Cold Starbucks and Claustrophobia: One Writer’s Account of Being Stuck in an Elevator

Madison, Wisconsin-based writer Doug Moe was visiting Washington, D.C., with his wife recently when he became stuck in their hotel elevator on the way back from fetching Starbucks. Moe wrote a pretty entertaining account of his misadventure for Madison Magazine. Check it out here!

Writer Doug Moe is clearly relieved to have been rescued by firefighters.

Are Mechanic Shortages Getting to a Crisis Point?

Not enough licensed mechanics to maintain record number of Toronto elevators

EW readers will know that undermanned maintenance routes are nothing new around the world, especially in North America. Now, there’s “a growing fear we may be on the verge of a crisis,” Toronto’s CityNews recently reported. The article and accompanying video outline the problem is being acerbated in the city as high-rise condominium building construction continues at a rapid pace.

“There’s no short term solution,” remarked Rob Isabelle, chief operating officer of KJA Consultants Inc. and elevator expert who’s often interviewed (by CBC here) on high-profile Ontario elevator news, such as the recent Reliable Elevators Act. Commenter Karen Peters Wallace said quite accurately:

“I am one of 53 students currently studying to be an elevator mechanic at Durham College (the only school that offers training in this field); we are in our second year hoping to graduate in April. The problem with the shortage is that getting into the elevator industry has traditionally been one where you need to know someone who is already in the industry to get in. And there was no school that offered the program. Also, the trades is not something that people want to do these days. I would be nice to see more women get involve in this industry.”

IoT is Useful For So Much More Than Ordering a Pizza

Thanks to IoT, elevators can tell their repair technicians when maintenance is needed.

I have to admit, when I first started hearing about the Internet of Things (IoT), I was skeptical about the usefulness of having a thermostat or a refrigerator online. It sounded silly, kind of like the TV commercial in which a teenager walks into the kitchen and begins barking commands at appliances: “Computer, order pizza! Fridge, weather! Trash can, turn on the TV!”

We’re all aware of smart-home technology, so the commercial’s scenario isn’t really all that outlandish. And, being able to remotely operate your thermostat really does offer an advantage over old-school, manual pressing of buttons. But, the area where IoT is perhaps making its biggest splash is in industrial maintenance — specifically, predictive maintenance. With that in mind, buildings.com recently published an article, “Predictive Maintenance: Top 10 Ways IoT is Changing Elevators.” We list them here:

  1. Monitoring Operating Conditions
  2. Predictive Maintenance
  3. Remote Diagnostics and Troubleshooting
  4. Real-Time Notifications
  5. Behavioral Insights
  6. Avoided Downtime
  7. Increased Product Reliability
  8. Flexible Communication Standards
  9. Less Frequent Replacement
  10. Enabling Better Facilities Management

For details about each point, click, tap or command your phone to take you to the link above.