News

July 2, 2015

GERMANY’S DUALLIFT ACQUIRED BY SAFEWORKS

SafeWorks®, a division of Evergreen Pacific Partners, has acquired DualLift GmbH, a German manufacturer of electric traction hoists. The deal makes SafeWorks the largest manufacturer of traction hoists in the world. SafeWorks, headquartered in Seattle, was founded 70 years ago and counts among its customers those needing access for construction, repair and maintenance projects. DualLift was founded in 2008 and has a full line of personnel and material hoists. Executives at both companies describe the blending of the companies as an excellent fit in terms of capabilities, products and services.

PAIR OF 120-M-TALL TOWERS TOP OUT IN BEIJING

Chaoyang Park Plaza, consisting of a pair of 120-m-tall, mixed-use towers in Beijing’s central business district, has topped out, designboom reports. Designed by MAD Architects, the dark, glassy towers will have ridges and grooves that make them resemble mountains eroded by the elements. They will house 120,000 m2 of commercial, office and residential space, and are scheduled for completion in 2016.

PARIS’ FIRST SKYSCRAPER IN 40 YEARS WINS APPROVAL

Paris lawmakers have approved Herzog & de Meuron’s plan to build the 180-m-tall, mixed-use Tour Triangle in the Porte de Versailles neighborhood, Dezeen reports. By a narrow margin, the project was granted permission to proceed, reversing a previous decision by the same group of lawmakers. Paris has become increasingly more amenable to building tall towers in the past several years. Should it be built, Tour Triangle would be the city’s first skyscraper in more than 40 years. It would be the third-tallest tower in the city after the 324-m-tall Eiffel Tower and 209-m-tall Montparnasse Tower.

EW OFFICES CLOSED TO OBSERVE INDEPENDENCE DAY HOLIDAY

The offices of Elevator World, Inc. (EW) will be closed on Friday, July 3, in observance of the U.S. Independence Day Holiday on July 4. They will reopen on Monday, July 6.

July 1, 2015

PATERNOSTERS BACK IN GERMANY AFTER FANS TAKE STAND

A June 1 German law that required passenger training for paternosters and effectively halted them has been cast aside after a fierce backlash from the archaic conveyance’s fervent fans, numerous news agencies, such as The Wall Street Journal, report. The law was amended to say anyone who takes “appropriate safety measures” may use them. Invented by a British engineer in 1877, paternosters became very popular in Germany, which now has 231 of the systems. New installations were banned in the mid 1970s.

ELEVATORS, ESCALATORS PART OF D.C. MALL MAKEOVER

Fashion Centre mall at Pentagon City in Washington, D.C., is getting a makeover, and new escalators and elevators are a big part of it, the Washington Business Journal reports. The mall, in business since 1989 and among its owner’s top performers, is remaining open as renovations proceed at night. Besides new equipment, a second elevator is being added to relieve backup at the mall’s escalators. Current renovations are scheduled for completion in the fall, leading up to a 50,000-sq.-ft. expansion that will be complete in spring 2016.

IN MEMORIAM: TOM STORY

Tom Story of southeast Florida passed away on June 12 at age 68. Husband to Paula for almost 50 years, and father to Thomas, Christopher and Faith and grandfather to Alex, Story had a long elevator career that began when he was just out of high school. After his first job as an Otis construction apprentice, Story moved on to achieve journeyman status and joined the service department. He became an apprentice instructor and was a member of the local chapter of the International Union of Elevator Constructors, holding numerous leadership roles. He became an inspector upon retirement after 40 years in the business until retiring for good several years later. A service was held on June 16 in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

June 30, 2015

AVIRE EQUIPMENT PART OF LONDON MUSEUM ELEVATOR UPGRADE

Forty LCD displays from Avire are part of a recent elevator upgrade at Wellcome Collection in London aimed at encouraging visitors to fully explore the museum, which features exhibits illustrating connections among medicine, life and art. Through distributor Dewhurst U.K., Avire supplied four, 19-in. E-Motive Panorama car-operating-panel displays and 36 R1-043 landing indicator screens. The displays and screens were previously static and now feature vivid, LED images.

