The UNITEC team consists of: (front row, l-r) Ed Sheya, Yolande LeCours-Heintz, Lori Swazey, Ramone Reynolds, Jessica Toothill, Ed Filteau, Wilma Barbosa, (back row, l-r) Duane Stupienski, Amber Berry, David Nastri, Robert Carleton, Heather Carr, Jay Zamal and Mary Beeson.

Otis’ parts supplier UNITEC has an extensive catalog of elevator/escalator replacement parts and recently introduced Safety-in-a-Bag, a kit for field mechanics.

When a customer wanted to retain its sturdy, 1940s-era Otis ML escalator system, they knew who to call to make it happen: UNITEC Parts Co., which is the OEM supplier for all Otis parts. UNITEC redesigned the system’s tread plates at Otis’ Service Center, enabling the escalator system to operate for years to come. This also resulted in cost savings for the customer.

UNITEC assisted another customer in retaining an older 506 Otis escalator system by providing an EC143 machine replacement. In this case, time was of the essence. “This was an example where one of UNITEC’s customers (a retailer) had an escalator unit shut down during Black Friday, and, in the end, UNITEC was able to get it up and running relatively quickly before Christmas,” states UNITEC Manager Mary Beeson.

Based in Bloomfield, Connecticut, at the Otis Service Center, UNITEC began 25 years ago as the parts supplier for the elevator and escalator systems of Otis, which is headquartered in nearby Farmington. UNITEC now offers more than 150,000 parts – for both Otis’ and other manufacturers’ vertical-transportation systems – for repair and maintenance needs.

The Otis subsidiary has 14 employees, including an electrical and a mechanical engineer who provide essential technical perspective and awareness when helping clients throughout the U.S. and Canada. Customers include both OEMs and independents. The UNITEC team has more than 215 combined years of industry experience within its staff, and many employees have worked for Otis for more than 15 years.

UNITEC keeps an ear to the ground regarding market trends and noted a particular recent focus on safety. While the U.S. is ahead of other parts of the world when it comes to safety, “there is always room for improvement,” observes Beeson. This year, UNITEC introduced a rebuild kit for Otis safeties manufactured from 1936 to the present day and debuted its Safety-in-a-Bag kit for field mechanics that contains field safety items.

The idea for Safety-in-a-Bag grew out of the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) Safety Committee, which came up with six safety documents that were presented at the NAEC Spring Educational Conference in Savannah, Georgia, in April. Beeson is a member of that committee, and, along with fellow committee members, brainstormed what Safety-in-a-Bag should include before UNITEC introduced it. Equipment included in the kit falls under five categories, which are:

  • Fall Protection (full-body safety harness with lanyard)
  • Lockout/Tagout (two personal locks, one group lock, a personnel tag and a group tag label)
  • Personal Protection Equipment (safety bag, safety glasses, safety goggles, hardhat, Kevlar® knit/leather-palmed work gloves, full-fingered mechanic gloves and knee pads)
  • Electrical Safety Practices (Fluke Meter Category 3, 1,000-V with alligator clips, jumper kit)
  • Pit Top/Car Access (door-wedge tool and unlocking device)

UNITEC reports Safety-in-a-Bag has become very popular with clients and complements its existing safety catalog that Beeson observes “includes a vast array of elevator/escalator safety items, including many commercially available items.”

Safeties Rebuilt for Safety

UNITEC’s rebuild kits for safeties include roller-carriage and wedge assemblies, along with related hardware. They are for elevators made by Otis that fall into capacity ranges of 2500 to 10,000 lb. Beeson observes:

“Safeties are obviously a critical piece of safety equipment for an existing elevator, and, if they are worn or do not work, there can be major consequences. Many times, only certain parts of the entire safety device will be replaced, but there are benefits to an elevator company when they replace all wearing parts of the safety at once. Predictable safety operation is critical to the safety of elevator passengers.”

UNITEC reports Safety-in-a- Bag has become very popular with clients and complements its existing safety catalog.

To get the word out about what it offers and provides, UNITEC representatives attend trade shows such as NAEC, the Elevator Conference of New York, the Canadian Elevator Contractors Association and regional shows. The company also advertises in publications such as ELEVATOR WORLD, and sends email blasts to customers regularly.

What does the future hold for UNITEC? Beeson states:

“Basically, UNITEC is looking to assist its customers in future upgrades or modernizations by providing many of their specialty products such as hydraulic power units, car and hoistway equipment, fixtures and escalator-rebuild parts. In addition, the company will continue to provide excellent customer service by providing research to help customers identify the correct Otis replacement parts since they have access to most Otis machine records.”  

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Elevator World Associate Editor

Elevator World | May 2016 Cover