Thyssenkrupp Predicts High Growth Rates

A rendering of United Tower


In fiscal year 2011/2012, ThyssenKrupp AG generated sales of about EUR4.3 billion (US$5.72 billion) in the Asia Pacific region, representing almost 12% of its total sales. Within the region, China and India are the most important markets, with the corporation generating sales of EUR2.7 billion (US$ 3.59 billion) in these countries, or 63% of regional sales. Correspondingly, China and India are ThyssenKrupp’s most important regional bases, with 18,000 employees working in these two countries, representing 78% of its workforce in the Asia Pacific region.

 ThyssenKrupp’s Elevator Technology and Industrial Solutions businesses are driven by infrastructure development in the region. These divisions combine to contribute to more than 25% of the group’s overall revenues. The conglomerate is concentrating its efforts in these business areas and customizing its offerings to incorporate energy efficiency, renewable energy and green manufacturing to address current and future regional needs. It is also streamlining its organizational structure from a traditional legal one to a more direct management model focused on being more responsive to customers.

 The company is looking to achieve greater growth by defining management teams and headquarters for its five core regions of North America, Brazil, India, China and Asia Pacific. The regional headquarters are intended to comprise a matrix of functions, businesses, regions and shared services. The group’s Asian headquarters will be based in Singapore, effective in October, for the management of its Southeast Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Japan and South Korea markets. A regional headquarters in Beijing has already been established, and as of June, another in Mumbai was being set up.

 Dr. Heinrich Hiesinger, CEO and Executive Board Chairman of ThyssenKrupp AG, explained:

“Our success in Asia Pacific is critical to our global growth strategy. This means, if we want to grow as a company, we need to participate in the growth opportunities here. By bringing our engineering and technological expertise to each of these burgeoning markets, we will continue to strengthen our local labor force throughout the region, while ensuring the competitive advantages of our customers.”

  ThyssenKrupp Elevator produces, installs and maintains elevator systems, escalators, moving walks, passenger boarding bridges and stairlifts in China, where it has more than 50 businesses and joint ventures and 184 business locations, with plans to expand that number to 250 over the next three years. Last year, the division was awarded its largest-ever contract in Hong Kong by MTR Corp. to supply and install 73 escalators and eight moving walks to the West Kowloon Rail Terminus (ELEVATOR WORLD, November 2012).


Escalator Upgrade For Dogs Proposed

According to ABC News, several calls for Railcorp to upgrade its escalators in New South Wales train stations were made in May. Member of Parliament Bart Bassett has urged for AUD12 million (US$11.6 million) to be spent to upgrade units so they can be safely used by guide dogs. A guide dog was injured and, according to its owner and blindness-service nonprofit Vision Australia, traumatized, when its paw was caught in a Sydney station in January. Work could improve the safety of the animals when riding escalators and keep owners from detours they should currently be taking.


Neea, IUEC Reach Deal

A decision to order Ontario unionized elevator-industry workers who have been on strike since May 1 back to work was made effective June 15, Canadian Labour Reporter announced. The National Elevator Escalator Association (NEEA), which represents KONE, Otis, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp Elevator, looked favorably upon a consent order issued by the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) that required striking workers on residential construction and repair to return to work.

The OLRB also directed the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) not to picket residential buildings, NEEA said. NEEA had filed an application with the OLRB after it said IUEC leaders advised workers not to comply with the law. In addition to requiring any strikes affecting construction or repairs of residential buildings, the Ontario Labour Relations Act obliged striking workers to return to perform such work on June 17 or face fines. Affected areas include the City of Toronto, the Regions of Halton, Peel, York, Durham and the County of Simcoe.

After returning to mediation with the IUEC, NEEA reached a collective agreement with the union. On July 10, workers were all expected to have returned to their posts.

Vda Acquires Bredan

Livingston, New-Jersey-based elevator consultant Van Deusen and Associates (VDA) announced in May that it acquired Toronto-based vertical-transportation consulting firm Bredan Elevator Consultants Inc. According to VDA, the move further improves its ability to provide its consulting services in Canada, specifically Ontario. It also allows VDA the ability to service other major cities,           including Quebec, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.