CHINESE ELEVATOR OUTPUT, EXPORTS REVEALED IN REPORT

Trends in Chinese elevator output, exports and revenue generation are covered in a new report from ReportstackTM. New elevator output is continuing to grow, but at a slower pace, with more than 700,000 units produced in 2014, an increase of approximately 12% from a year ago. In 2013, the annual growth rate was 18%. Chinese companies such as Shenyang Brilliant Elevator and Canny Elevator have increased the proportion of service revenue during 2010-2014 , from 9.1% to 20.1% and 3.7% to 8.5%, respectively. Driven by effective economic development initiatives, the pace of exports continues to gain momentum, with China exporting 68,000 units of elevators and escalators in 2014, representing a year-over-year growth rate of 13.1% from 2007-2014.

BUSY INDIA RAIL STATION DEALING WITH ESCALATOR GLITCHES

Thane Railway Station, one of India’s busiest handling approximately 650,000 passengers each day, is dealing with repeated escalator issues, The Times of India reports. Among recent incidents was an escalator stopping midway on June 26, forcing elderly passengers to climb stairs. Passengers say such problems are frequent. Railway officials contend stoppages are likely due to the escalators being overloaded or to pranksters placing foreign objects between steps. They say such issues are addressed as quickly as possible.

June 29, 2015

HORNBEIN TO LEAD EHC GLOBAL’S ASIA PACIFIC REGION

EHC Global is adding Ted Hornbein to its staff as general manager, Asia Pacific, effective September 1. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Hornbein has more than 20 years of business management experience in Chinese manufacturing. His skills include managing cross cultures and bringing about new market penetration. EHC China Chairman Ron Ball said bringing Hornbein onboard promises to be instrumental to the company’s ongoing success as it pursues new growth opportunities throughout Asia.

LAGUARDIA DETAILS EMERGE

Following a shift in focus to LaGuardia Airport (ELENET 626), the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey recently approved spending US$110 million on “early work” to make way for a new US$3.6 billion central terminal, NJ.com reports. A consortium including Skanska, Walsh Construction, Vantage Airport Group (Canada) Meridiam, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Parsons Brinckerhoff has awarded a US$743-million construction contract for the new terminal. Agency officials said it would proceed with design work that could be adapted to meet forthcoming recommendations from an airport design panel named by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

NEW OWNERSHIP, NEW LIFE FOR WARSAW TOWER

Złota 44, a 52-story residential tower in Warsaw on which construction stopped in 2014, has gotten new life thanks to being purchased by Warsaw company BBI Development and U.S. partner Amstar, The Globe and Mail reports. The sail-shaped, glittery building designed by Polish-born American architect Daniel Libeskind initially began construction in 2008 and has been topped out, and now the new owners plan to outfit it with apartments and amenities. Due to Poland’s positive economic outlook, they are optimistic about sales and plan to have the building completed in 2017.

June 26, 2015

JARDINE SCHINDLER LANDS PHILIPPINES TRANSIT CONTRACT

Jardine Schindler has been awarded a US$490-million contract to refurbish 12 escalators in stations within Manila, Philippines’ elevated mass-transit system, Rappler reports. As the units’ exclusive distributor, Jardine Schindler has the rights to rehabilitate them. Another 34 escalators manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric are also set to be refurbished, part of a US$26.75-million Department of Transportation and Communications project designed to make public transit, including train stations, more efficient and user friendly.

GOETTSCH PARTNERS DESIGN SAN FRANCISCO TOWER

Chicago’s Goettsch Partners has designed a 605-ft.-tall office tower set to take shape in San Francisco’s SOMA (South of Market) district, Arch Daily reports. Park Tower’s design has a glass façade, vertical glass fins and outdoor terraces atop a podium with a 5,000-sq.-ft. outdoor plaza. Construction is expected to begin in October, with the building completed in 2018. GP Principal Scott Seyer said it will “create a timeless aesthetic that will provide a positive addition to the Transbay area as well as the San Francisco skyline.”

ESCALATOR WORKER’S LEG INJURED IN WMATA MISHAP

Firefighters rescued a 23-year-old man at the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (WMATA) Rosslyn Station in Arlington, Virginia, in the early-morning hours of June 23 after his leg became trapped between an escalator’s framework and a steel plate, Arlington Now reports. It is unclear whether the unit was moving or stopped at the time. The man, an employee of the OEM contracted to maintain the escalators, was hospitalized with a serious leg injury that was not considered life threatening.

