingness to foot the bill for any exhibit. Carrajat believes he could restore the elevators at his expense, but would not invest the resources unless the city allowed one elevator to be on permanent display at the museum. In a statement, the Parks Department said it “would be happy to consider a proposal about showcasing the elevators.”

Once the fair ended in 1965, the elevators were aban-doned, leaving one cabin stuck midrise at 150 ft. and an-other wasting away in a pit beneath a tower. In 2008, fearing parts might fall off in high winds, the city finally removed the cabins. At that time, the city hoped to some-day replicate the elevators.

Statue of Liberty Renovations

Upgrades to the interior of the Statue of Liberty were scheduled to begin on October 29. Joseph A. Natoli Con-struction Corp. received the contract to perform the ren-ovation work, which includes new stairways and elevators, and updated mechanical, electrical and fire-suppression systems. The improvements will allow for increased visitor access to the monument, including the pedestal and museum. The US$27.25-million project is expected to take one year to complete. During the project, Liberty Island will remain open and views of the statue will remain largely unobstructed.

Brugg Lifting Works With Thyssenkrupp Elevator

Brugg Lifting of Rome, Georgia, and ThyssenKrupp Elevator have joined efforts to supply elevators for the 1 World Trade Center Tower project in New York City. Also known as 1WTC, the new tower is expected to be the tallest in the U.S. Construction is well underway, and the first bank of elevators was being installed by Thyssen -Krupp Elevator in August.

Brugg is supplying rope for 69 of the elevators, in addi-tion to tools related to hoist-rope effectiveness and per-formance. Brugg’s Rope Load Equalizer is a hydraulic-based device that allows a mechanic to efficiently equalize an entire set of hoist ropes, eliminating up to 90% of the labor normally required for such a function.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator is also using Brugg’s Rope Life Predictor online application. The program allows sub-scribers to perform detailed calculations without complex mathematics, while being able to create highly detailed graphs and charts. The application also allows users to input data and receive accurate predictions.

Harmon Tower May Collapse

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the unfin-ished Harmon™ tower at CityCenter Las Vegas is “virtually un-repairable and could collapse in a ‘code-level’ earth-quake.” The publication quotes a structural engineer hired by co-owner MGM Resorts International, who has exam-ined the 27-story building. Several tests on the building found missing or misplaced reinforcing steel in columns, beams, shear walls and transfer walls throughout the tower below the 21st floor.

A “code-level earthquake” is based on the probability of an earthquake strong enough to damage structures occurring once every 500 years. The variable rating is dependent upon such factors as fault lines and soil con-ditions. More specifically, a 6.5-magnitude quake has been noted as the strength needed to bring the building down, according to September reports.

The Harmon, part of the US$8.5-billion CityCenter (the rest of which opened in December 2009 [ELEVATOR WORLD, September 2010]), was originally designed as a 47-story hotel and condominium tower. In 2008, building inspectors found that structural work on the tower did not match plans submitted to the county. In January 2009, MGM Resorts scrapped the planned 200 condominium units for the upper floors and stopped the tower at 27 sto-ries, with the idea that the Harmon would retain 400 hotel rooms. Since, the Harmon’s construction defect issues became the focal point of a lawsuit between MGM Re-sorts and Perini Building Co., county building officials halted any further construction and were to review in-spection reports in making a decision on the tower’s fu-ture. The architect of record for MGM Resorts is Halcrow Yolles Group, and the Harmon’s design was done by Lord Norman Foster.

Schindler Acquires Midland Elevator

Schindler has acquired Midland Elevator Co., Inc. of White Plains, New York. Established in 1984, Midland Ele-vator focused primarily on elevator maintenance, repair and modernization. The acquisition will allow Schindler to expand its presence in the greater New York area. Jakob Zueger, CEO, Schindler Americas, commented, “[Schindler is] very happy to welcome Midland’s customers and employees.”

Developer Moves Forward With Copley Plans

Simon Property Group is moving forward with plans to build a 47-story residential tower at Copley Place in Boston. Designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, the tower would become the city’s largest residential building. Orig-inally proposed in June 2008, the project was put on hold due to the economic recession. The US$500-million project would include 318 apartment or condominium units above a renovated and expanded Neiman Marcus store, an en-closed 40-story-tall “winter garden,” restaurants, shops and improvements to nearby intersections. The tower would fill Copley Place’s last piece of undeveloped property.

Residents and community groups have voiced con-cerns about the project’s impact on the surrounding area, including worries that the tower could cast shadows, worsen gale-strength winds that frequent the area and create parking and traffic issues. However, Simon Property and its architects have met with community groups and made adjustments to the project and believe it will have the fewest wind and shadow impacts possible for a building of its height. The project still requires approval from the Boston Redevelopment Authority and state en-vironmental overseers before any further progress can be made. A construction timeline has not been provided, though depending upon how long it takes to receive city and state approval, the tower could open by late 2015.

