Fifth Annual Wisconsin Elevator Symposium
NAESA members gather for valuable sessions and networking opportunities
“Over the years, I think I’ve expressed my opinion of the industry, and I think it’s the greatest industry in the world. I think the people are the smartest. I think everybody that is involved in the elevator industry is multifaceted, because. . . the elevator industry is every portion of every industry thrown into one bucket.”
With these words, the fifth-annual NAESA International Wisconsin Symposium was underway. Bob Shepherd, NAESA executive director, continued by thanking everyone for attending the event, which was held once again in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, on October 13-14, 2016.
The first day began with a presentation by Marc Mueller, systems engineer at thyssenkrupp, who gave an overview of his company’s TWIN system. According to Mueller, this system — despite its 2:1 cost ratio when compared to standard elevators — is ideal for real estate that sells for US$2,000 per square foot or more. The technology requires several variances from ASME A17.7 code, which Mueller detailed.
Next was Brian Rausch and Kim Schmitt, from Wisconsin’s Safety & Building Division, who gave a brief overview of how the elevator department works and is structured in the state. Rausch then introduced Jason Lowery, spills response team leader for Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources. Rausch had invited Lowery to speak at the symposium after the department received many questions regarding in-ground hydraulic jacks and what to do when they leak.
The exhibit hall opened for the first time during lunch, giving the nearly 200 attendees the opportunity to eat and speak with 26 vendors.
Daniel Posner and Lenworth Grant, both from UL — a world leader in product safety and certification — opened the afternoon sessions with a discussion on UL 508A, which sets the standard for elevator control-panel safety.
Following the afternoon break, Charlie Slater, director of field operations at ATIS Elevator Inspections, LLC, spoke on the code requirements for firefighters’ access elevators and the Occupant Evacuation Operation process. An interesting question was raised on how technologies such as thyssenkrupp’s TWIN system or the various destination-dispatch systems will respond when an elevator enters evacuation mode. Slater also presented on ASME A17.4, which is designed to be a guide for emergency personnel. He emphasized the importance of having elevator personnel, above all others, assist in the event of an entrapment.
The final speaker for the first day was Bruce Horne, systems engineering manager at Otis. Horne gave an overview of Otis’ SkyRise™ elevator with its accompanying E2 controller and polyurethane buffers, which are new to the 2016 code. During the few extra minutes he had left, Horne gave an overview of Otis’ new Access Alert™ safety device, which acts as an alarm system for the hoistway.
Following Horne’s presentation, participants attended the evening reception sponsored by ATIS Elevator Inspections. As usual, there was a silent auction, which raised US$2,700 for the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation.
Kevin Heling of Wurtec opened the second day with two presentations. The first provided an overview of the 2015 Elevator Industry Field Employees’ Safety Handbook. Heling focused on the specific safety issues elevator personnel face in the field. He then gave an update on the electronic testing of elevators and related tools.
After a break, Lawrence Taylor of Schindler spoke on what the code says concerning the maintenance control program (MCP) and some of the specific Wisconsin-related regulations regarding the MCP.
Consultant Joseph Donnelly gave the event’s final presentation. Donnelly detailed the upcoming updates to the National Electrical Code, which — as Wisconsin plans to adopt the new version — proved valuable to those working in the state.
This year’s symposium saw many new attendees, as well as new exhibitors — an encouraging sign for NAESA’s future events. The educational sessions proved helpful and covered topics relevant to the issues inspectors face today and will in the future.
The 2017 Wisconsin Symposium is set for September 28-29 in Lake Geneva. For more information, visit naesai.org.