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Thyssenkrupp Elevator Acquires Cleveland Company

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An artist’s rendering of the prototype

In July, ThyssenKrupp Elevator announced its acquisition of Cleveland-based Edmonds Elevator, Inc., an elevator maintenance, repair and modernization company founded in 1875. The move is the latest in an acquisition and diversification strategy that, in the past several years, has included United Elevator of Philadelphia and General Elevator of Orlando. The Edmonds acquisition “continues our international growth strategy and strengthens our service business in the U.S.,” Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Elevator, said. “Edmonds Elevator has an excellent reputation with its customers,” he continued. “Its strong local presence provides a solid platform from which to intensify our activities in the region in the future.”

Amarillo Airport Escalators To Be Replaced

The four escalators at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport in Amarillo, Texas, are being replaced thanks to a roughly US$3-million Federal Aviation Administration(FAA) grant, connectamarillo.com reports. Airport officials expect the project to take about a year. The FAA is covering about 90% of the cost to replace the 20-year-old escalators.

Massive San Francisco Rail Project Starts

Construction is ramping up on a long-delayed, US$3-billion-plus project to extend the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system along a 16-mile stretch through Fremont, Milpitas and San Jose, California, the San Jose Business Journal reported in June. While current work is focused on forging paths that will either lift trains above or take them below automobile traffic, the project’s stations will include elevators and escalators. Ascent Elevator Services, Inc., a division of KONE, and Schindler are among subcontractors for work on the Warm Springs/South Freemont Station, according to BART.

Bart Developing Escalator Canopy

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) says it is spending US$2 million to develop and build a prototype escalator canopy to protect both escalator and customer. BART, which connects San Francisco with Oakland, Berkeley, Fremont, Walnut Creek, Dublin/Pleasanton and other northern California cities, plans to install the prototype at its 19th Street Station in Oakland by early 2015. If funding is available, BART will install additional canopies.

BART Board President Tom Radulovich said:

“Our escalators take a beating from the weather and from people who don’t use them for what they’re intended, which is to transport people. The canopy in this pilot project is intended to not only protect the escalator, but also to improve passenger and employee safety by providing better lighting at the entrance, the addition of security cameras and a way to close off the escalator stairwell when a station is closed.”

Otis Donates To Smithsonian

In June, Hartford Business reported that Otis is donating eight escalators worth US$2 million to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture under construction in Washington, D.C. The new-generation NCE escalator units will contribute toward the museum’s goal to be the first “green” building and first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified museum on the National Mall. The 380,000-sq.-ft. museum is expected to host millions of visitors each year after it opens in 2015.

Ew Receives Recognition From Tabpi

ELEVATOR WORLD is pleased to announce it received two honors from Trade Association Business Publications International (TABPI). Dr. Lee Gray’s monthly History column, won the Gold editorial award in the “Regular Column” category, with judges remarking on “Elevated Fiction” and “Steam-Powered Elevator Engines” (EW, June and March 2012):

“With the luxury of space, more visuals were included to illustrate the long column. The [former] article contains well-thought and researched materials throughout history and in adult literature to bring readers back in time.”

EW Editor Robert S. Caporale’s “One WTC” (EW, September 2012) received Honorable Mention in the “Feature” article category. To read the articles, visit website: www.elevatorworld.com/magazine/tabpi.

The Cleveland-based association’s annual Tabbie Awards featured nearly 500 entries, with nominations from the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, New Zealand, U.A.E., Lebanon, Singapore and South Africa. This is the 10th year of the awards.

Nfpa Announces Scholarship Winners

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has awarded scholarships to four fire-safety students its Fire Safety Educational Memorial Fund Committee considered exceptional. Catherine Hamel is the recipient of the Arthur E. Cote Scholarship. Hamel is actively working with the Society of Fire Protection Engineers and plans to pursue a career in fire investigation and analysis. Justin Beal is the recipient of the George D. Miller Scholarship. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science and is a supervising fire-prevention inspector with the City of Fresno Fire Department. Beal plans to become a fire marshal.

