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Stadion metro station with artwork by Åke Pallarp and Enno Hallek; photo by Fred Rivett, courtesy of TKE

“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate” — Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Communication can be tricky when you are conversing with a whole industry: you mustn’t be too liberal or too conservative; too independent or union-minded; and, certainly, you should balance heavy technical material with down-to-earth practicality. 

Recently, we had a short survey go out in which the final question was, “What one thing would you do to change this industry?” This survey did not require names. It is amazing what people will suggest if you don’t know who they are! A few were not repeatable in this magazine, but a couple of things stood out to me, including that people are really interested in education and codes. A few of the responses were:

  • “Get uniform code adopted in all states.”
  • “Put more field people on the code committees.”
  • “[Have the] same code and year in every state.”
  • “Maintain and enforce codes to keep pace with new technology.”
  • “All technicians should be licensed.”
  • “Establish real brick-and-mortar elevator trade schools.”
  • “Enforce continuing education for all field techs — union and independent.”
  • “Put more focus on field training.”

A couple of the comments were intriguing: “Return to the 50-year building life cycle”; “Give mechanics time to do the job”; “Attract more young people to the industry”; “Make parts in the U.S.” and “Put elevator people back in charge of companies.” Each of those could be a column all its own.

Our focus this month is Communications Systems. This column is a communication system. Every month, we try to communicate what is going on in the world, the industry and the current magazine issue focus. The world is still consumed by COVID-19, and the industry is trying very hard to move on — hiring, training and meeting cautiously in person. In this issue, we have four focus articles:

Code Compliance. As the states implement A17.1 2019, more building owners must comply with new communications provisions between passengers and monitoring locations. MosaicOne offers one answer in this Product Spotlight.

A Modern Platform for Real-Time Results by Panagiotis Garoufalis. KLEEMAN Live is an IoT product that collects large streams of data from elevators and is available from cloud login in real-time.

The Stand-Alone Cellular Emergency Phone by Tom Worthington. The author encourages the use of cellular service (rather than analog) built with first responders in mind.

Elevators as Communication Systems by Dr. Lee Gray. Our historian examines a “Lamson Light Elevator” used to transport papers or cash between two floors in offices, banks and stores in the 1880s.

The Continuing Education article this month is Vertical Sliding Door Maintenance by Michael J. Ryan. It is seldom we get equipment-specific maintenance instructions, and almost never for freight doors. Enjoy, learn and get credit.

We have a number of great features this month and my favorites are:

Fantastic Voyage by Kaija Wilkinson. The Stockholm Metro opened in 1950 and invited artists to decorate the stations. Now, 44 new TKE escalators will aid in access to the “world’s longest art gallery.”

Traction MRLs Replace Coastal Site’s Aging Hydraulics by Elise King. KONE’s modernization of Shippan Landing’s 16 hydros helped reduce ecological danger.

Moving On Up by Lindsay Fletcher. This is a great interview with Mike Corbo, named the first U.S.-based president and CEO of Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. Typical of Corbo, he shifted the focus to the diverse needs of the customers. I served with Mike years ago on the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation board. He is a quiet earth-shaker!

It’s another great issue planned with you in mind. Enjoy!

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