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IAEC Forum 2015

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Consultants’ association meets, educates in vibrant Nashville.

AConsultants’ association meets, educates in vibrant Nashville.

Cover photo submitted by Beatriz Col Marchena

The theme of the International Association of Elevator Consultants (IAEC) Forum 2015 was “Learn. Network. Enjoy.” It was not false advertising, as attendees at the May 19-22 event in Nashville had every chance to do all three of these. QEIs could get a complete continuing-education unit (CEU), as the many classes included .8 CEUs worth of NAESA International-presented classes, in addition to .2 CEUs from IAEC educational seminars. Networking and enjoyment went hand in hand with well-catered meals and a special entertainment outing on the last evening.

The week began with Monday’s closed-doors board meeting. Most attendees arrived on the following day, when a NAESA educational seminar for .8 CEUs took place for approximately eight hours. Booths were ready for show afterward in an intimate room that was packed with 33 exhibitors. In accordance with IAEC’s strong support of the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF), a silent auction was held at each booth that took in approximately US$2,400 for the educational foundation.

Wednesday and Thursday were full of educational opportunities. IAEC Executive Director Sheila Swett opened the former with a warm welcome and introduced IAEC President James Lawrence. Lawrence asked for a moment of remembrance for Walter Siebecker and introduced Jay Popp, who worked with Siebecker at Lerch Bates Inc. Popp said he would be remembered fondly for his “undying spirit” and always wanting to give back to the industry. Popp then encouraged attendees to, in the spirit of Siebecker, never be afraid to research and get involved in the industry and its associations.

Swett then explained the EESF and introduced its executive director, Nikole Gore-Layton, who presented on the foundation’s Workplace Giving campaign. Swett and Tom Sybert then promoted the EESF and its important mission.

A Code Roundtable followed with an introduction and explanation of codes worldwide by Popp. John Koshak then presented on the European EN 81-80: Safety Norm for Existing Lifts (SNEL) and its differences with ASME/CSA standards in methodology, design and practice. Lawrence then explained, “There is a big push to bring EN 81 to North America, primarily by the major manufacturers. But our Americans with Disabilities Act codes is precious.” John Rearick then informed that ASME A17.3 (2015) is being released later this year.

“Take Control” by Dan Walsh of KONE kicked off the educational sessions. He explained North America “has really taken off for us” since Asia’s growth slowdown. He then described KONE’s destination control and integration with the KONE Access™ security system and Access Control Interface, which can interact with third-party access-control systems.

Koshak of Elevator Safety Solutions and Safest Elevator Systems then presented his “Elevator Hoistway Doors” session (ELEVATOR WORLD, April 2015). Barry Robbins-Capuano of Fit Pit was next. He discussed “The Hidden Effects of Vapor Intrusion, Hydraulic Fluid Exposure and Water Intrusion.” This included what the Environmental Protection Agency is doing about indoor air quality; effects of mold, bacteria, radon and hydraulic fluid; and upcoming litigation.

“TWIN and MULTI – The New Frontier” was then presented by Phil Hampton and Mark Schroeder of ThyssenKrupp Elevator. It began with the history and safety features of the better-known TWIN, which is now finally coming to the U.S. following recent A17.7 certification via Liftinstituut testing. The product will be offered with a capacity of 2000-4000 lb., for 16-40 stories with a travel up to 600 ft. and a speed of 1,200 fpm for the upper car and 800 fpm for the lower car. The upcoming MULTI was then showcased (EW, February 2015). The presenters explained the product takes technology and lessons learned from TWIN, linear technology and maglevs to create a “modern-day paternoster.” Unlike its experience with TWIN, the company is working in parallel with both European and North American code compliance.

Tracey Fackler and Richard Taylor of Draka Elevator then spoke on “Fiber Optic Technology in Elevators,” explaining the cabling options the company offers and its advantages and installation means. Marcus Mere of Micelect followed them with “Rope Tension Devices,” outlining their importance and showing how to use software for tension monitoring.

Scott Skaletsky of Urgo & Nugent was a bit of a special guest, being from outside the elevator industry. He practices law in Illinois, Arizona and the U.S. District Court, Northern District. He focused on liability of different parties that may be involved in an elevator case and consultant responsibility. He also graciously fielded many questions from the interested audience and commented on recent cases.

Wednesday wrapped up with a trip to the Acme Feed & Seed, where access to a rooftop bar and a nice dinner with, of course, live country music awaited attendees.

Kevin Heling of Wurtec kicked off Thursday with “There Is an Alternative” on the alternative testing of safeties (EW, May 2015). The last presentation was by William Seymour of Blain Hydraulics on variable-voltage, variable-frequency drives and frequency-controlled valves, both for hydraulic elevators.

The IAEC Annual General Membership (AGM) Meeting was then begun by Swett, who began a discussion on future meetings. United in Montreal was already scheduled for IAEC’s 2016 annual meeting, and members decided on Las Vegas for 2017 and Chicago for 2018. Lawrence then spoke on codes, reiterating the majors’ endorsement of EN 81. A committee made up of Dick Gregory, Koshak and Rearick was formed to examine the issue and IAEC’s stance via the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

Leo Fenili then gave the membership report, indicating 74 professional, four honorary and seven associate memberships. This is a decrease from last year, and Lawrence suggested a focus on recruiting younger members, specifically in the New York area. He and others set a lofty goal of 25 new members for the coming year, coinciding with the association’s 25th anniversary.

IAEC will be hosting the educational portion of United 2016, and Education & Technical Committee member Nicholas J. Montesano asked for help on this front. Lawrence and Gregory immediately volunteered to present, giving the committee a strong start toward filling the event with some of the best live educational opportunities in the industry. Gregory, as Nominations Committee chair, then presented the following as 2015-2016 officers: Lawrence for president, Fenili for vice-president, Paul Rosenberg for secretary and Richard Blaska for treasurer. In addition to adding at-large directors Hanie Lancaster and Tim Marshall, these were all accepted, and Gregory set about swearing in new officers and directors.

There was also a consensus to donate US$2,500 to the EESF, with more donations to come later in the year. Lawrence remarked that it was good to experience the positive tone throughout this year’s event that began with the meaningful educational opportunities presented. “This is the best AGM Meeting I’ve ever attended,” he added.

The final day, Friday, was comprised of a group trip to the newly renovated ThyssenKrupp Elevator factory in Middleton, Tennessee (EW, May and June 2015). The plant operates 24 hr. a day and delivers approximately one-third of the elevator products used in the U.S.

The association will celebrate its 25th anniversary as part of United in Montreal on September 19-22, 2016. The gathering will be hosted jointly by IAEC, the National Association of Elevator Contractors and the Canadian Elevator Contractors Association.

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