Interlift 2015


In its largest iteration to date, the biennial international trade fair introduces the CUBE, prepares Europe and beyond for new lift standards, and highlights new products and innovations in charming Augsburg, Germany.

The picturesque town of Augsburg, Germany, was awash with elevator-industry professionals from around the world the week of October 13, 2015, all gathered for the 12th iteration of Interlift, the industry’s biggest biennial international trade fair. The largest event since its premiere, Interlift 2015 welcomed 541 exhibitors from 43 countries and 20,440 visitors from nearly 100 nations in 42,500 m2 at the Messezentrum amid cold and, sometimes, rainy conditions.

According to a survey given to Interlift 2015 exhibitors and visitors by the Gelszus Trade Fair Market Research agency, more than 70% saw the situation of the elevator industry worldwide as considerably better than it was perceived to be two years ago, which may account for Interlift 2015’s record numbers. As for the perception of this first-time Interlift attendee, the industry seemed to, indeed, be bursting with innovation, education, energy and excitement.

 Interlift 2015 saw 1,500 more visitors than in 2013, and most of them believed in a bright future for themselves and the industry. This belief served the 43 exhibiting countries well during the fair’s duration. Led by Germany’s 160 exhibiting companies, foreign exhibitors were topped by Italy, as in years past, with 91 exhibiting companies, followed by China with 62, Turkey with 42 and Spain with 36. France and Great Britain featured 16 exhibiting companies each; Greece, 11; and the U.S. and the Netherlands, nine each, rounding out the top 10 exhibiting countries.

Aside from the impressive numbers and positive forecast, this year’s Interlift stood out from its former iterations for a variety of reasons. During Interlift’s opening ceremonies, commenced by VFA-Interlift e.V. President Achim Hütter, AFAG Messen und Ausstellungen GmbH Managing Director Heiko Könicke acknowledged the “full house” and mentioned the new lift directive, 2014/33/EU, and standards, EN 81-20/50, for which much of the world is preparing, saying, “They make coming to this fair compulsory. . . . You cannot capture this on the Internet.” Könicke was referring to the VFA Forum’s well-rounded schedule of education addressing EN 81-20/50, among other topics, and the new products compliant with the new standards being unveiled by exhibitors as at least two factors that made being present at Interlift 2015 “unique” and the fair itself increasingly “relevant.”

Also, new to this year’s fair was a renovated exhibition Hall 4, which was inaugurated by the Mayor of Augsburg, Kurt Gribl, following the fair’s opening ceremonies, and the 1,500 m2 CUBE, a first-time, year-in-the-making showplace (see sidebar), which housed one exhibitor — Wittur. The building of the standalone pavilion, or “CUBE,” led to changes in parking at the facility and new entrances, as well. With more space still available on the grounds, Interlift’s growth can continue, assured Gribl. He stressed Augsburg’s commitment to Interlift, saying the fair is now “a part of our nature.”

Other Opening Ceremonies speakers included European Lift Association President Jorge Ligüerre, who stressed the growing importance of education for industry employees. Some companies employ four generations, all of whom learn in different ways, said Ligüerre, who continued by explaining that traditional teaching was not enough anymore. “Collaborative learning is what the future holds. We must teach in short timeframes, providing microbursts of learning. Interlift is tackling this,” Ligüerre said.

To this end, the VFA Forum provided four full days of lectures from more than 50 industry experts covering topics from international market trends, new products and services, staff training, safety and energy efficiency to ways to successfully navigate the impending new standards. The first lecture of the Forum, “EN 81-20/50: The Biggest Evolution of Lift Norms Ever,” presented by Wittur’s Wolfgang Adldinger, spoke not only to the scope of the industry’s changing future, but also set the tone for future lectures and encapsulated the underlying theme of the fair itself.

Andreas Hönnige, board member for training and further education of VFA-Interlift, said:

“We are very pleased with the 2,000 participants at this year’s VFA Forum. This shows that every 10th visitor to the fair is broadening his knowledge through a visit to the Forum. Once again the position of the VFA Forum as the turnover site for international expert information on the subject of elevators has been confirmed.”

Throughout exhibition halls one through seven and in the Wittur Cube, new products and services were being presented and enthusiastically discussed, among them controls and shaft and cabin doors, together with door drives; these are the components from which the new standards demand new approaches with respect to safety. The display sector showcased innovative new speech modules, which will widely enable the use of elevators by hearing-impaired people. New solutions in the field of elevator drives that respond to more restricted shafts could be found.

Energy efficiency and energy recovery within buildings still proved an important topic and received much attention from manufacturers. New software for maintenance of elevators was seen, as well as advanced software for the planning of elevator plants. Further developments in the field of private and public mobility were evident in the sector of home lifts, lifting platforms and other products for barrier-free access. The supply industry showed many new products ranging from fastening elements to cables in the shaft.

Michael Gubisch, General Manager of Schäfer GmbH, shared his experience, saying:

“Interlift 2015 showed once again that the whole elevator world comes to Augsburg to present products and new technologies, and also to see their national and international customers. The presentations of the trade-fair stands have reached a new level. The organization of the overall event, but also of all individual events, was fantastic.”

