European Activity

the ACCEL system

ThyssenKrupp Elevator, with a new pedestrian transportation system and test tower, highlights recent happenings.

ACCEL Accelerated Moving Walk Unveiled in Spain

In October at its Innovation Centre in Gijon, Spain, ThyssenKrupp Elevator unveiled ACCEL, an accelerated moving walk for airports and metro rail stations that dramatically reduces the time it takes for pedestrians to travel from points A to B, in turn providing fast access and rapid navigation. ACCEL allows passengers to cover 270 m in 140 s., versus 415 s. on a standard moving walk, which represents a time savings of 66%. For airport operators, ACCEL eliminates the need for expensive infrastructure such as sky trains for distances up to 1.5 km and, for metro systems, can increase passenger capacity by up to 30%.

The system was designed with urbanization and the shift from road to rail in mind. ThyssenKrupp Elevator states:

“ACCEL can transport as many passengers as a typical, fully automated cabin system, move up to 7,300 passengers per hr. per direction and combines smooth speed changes and the highest safety requirements for passenger transportation. Using a band of overlapping pallets that expand to three times the original size of each pallet, ACCEL’s revolutionary technology, applying the linear motor technology of magnetic train Transrapid, ensures that passengers step onto the belt at normal walking speeds of 0.65 mps, accelerate smoothly up to 2 mps, then decelerate back to normal walking speeds before leaving the system. For passengers who continue walking while on the belt, speeds of up to 3.3 mps can be achieved.”

Germany Test Tower Plans Progress                                                                                                                     

ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s plans to build a Helmut Jahn- and Werner Sobek-designed test tower in Rottweil, Germany (ELEVATOR WORLD, June 2014), moved forward in September with the signing of an urban-development contract by ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s CEO of European Operations Alexander Keller and Rottweil Mayor Ralf Bross. Supplementing a land-use plan, the contract includes test-tower construction and operation guidelines, including architecture and public accessibility. In addition to testing elevators, the tower is designed as a tourist attraction. Illuminated from within, the reinforced concrete structure is set to include an observation deck that, to start, will be open on weekends and public holidays.

Ziehl-Abegg Wins Competition by Responding to Skills Shortage

Ziehl-Abegg’s “International Campaign to Recruit Specialists on the Countryside” was among the 100 winners of this year’s “Selected Landmarks in the Land of Ideas” German innovation competition. The project is intended to provide an answer to the question of how a company can advertise for foreign specialists by having a welcoming culture and attractive remote areas.

Ziehl-Abegg is located in the fairly remote area of Künzelsau in south-central Germany. It combined the recruitment of international specialists with an intensification of professional development and training to meet skills shortages it experienced. The company explained:

“Many companies in Germany have problems finding qualified staff. Especially, medium-sized companies in remote areas find it particularly hard to recruit new staff at home and abroad. With an international campaign, the Kuenzelsau motor and fan manufacturer Ziehl-Abegg demonstrates how it can be done successfully. It promotes actively its welcome culture in order to recruit specialized employees from South and East Europe. Whether with language courses or searching for a new house —
the company not only secures its own long-term future, but also contributes to a positive image of the region.”

Dr. Ulrich Schürenkrämer, head of Regional Management South at competition sponsor Deutsche Bank, presented Ziehl-Abegg with its award. He explained that even more important to the contest than innovative concepts in human-resources management was a strong commitment and entrepreneurial vision, facing challenges on the topic of “Innovations off the Beaten Track — Innovative Country — Rethinking Rural Spaces.” According to him, winners were “chosen from 1,000 entries by a jury of experts consisting of scientists, industrial managers, journalists and politicians, together with a six-person specialized committee.”

Sematic Names U.K., Northern Germany Sales Managers

Sematic has named sales managers for the U.K. and Northern Germany. They are: Thomas Aye, U.K., who will be based in London, and Steven Beßlich, Northern Germany, who will be based in Hamburg. Their duties include sales of doors, cabins and components for new projects and modernizations, along with pre- and post-sales support. Aye holds a Mechanical Engineering degree and has extensive elevator-industry sales experience. Beßlich has more than 20 years in the industry, and has worked for both private and multinational companies.

