U.S. organization conducts international conference on elevator maintenance management.
The Asociación de Ingeniería Mecánica e Industrial de Minas Gerais (Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Association of Minas Gerais [ABEMEC-MG]) organized a conference delivered by National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) representatives on CREA-MG’s (Regional Council of Engineering and Agronomy of Minas Gerais) premises in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on May 14. The main goals were to discuss modern practices in elevator management and exchange knowledge and experiences among professionals in the vertical-transportation sector.
The conference was opened by ABEMEC-MG President Eng. Ronaldo Bandeira and ABEMEC-MG organizer Fábio Aranha. NAEC was represented by its president, Brian Farley, who is also Hudson Elevator Group’s CEO. He was accompanied by Teresa Witham, the association’s executive director. Witham described NAEC´s organization, committees, and member services. She then rendered a detailed report on the American elevator industry. Finally, she stressed the importance of education, particularly through the NAEC Certified Elevator Technician (CET®) Certified Accessibility and Private-Residence Lift Technician (CAT®) programs. In the U.S., 22 state licensing boards recognize these certificates for renewals.
Farley, who is also involved in the manufacture of special elevators, was the second speaker. He recollected the beginnings of the association 65 years ago, when many companies operated individually in the manufacturing, installation and maintenance markets. He emphasized:
“When I see the interest in elevators here, I remember when, in my country, an organization was created to exchange information and technology to produce better elevators for everybody. We must produce safe elevators, be sure they receive adequate maintenance and that they will last. We have a social responsibility, because we are responsible for the users´ lives.”
Farley also indicated the importance of technician safety, stressing accident prevention and mechanic training. Speaking from experience about his home market of New York City (NYC), he stated, “In NYC, if there is an accident, we have a problem. If there are two, we have a serious problem, and if there are three, the company is out of the market.” Later, he explained the importance of consultants and their recent role in taking over some elevator inspections.
Farley also explained how signing a contract with an independent company has advantages that benefit the customer. He analyzed:
“In my case, an elevator mechanic is responsible for approximately 100 units. In the big companies, technicians go in and out of the building in a hurry, because they must care for 1,800-2,000 elevators. To keep our customers is a process that takes years, so we must dedicate 30-60 minutes per month to maintain their elevators.”
Witham said she was impressed by the in-depth questions posed by attendees. She said it is apparent industry members are focused on improving the quality of their equipment and services. Farley was also optimistic regarding the potential of the Brazilian market: “I hope to see the growth of this industry. The world is becoming smaller, insofar as the people with common interests share information.”
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