Christine Pongratz, a senior in the Fire Protection Engineering program at the University of Maryland, is the recipient of the John L. Jablonsky Scholarship. Pongratz has interest in performance-based design and smoke management, and would like to study these areas at graduate school. Richard Emberley is the recipient of the David B. Gratz Scholarship. The PhD student in Fire Safety Engineering is working on understanding modern structural systems exposed to fire. Emberley holds MScs in Fire Protection Engineering and Civil Engineering.

Pflow Makes Three Key Hires

Milwaukee-based PFlow Industries, Inc., a manufacturer of vertical reciprocating conveyors (VRCs), has named three people to key positions. Ray Niemeyer was named National Account manager and code specialist, a newly created position that involves creating customized solutions for national clients and addressing national industry code issues. Niemeyer is a 21-year veteran of the material-handling industry, most recently having served as director with the Material Handling Institute trade association. He also worked 18 years in the work positioning, vertical and specialty lift industry.

Nick Quartuccio has been tapped to fill a newly created Sales specialist position. His duties will include working with project managers to estimate and quote special projects, as well as assist with contract management and national accounts. A former U.S. Marine, Quartuccio’s professional background includes five years in the brokerage business, as well as experience selling engineering design software. He has a degree in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Tim Hoffman has been named Western Regional Sales manager, returning to PFlow after 15 years. Hoffman’s territory is comprised of all states west of Colorado, as well as the Dakotas. Hoffman has more than 28 years’ experience in VRC sales and marketing, which contributed to a multimillion-U.S.-dollar sales increase when he served as National/International Sales manager at PFlow in the 1990s. Prior to his return to PFlow, Hoffman developed and implemented new business strategies for a national door manufacturer, overseeing nearly US$20 million in business.

Kone Strengthens Position In San Francisco Market

KONE has announced it has acquired Empire Elevator Co., Inc., a company founded in San Francisco in 1978. The companies will be combined under the KONE name in the next several months. “The Empire and KONE operations will fit well together, and we are thrilled to be adding great new customers in the very important San Francisco market,” said Larry Wash, KONE executive vice president for the Americas, said. “We are also gaining a wealth of talent from the skilled and experienced employees joining KONE from Empire and look forward to welcoming these new team members to our team,” he continued. Empire President Bruce Moore will play a key role in the newly combined company, according to KONE.

Ctbuh Book On Tall Buildings

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has released The Tall Buildings Reference Book, what the council calls “a comprehensive volume that encompasses the wide range of technical knowledge across the CTBUH community.” Many issues of building tall are addressed, from the procurement stage, through the design and construction process, to new technologies and the building’s contribution to the urban habitat. A case-study section highlights what editors Dave Parker and Antony Wood consider the latest, most innovative, greenest and most inspirational tall buildings under construction.

With contributions from a team of more than 50 experts and supported by more than 300 illustrations, the book is intended to be accessible and concise. It is also designed as a source of information and inspiration for architects, engineers and built-environment professionals, as well as a resource in academic and practice libraries.

Wood, who is also executive director of CTBUH, commented on the work, “This will be the seminal work on all aspects of Tall Buildings. We believe we have compiled the work of the leading experts in the field.” Examples are Dennis Poon of Thornton Tomasetti and William Baker of Skidmore Owings & Merrill (structural engineering), Simon Lay of AECOM (fire-protection engineering), and Steve Watts of Alinea Consulting, (economics of building tall).

For more information or to order the book, visit the CTBUH Store at website: https://store.ctbuh.org.

Indianapolis Tower Announced

Plans for a curved 28-story mixed-use tower with apartments and retail shops have been announced for downtown Indianapolis at the site of the former Market Square Arena. Developer Flaherty & Collins Properties and city officials unveiled designs for the US$81-million project for the north side of the two-block plot. The tower was selected from among five proposals to the city, which has agreed to contribute nearly US$18 million from property taxes generated by the project. Ground-floor retail space, 300 apartments and a 500-space parking garage are planned. Construction is expected to start next spring and be completed in late 2015.