“We have long been interested in Bredan due to [its] strong record of providing superior customer service,” said M. Wade Smith, VDA president and CEO. “This is   another step toward our goal of expanding into key North American markets. Canada is a true growth opportunity for our firm.”

Joseph Pacitti, former principal of Bredan, stated:

“We are looking forward to being a part of this dynamic organization. VDA brings a large variety of services to the Bredan client base. The resources and knowledge available will afford our clients access to a broad, and deep knowledge base for vertical-transportation solutions.”

Bredan was established in 1987 and has provided consulting services for the Toronto market for more than 25 years. The firm specializes in independent elevating-device technical audits; due diligence; maintenance evaluations; insurance and accident investigations;   preparation of construction, maintenance and modernization specifications; tenders; final inspections; process billing verifications; and project management.


Sky City Granted Approval

As of May, construction on the Sky City high rise for Changsha was to begin in June. Though this is a departure from an expected January 2013 construction start (ELEVATOR WORLD, February 2013), the project is still to be completed this year. Having finished an approvals process described in Next Big Future as “long and arduous,” Broad Sustainable Building Corp. plans to use its modular skyscraper construction technology to erect the 220-story, 2,749-ft. (838-m)-tall building in record time. It would be the tallest building in the world, surpassing the Burj  Khalifa’s height of 828 m. Ninety-two elevators with regenerative drives are planned for the edifice. The units are estimated to save 75% more electricity than conventional equipment.

The Sky City concept is promoted as reducing the per-capita use of land and the accompanying CO2 emissions generated from sprawl. The multiuse (though primarily residential) building is also planned to incorporate other ecologically friendly elements, such as surrounding parkland and 930,000 sq. ft. of interior vertical organic farms, approximately 12% of its 11 million sq. ft. The cost of the high rise is estimated at US$628 million, which is considered 50-60% lower than if conventional construction practices were used.

Kone To Equip Rail Line

KONE has received a contract to supply 41MonoSpace® elevators and 76 TransitMaster® escalators for the first phase of the Ningtian Intercity Rail Line in Nanjing. The 45-km-long rail line will link the Luhe and Pukou districts of Nanjing, which is the second-largest commercial center in Eastern China. The rail line will consist of 17 stations, including 11 elevated and six underground stations. The escalators will be China’s first to feature KONE’s Direct Drive™ technology.

Construction on the line commenced in June 2012, and test runs of the trains are planned for April 2014. The       official opening is slated for July 2014, just in time for the Youth Olympic Games, which are to be held in Nanjing in August 2014.

Petition For Macau High Rise Ban

A petition with more than 1,600 signatures against    future construction that may threaten the Coloane Green Belt in Macau was delivered to lawmakers on May 21. When the Macau Legislative Assembly convened the next day, a proposal to debate the future of the area was          accepted almost unanimously. Coloane is being considered for “ecological protection zone” designation, which could include a ban on high-rise buildings.

The Macau Daily Times quoted Kenneth Ho, who began the signature campaign “Guard the Green Coloane,” as saying:

“I noticed the citizens so shocked when they heard that Coloane is facing the large-scale digging of its mountain, thereby I think the signature-collecting also aroused the public awareness. . . . I’ve come to distribute the                128-page book [made with citizens’ opinion notes] to the 29 lawmakers so that your excellences can feel the          citizens’ heartfelt wishes.”


Kone Plans Facility Expansion

KONE is planning to expand its product base near Chennai over the next two years, during which time it plans to commission a new factory. According to Neeraj Sharma, managing director of KONE India, the factory will be more than 18 acres, more than twice as large as the present one. The factory will be commissioned in 2015 and will generate jobs and expand the company’s product offering. In addition, the new facility will start producing more elevator machines and components, which will replace imports from China and Finland.


