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Pandemic-Related Developments

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With thyssenkrupp’s cloud-based MAX Premium service, a dedicated team keeps tabs on covered vertical-transportation equipment, even through smartphone apps.

Crisis creates supply shortages, forces changes in plans.

NMHC COVID-19 Survey: Elevators Among Shortages

A National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) survey on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting projects found that members are dealing with “unprecedented delays” resulting from labor, permitting issues and materials shortages, citing elevators as an example, the Commercial Observer reported in April. NMHC Vice President of Research Caitlin Walter told the source that many elevators are sourced from Italy, creating delays. “When you look at the type of development occurring in the most recent cycle, it’s high-density, urban stuff that requires elevators,” she said. “That’s also an issue on the property management side for renovations and upkeep.”

Fifty-five percent of respondents said they were experiencing construction delays, with 76% reporting delays in permitting, 59% delays in starts and 41% outbreak-related labor shortages. Twenty-four percent said lack of materials is affecting construction, and there are shortages of “anything from China.” The survey was done in late March, and NMHC planned to conduct additional surveys to track developments.

United 2020 Set for September in Houston Still Being Planned

The National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) announced in April that the 2020 United Convention & Expo, planned at the Marriott Marquis George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston on September 13-16, will not be cancelled or postponed. President Don Gelestino and Executive Director Alesa McArthur shared a video in which they explain the show will go on, although transitioning it to online remains an option. This iteration of United is a joint effort of NAEC, the Canadian Elevator Contractors Association, Elevator U and the International Association of Elevator Consultants. For more information, visit naec.org.

Coronavirus Concerns Stop Work on Las Vegas Tower

Work on The Drew, a 735-ft-tall, 63-story tower on the Las Vegas Strip (ELEVATOR WORLD, July 2019), has been halted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported in March. The Witcoff Group, redeveloping the tower, has “paused construction crews from coming onsite” and has asked corporate employees to work from home. The company said it would resume work “when it’s appropriate to do so.” This isn’t the first time the tower has hit a snag. Work on the building halted in 2008 as a result of the Great Recession, and it sat unoccupied until 2019, when The Witkoff Group took over the project, announcing a US$3.1-billion plan to redevelop it as a 3,780-room Marriott hotel/casino. At the time, completion was expected this year.

thyssenkrupp Providing Free MAX Premium to Hospitals

thyssenkrupp Elevator is providing its MAX Premium predictive-maintenance service free to select hospitals and medical customers impacted by COVID-19 in North America, the company announced in April. The service is intended to help ensure the consistent and safe movement of patients, medical personnel and supplies by allowing thyssenkrupp technicians to remotely monitor elevator performance and identify and address issues before they occur. “The last thing frontline medical teams need to be worrying about as they treat patients is whether or not their elevator systems are functioning properly, and we want to do whatever we can to help them,” said Kevin Lavallee, president and CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator North America.

thyssenkrupp has three subscription packages for MAX. MAX Premium, the highest service-level package, has an exclusive team-monitoring feature, which includes an expert team performing a regular review of a building’s elevator usage, predictive analytics and other relevant data. The team then provides preventive maintenance planning to maximize uptime.

Schindler and AIAS Student Elevator/Escalator Design Competition

Schindler and the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) have launched Elevate 2.0, “a reimagining” of the “Elevate Your Pitch” business idea competition that focuses on elevator and escalator design. Students of all design backgrounds will be required to “think creatively and out of the box as they begin to reimagine elevators/escalators.” Concepts can incorporate modularity, accessibility and other features. Entries are due by July 15, and a jury will then select the top three entries. Details are at aias.org/elevate. “We have been so impressed by the creative business ideas coming out of this competition over the past three years,” Kristin Prudhomme, vice president, New Installations at Schindler, said. “We look forward to seeing how this year’s new challenge ignites these creative minds to imagine elevators, which are close to Schindler’s heart.”

Marine Innovations Adds New Equipment

Tram and inclined-elevator manufacturer Marine Innovations has added new equipment intended to improve manufacturing turnaround time and product quality. The Frazee, Minnesota-based company now has a Burr King Vibra King 45 to deburr and polish parts before galvanizing or coating for smoother edges and a better final finish. The 4.5-ft3 chamber allows for a wide variety of parts to be efficiently processed. A new Sharp TMV vertical mill was also brought in to replace a previous mill. The 10-X-54-in. working surface allows for increased capacity and accuracy. Finally, a new 80-W laser enables engraving of parts including control-station covers, capacity plates and more. It makes engraving and cutting possible for materials up to 20 X 24 in.

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