Yaskawa Receives Customer-Service Accolade

The Drives & Motion Division of Yaskawa America, Inc. received the NorthFace ScoreBoard Award from Omega Management Group Corp. in recognition of achieving excellence in customer service and support in 2012. The award has been presented annually since 2000 to companies that exceed expectations in customer satisfaction, rated solely by their own customers. Yaskawa is a component manufacturer that employs more than 1,000 people at its factories in Waukegan, Illinois, and in offices around the country.

John Alexander Maraganis, president and CEO of Omega, explained:

“The NorthFace ScoreBoard Award recognizes organizations [that] not only offer exemplary customer service, but also center their existence on a deep commitment to exceeding customer expectations. In 2012, more than 250 projects, many international in scope, were judged from scores of companies based in the U.S. and abroad. The majority of companies are repeat recipients, which shows that, despite the tough economy, implementing a customer-experience management strategy is a reliable, proven way to achieve business success.”

Dennis Fitzgerald, vice president of customer satisfaction at Yaskawa, added:

“Yaskawa is one of the few companies with a bona fide Customer Relationship Management program. It requires a significant commitment from our associates, but our customers’ satisfaction and sense of family are part of the quality experience we want to provide.”

Leed V4 Gets The Green Light

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has approved the newest version of Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED®) certification, LEED v4, with an 86% vote, USGBC and various news outlets reported in July. Changes from LEED 2009 focus on “new market sectors, increased technical rigor and streamlined services,” according to the council. They also include disclosure of building-product composition. Project teams may still register for LEED 2009 certification until June 1, 2015, after which only LEED v4 will be available. Engineering News-Record reports that more than 1,200 USGBC members voted on the updated certification requirements. To review LEED v4, visit website: www.usgbc.org/leed/v4.

Major Elevator Upgrade In Store For Patco

PATCO, the high-speed commuter rail line between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Camden County, New Jersey, run by the Delaware River Port Authority, has been approved for a US$15-million, eight-elevator upgrade, philly.com reports. In July, the authority approved the plan, which calls for elevators to be installed by 2017 at six key stations, including City Hall in southern New Jersey, which is one of two stations that will get two elevators each. The authority awarded a US$1.9-million contract to Sowinski Sullivan Architects of Sparta, New York, for project design and construction oversight. Funded largely by the Federal Transportation Administration, the project promises to improve accessibility for elderly and handicapped riders and ease passenger flow, according to PATCO Chief Executive John Matheussen. The stations’ escalators reportedly provide spotty service at best.

Electrical Book From Ew Author Available

Troubleshooting & Repairing Commercial Electrical Equipment by master electrician David Herres has been released and is available at www.
elevatorbooks.com. The book offers a practical approach to wiring, diagnosing and repairing such commercial/industrial electrical equipment as elevators, motors, fire-alarm systems and more. Mainly intended for licensed construction or maintenance electricians (or those seeking licensing and certification) who repair industrial electrical equipment, the guide focuses on helping the user become faster, more efficient and able to achieve a much higher success rate in restoring large electrical equipment without damaging it, introducing an additional defect or creating a hazard.

Elevator wiring protection, specialized requirements and Fire Service Mode are all covered, using both text and black-and-white graphics. Additional features include:

  • Steps to take to ensure agency listings are not voided
  • A new system of diagnostics based on the difficulty of each procedure and the probability of its success
  • A blend of basic electrical theory and sophisticated mathematical equations suitable for both experienced technicians and apprentices
  • Discussions on related licensing and certification as they pertain to troubleshooting and repair

A frequent author of ELEVATOR WORLD Continuing Education articles on electrical topics, Herres is the owner and operator of a residential and commercial construction company. He has been an electrician since 1975 and has experience with elevators.

