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Oleo and KONE invest in plants; Toshiba Johnson markets new elevator series.

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Oleo to Open India Facility

U.K.-based manufacturer Oleo International will open its first production facility in India near Bengaluru International Airport at the beginning of the year. Impetus for the construction on the 50,000-sq.-ft building is to meet an increase in demand for its elevator buffers. It will concentrate primarily on manufacturing buffers for the elevator market. Oleo already has a production facility in China, in addition to its main site in Coventry, U.K. It manufactures buffers for the global elevator, rail and industrial industries.

Oleo already exports 95% of its products overseas and has long identified India as a high-potential growth market. Oleo Elevator Division Managing Director Jamie Pratt said the move is a direct response to anticipated demand from the country for elevator buffers, elaborating:

“India is a country that still has an aging building infrastructure and is currently undergoing a nationwide rebuilding project to replace many of its older buildings with more modern structures. The majority of these will be built high rise and will require both elevators and elevator safety devices.”  

Oleo stated that as India is not yet a major player in the global skyscraper market, its Indian factory will initially concentrate on the design and manufacture of modern, lower-speed buffers, with its U.K. site continuing to manufacture for the high-speed market. Three new 8-m-buffer testing towers solely to address buffer performance are being built at the new factory.

Toshiba Johnson Launches New Elevator for India

Toshiba Johnson Elevators (India) Pvt. Ltd. has launched its “ELCOSMO-TJ” elevator series, especially developed for the Indian market’s upper-middle segment, including low- and mid-rise buildings, such as mid-sized office buildings, residential buildings and the retail segment. Toshiba notes the latter is a rapidly growing, large-volume zone for the elevator market in the country. Like Toshiba’s other premium models, ELCOSMO-TJ offers high-efficiency permanent-magnet synchronous motors and LED lighting to enhance energy efficiency.

Yoshiyuki Mabuchi, managing director, Toshiba Johnson, explained:

“Since our entry into the India market in 2011, we were focusing only on the premium segment. The launch of our new mid-segment ELCOSMO-TJ model marks our entry in the upper-middle segment, which will help us consolidate our annual sales to 2,000 units per year by fiscal year 2020.”

The ELCOSMO-TJ has a load capacity of 544-1020 kg (8-15 persons) and travels at a speed of 1-1.175 mps. It will be distributed by both Toshiba Johnson and collaborating company Johnson Lifts Pvt. Ltd.

KONE to Build New Production Facility

KONE plans to build a new production facility in India, shifting operations from Ambattur to Tamil Nadu and more than doubling its property from 8.8 to 18.8 acres, the Business Standard reported. KONE CEO Henrik Ehrnrooth said the new facility will open in 2018. He noted India is the world’s second-largest elevator market, behind China, and, unlike China, is growing. Urbanization, real-estate reforms and the India Smart Cities Challenge are among factors driving elevator demand. Producing freight, panoramic and residential elevators, KONE’s India market accounts for approximately 5% of its global business.

Large Malta Project Detailed

According to the Malta Independent, a project cost estimate has been drawn up for the proposed twin 40- and 25-story, mixed-use Mercury House development in the Paceville district of Malta. Though developers had only planned to pay around EUR110 million (US$125.1 million), the estimate puts the construction price at EUR160-180 million (US$181.9-204.7 million). Developers said that due to the building’s unique shape and the fact that this type of project would be unique in the country, reliable cost data was difficult to secure. Special advice was sought from the U.K. and Dubai, where such structures are more commonplace.

Construction work is to be carried out in a single phase with an international contractor appointed on a design-and-build basis. An existing building would be purchased and demolished to make way for the steel-framed, concrete-core towers. Among the many imports that will be required, “fast lifts for high rise vertical distribution would have to be brought in from abroad,” the newspaper reported.

The project’s above-ground area is 70,000 m2 of mixed-use space, with 5,000 m2 being allocated for a hotel. There will be five levels of parking below ground. The 40-floor tower will have 28 floors for residential apartments and five floors for the hotel. The second tower will have 19 of its 25 floors reserved for commercial office space. There will also be 18,200 m2 of retail and amenity space, and 50% of the ground-floor site area will be set aside as open space for a landscaped plaza. Gozitan hotelier Joseph Portelli’s proposal was “still on the drawing board” as of June.

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