Silvia Piccione, General Manager of ANICA (Italian Association of Elevator Component Manufacturers), reiterated Gubisch’s sentiments:

“From the first day we had more visitors than in the past, including a remarkable amount of foreign visitors. The visitors, and also the exhibitors with whom I have spoken, were impressed by Interlift 2015. The Italian elevator industry seems to be moving forward again. Many companies, even small ones, are investing in the development of new, innovative solutions.”

According to Könicke, it is the positive response from exhibitors and visitors that tell the real story of Interlift 2015:

“Of course we are very happy with the many new benchmarks set by the Interlift, but the excellent assessments given by the exhibitors and visitors are just as important for us. And, although the Interlift has now reached a considerable size, it still has this friendly atmosphere. . . . We are also very happy about the successful inclusion of the Cube and the new exhibition Hall 4. The new entrances have proved very advantageous for spreading the arriving visitors between all the halls, which was appreciated by all the exhibitors.”

Hütter’s assessment of Interlift 2015 was much the same: “Interlift 2015 was a brilliant success on all fronts. My conclusion, which I shared with the many people I spoke to over the four days, is absolutely positive.”

As for your author’s experience, I would have to agree with Hütter. To witness the industry on such a grand scale for the first time is enlightening; to finally meet (in person) many of those I have corresponded with over my four years at ELEVATOR WORLD is gratifying; and to hear the deep well of knowledge from experts and see the technological advancements brought forth by companies from all over the world is encouraging. If Interlift 2015 is any indication, and experts say that it is, the industry’s future certainly looks bright.     

For Interlift organizers, there is no time to relax; the preparations for Interlift 2017 will soon begin. Participation information will be available in early 2016 at


VFA Forum

October 13

  • “EN 81-20/50: The Biggest Evolution of Lift Norms Ever” by Wolfgang Adldinger, Wittur, Wiedenzhausen, Germany
  • “The Lift Market in Central Africa — A Bachelor Thesis” by Jens Köller, Yaskawa Europe, Eschborn, Germany
  • “Plan ahead to ensure Future Success! Short Presentations on the Subject of Recruiting Young Professionals and Qualification of Employees in the Elevator Industry” by representatives of the Chamber of Commerce of Swabia, the Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg (Cooperative State University), Mannheim, and a medium-sized apprenticing company of the elevator industry.
  • “High-Tech App Measures the Most Important Parameters of an Elevator” by Dr. Sebastian Sigle, Matthias Gehrke, Stuttgart, Germany
  • “Drive Systems based on Push Chain Technology for the Elevator Industry” by Olaf Klingner, Serapid Deutschland, Bad Mergentheim, Germany

October 14

  • “Modern and Economical Methods for Energy Recuperation” by Dieter Rieger, Ziehl-Abegg, Künzelsau, Germany
  • “Preparing for EN 81-20/50: Organizational Changes and Best Practices for an Elevator Components Manufacturing Company” by Andrea Bondavalli, Wittur Italy, Colorno, Italy
  • “The European Lift Market: SNEL, SNEE and other Focus Areas of ELA” by Jean-Pierre Jacobs, ELA, Brussels
  • “Risk Potential of Safety Gears — Inspections with Test Weights Show a Lack of Significance!” by Tim Ebeling, Henning, Schwelm, Germany
  • “The Market for Platform Lifts and Home Lifts in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland: Facts and Figures” by Stephan Kretzschmar, Lift Expert/Consulting, Pliening, Germany
  • “Urbanization: the Reason for Megacities — Vertical Traffic Concepts and Elevator Technology in High Rise Buildings” by Jörg Müller, ThyssenKrupp Elevator, Neuhausen, Germany
  • “About the Safety of Old Hydraulic Lifts and Their Modernisation” by Claudio Maggioni, GMV oildinamic, Novara, Italy
  • “Impact of the New Lift Directive 2014/33/EC on the Market of Lifts and Safety Components” by Werner Rau, TÜV SÜD, Munich
  • “UpMax Home: Innovative — Economic — Unique System Acc. to EN 81-41” by Jörg Blasek, DualLift, Osterholz, Germany
  • “The New German Health and Safety at Work Regulations (BetrSichV)” by Klaus-Peter Kapp, Jan König, VFA-Interlift, Hamburg, Germany
  • “Emergency Call without PSTN — GSM vs AII-IP” by Bodo Adamus, Bosch Service Solutions, Berlin
  • “The Iranian Lift Market” by Amir Reza Hashemi, Sigma Asanbar, Tehran
  • “iValve — Completing the Family” by Dr.-Ing. Eneko Goenechea, Bucher Hydraulics, Neuheim, Switzerland
  • “ONYX: Certified, Centrally guided, Machineroomless Lift in Accordance with EN 81-20/50” by Stefan Dümml, LM Liftmaterial, Pliening, Germany

