News

August 22, 2014

MESEE INVESTING US$21 MILLION IN CHINA EXPANSION

Mitsubishi Electric’s Chinese subsidiary Mitsubishi Electric Shanghai Electric Elevator Co. (MESEE) is spending more than US$21 million to expand its facilities in China, with a goal to double production to 20,000 units annually. In July, MESEE opened a US$6.5-million, 6,300-m2 factory focusing on elevator hall equipment, and by July 2015, it plans to open additional facilities to include a 25,500-m2 factory, development/engineering center and test tower. The investment in that portion of the expansion, which will bring MESEE’s Shanghai presence to four factories, is US$14.7 million.

ESCALATORS PLANNED AT MUMBAI’S HISTORIC CST STATION

By December, Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) rail station, built in 1887, is set to get escalators linking its entrance and a foot overbridge, The Free Press Journal reports. There will be two escalators. One will be paid for by Central Railway (CR), while the other, leading to CST’s Platform 2, will be financed by the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corp. So far, nine stations on the CR have received escalators.

SAN FRANCISCO SPCA: KEEP DOGS OFF ESCALATORS

The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is urging people to keep their pet dogs off escalators, citing an increase in escalator-related injuries to dogs in the past year, the San Francisco Examiner reports. Injuries, an average of up to three per month, are typically to the paw and range from minor scrapes to major wounds requiring amputation. Smaller dogs are more at risk. The SCPA recommends people with dogs carry them on escalators, or take the stairs or an elevator.

August 21, 2014

IN MEMORIAM: ZOLA HORNEY

Zola Horney, owner and former president/chairman of the board of Innovation Industries, Inc., passed away on August 18 at the age of 88. Innovation reports she died peacefully and surrounded by her family at her home in Russellville, Arkansas. She worked at Innovation since 1980 and became sole owner in 1997. Arrangements were scheduled to be made under the direction of Chavez Funeral Home, 830 North Fifth Street in Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

ROUGH WEATHER TIPS FROM SCHINDLER

Schindler recently reminded customers of the importance of building and facility managers taking the proper precautions to help prevent elevator damage and protect the safety of building occupants during potentially hazardous weather. Among other tips, the company recommended keeping a diagram showing the location of elevators, car numbers and elevator-car phone numbers in designated security areas. In addition, it suggested having the elevator company’s emergency phone number available, along with any required numerical designations.

EW’S FOCUS ON SAFETY, EMERGENCY OPERATIONS

The November 2014 issue of ELEVATOR WORLD will focus on safety and emergency operations. The deadline for editorial contributions is September 15. To participate or for more information, contact the EW Editorial Department at phone: (251) 479-4514, ext. 30 or email: editorial@elevatorworld.com.

August 20, 2014

KONES TAPS ALFTHAN TO LEAD MARKETING, COMMUNICATIONS

KONE has named Max Alfthan executive vice president of Marketing and Communications, effective November 17. Alfthan most recently came from Fiskars, where he served as chief strategy officer for the past six years. He holds an MS from the Swedish School of Economics in Helsinki, and has held senior management positions at Sinebrychoff and Amer Sports Corp. He will report to KONE CEO Henrik Ehrnrooth.

NEII® GROUP HAS NEW CHAIRMAN, LOOKS TOWARD SAFETY HANDBOOK

During the National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII®) meeting in Atlanta over the summer, the chairman torch for the NEII® Field Employees Safety Committee passed from Ian Andrews of Mitsubishi to Corey Ward of KONE’s Lisle, Illinois, office. The group, which meets up to four times annually to review field accidents and work towards their prevention, recently changed its name to emphasize safety in the field. Among its duties is revision and editing of the Elevator Industry Field Employees’ Safety Handbook, published by ELEVATOR WORLD every five years, next in 2015.

INTERNATIONAL LIFT EXPO KOREA COMING UP IN SEOUL

The third International Lift Expo Korea 2014 is planned for October 28-31 at COEX in Seoul, South Korea. Hosted by the Ministry of Security and Public Administration, and organized by the Korea Elevator Safety Institute and COEX, the biannual event has grown significantly since its 2010 inception – from eight lift manufacturers participating to nearly 80 from all over the world in 2012. In terms of attendance, it grew from 10,750 to 21,000 from the first to second event, organizers report.