Jakarta Box Tower Focuses On Green

Ground was broken in May for a new ecologically friendly high rise for Jakarta. The Jakarta Post reported the 32-story Jakarta Box Tower’s design incorporates a fusion of traditional Betawi and modern architectural styles. Open green spaces and environmentally friendly materials will help make up the office building, which is slated to be complete by 2016.

Regarding the push for green developments in the city, Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama explained:

“The city administration will only issue permits to new high-rise buildings that meet green criteria and city spatial planning. This is a good example for those who want to build high-rise buildings in the future.”


Made Expo Set For October

The next iteration of the biennial MADE Expo is to be held on October 2-5 at the Fiera Milano Rho in Milan. The construction-industry trade show will focus on urban renewal, land and infrastructure care and maintenance, earthquake prevention and energy savings. The event’s highest priority will be to kickstart the construction market. Technology and innovation, as well as sustainable construction concepts, will also be discussed. For more information, visit website: madeexpo.it.

Middle East

Thyssenkrupp Elevator To Supply Airport, United Tower

ThyssenKrupp Elevator has received a contract to supply 125 passenger-transportation systems for a new terminal at the Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Medina. The project is expected to be completed in 2015 and include 36 elevators, 28 escalators, 29 moving walks and 32 passenger boarding bridges. Among the moving walks will be ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s iwalk, which features a modular design the company considers versatile and flexible. Unlike conventional moving walks, the horizontal version of the iwalk can be installed directly atop existing floors, requiring no additional civil work.

In addition, ThyssenKrupp Elevator has received an order to provide 14 high-speed elevators and two escalators for the 200-m-tall United Tower in Manama, Bahrain. The elevators will be equipped with destination-selection control. Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Elevator AG, remarked:

“These two major orders strengthen our position in this key growth market and underline the importance of our engineering expertise in creating tailored solutions to meet the demanding requirements of our customers.”

New Zealand

Christchurch Development Focuses On Accessibility

Christchurch property developer Antony Gough has planned an AUD$100-million (US$ 96.67-million) redevelopment for the center of the city. The nine buildings are to include 13 elevators to make them accessible to all people. They would make up a key entertainment precinct running along Oxford Terrace. Other accessible facilitations include wide footpaths, even ground surfaces and gentle slopes. As of May, the first stage of construction was expected to begin in June. The precinct was scheduled to open in October 2014.



Technical Trading Co. LLC (TCC) of Muscat and Toshiba Elevator Middle East recently launched a new generation of ecologically friendly elevators in the sultanate. According to the Oman Tribune, TCC is the exclusive distributor in Oman and has been in business for more than 54 years. Yuji Masuda, vice president and corporate representative for Toshiba Elevator in Asia, said the new elevators are part of the company’s mission to protect the environment. The elevators are designed to provide energy savings of up to 50% compared to energy usage of conventional elevators. They also feature improved safety, a new control device and LEDs for all ceiling designs, among other things.


VTB Stadium And Arena

VTB Stadium and Arena in Moscow is currently under construction. Its contractor MANICA Architecture has chosen Lerch Bates Inc. to provide vertical-transportation and façade-access consulting services for the stadium/indoor arena building. One of the largest projects underway in the country, the work features the redevelopment of historic Dynamo Stadium and the surrounding park. The exterior façade of the old stadium will be incorporated into the construction of the US$700-750-million sports and entertainment complex. A honeycomb-patterned skin will envelop the 27,000-seat soccer stadium, which is to feature an oculus over the playing field. An additional 11,500-seat multipurpose arena that can operate either simultaneously or independently is included.

Further structures at the site include a sports academy, professional and amateur training facilities, apartments, office space and a luxury hotel. Expected to open in 2017, VTB Stadium and Arena will be home to the Dynamo Moscow soccer team. It will be jointly owned by FC         Dynamo Moscow and VTB Bank, a universal bank and the majority stakeholder of the team.