Southeast Asia Growth

New facilities, partnerships and skyscrapers reflect an exciting business environment.  

Mitsubishi Electric Opens Quality & Manufacturing Center

Demand for elevators and escalators in India and China is one of the reasons Mitsubishi Electric built its new, US$27-million Quality & Manufacturing center at its Inazawa Works factory in Japan. Open since October 1, the facility enables Mitsubishi Electric to better test the quality and safety of components such as hoisting machines, circuit assemblies, ropes and brakes. The three-story facility comprises 5,800 m2 of floor space. The company states:

“Expected benefits include strengthened effectiveness and efficiency of trial-manufacturing and verification operations, and accelerated lifestyle testing of products subjected to inhospitable conditions, such as varying temperatures and humidity, taking climate change into account.”

Hyundai Elevator Selects Sri Lankan Distributor

Hyundai Elevator has selected Abans Engineering as its Sri Lankan distributor, Lanka Business Today reports. Abans will provide passenger, hospital, observation, machine-room-less, freight and car elevators, as well as escalators and moving walks, to clients in Sri Lanka, where “high-rise buildings and skyscrapers are reaching new heights.” Bob Jang, senior executive advisor for Hyundai Group, noted developers, engineers and builders are demanding faster and more technologically advanced elevators than ever before.

Avire Lands Singapore HDB Contract

Avire has been awarded a contract to supply elevator-door safety sensors and dot-matrix displays to the Singapore Housing & Development Board (HDB) for an upcoming renovation. A contract signing took place in Dongguan, China, in August, which included Avire Managing Director Ian Steel and Avire customers IFE Elevators and Chevalier Singapore, which were represented by General Manager Luo Ai Ming and Director Quah Eng Hing, respectively. Work is scheduled to start in January 2015 and be complete in 2017.

KONE Elevators Receive SGBC Green Certification

KONE’s N MinispaceTM and N Monospace® elevators have received Green Label certification from the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC). Introduced in 2010, the certification follows ISO 14020 international standards for environmental labeling and utilizes a multi-criteria, third-party approach. These KONE models are now recommended for Singapore Building and Construction Authority Green Mark-certified buildings. KONE states the certified models, launched in 2012, consume 60-75% less energy compared with typical KONE models of 2008.

Bangkok “Super Tower” Would be Tallest in Region

At 615 m tall and 125 stories, what is now being called “Super Tower” would be the tallest building in Southeast Asia when completed in approximately six years, The Nation reports. Developers announced they were proceeding with the project in October. Designed by U.S.-based Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), the tower resembles another SOM-designed building planned in Jakarta, the 530-m-tall Pertamina Energy Tower, which has a clamlike shape (ELEVATOR WORLD, February 2014). Super Tower would be the centerpiece of a mixed-use development spanning 11.7 ha.

Dubai’s Mall of the World to Break Ground Soon

Government-owned Dubai Holding announced in September that it plans to begin work on the Mall of the World early next year. This summer, it was appointing specialized consultants for the US$6.8-billion development. Planned for 180 million visitors annually, its first phase is to be comprised of the project’s retail aspects and be ready in three years. The entire development is planned to be built over 10 years, with funds raised gradually during that period.

Launched in July, Mall of the World is a 48-million-sq.-ft., climate-controlled development expected to house the largest shopping mall and largest indoor theme park in the world. A glass dome that will be open during winter months is to cover the structure. Additionally, a “wellness zone,” a “cultural celebration district” and 100 hotels and serviced apartment buildings with 20,000 rooms will be included, according to Gulf Business.

India and Beyond

Infrastructure and retail needs create work for numerous players.