June 25, 2015

KONE SHIFTS FOCUS IN CHINA TO SERVICE

KONE is shifting its focus in China, its largest market accounting for 40% of new orders and 30% of global sales, from new orders to service in light of the country’s weakening construction boom, Forbes reports. In 2015, KONE saw 5% first-quarter growth in China, versus 15% and 23% growth in 2014 and 2013, respectively. Managing Director of KONE China William B. Johnson says he is optimistic about KONE’s new service-oriented approach and hopes to significantly boost its current service-account market share from 10%. To lay the groundwork, KONE plans to add 1,000 employees this year to its Chinese workforce of 12,000.

ALIMAK HEK, U.S. PARTNER ROLL OUT CRANE ELEVATORS 

Sweden’s Alimak Hek has joined forces with Manitowoc Co. Inc. of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, to develop, produce and distribute specialized internal tower crane elevators. Alimak’s elevators will be adapted to fit Manitowoc cranes, and the crane elevators will be offered by both companies worldwide. Manitowoc will also be the exclusive distributor of an elevator located within a tower crane’s mast. The new solutions will be designed to meet the latest European health and safety regulations and will be available starting in 2016. They are being rolled out at a customer event on June 23-26 in Manitowoc.

WISTFUL FOR PATERNOSTERS IN BERLIN

Fans of the archaic, British-invented paternoster elevator crowded Schöneberg town hall in Berlin during the waning days of May to ride the conveyance before a law went into effect on June 1 making paternosters off limits to anyone who has not taken a class on safe usage, McClatchy reports. The non-stopping units that travel in an elongated loop and lack doors and call buttons were first used in London in the mid 19th century and became very popular in Germany, which has the greatest number of paternosters of any country. Since the new law, most operators of paternosters in Germany, including at Schöneberg, have simply turned the units off.

June 24, 2015

BRUGG NORTH AMERICA’S THOMPSON PROMOTED

Brugg Lifting has promoted Joseph Thompson to president and general manager of Brugg Wire Rope North America. Thompson joined the company in 2014, since which time he has served as chief operation officer, deputy CEO and interim general manager. Prior to joining Brugg, Thompson oversaw production operations at Kobelco America, LLC. He will supervise operations from Brugg Wire Rope’s North American headquarters in Rome, Georgia. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Southern Polytechnic State University in Greater Atlanta.

MARYLAND ENTREPRENEUR STEWART RETIRES AFTER 55 YEARS

Rudolph “Rusty” Stewart of Sherwood Forest, Maryland, has retired after 55 years in the industry. After starting out in 1959 as a salesman at General Elevator Co., Inc., Stewart became manager of the company’s Washington, D.C., office. In 1967, he moved on to become vice president, director and shareholder at Dover Elevator distributor Horner Elevator Co. Five years later, he cofounded Chesapeake Elevator Corp., which, in 1978, merged with General Elevator. Stewart remained employed with General Elevator in various leadership capacities through 1992, at which point he formed consulting firm Vertran Enterprises, Ltd. He sold Vertran in 1999. In 2008, he founded Stewart Consulting, LLC, which he closed in 2012 to go work for Michael Blades & Associates as a senior consultant until his retirement in November 2014.

SEPTEMBER EW FOCUS TOPIC, DETAILS

The September issue of ELEVATOR WORLD will focus on legal issues, including insurance, expert witness, OSHA issues and more. It will also feature a report on the Canadian Elevator Contractors Association Annual Convention, which recently took place in Vancouver, and the ongoing Elevator U event at The Ohio State University. It will also include a special section on the National Association of Elevator Contractors Convention and Exhibition, where it will receive bonus distribution at the Boston show. Its submission deadline is July 15. To participate or for more information, contact the EW Editorial Department at phone: (251) 479-4514, ext. 30 or email: editorial@elevatorworld.com.

CHINA FRONT CENTER HIGH RISE

The Shanghai Elevator Trade Association has reported on the China Front Center, a 303-m-tall office high rise on Yitian Road in the Futian District of Shenzhen, China. Standing at a total of 68 stories, it is the tallest tower in the southern center of Shenzhen. In addition to Hitachi elevators, the project has a hollow and double silver Low-E glass curtain wall, a 12-m-tall “luxury hall,” a 35-story “skyview hall” and a garden.