California Inspection Situation

According to an investigation by NBC Bay Area, “hun-dreds” of California’s elevator permits are expired. Violat-ing devices can be found in such areas as department stores, office buildings and the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system. Some permits have been expired for several years. It is California law for all in-spection permits to be posted, and all elevators in the state must get an inspection once a year.

BART Spokesman Linton Johnson explained:

“It’s difficult for us to be able to keep up with the pa-perwork that goes along with maintaining the elevators; I mean our No. 1 priority, of course, is safety, and so our elevators are safe, but in terms of trying to keep up with the paperwork that goes along with it, to show you that they’re safe, well, that can be an issue sometimes.” California’s Department of Industrial Relations is in charge of inspecting the elevators and issuing the permits yearly. However, the building owner has the responsibility to maintain the elevator and schedule those inspections. Even if an inspection is scheduled before the permit ex-pires, it can still take months to get that inspection done, since there are only 26 inspectors for the roughly 32,000 elevators across the Bay Area. The California Department of Industrial Relations is reportedly revamping its data-base so it can provide advance notifications of permits that will soon expire. It hopes to have the database active by the end of the year.

Elevator Riders For EESF

Members of the vertical-transportation industry with an interest in motorcycles may want to consider joining the Elevator Riders Riding Club (ERRC). ERRC combines a love of motorcycles with a love for the elevator industry, and was founded to assist with raising funds for the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF), the mission of which is to educate the public on the safe use of vertical transportation equipment through educational programs. Memberships are avail-able and help support the EESF. Membership includes an ERRC patch, an EESF patch, state rocker panel, and access to the forum and members-only area of the ERRC website. For more information, visit website: www.elevatorriders.com.

Elevator Society Receives Antique GIFT

In September, the Museum of the Elevator Historical Society received a freestanding Otis “G” car switch from Elevator World, Inc. It is in good con-dition and will be restored to pristine status by Luis Chicaza and his staff at ECUA Elevator Parts in Queens, New York. It will then be displayed in the museum.

Patrick Carrajat, museum founder and curator, said of the donation, “Many thanks to Elevator World and our friends, Bill Sturgeon, Ricia S. Hendrick and Robert S. Caporale, who have been so supportive of our efforts. Sincere thanks to Luis Chicaza at ECUA for his expertise in this restoration.”

Liftinstituut Certifies Acla Pu-Buffers for Lift Industry

During the National Association of Elevator Contractors annual convention held in New Orleans in September, Amsterdam-based Liftinstituut, an Accredited Elevator/Escalator Certification Organization presented ACLA USA Inc., the U.S. sales company of ACLA-WERKE GmbH in Cologne, Germany, with a certificate of conformance for ACLA AUTAN-polyurethane buffers. On behalf of ACLA-WERKE GmbH ACLA USA Inc. located in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, ACLA USA Inc. received the original certificate for the buffers from Liftinstituut in March 2011. This latest awarding from Liftinstituut’s in-ternational account manager, Dennis Lindeboom, and senior specialist, Robert Kaspersma, to ACLA USA Inc. president, Andy McIntyre, and office manager, Brigitte Ross, certifies a revision to the buffers.

Kone Ranked “Innovative” Company

Forbes magazine has ranked Finland-based KONE as the 39th most innovative company in the world, being the sole elevator and escalator company to have made Forbes’ top-50 list. Forbes ranks companies based on a metric called the “Innovation Premium.” It is considered to be a measure of the premium the stock market has placed on the value of the company due to expectations of future innovative products, services and new markets.

Kone Acquires Long Elevator

KONE has acquired Long Elevator & Machine Co., Inc., an independent elevator company with operations in St. Louis; Gary, Indiana; Peoria, Springfield and Chicago, Illinois. This acquisition will further improve KONE’s posi-tion in each of these markets. Long Elevator, established in 1929, provides elevator maintenance, repair and modernization services. The privately-owned company currently employs 90 workers. In the coming months, Long Elevator will combine its operations under the KONE name.

Fort Wayne Hospital Work Wrapping up

As of September, Fort Wayne, Indiana’s Lutheran Hospital was expected to complete work on the addition of a fifth floor to its existing four-story building by November. The 58,649-sq.-ft. expansion has been ongoing since May 2010. Its scope also included the expansion of seven existing elevators, addition of a new elevator and expansion of the hospital’s six stairways. The cost is estimated at US$42.3 million.

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