New Chinese Company Supplies Bangladeshi Mall

Hangzhou SWORD Elevator is a new manufacturer and service provider in China. According to the Shanghai Elevator Trade Association, its facilities produce 50,000 pieces of elevators and related products annually. It is located in a 120-m-tall production base in Hangzhou. It also owns an elevator testing tower that can accommodate the testing of models up to 7 mps in speed. SWORD has been qualified to manufacture domestic units up to that speed and is able to manufacture and test outdoor elevators, which run up to 26 m tall.

One of SWORD’s upcoming projects is the 166-ft.-tall “Elegant Shopping Mall” in Zindabazar, the center of Sylhet, Bangladesh. The 15-story structure will include four elevators and three escalators. The company is also actively exploring the Bangladesh elevator market and seeks cooperation there to aid its expansion in South Asia.

Comfort Elevators Launched in India

Comfort Elevators and Escalators Pvt. Ltd. (www.comfortelevator.com) has inaugurated its corporate office and headquarters in Bangalore, India, at Shakthi Comfort Towers on K.H. Road. The new company has 12 employees and is backed by experienced technocrats and designers. Comfort intends to offer customized products and services, enabling comfortable mobility and aesthetic freedom to architects. Its management team is headed by Mohan Kumar B.T., who stated:

“We want to make a difference, in terms of product quality, in the India market. It is our aim to bridge the gap between promises and expectations of product quality and its actual supply. We intend to provide the quality and service we promise, using the world’s best components.”

Kumar added that the “industry differentiator” will be to provide a single point of contact for every customer, instead of the customer needing to communicate with different teams within the organization.

22 Elevators, 19 Escalators Approved by CR Board

The Railway Board has approved a Central Railway (CR) plan to install 22 elevators and 19 escalators at numerous suburban Indian stations, the Hindustan Times reports. There are currently nine escalators along the line — two each at Thane, Dombivli, Dadar and Kalyan and one at Vikhroli. Improvements, scheduled to be underway in the first part of 2015, include four lifts and four escalators at Dadar; three lifts and four escalators at Thane; four lifts and two escalators at Kalyan; and four escalators at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus.

Middle East Market

ThyssenKrupp Elevator, Schindler complete, land big jobs.  

Dubai’s Plans for World’s Tallest Office Tower Progress

As of September, no renderings or heights had been released, but Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) is moving forward with plans to build a new high-rise commercial district, Burj 2020, slated to have as its centerpiece the world’s tallest office tower with the world’s tallest observation deck at its top, according to DMCC and The National. In September, DMCC announced the district’s project manager is Turner Construction Co., the same entity that oversaw construction of three of the world’s tallest towers, including Burj Khalifa. Groundbreaking for the district is planned in 2015, and a master-plan design competition is underway. With two buildings under construction looking to seize the “world’s tallest office tower” title — the Zhongguo Zun tower in Beijing at 528 m tall and the Ping An tower in Shenzhen, China, at 660 m tall — Dubai’s proposed tower would have to be approximately 700 m tall, making it about 100 m shorter than the Burj Khalifa, which stands 828 m.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator Outfits Qatar’s HIA with 385 Units

ThyssenKrupp Elevator provided 385 elevators, escalators and moving walks to the Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha, Qatar. The energy-efficient units have been incorporated into an architecturally significant, technologically advanced facility — inaugurated in spring 2014 — covering 2,200 ha. Elevators include those with high-end finishes, as well as ones capable of carrying up to 5 mT of freight. ThyssenKrupp Elevator is also monitoring and maintaining the units. Taking the place of the nearby Doha International Airport, HIA currently has three terminals and a capacity of 30 million passengers per year, with plans to grow to five terminals and 50 million passengers per year. The airport job builds on ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s success in Qatar since 2007. The company has provided its products and services for the Al Sultan Tower, Lusail Car Park and Tornado Tower Persian Gulf projects, and believes its energy-efficient technology will prove particularly appealing to the future Qatar market. Ramón Sotomayer, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Elevator Southern Europe, Africa & Middle East, states:

“With its revolutionary products and extensive global expertise, ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s presence in HIA and beyond is poised to put Qatar on the map for technologically advanced and environmentally sustainable mobility technologies.”

