Industry Comes Together at Columbia Headquarters
Bridgeport, Connecticut, location throws party, and hosts classes, product demonstrations and a factory tour.
To mark its 50th year in business (ELEVATOR WORLD, September 2015), on August 5-6, Columbia Elevator Products Co., Inc. hosted a two-day event at its corporate headquarters in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The milestone gathering launched with a cocktail party and dinner at Vazzy’s Restaurant in nearby Shelton, Connecticut, attended by principals and representatives from numerous segments of the elevator industry.
“It was gratifying to have so many people come from across the country to join our celebration,” said Lou and L.J. Blaiotta, Columbia’s chairman and president, respectively, on August 5. “All of us at Columbia personally and publically conveyed our deeply felt ‘thank you’ to the industry for its half century of business and to our loyal employees who have stood by us throughout the years.”
The next day, celebrants, invited guests and elevator technicians arrived at the headquarters for classes, product demonstrations and a factory tour. First, Travis Hall, general manager for Alliance, a packager of elevator systems, presented an overview of an entire passenger elevator system and its various critical components. This led directly into a talk by L.J. Blaiotta about entrances, covering identification of various types and their code requirements, their fire-rating requirements and some specialty applications that utilize transoms and stationary panels that can replace swing doors with sliding doors, while retaining fire rating and door-impact code requirements.
Next was Jeff Kneuer of Innovation Industries talking about fixture positioning and code requirements for various buttons, hall stations and car stations, as well as which jurisdictions have authority over these requirements. Following was a discussion led by Brian Hilfrank of Palmer Pads, who outlined the fire rating and code requirements of car protection pads, with details on how and where to use and install them. Wrapping up the morning was a comprehensive tutorial by Russ Harvey of SmartRise Engineering, Inc. In a dedicated classroom complete with simulators at each seat, Harvey taught participants how to program and troubleshoot a controller.
After a lunch break, the program continued with Michael J. Ryan of The Peelle Co., who presented a comprehensive overview on freight elevators: the sizes and limitations of freight doors, how they operate and their fire-rating requirements. Following was Man-D-Tec, Inc., with Terry, Brandon and Dalton Mandy reviewing emergency lighting requirements, backup battery requirements, and the differences between lumens, foot-candles and lux. Next were Kevin Rippentrop and Dean Heasley of SCS Elevator Products/LIFEGUARD, demonstrating the uses, safety benefits, features and mounting of light curtains. Then, Columbia R&D Director Dave Sutton and Communications Director Margaret Gilhooley outlined the history and evolution of door operators, from manual to harmonic to linear, including the advantages and disadvantages of each and the code requirements regarding impact of a door on passengers.
The final presentation by Columbia Director of Engineering Tom Birdsall focused on various types of elevator cabs, including steel shell and wood core; structural integrity; electric shock; ventilation; and other code requirements. The day wrapped up with an exam for Certified Elevator Technician (CET®) credits and a gathering of the presenters.