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Compact Elevator Operators Create More Rentable Space for Property Owners: Part I

Lou Blaiotta on Monday, July 24, 2017 at 12:00:00 am

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ALURE/Premium, a result of partnership between Columbia and Fermator, offers space-saving architectural elevator products.


ALURE/Premium, a result of partnership between Columbia and Fermator, offers space-saving architectural elevator products.

Have you seen the new buildings going up in New York, Chicago, Vancouver, and other U.S. and Canadian cities? In today’s worldwide new-construction and modernization environment, it’s all about compressing time and space to save money. Property owners and developers are idealizing space to maximize rental revenues. What does that mean for our elevator industry?

The less space our elevators occupy, the more space the building owners have available to rent. In our industry, we must provide space-saving elevators - that remain ASME code compliant. Plus, we need to produce them quickly and cost efficiently to be competitive.

Our industry first responded to these market realities by meeting the challenge of reduced elevator shaft size. The challenge has been met via the elimination of the elevator machine and controller rooms with a machine room-less (MRL) elevator system.

Throughout the building structure, today’s MRL units effectively move the mechanical lifting mechanisms and electronic controller systems into the shaft. With shaft space occupied by MRL units and electronic systems, building owners and developers want us to do more to optimize rentable square footage. Thus, our industry is turning its attention to the elevator system’s architectural components for further space savings.

Since there is no allowable way to reduce cab interior space available to the riding public without affecting capacity as per code and LU/LA specifications, shaft space savings are achievable by modifying the operator/track structure to gain as much space as possible in the depth of the car.

First, we at Columbia Elevator accomplished much in saving space with our ALURE® system and Robusta operator that we offer via our partnership with Spain-based Fermator ELEVATOR WORLD, July 2016. Linear door operating systems produce significant weight reduction and space savings atop the car, a valuable shaft space and weight saver to accommodate top-of-car overhead clearance issues generated with the advent of the MRL elevator. But challenges still were ahead of us in reducing the overall depth of the car into the shaft. This brought about our newest product in the line ALURE/Premium that reduces car depth. More about how Premium generates additional shaft way space in my next blog.


Making it Happen for the Customer: Interlocks for Glass Cabs

Lou Blaiotta on Monday, July 10, 2017 at 12:00:00 am

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Columbia Elevator AdArchitects will sometimes design elevators in ways that make it ‘tricky’ for the use of standard equipment. Of course, that is why people call upon us at Columbia Elevator. We specialize in ‘tricky’ or unique applications of elevator products.

Recently, a design for glass cabs in California called for a unique use of our Columbia Elevator door interlock system. Our product, which meets California Department of Occupational Safety & Health (DOSH) requirements, was ordered. Unfortunately, the standard interlock didn’t meet the non-standard design of the glass cabs. Our standard interlock is designed to operate with a 12 to 24-inch space between the clutch and the top of the door. These glass cabs required an interlock for a space of 5 inches!

Columbia’s R & D department went straight to work solving the puzzle. This was not a simple solution. After numerous drawings and components were researched, specialized interlock kits were developed for these unique cabs. I can appreciate these types of puzzles, and it is exciting and stimulating to meet the needs of architects and our customers.


More about Plant Maintenance

Lou Blaiotta on Monday, June 26, 2017 at 12:00:00 am

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Preventive Maintenance Plant maintenance is one of those topics where I push the safety button. I think about all the ways that my employees can be safe and the ways to manufacture high-quality products.

What are the primary purposes of a Quality Plant Maintenance Program?

A Quality Plant Maintenance Program is vital for an elevator company to maintain consistent high quality production.

A Quality Plant Maintenance Program also supports adherence to all the company’s Safety Policies.

What are the Objectives of Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive Maintenance is paramount to a Quality Plant Maintenance Program.

  • Preventive and regularly scheduled maintenance is vital to the efficiency and life of large machinery.
  • Equipment/machinery is maintained to its most productive state by keeping it clean, conducting minor repairs swiftly, or replacing lost or worn parts immediately.
  • Service and repairs are regularly scheduled per specific machinery manual recommendations.
  • Equipment/machinery safety guards/parts cannot become so worn that they become dangerous and impact employee safety.
  • Minor issues/difficulties/repairs are corrected as soon as they are apparent to keep equipment and machinery from resulting in major repairs at greater cost or at the expense of lost production time.
  • Customer service is improved because a well-maintained plant assures customers that their orders are produced per specifications and delivered on time.
  • Overall operating costs are reduced by keeping equipment/machinery operating at optimum levels.
  • Trained maintenance personnel are provided at each building.

Preventive Maintenance and scheduled equipment repairs can diminish the chances of large machinery breakdowns and lessen accidents and safety risks. If Plant Maintenance Objectives are followed, your employees will be safe and your products will be defect free.