News

August 29, 2014

WURTEC NAMES HELING SALES/BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Wurtec, Inc. has named Kevin Heling Sales and Development manager. Heling has been with Wurtec’s Elevator Products and Services division since September 2012, overseeing Business Development, as well as Sales and New Product Introduction and Support. He has 28 years in the elevator industry, has worked for elevator-component suppliers and has taught credit-approved classes for the National Association of Elevator Contractors, NAESA International and OEMs. His new role allows him to continue to introduce new products and services for Wurtec.

IN MEMORIAM: ALFRED SCHRETTNER

Alfred Schrettner, a retired elevator mechanic for Westinghouse and Schindler and longtime member of the Elevator Constructors Union Local No. 1 in New York City, passed away on August 22 at the age of 84. A resident of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, Schrettner was raised in Manhattan and previously lived in Glen Rock and Toms River, both in New Jersey. A veteran of the U.S. Army who served in the Korean War, he is survived by his wife, Roserita; children, Thomas, Peter, Andrew, Paul and Joann; and 12 grandchildren. A service was held on August 26 at St. Catharine R.C. Church in Glen Rock.

EXTERIOR ESCALATORS AMONG U.K. VENUE UPGRADES

Exterior, covered escalators from the outdoor ground level to the first floor of Preston Guild Hall in Preston, U.K., is among improvements planned by businessman Simon Rigby, who recently took over the event venue from the city, BlogPreston reports. The escalators would replace steps. He also plans to refurbish the complex’s lift tower, which would enhance accessibility for disabled individuals. The improvements are being considered by the Preston City Council.

ELEVATOR WORLD OFFICES TO CLOSE FOR LABOR DAY

The offices of Elevator World, Inc. will be closed on September 1 in observance of the U.S. Labor Day holiday. They will reopen September 2 for normal business hours.

August 28, 2014

INTERLIFT 2015 LOOKS TO BE BIGGEST YET

With reserved space already surpassing that of the record-setting 2013 Interlift at the Augsburg Trade Fair Center in Germany, Interlift 2015 is forecast to be the biggest yet, according to organizer AFAG Messen and Ausstellungen GmbH. It is set to take place on October 13-16, 2015, in a newly expanded convention center, which will feature a 4,100-m2 building on the site of Hall 4. The entrance will be completely reconfigured to integrate show managers and other service providers that were previously separated. The Forum component is set to cover such topics as New Products and Services, Regulations and Standards, Training/Continuing Education and Safety. For more information about Interlift 2015, contact Communications Manager Winfried Forster at winfried.forster@afag.de.

DAN ELEVATORS OF MANGALORE WINS RESIDENTIAL CONTRACT

Dan Elevators of Mangalore, India, has been hired to provide 10 energy-efficient, high-speed elevators to Prince Palace, a cluster of 16-story-tall residential towers being developed by Mandavi Promoters & Developers in Udupi, India. The units will be equipped with closed-circuit television cameras, intercom and auto-rescue devices. Dan, which introduced Moris Italia’s hydraulic elevator to Kanataka, reports it has completed more than 600 elevators in Mangalore and Udupi, and is now focusing its efforts on Kerala and Goa, both in India.

BOSTON HOUSING AUTHORITY TO REPLACE FAULTY ELEVATORS

Repeated complaints about a pair of 26-year-old elevators in a 20-story public housing complex in Boston trapping elderly and disabled residents have prompted the Boston Housing Authority to spend US$1 million in emergency funds to replace the units, the Boston Herald reports. The Boston Fire Department reports it has been called 13 times in the past year to rescue entrapped passengers, including nine times in the past seven weeks. Replacement is scheduled to take approximately four months.

August 27, 2014

ASIA-PACIFIC RAIL PROJECTS BUOY THYSSENKRUPP ELEVATOR

ThyssenKrupp Elevator has sold more than 7,000 pieces of equipment (including elevators, escalators and moving walks) to metro and rail projects across the Asia-Pacific region. The company expects the trend to continue as the need for efficient transportation increases along with urbanization. ThyssenKrupp Elevator is also servicing more than 2,600 units in the region’s rail and metro systems. Its biggest market is China, where projects such as 65 escalators on the Beijing Metro Line 15 operated at a nearly 100% availability rate in 2013.