Schindler Qatar Wins 118-Unit Mall-Expansion Contract

Schindler Qatar has been awarded a 118-unit contract by ALEC for the expansion of Doha Festival City shopping mall. The order consists of 52 machine-room-less elevators and 66 escalators/moving walks. Units will include panoramic and freight elevators, as well as energy-efficient escalators. Schindler Middle East praised Schindler Qatar for securing the contract in the midst of tough competition.

China Shines

World’s biggest elevator market continues to see plenty of activity.

DAZO Cooperates with Major Realtor

The Shanghai Elevator Trade Association reported that DAZO Elevator Co., Ltd. has contracted with Shanxi MingHe Real Estate to supply and install the elevator equipment at Chinese projects in Changzhi (a power plant and park), Liedian, Hongxin Mall and Wang Guyu (a residential development). The five projects include 392 elevators. DAZO sublet the work and equipment to 33 other elevator companies. The contract between DAZO and Shanxi MingHe includes a long-term strategic cooperation agreement.

SETA Approved for Training in China

The Shanghai Elevator Trade Association (SETA) reported in October that the Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, Shanghai Employment Promotion Center and Shanghai Professional Skill Appraisal Center approved SETA’s application for providing “high-skilled talents training and evaluation implementation units in the enterprises.” SETA intends to cooperate with the governmental bodies to promote industrial professional skill training, competition and appraisal. The association also plans to work with its member companies to professionally train their staff and help them be on track to develop sustainably.

Otis, Fellow OEMs Focus on China Skyscraper Boom

Otis, KONE and ThyssenKrupp Elevator are among OEMs focusing business efforts on the skyscraper boom underway in China, China News reports. Among Otis’ high-rise projects is a recent order for 103 units for the Skidmore Owings & Merrill-designed Tianjin Chow Tai Fook Binhai Center, a 530-m-tall, mixed-used building scheduled for completion in 2018. Tony Black, president of Otis Elevator Investment Co. Ltd. in China, noted that handling such major jobs not only generates profit, but also enhances brand recognition. China has become a “battlefield,” Zhang Lexiang of the China Elevator Association said, with both foreign and domestic OEMs vying for business.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator Marks 50,000th Employee Milestone

ThyssenKrupp Elevator has hired its 50,000th employee, Chen Haihui, a 21-year-old engineer who reflects the current trend of rapid urbanization in China. A graduate of one of ThyssenKrupp’s targeted Chinese training programs, Chen Haihui is a service technician in Chongqing, which has a population of 28 million, making it one of the world’s largest cities. ThyssenKrupp Elevator notes China is a main driver of global urbanization, with a projected 22 cities having more than five million residents by 2030. In response, the company has implemented rigorous recruitment, training and continuing-education programs in China, and expanded its Chinese presence considerably: since 2010, its number of branches has grown from 32 to more than 60. Likewise, it is hiring many young graduates, with more than a third of its employees 25 years old or younger.

29 Injured in Hong Kong Lift Mishap

Twenty-nine elevator passengers were injured, two suffering broken bones, on October 9 when the elevator in which they were riding at Kwun Tong factory in Hong Kong fell from the 12th to the ground floor, South China Morning Post reports. The elevator’s capacity was 21 people, or approximately 1600 kg, and investigators believe overloading was a factor. Chinese authorities are looking further into the incident, which sparked public concern due to lift accidents becoming more frequent in recent years in quickly growing China. 

Edmonton Excited to Join the Skyscraper Club

In August, officials in Edmonton, Canada, welcomed news that downtown will soon be home to the 62-story, 224-m-tall, mixed-use Stantec Tower, cbcnews.ca reported. It will be the tallest building in Edmonton and rival Calgary’s The Bow, which is 237 m tall. The tower will house 1,700 employees of engineering and architecture firm Stantec, as well as 33 floors of residential space. The project is scheduled for completion in summer 2018. Edmonton officials also recently approved a pair of 38- and 28-story towers in Chinatown.

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Elevator World | December 2014 Cover