October 15

  • “Refurbish Your Lift and Save the World” by Kjell Johansson, Hydroware, Alvesta, Sweden
  • “CUBIC: Ecological Door Manufacturing Acc. to EN 81-20/50” by Giuseppe deFrancesco, Sematic Italy, Osio Sotto, Italy
  • “Modernization — Why Comprehensive Information and Advice is so Important” by Volker Lenzner, LiftEquip, Neuhausen, Germany
  • “The Great Beauty: The Italian Lift Market” by Fabio Liberali, Elevatori/Volpe, Vignate Milano, Italy
  • “Home Lifts: An Ideal Solution for Vertical Transportation in Low Rise Buildings” by Lazaros Asvestopoulos, KLEEMAN, Kilkis, Greece
  • “Interactions between Acceleration/Vibration and Acoustic Impact on Rooms Requiring Protection” by Ulrich Nees, Aufzug — Systeme + Beratung, Porta Westfalica, Germany
  • “Energy Efficient Control of Hydraulic Elevators” by Michael Müller, Danfoss, Offenbach, Germany
  • “Product Development for Increased Demands in the International Elevator Market” by Jawk Meijer, Lothar Sieber, Schwartz Technical Plastics
  • “Risk Assessment for the Operation and Maintenance of Lifts” by Reiner Dummert, Hamburg, Germany
  • “Innovative Control-by-Wire Technology for Elevator Safety” by Dr.-Ing. Etienne Nitidem, Wittur, Wiedenzhausen, Germany
  • “Hydrajaws Elevator Tester Kit” by Jonathan Craig, Hydrajaws, Birmingham, Great Britain
  • “Fire Elevator, Escalator, and Travelator Management System (FEMS) in an Airport” by Giovanni Pappalardo, ANACAM Lift Association, Rome
  • “Innovative Modernisation of Car Doors” by Matthias Langer, Langer & Laumann Ingenieurbüro, Nordwalde, Germany
  • “Training for Innovation and Innovative Training: An Elevator Industry Anticipation” by José Maria Compagni, Docensas, Sevilla, Spain
  • “Fastening Technology for Lifts and Elevators” by Benjamin Gottschalk, Jordahl, Berlin

October 16

  • “Home Lifts in Residential Homes” by Olga Wildermuth, Vestner Aufzüge, Munich
  • “Change in the Safety Level by the New EN 81-20/50” by Werner Rau, TÜV SÜD, Munich
  • “More Functions for More Safety — Increasing the Safety for Users and Maintenance Technicians” by Christiane Lüning, Schmersal BÖHNKE + PARTNER, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
  • “International Trends in Codes & Standards for Lifts” by Esfandiar Gharibaan, CEN/TC10, Kraainem, Belgium
  • “New European Standards as Initial Spark Towards Innovation: Slim Lift Doors Acc. to EN 81-58/20” by Martin Grabmayer, Riedl Aufzugbau, Feldkirchen, Germany
  • “LIMAX33-CP — Redundant SIL3 Sensor for Detecting the Car Position” by Heiko Essinger, Elgo Electronic, Rielasingen, Germany
  • “Energy Storage as an Alternative to Energy Regeneration: Challenges and Opportunities” by Dr. Pilar Molina-Gaudó, Epic Power Converters, Zaragoza, Spain
  • “Renewal of Strategic Components in Elevators” by Prof. Henning Balck, Friedhelm Meermann, Balck + Partner, Heidelberg, Germany
  • “Innovative UCMP Package Solution for Easy Installation in Existing Lifts” by Patrizio Fontanarosa, FLP Fontanarosa Lift Parts, Fellbach, Germany
  • “2N® Lift 8 — Elevator Emergency Communication System” by Pavel Kotek, Lift & M2M, Prague, Czech Republic
  • “New Products & Solutions for the Lifts of the Future” by Marco Pessina, Digicom, Cardano al Campo, Italy
  • “Legislation of the Russian Federation about Technical Regulation and Lift Safety” by Aleksey Zakharov, NLU, Moscow
  • These lectures are available at www.interlift.de.

EFESME Celebrates 10 Years

The European Federation for Elevator Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (EFESME) celebrated its 10th anniversary with a reception at Interlift 2015 on October 15. Outgoing president, Jean-Claude Georges, retraced the successes achieved during the 10 years of EFESME’s existence. He said the anniversary represented “a recognition of the constant work we have been carrying to protect the enterprises we represent; however, this achievement is even more significant given the social and economic trends Europe has faced.”

The new highest offices of EFESME, elected during the Assembly General that day, were presented:

  • Marcel Boutillier — president
  • Massimo Bezzi — vice president
  • Ralph Kanzler — vice president
  • Giuseppe Iotti — secretary general
  • Bruno Venditti — treasurer

Their leadership will span three years. EFESME Vice President Massimo Bezzi stressed the need to continue “to engage in the continuous growth of EFESME and to strengthen the relationships with our members and with other organizations that could, in the future, join EFESME.”

Guests, including the international press, were treated to celebratory champagne, cake and a wide variety of hors d’oeuvres.   

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Elevator World Editor / VP of Editorial

Elevator World | January 2016 Cover