Focused on Growth
VT industry converges on Mumbai for eighth IEE Expo to discuss the latest developments with an eye toward the future.
by Vijay Pandya
It has been said, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself,” and nothing exemplified this adage more than the exhibitors and visitors who gathered in Mumbai, India, for the 2020 edition of the International Elevator and Escalator (IEE) Expo. Taking place February 27-29 — while concerns about the spreading coronavirus were dominating news headlines — Hall 1 of the Bombay Exhibition Center witnessed stakeholders of the vertical-transportation (VT) and real estate industries coming together to conduct business pretty much as they always have.
IEE Expo 2020, organized by Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India Pvt. Ltd., was the eighth edition of the event and recorded 7,512 business visitors during its three days. Mandated precautions restricted the presence of certain exhibitors and visitors from overseas, but those gathered were quite positive about the industry’s prospects and optimistic about its future. In fact, many of the visitors opined that it felt like stepping into quite a different place altogether, far removed from the fears of infection.
With participation from countries like India, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey, the biennial show hosted 135 companies showcasing an array of high-end solutions to help leverage the progressive sector of building technologies.
VT industry members, true to their nature, provided the ambiance of a safe haven where strangers were, as always, welcomed with warm smiles. While showcasing the latest solutions for VT, discussions focused on high rises getting even taller, plus the correlation between them and rapid advances in elevator technology.
IEE Expo 2020 opened with the traditional lamp-lighting ceremony by eminent members from the government and elevator industry, including Dhirajkumar S. Pandirkar, chief engineer, Maharashtra Housing & Area Development Authority (MHADA); S.R. Nalavade, superintendent engineer, energy department, Government of Maharashtra; Sebi Joseph, chairman, elevators & escalators division, Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers Association (IEEMA) and president, Otis (India) Ltd.; Nakul P. Mehta, vice chairman and managing director, Bharat Bijlee, Ltd.; R. Rajaraman, vice president, Bharat Bijlee; Sandeep Shah, assistant vice president and head, commercial contract and procurement, Omkar; T.D. Joseph, business head, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India-Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (CREDAI-MCHI); and Raj Manek, executive director and board member, Messe Frankfurt Asia Holdings Ltd.
The dignitaries highlighted the latest elevator market trends from global and domestic perspectives. Topics like geographical product affinity, customer outlook, reasons for market growth and details on the current real estate scenario were shared.
Dhirajkumar S. Pandirkar shared that the industry will get added impetus by government housing schemes like Pradhan Mantri Awaz Yojna (PMAY) for the affordable-housing sector. The target for the scheme is 1.9 million houses, and its support and smooth vertical mobility requires the development of the VT sector. With many infrastructure projects in the line, technologically advanced elevators and escalators have become a necessity in the country. Concluding his speech, he added, “I hope all the participants and visitors gain optimum industry insights and business prospects during the next three days of the show.”
S.R. Nalavade stated, “With the amount of infrastructural progress [Mumbai] is witnessing, we are expecting many lift installations.”
Key brands at the show included Arkel, Akis Motors, ADCO, Bharat Bijlee, Butkon Asansör, Blain, Canny Elevator, Çelik Ray, EC India, Epic Elevators, Fermator, Genemek India, Inova Automation, Giovenzana, Kinetic, MAS Industries, Marazzi, Montanari, Mahabali Steels, Mayr, Mona Drive, Sigma, Sicor, Raloe India, NBSL, Tectronics and Ziehl-Abegg.
The show floor featured high-quality advancements and solutions by companies including IndiTech Systems, EPIC Elevators, Delta PD Pumps, Spectra Controls, ISTS Inc., Rudraksha Electricals, KY Industries, RITEOHMS (R.B.E. Electronics), Tedra Automotive Solutions and Bestomech Industries. There were live demonstrations of technologies like solar ELOS (a solar generator for elevators), hydraulic elevators for passengers and goods, pneumatic elevators, smart elevator control panels with cloud connectivity and more.
Tectronics Engineers witnessed a good response to their indigenous gearless traction machine and introduced five products: the 24-pole RTG 24P Series for passenger capacity up to 12; the 32-pole RTG 24P Series for passenger capacity up to 16; the 16-pole RTG 32P Series for capacity up to 1.6 T.; a home lift machine and a six-passenger belt machine. The company has launched an application for Android and iOS users within the Indian elevator market that enables people to know more about their machines, such as through technical details with drawings, and offers product-filter options such as load and speed. It also provides a direct contact for sales andservice inquiries.
Day two of the show witnessed a series of seminars and panel discussions throwing light on important topics, like the Indian elevator market, future design and developments of energy-efficient gearless permanent-magnet synchronous machines for elevators, safety updates for the sector and guide rails.
Visitors included OEMs, government officials from the infrastructure department and component suppliers. Decisionmakers from the procurement and technical departments of OEMs Schindler India Pvt. Ltd., KONE India Pvt. Ltd., Otis India Ltd., thyssenkrupp Elevator India Pvt. Ltd., Fujitec India and Toshiba Johnson Elevators (India) Pvt. Ltd. visited the component manufacturers and suppliers to gain knowledge and source technologies to help assemble the need-of-the-hour elevators.
Ko Tanaka, managing director, Mitsubishi Elevator India Pvt. Ltd., said, “I was very impressed by all the exhibitors participating at the show. I have gained a lot of insights about the new developments in the industry, and our company intends to utilize this opportunity to strengthen our products.” Bharat Bijlee’s Mehta said:
“We have seen this show getting bigger and bigger. The profile of companies who visit and exhibit have evolved, and there’s a much wider interest and cross-section of people who attend to understand the new developments in this edition. Our main goal was to be able to showcase our products, know what’s happening around us and meet companies we can develop business contacts with. I must say, the show has been a fruitful experience.”
The strategic partnership with CREDAI-MCHI attracted many from real estate. Mukesh Jaitley, director, The Wadhwa Group, noted:
“As buyers, people just look at the finished product and don’t know [which] technicalities go inside creating the product. But this edition has given us in-depth insight about the components used to assemble the elevators. During my visit, I liked a [small motor] by Epic Elevators. . . and we plan to be in touch with them for future developments.”
The next IEE Expo is planned for 2022 at a date to be announced.