Pittsburgh’s Tower At Pnc Plaza Underway

    The steel beams forming the frame of the 33-story Tower at PNC Plaza in downtown Pittsburgh started to come out of the ground in late July, according to post-gazette.com, signaling progress on the US$400 million headquarters for PNC Financial Services Group. PNC spokeswoman Emily Krull said the building is 11% complete and on track to be finished by June 2015. PNC has described its new headquarters as the “greenest skyrise in the world,” boasting a solar heat collector, rainwater recycling system and low-flow water fixtures. The 800,000-sq.-ft. building will house approximately 3,000 employees, including top PNC executives.

Naec Cat Program Approved For Apprenticeship

The National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) has announced that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Apprenticeship has approved its application to secure a BLS O*NET-SOC code for the occupation of “Accessibility and Private Residence Lift Technician (CAT®),” paving the way for the CAT education program to become the basis for an apprenticeship program for the Accessibility/Residential (A/R) industry. According to NAEC, its four-year CET® apprenticeship program sparked interest from members in a two-year, federal A/R program. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012 did not have a Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code for that segment of the industry. The U.S. government uses SOC to classify workers into occupational categories to collect, calculate and disseminate data. So in May 2012, NAEC submitted its request for an O*NET-SOC code, which included a description of the industry’s education and work processes. After months of review and public hearings, DOL recognized it as an occupation, and, according to NAEC, “issued the much-desired SOC code.” In a statement, DOL said: “This time-based occupation has been recognized to meet the demands of a highly skilled, highly trained Accessibility and Private Resident Lift Technician in the elevator industry.” A DOL bulletin has been sent to its Office of Apprenticeship in all states advising on the matter. For more information, contact Faye Carter-Powell of NAEC at phone: (770) 760-9660 or e-mail: faye@naec.org.   

Mcdonough Elevator Acquires Hoist-Co

Houston-based McDonough Elevator Sales & Rentals, a division of McDonough Corp. that specializes in the industrial rack-and-pinion elevator market, has announced its acquisition of Hoist-Co, Inc., based in Baldwin City, Kansas. McDonough said it plans to retain management and staff of the family-founded company, described by McDonough Elevator President Joe Galatas as “the go-to provider for a wide range of industrial elevator solutions” in the Midwest. The deal includes existing service, maintenance and Stros® elevator sales contracts. Kevin Harrison, who owned and operated Hoist-Co, will become McDonough Elevator’s manager of operations, which will stay in Baldwin City. Galatas said the acquisition is “a natural expansion of McDonough Elevator’s expertise and capabilities and is further proof of our commitment to be the premier supplier of rack-and-pinion elevator service and sales in the U.S.”

Schindler Offering Aia-Approved Elevator Courses

Schindler has announced it is offering six courses that will help architects complete the 18 credit hours required to remain active members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The courses, according to Schindler, “provide architects, designers and builders information about the latest developments in elevators, escalators and other vertical-transportation technology and sustainable design.” AIA’s Continuing Education System has approved “Cutting Edge Elevator Technology: Elevating Architecture With Destination Dispatch Controls” for one Learning Credit Unit (LCU). It may be taken at www.architecturalrecord.com. The course covers elevator technology developments, installation and benefits of new destination-dispatch technology, and implications and benefits of energy-efficient techniques.

There are also five LCU “lunch and learn” seminars that cover new developments in elevators, escalators and related technology. They are:

  • “Escalators for Public Transportation,” instructing AIA members how to choose the right escalator for public transit (1.5 LCU).
  • “Vertical Transportation – Escalators” focuses on the design, architectural features and mechanical components of escalators and includes an escalator-drawing review (1.5 LCU).
  • “General Vertical Transportation” provides information about industry product offerings and applications (1.5 LCU).
  • “Sustainable Design” includes information about the contribution of elevators and escalators to attaining Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification (1.0 LCU).
  • “Vertical Transportation – Machine-Room-Less (MRL) Elevators” provides an overview of MRL elevators (1.25 LCU). A version of this course that focuses on the history, technology and green aspects of MRL elevators is available at website: AECDaily.com (1.0 LCU).

For more information about Schindler’s continuing-education courses for architects, call (877) 696-8382 or visit website: www.us.schindler.com.   

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