August 19, 2014

NEW EN 81 PARTS APPROVED BY CEN

Parts 20 and 50 of EN 81 were approved and issued by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) to the European National Bodies on August 6. The National Bodies are responsible for publishing the standards by February 28, 2015. There will be a three-year grace period in Europe, during which the new parts of EN 81 or parts 1 and 2 can be used for new lifts. However, parts 1 and 2 will be withdrawn on August 31, 2017, after which time only parts 20 and 50 will be allowed.

“GLASSY SIMPLICITY” OF MIDTOWN NYC TOWER REVEALED

After construction came to a halt during the recession, a mixed-use tower at 855 Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue) started coming out of the ground over the summer in Midtown New York City (NYC), and new design details have emergedNew York YIMBY reports. Developed by Durst and designed by Cook + Fox, the 41-story, 479-ft.-tall tower is a study in “glassy simplicity.” It is set to have ground-level retail, then offices, then residences. The office area will contain an expansive terrace and a double-height “town hall” area filled with natural light. The office portion is expected to be complete by the end of 2015, with the remainder in April 2016.

TOWER WOULD HELP REVITALIZE BEREFT PART OF BROOKLYN

New renderings reveal the design of a 32-story, 425-ft.-tall tower planned to fill a desolate block in the north part of downtown Brooklyn, New York, New York YIMBY reports. Created by Australian firm Woods Bagot, the design features a rust-colored façade, similar to that of the nearby Barclays Center, and a modern-looking, cantilevered crown. Should it be built, the tower would include apartments, a hotel, commercial and community space, and promise to revitalize a part of town that has suffered as a result of poor planning.

SHAFT INCIDENT FATAL FOR ELEVATOR MAINTENANCE MAN IN N.J.

A 25-year-old elevator maintenance man from Bronx, New York, died of injuries sustained from a fall down a shaft at a 15-story apartment building on August 15 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the Press of Atlantic City reports. The man was performing routine maintenance on the unit when, according to a witness, he became trapped in the elevator doors as they closed and the unit began to descend.

August 18, 2014

 

IN MEMORIAM: FRANK P. ECKLER

Frank P. Eckler, a former state elevator inspector and member of the International Union of Elevator Constructors, passed away at his home in Canton, Massachusetts, on August 9 at the age of 71. He retired in 2003 and had coached little league baseball and football. He is survived by wife, Pamela; children, Jack, Robert, Frank and Jeffrey; brother, Richard; sister, Christine; and 10 grandchildren. A service was held August 16 at Grace Church in Avon, Massachusetts. Memorial donations may be made to Grace Church Youth Ministry, 101 Wales Avenue, Avon, Massachusetts 02322.

IN MEMORIAM: EDWARD M. MUMFORD

Edward M. Mumford, who retired in 2003 after 35 years as an elevator mechanic with Millar Elevator Co. of Syracuse, New York, passed away on August 3 at the age of 70. He was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam, and lived in Cicero on Oneida Lake, New York, where he enjoyed activities such as bonfires, fishing and riding Jet Skis. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Jane; three daughters, Julie, Lauren and Ashlee; siblings, Robert, Wanda and Joyce; five grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. A memorial with military honors was held at the Mumford home in Cicero on August 8.

US$2.25 MILLION FOR HOUSING-ELEVATOR UPGRADE IN INDIANA

Public-housing authorities in Gary, Indiana, have agreed to invest US$2.25 million in the complete renovation of all elevators within four senior-housing buildings, the Post-Tribune reports. The units are to be Americans with Disabilities Act and state regulation compliant. The work should get done in a timely manner since housing authority officials also raised the threshold for approved spending from US$100,000 to US$300,000, which promises to facilitate procurement.

POUGHKEEPSIE WALKWAY ELEVATOR OPENS

A 21-story, 7500-lb.-capacity elevator taking passengers from the Poughkeepsie, New York, waterfront to the top of the Walkway Over the Hudson opened to the public on August 14, the Poughkeepsie Journal reports. Originally scheduled to be finished in fall 2013, design tweaks to the custom rack-and-pinion unit to make it more comfortable pushed that back. Mostly funded by federal grant money, the US$2.8-million project promises to enhance local tourism.

