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Spiral Spectacular

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by Ricia Sturgeon-Hendrick

My mother always advised, “Don’t make a spectacle of yourself.” But, somehow, spiral escalators just can’t help themselves. They are awe inspiring. Our cover this month is Mitsubishi Electric’s spirals in the new five-story Starbucks in Chicago. In “A Spectacular Ride,” the spiral escalators are the first in the U.S. Midwest, and they help distinguish the largest Starbucks in the world with a 360° tour of coffeemaking.

Angela C. Baldwin gives us IEES 2019. This second annual International Elevator and Escalator Symposium (IEES) gathered experts who shared their knowledge over two days with the 100-plus attendees in Las Vegas in early December 2019. The topic for the next symposium, being held December 7-8 in Amsterdam, will be “The Future of Vertical Transportation in 2030.”

Our focus topic this month is Residential Lifts and Accessibility:

  • Prepared for Impact by Lee Freeland: Canadian manufacturer Niagara Belco Elevator Inc. focuses on elevators for residential and light commercial use. This article introduces a new home-elevator design with a modular aluminum rail system for home elevators.
  • Rising to the Challenge by Bill MacLachlan: This curved inclined lift was a Father’s Day gift to a man who is a disabled former athlete. The lift by Hill Hiker, Inc. enabled the family to enjoy their lake home in New York together.

Another project spotlighted this month is Going Big in Buenos Aires by Carmen Maldacena. Mitsubishi Electric elevators take passengers to the top of Alvear Tower, the tallest building in Argentina.

IIoT and How It Applies to Vertical Transportation by Kaija Wilkinson looks at the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the specialty of relayr. By digitizing and visualizing data from thousands of elevators, relayr can reduce downtime and save money for maintenance crews. Other fascinating jumps into the future are being seen in 2020 Vision, and we will be following up on that theme throughout the year. Trending Upward, submitted by thyssenkrupp Elevator, is a quick look at some of the possible advances from the company, including skybridges, ropeless elevators, vertical cities, robots and smart technology.

Dr. Lee Gray’s feature A 50-50 Proposition reports on the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s 10th World Congress, a 50th birthday party for the organization that included nine parallel tracks of seminars and a Congress Dinner that looked like a lot of fun. Gray also wrote Up and Down in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for his History column. In 1992, Fred Rogers devoted a whole show to teaching children about elevators and escalators and how to ride them. The equipment was all by Westinghouse in One Oxford Centre in Pittsburgh.

New Electrical Test Instruments for Elevator Work by David Herres is a Continuing Education (CE) article for 1 hr of CE credit. In elevator repair work, more than half is electrical. In this article, the author describes various Fluke multimeters and electrical hand tools and how they are used.

The Consultants’ Perspective column, started several months ago, has continued to roll. This month, TAK Mathews has written Impact of Cultures on Elevatoring. He outlines the differences between norms with roots in the U.S., U.K. and the rest of the world. He notes that cultural differences would dictate the number of elevators needed and traffic patterns.

Several of us attending the IEES in Las Vegas got a chance to see a spiral escalator up close and personal at Caesars Palace. (See the video of our ride in this month’s Online Extras at www.elevatorworld.com.) Our good friend John Faure of Mitsubishi Electric led the way for an inside look at the long-running “spectacle.”

There’s always more than I can describe.

Please enjoy!

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