Special Applications for Special Projects
Alimak’s custom elevators have helped solve several challenging problems across Europe.
Sweden-based Alimak Group has designed and manufactured vertical-access solutions for the industrial and construction industries for more than 70 years. It has provided global customers with permanent and temporary quality elevators, construction hoists and work platforms built on both rack-and-pinion and traction technologies. Its portfolio includes an array of applications and industries.
The company’s modular range of industrial elevators can be customized to suit a range of applications varying in size, payload and location. For example, it installed a “Get-In” truck elevator at the Royal Opera House (ROH) in London. As scenery changes at ROH happen frequently, and sets need to be transported up to the stage level, Alimak engineers were called upon to design an elevator large enough to cope with pallets up to 10 m long. The bulk of scenery is stored in a warehouse in Wales and transported to the theater in trailers. Maneuvering such long pallets in the streets is a major operation, and it was felt that it would be much easier if the tractor-trailer could be driven into the theater for unloading.
Alimak’s solution, a quad-masted rack-and-pinion-driven elevator, is 18 m long and 4.7 m high with a capacity of 24 mT. A fully loaded tractor-trailer can be driven straight in from the street and lowered 14 m to bottom level for unloading. When not engaged in its main task of moving scenery pallets, the elevator is used for general purposes, servicing three levels below the stage. It is fitted with doors on three sides (east, west and north): the north side has a 10-m-wide clear opening. At each landing, the elevator has a docking system so it can be leveled to accommodate its contents. Though undertaken more than 20 years ago, the project remains Alimak’s largest-ever elevator and won an ELEVATOR WORLD Project of the Year Award (EW SOURCE 2000-2001).
U.K. Boat House Inclined Cliff Elevators
Alimak has worked with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to provide specialized inclined elevator systems at several of its lifeboat stations. The main purpose of the elevators is to transport stretchers to enable casualties to be moved safely to the clifftop road level, where they can be reached by paramedics. As the elevators are attached to a cliff face, they were designed for a harsh operational environment and to travel at an incline. They have a payload of 900 kg, travel at 35 m/min and incorporate such unique features as a centrifugal emergency-lowering system. Those featured in EW include Padstow boat house elevator (EW, July 2001 and October 2010) and the elevator at Lizard Point (EW, August 1997).
Glasgow Science Centre Passenger Elevators
Alimak provided the Glasgow Science Centre with two external rack-and-pinion passenger elevators to be used by visitors to take in the view from the top of the 100-m-tall tower. The highest freestanding structure in Scotland, the tower is the only one in the world that can rotate 360° in the wind. Each elevator has a payload of 900 kg (12 persons), an operating speed of 48 m/min and serves four landing levels. Here, Alimak saved space, installation time and enabled car-to-car evacuation by having two independent elevators share a common hoistway.
Stockholm Pump Station Pavement Elevator
Alimak provided the Stockholm City Water Supply Department with a specially designed elevator to allow access to its pump station. The city disallowed any permanent construction visible above the ground in its picturesque Kings Garden area. To solve this problem, Alimak’s engineers designed an elevator system to incorporate a base enclosure with its roof supported at the top of the mast. When the elevator is not in operation, the base enclosure is belowground, with the roof of the enclosure at ground level. In this way, it forms part of the surrounding gardens. When the elevator is in operation, the car travels up, forming a base enclosure at ground level. The drive machinery of the elevator is positioned below the car, which has a flat, reinforced roof to lift the enclosure. The elevator has a payload of 3500 kg and travel speed of 18 m/min (EW, July 1998).