EW correspondent shares highlights from the momentous event.
Standing at the meeting hall entrance of the Changshu International Hotel in Changsu, China, on the warm afternoon of September 26, 2017, Zhang He, chairman of Suzhou Torin Drive, welcomed arriving guests, shaking hands and taking pictures with some of them. Nearly 300 people made up of global and domestic customers and business partners of Torin Drive participated in the event. The guests delighted in a ceremony of mighty drumbeats and a performance of red-dressed dancers as the grand celebration opened.
The day celebrated Torin Drive’s one-millionth machine delivery, a milestone that took Torin Drive and its predecessor company 32 years to reach. The unit went to Kevin Lynch for Baruch College on Lexington Avenue in New York City (ELEVATOR WORLD, December 2017).
How did Torin Drive manage to achieve such a milestone? It all dates back to 1985 when China-Schindler’s Shanghai factory came up with an order for three AC-2 traction machines to be used on freight elevators. (China-Schindler was the first JVC in the Chinese elevator industry, from 1980-2000.) That order set Torin Drive on a course to become a specialized traction-machine manufacturer and supplier for the global elevator industry, rather than just the Chinese industry.
Torin Drive has been giving top priority to R&D and quality control (EW, April 2010) since its founding. For three decades, Torin Drive has managed and developed different types of machines based on changing drive technologies, from AC-2, AC variable voltage (VV) and VV variable frequency (VVVF) to VVVF by vector, always with a focus on eliminating safety risks for lift suppliers and project contractors, including brake-related unintended-car-movement issues on jobsites (EW, March 2012).
Other milestones include the first permanent-magnet synchronous motor; the first escalator drive machine in China; the first testing tower (83 m) by a machine (not an elevator) manufacturer; and a Torin Drive-owned quality casting foundry supplying high-profile casting products among the world’s top 500 in varied industries other than machine parts for elevators, unique among other elevator traction machine manufacturers. Torin Drive’s successes are a result of continued craftsmanship practiced in every detail of its products over two generations. Headed by Zhang He, team members of the older generation have worked industriously and stringently to solve problems and overcome difficulties in the creation of innovative products and technologies, paving the way for the younger generation to continue.
At the celebration, Zhang He took the opportunity to give thanks to customers, business partners and all those who have helped and supported the development of Torin Drive, especially Schindler China and a few retired veterans from his former team.
Zhang Li, representing the younger generation’s team, which appeared rich in innovative ideas and full of dreams, seemed confident in taking over the reins of Torin from his predecessors. Surely, he is ready to inherit the company’s well-established traditions and morals of craftsmanship, while meeting unknown challenges on the way toward its next goal — the two-millionth machine delivery.
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