August 15, 2014

LERCH BATES NAMES SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PROJECT MANAGER

Lerch Bates Inc. has named Steve Frame project manager, based in the company’s Lake Forest, California, office. In his new role, Frame will manage vertical-transportation consulting services for clients throughout Southern California. He most recently served as project manager and superintendent for Otis, and as a project manager and field superintendent for Mitsubishi Electric. He has had a hand in developing the vertical-transportation systems for many landmark buildings, including the four-star Omni San Diego Hotel, the CNN Building in Los Angeles and Kaiser Permanente Irvine Medical Center in Irvine, California.

IN MEMORIAM: WILLIAM T. MURRAY, JR.

William T. Murray Jr., longtime Otis field engineer who retired from the company in 1992, passed away on August 5 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, at the age of 86. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 59 years, Barbara, and a daughter, Dale. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, he is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island. He is survived by children Dianne, David, Donald and Dawne; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A memorial service was held September 13 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Avon, Connecticut.

ELEVATOR ISSUES AT ROANOKE FEDERAL BUILDING PROBED

Elevator riders in the 15-floor Poff Federal Building in Roanoke, Virginia, occupied primarily by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, are reporting sudden drops and jammed doors, and authorities are investigating, The Roanoke Times reports. One of the latest alleged incidents, in which a man said he was injured when a unit dropped several floors, resulted in one of the building’s six units being closed as OSHA investigates. The building, constructed in 1974, recently underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation, but it is unclear what work was performed on the elevators.

52-STORY NYC TOWER TO BLEND RENTALS, COLLEGE DORMS

A 52-story tower being developed by Extell at 555 10th Avenue in New York City (NYC) will include both rentals and dorms for a yet-to-be-named college, Commercial Observer reports. Designed by SLCE Architects, the building has a glass façade and is set to include 600 rental units – including 120 that are “affordable” – and 300 dorm beds. Foundation work has been completed, and the project is expected to be finished within two years.

August 14, 2014

NEW ELEVATOR PLANT FOR KAZAKHSTAN

A Kazakh-Chinese joint venture, Sky Express Elevator KZ, has unveiled a factory just outside Astana, Kazakhstan, Tengri News reports. The facility has a capacity of 1,000 units per year and includes a warehouse for spare parts. The multimillion-dollar plant will produce a range of units — those capable of carrying only a few people to heavy-duty freight elevators that can lift 5000 kg. It will also produce custom panoramic elevators, escalators and moving walkways, as well as provide installation and maintenance. The new facility joins a plant jointly run by Kazakhstan’s Irtish-Lift and Republic of Belarus-based MogilevLiftMash.

SALES BEGIN FOR ANOTHER MIAMI LUXURY CONDO TOWER

Veteran Miami luxury residential developer Melo Group has begun sales on units in its planned 53-story waterfront tower, Aria on the Bay, in the heart of Miami’s arts and entertainment district, Architecture Lab reports. It will be the group’s 14th such local development. Designed by Arquitectonica, it features undulating curves, ground-level commercial and elevators for upper-floor residences. Construction is set to start in mid 2015 with completion in 2017.

TWO NEW ESCALATORS FOR NOTTINGHAM MALL SHOPPERS

Two new, 7-mT escalators are part of a GBP40-million (US$66.7-million) upgrade of Victoria Centre in Nottingham, U.K., the Nottingham Post reports. Because they are so large, each unit had to be delivered in two parts and assembled onsite. They are being opened to the public the week of August 12. The entire renovation, which will include opening space and creating better views, is scheduled for completion by summer 2015.

ESCALATORS OUT AT BETHESDA STATION AS WORK CONTINUES

A pair of escalators linking the platform and gate levels at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Bethesda, Maryland, station remain out as replacement work started last year continues, Gazette.net reports. For safety reasons, an elevator cannot run while an adjacent one is under construction. The pair of escalators are expected to return to service September 30, and the project – which includes replacement of three of the longest escalators in the Western Hemisphere — is expected to stretch into 2017.