LERCH BATES CONSULTING ON ICONIC HONOLULU PROPERTY

Lerch Bates Inc. has been hired as vertical-transportation consultant for the modernization of the system serving the largest office complex in Hawaii — Pacific Guardian Center (PGC) in Honolulu. PGC consists of a 10-story parking structure, a pair of 30-story office towers and the four-story Dillingham Transportation Building, built in 1929. Lerch Bates will guide replacement of Westinghouse Mark V equipment in two seven-car banks and installation of destination-dispatch technology. Work is scheduled to start this fall and be complete in fall 2016.

CARRAJAT INTERVIEWED BY TIMES

The New York Times recently published a candid interview with Patrick Carrajat, founder and director of The Elevator Historical Society in Long Island City, New York. In addition to the museum he runs and the society promotes, the interview touches on Carrajat’s views on the state of local elevators, elevator maintenance and his personal life.

39-STORY HOTEL PLANNED ON CHELSEA SITE

A 39-story Renaissance Hotel is planned at 112 West 25th Street in Chelsea, New York City, New York YIMBY reports. The site was formerly earmarked for a 29-story hotel, but developer Extell’s plans crumbled. Current developer Lam Generation is in the process of getting financing and aims to break ground in January 2015 and complete construction in July 2017. An architect has not yet been named, but renderings show a glass-façaded structure with some exterior landscaping.

August 26, 2014

OTIS BUYS U.K. COMPANY, SAVING 31 JOBS

Elite Elevators Installations Ltd. of Dartford, U.K., which was insolvent and in the process of restructuring, has been purchased by Otis, preserving 31 jobs, Insider Media Limited reports. Otis purchased the business and certain assets, but not its liabilities, which remain with Elite under administration. Elite was founded in 1997, and its service division was transferred to Otis in 2012.

KONE GETS HIGH MARKS, NOTES PROJECT NEWS

KONE was ranked 42nd out of 100 on Forbes’ “The World’s Most Innovative Companies” list. This marks the fourth year in a row the elevator manufacturer made the list. While it is a few positions down from last year’s ranking overall, KONE’s ranking among European companies rose to sixth. It referenced news of its UltraRope™ product being used in Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower as an important development for its business in the past year. KONE is the only elevator and escalator company featured on Forbes’ list this year.

ANOTHER TOWER FOR UP-AND-COMING PART OF LONG ISLAND CITY

Permits have been filed for a 33-story, primarily residential tower at 44-26 Purves Street in the Court Square neighborhood of Long Island City, New York, New York YIMBY reports. If it is built, it will join at least five neighboring towers of 40 stories or taller in the works and become part of a skyline that, by next year, is expected to change dramatically. FXFowle is the architect of record, and the building is planned to include a small retail component and 270 apartments.

TODDLER LOSES FINGERS IN OREGON ESCALATOR ACCIDENT

A two-year-old boy lost two fingers on one hand as a result of the hand becoming trapped in an escalator in a shopping mall in Portland, Oregon, KATO.com reports. Witnesses said the child was unattended briefly and was attempting to run up a down escalator when the mishap occurred. State authorities and the company responsible for the unit’s upkeep are investigating, while the child recovers in an area hospital.

August 25, 2014

OTIS SET TO REPLACE ARCHAIC ELEVATORS AT PENN STATE

Pennsylvania State University’s 43-story Cathedral of Learning, a Gothic Revival historic landmark, is poised to undergo a US$10.44-million overhaul of its elevator system, some of which dates to the 1920s, The Pitt News reports. Otis is supplying the equipment, which includes new cars for the eight main and smaller, upper-level elevators and a destination-dispatch system. Work is set to begin in September, when elevators are scheduled to shut down in pairs as work is performed. Wall panels outside the elevators are scheduled to start going in during the spring 2015 semester.

SKYSCRAPER CENTER UPDATES

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat recently announced two enhancements to The Skyscraper Center, a database that has grown since early 2012 (ELENET 541) to be a database of more than 14,000 tall buildings around the world. First, a new submission portal for project data and images makes it possible to submit building information without leaving the website. Second, a dedicated multinational Editorial Board for the site has been appointed. The board consists of members from around the world who are to provide information, updates and research on tall-building projects.

JANUS ELEVATOR PRODUCTS ANNOUNCES MOVE

On August 25-26, Janus Elevator Products Inc. of Hauppauge, New York, plans to move to a new location at 415 Oser Avenue, Suite Q, Hauppauge, New York 11788. Customers and contacts are asked to update their records. Temporary service interruptions are possible during the move, but Janus plans to minimize them. Customers may call (800) 527-9156 or visit www.januselevator.com for assistance.

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.