Major news from OEMs, training and honors
thyssenkrupp to Spin Off Elevators as Part of Split
thyssenkrupp announced on September 27 it would split the company into two listed entities — thyssenkrupp Industrials with roughly 90,000 employees containing the elevator, car parts and plant-engineering divisions, and thyssenkrupp Materials with approximately 40,000 employees containing metals distribution, bearings, forging and naval vessels, as well as a 50% stake in thyssenkrupp’s joint venture with Tata Steel, various news outlets, including Reuters, reported. thyssenkrupp Industrials will initially be minority owned by thyssenkrupp Materials.
The source described the move, announced by CEO Guido Kerkhoff, as the “biggest overhaul since the merger of Thyssen and Krupp 20 years ago.” Shareholders hope simplifying an “overly complex conglomerate structure” will make the divisions more competitive. Elevator Technology is thyssenkrupp’s most profitable division but still trails rival KONE, with profit margins of 12% and 13.8%, respectively. Kerkhoff told a German television station that some administrative positions could be lost due to the split, set for a shareholder vote 12-18 months from when the supervisory board approved the deal on September 20. A potential merger of thyssenkrupp with a rival is likely “off the table for the foreseeable future,” an analyst observed.
Schindler Debuts Autonomous, Self-Climbing Elevator Robot
As part of a robotics research collaboration with the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), Schindler announced its Robotics Installation System for Elevators (R.I.S.E.) on October 17. Displayed at the CTBUH 2018 Conference in Dubai on October 21-25, the autonomous, self-climbing robot is intended to install elevators in high-rise buildings. The technology was recently used to install several elevators in tall buildings in Europe. R.I.S.E. was developed to eliminate the repetitive, physically demanding work of drilling multiple holes in concrete walls to set anchor bolts for guide rails with greater precision. According to Schindler, R.I.S.E. is “paving the way for greater automation and digitization in the elevator industry” and improves worker safety and quality. The two-year partnership with CTBUH is focused on research into robotics and automation processes in the construction of tall buildings.
KONE Wins Order for “Super Hospital” in Northern Denmark
KONE has won an order to provide vertical-transportation equipment to the 170,000-m2 New Aalborg University Hospital (NAUH) in northern Denmark. The order includes 41 MonoSpace®, 700 machine-room-less and 18 heavy-duty TranSysTM passenger, freight and service elevators. Expected to open in 2020 near Aalborg University and University College of North Denmark, NAUH will unite two existing hospitals to become the center of the region’s healthcare system. Architects and contractors involved are part of the Indigo consortium.
Simutech Multimedia, CEIEP Launch Training Simulation
Ottawa, Canada-based Simutech Multimedia Inc., a major provider of simulation-based electrical troubleshooting training solutions for manufacturing, and the Canadian Elevator Industry Educational Program (CEIEP), the country’s leading apprenticeship training program for elevator technicians, have entered into an agreement to jointly develop educational products, Simutech announced in October.
As part of this agreement, CEIEP and Simutech launched “Troubleshooting Freight Elevator Doors,” a fully simulated module designed to teach new and experienced elevator technicians the science of troubleshooting industry-specific systems through a hands-on and interactive method. Warren Rhude, chief product officer for Simutech, said the agreement enhances his company’s position in industrial and manufacturing areas, and expands CEIEP’s ability to provide simulation-based training focused on the elevator industry.
“Because safety is a critical component built into all of our modules, the Freight Elevator Door simulation requires elevator mechanics and apprentices to follow strict safety processes while working on elevating devices,” said Rhude. “Those trained on this module will gain all the skills necessary to safely and effectively troubleshoot complex systems specific to the elevator industry.”
KONE Makes Forbes’ World’s Best Employers List
KONE has been ranked 105th on Forbes’ 2018 Global 2000: World’s Best Employers list, marking the second year in a row the OEM has achieved the honor. Including publicly traded companies from more than 60 countries, the list is based on an analysis of more than 430,000 recommendations by employees and other respondents in the areas of image, working conditions and diversity. KONE has more than 55,000 employees representing 129 nationalities all over the world. KONE said its personnel strategy includes “a strong focus on enabling employees to develop their competencies and leadership skills.”
Consultant Honored by Canadian Safety Organization
Eric Peterson, president and CEO of GUNN Consultants, with offices in Calgary and Vancouver, Canada, received the Excellence in Safety and Technical Training award from the independent organization Technical Safety BC. GUNN has provided elevator consulting, system design, traffic studies, project management and other services since 1998. Peterson and fellow recipients of the 2018 Lieutenant Governor afety Awards were honored during a luncheon reception in November. Technical Safety BC said Peterson, “through his work in promoting education and developing training programs, has set a higher standard for elevator consultants across British Columbia.”