South Africa

Mp To Work On Solar Tower

MP has been awarded a contract for the manufacturing, installation and commissioning of the vertical-transportation system of a solar tower being built by Abengoa Group company Abeinsa EPC. The structure, located in Northern Cape Province, is called “Khi Solar One (50 MW)” and will be Abengoa’s third commercial solar tower (and its first outside Spain). With a total rise of 200 m, the tower will be equipped with an MP 3VF machine-room lift with a capacity of 10 passengers on the inside of the tower, and platform with a capacity of 2000 kg on the outside, for people and goods, respectively.

The plant represents technological advances in efficiency, as it uses higher temperatures during the generation process and has more than double the capacity than the last tower Abengoa built (in Andalucia, Spain). The extreme conditions at its location and the working conditions of the solar plant make the project a noticeable one for the lift industry. Furthermore, the edifice will be one of the tallest buildings in the country and region. MP will work with local partner Shorts Lifts Ltd ZA, which is in charge of the installation.


Kings Iii Acquires Connexion2

Connexion2 has been acquired by U.S.-based emergency-communications company Kings III Emergency Communications. According to Kings III, the move is a strategic one intended to strengthen core business offerings in both countries and develop sales strategies in markets the company has not previously entered. Both businesses supply solutions to a range of market sectors and have goals to be customer centric.

The acquisition will allow the business to increase the scale of the current SoloProtect worker safety solution  offering in Europe with expansion into North America without interruption in existing service. Connexion2 will retain its existing trading name and its SoloProtect brand presence throughout the U.K., while expanding to a number of European and Asian markets. Additionally, Kings III will supplement its core business offering in the U.S. with a new North American division of SoloProtect (formerly branded “discreetSOS”) featuring Kings III Emergency Dispatch Center monitoring.

Connexion2 was launched in 2003 and manufactures the Identicom lone-worker device. Identicom is a               communication device intended to be worn discreetly and provide comprehensive protection to those often working alone. More than 110,000 of these devices are in circulation, providing 24/7 support, verbal-abuse capture, man-down detection, SiRF IV global positioning and a camera function.

Craig Swallow, managing director of Connexion2, commented:

“For a while now, Connexion2 has sought a strategic partnership that truly allows it to develop fully into other target geographic markets. I believe the partnership with Kings III will enable us to do this in the coming years.”


Helios Framework For Management Announced

Helios ESG has announced the introduction of a new method for managing vertical-transportation businesses. Intended to document inspections, perform maintenance evaluations, implement Maintenance Control Programs and reduce costs, the web-based software is fully customizable to run various aspects of a business. From scheduling routes and creating proposals to accounting assistance, Helios Framework can be all encompassing or modular: specific components can be purchased individually.

Adam Braman, president of Helios ESG, stated, “This new management software is certain to achieve a level of efficiency and transparency that never before seemed possible.” It is also available for use on a variety of platforms, including smartphones and tablets.

For more information, visit websites: www.heliosesg.com or www.elevatorbooks.com. For a business-efficiency demonstration, visit the Elevator World, Inc. booth at the 2013 National Association of Elevator Contractors Expo on September 25-26 in Tampa, Florida, or schedule one at e-mail: brad@elevatorworld.com.

Eco-Friendly Cities On The Rise

In June, Popular Science featured several ecologically friendly cities being built from scratch. The furthest along, Songdo International Business District (formerly New Songdo City [ELEVATOR WORLD, April 2011]) in Incheon, South Korea, was deemed the most successful. The 1,500-acre manmade island has been under construction since 2000 and is home to 30,000 residents, nearly half of the estimated 65,000 to live there when it is complete in 2017. Engineers completed its first phase in 2009. Some of its revolutionary features include a pneumatic waste-collection system that transports garbage by tube and parking garages that include charging stations for electric cars.

Lavasa is another planned city, which has a scheduled completion date of 2021 and expected population of 300,000. Its designs call for “biomimicry” to transform an arid portion of Maharashtra, India, into a lush city. In the process, building foundations would store moisture like trees do, while a multitude of small channels, modeled after those harvester ants use to protect their nests, will prevent flooding during monsoon seasons.

Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, is to be home to the smaller-scale Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town. Though its planned population is only 3,000, its projected opening date is Spring 2014. Its ambition includes providing a template for designing cities with smart grids from the ground up. Each home is to be equipped with solar arrays wired to the grid. Electric-car and bicycle sharing services will also be offered.

A completion date is yet to be announced for Osceola County, Florida’s, “Destiny,” to take up 200 mi. of navigable waterways. Water taxis are planned to aid transportation, and an exposition center for sustainable-technology R&D round out the city intended for 250,000 people.

Kone Survey Reveals Attitudes Toward Elevators, Tall Buildings

In March and April, KONE conducted an international survey to map out the opinion of more than 4,000 city dwellers and elevator users aged 18-59. Survey respondents came from eight major metropolises, including Chicago, Dubai, London, Moscow, Mumbai, Paris, Shanghai and Singapore. The survey revealed more than 68% of city dwellers see tall buildings as an essential part of modern cityscapes, and many value the quick availability of an elevator over any other technical feature.

The survey also shows 54% of elevator users want elevators to arrive immediately without needing to be called. However, 65% of respondents said they appreciate a moment to relax during an elevator ride, whereas others prefer time to groom or enjoy scenic interior designs, such as flowers. When polled on their feelings toward elevators, 31% emerged as the “easy user,” the most common type. This is someone who does not demand anything specific from an elevator and is content as long as the elevators operate. The “safety conscious” rider typified the second-largest group (28%), with high demands regarding safety and an expectation for elevators to be comfortable and clean.

The study also showed that 63% think landmark buildings are important to a city’s image, and the same percentage believes building upward is a sustainable way to develop urban areas. According to the survey, Asia and the Middle East view high rises more positively than Europeans and Americans.

Regarding those who live and/or work in high rises, the survey shows the top two reasons urbanites choose to live on a high floor of a tall building are the view (88%) and avoidance of traffic noise (60%). The study also says 50% of young adults (aged 18-29) believe tall buildings have a positive impact on a business image. Sixty-five percent from Shanghai and 54% from Mumbai share this opinion. As for working in a tall building, 76% appreciate easy access to such services as shops and public transportation. Respondents in Shanghai (76%) and Dubai (71%) value the close proximity to business partners.

“At KONE, we strive for deeper insight into the demands of the people who use our solutions every day,” Senior Vice President of KONE Technology and R&D Giuseppe Bilardello said. “Conducting surveys on a regular basis is one of the ways we collect valuable data that can assist us in product development.”

Research And Markets Reports: Saudi Arabia, China

Research and Markets has added the “Elevator and Escalator Market in Saudi Arabia 2012-2016” and “Research on China’s Elevator Industry, 2013-2017” reports to its offering. The report on Saudi Arabia forecasts its elevator and escalator market to grow 6.9% from 2012-2016. Among the factors contributing to the market growth is an increase in civil-construction activities. Its elevator and escalator market has also seen an emergence of ecologically friendly industry equipment. The report will examine the growth rate and challenges, and key market trends and vendors.

China is the world’s largest country in terms of elevator production, sales volume and installation. Annual sales volume of China’s elevators approximately accounts for 50% of the world’s sales volume and is driven by rapid urbanization. Major elevator companies have established sole or joint-venture enterprises in China, primarily in three regions: the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta and Beijing-Tianjing-Hebei. In 2012, the production of elevators in China totaled 529,000 units (including 57,000 escalators), with a net increase of 72,000 compared with 2011’s numbers (a 15.8% increase). Approximately 54,900 elevators were exported, while domestic demand accounted for 476,000 units. While the Chinese elevator industry is undergoing rapid development, it is considered far from saturated. The process is forecasted to continue for many years, along further urbanization and industrialization. This trend is in contrast to that forecasted for developed countries, where elevators sales are to decline after the years of rapid growth in China. 

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Elevator World | August 2013 Cover