Columbia Elevator Cabs and Entrances

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Columbia Creates Captivating Cabs with Marble, Tile, and Stone

Louis "LJ" Blaiotta, Jr. on Monday, June 3, 2019 at 12:00:00 am

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Receiving Ellie Awards Elevator World, the elevator industry’s leading global trade publication, presented Columbia Elevator Products co-founder Marie Blaiotta and CEO LJ Blaiotta the prestigious Ellies Award in two key categories: Best Cab Supplier - Cabs and Best Supplier - Doors.

Receiving Ellie Awards Elevator World, the elevator industry’s leading global trade publication, presented Columbia Elevator Products co-founder Marie Blaiotta and CEO LJ Blaiotta the prestigious Ellies Award in two key categories: Best Cab Supplier - Cabs and Best Supplier - Doors.

At Columbia Elevator, we are getting more and more requests to create captivating elevator cabs with finishes that include marble, tile, and stone. This is especially in high-end hotels and commercial buildings. To accommodate the increased use of stone materials in an elevator’s design, there is a growing trend toward synthetic quartz, a material that is virtually indistinguishable from natural material.

Using natural stone would present deflection and load-level issues in the smooth vertical operation of the elevator. In response to today’s trends, stone suppliers have found ways to produce and supply the industry with thin slices of material to help lighten the load and stress on the lifting equipment. To keep incredibly thin panels strong, stable, flat, and safe, they are supported by honeycomb backing that does not support combustion.

Cutting-edge technology allows for stone elevator panels that are light in weight, while maintaining the beauty of the natural look. In these types of cabs, Columbia Elevator installs lightweight panels that

  • are made using natural stone or man-made materials.
  • are 80% lighter than conventional 3/4" slabs.
  • are supported with a honeycomb backing, made of either aluminum or fiberglass.

In order to produce these light weight panels comprised of only 3/8” thick stone, an interesting fabrication technique is used. Honeycomb reinforcement backing sheets are glued to both sides of a 3/4"-thick slab of stone. Using diamond wire, the slab is then split into two identical 3/8”-thick pieces and separated to reveal two identical mirrored (or book matched) stone panes. The surfaces are then polished or finished to the customer's preferences.

Using these techniques will allow you to ride in ‘stone elevators cab’ interiors that safely address the weight issue and allow for beautifully finished interiors.

 

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Creating Captivating Cabs with Metals Beyond Stainless

Louis "LJ" Blaiotta, Jr. on Monday, May 6, 2019 at 12:00:00 am

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Cab by Columbia elevator, installed at the Philadelphia Museum in anticipation of a visit to the facility by Pope Francis. Rimex Metals contributed the side and back panels, consisting of T22 Platinum Nickel Hairline FPR (Finger Print Resistant) finish with a 3-inch Diamond Pattern.

Cab by Columbia elevator, installed at the Philadelphia Museum in anticipation of a visit to the facility by Pope Francis. Rimex Metals contributed the side and back panels, consisting of T22 Platinum Nickel Hairline FPR (Finger Print Resistant) finish with a 3-inch Diamond Pattern.

Stainless steel is not the only metal design finish we use to create captivating Columbia Elevator cabs. Advanced cab design with metals can include the use of woven wire.

  • Woven wire incorporates stainless, bronze and other metals wires in shiny and dull finishes, which can be produced in wide-open or closed-weave patterns, often to dramatic effect.
  • Woven wire walls are extremely durable, not easily vandalized, and, when bumped or scratched, show hardly if any noticeable damage.

Yet another leap forward in metal-based cab design is the emergence of upgraded polishing techniques that produce the faux impression of three-dimensional elements on a flat surface.

  • Polishing techniques can create the appearance of raised panels or patterns on metal. This is achieved by sanding the surface to create illusions that, from a slight distance, appear to be 3-D.
  • Such treatments can be further enhanced by combining the etching, polishing, and plating of different materials in different patterns on a door skin, using, for example, bronze, silver, and chrome to create visually striking patterns.
  • Metal punching techniques have also been upgraded to create actual, precise 3-D patterns and effects.

Back in the day, we created various effects by manually striking the metal sheet with a hammer, and/or implementing the best look we could with the then-available punch press equipment. Today’s advanced technologies and materials reduce the need to manually create patterns.

  • A pre-textured material with a distinctive hole pattern punched into it can now be purchased and installed in a car.
  • Tonnage and punching pressure can be controlled and applied to the sheet metal without deforming elements of the sheet with the currently-available servo-controlled punching equipment

In the past, when we bought a sheet of diamond plate, and specified a cutout where the buttons were to go, there was no way to prevent cutting through one or more of the diamonds, thereby resulting a rough, unbalanced look. Today, with the tooling we have in the industry, we

  • can precisely position our own bumps around the cutouts.
  • have exact control of the pattern to eliminate issues such as half diamonds.
  • can avoid bumps on flat spots where we’ll later want to engrave notices, such as ‘No Smoking,’ or create cutouts for digital displays.
  • can create effects such as precisely-positioned flat areas behind handrails, and flat surfaces around the perimeter of a textured metal floor where it meets the side panels.

Bottom line is that the advancements in punch press equipment allow us to create all types of nuanced, rather than overall consistent, finishes. Still, we don’t have to use metals or glass to finish a cab. Have you seen marble, tile, and stone finishes in elevators? Come back for our next lesson about how the industry can operate elevators safely using these ‘heavy’ materials.

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Creating Captivating Cabs with Stainless Steel

Louis "LJ" Blaiotta, Jr. on Monday, April 8, 2019 at 12:00:00 am

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Columbia Elevator is an industry leader in the manufacture of elevator cabs, entrances and door systems, serving OEM’s, Independents, Mod Managers, Construction Managers, Maintenance Supervisors, Architects and Consultants. Columbia was voted as Best Supplier-Cabs and Best Supplier-Doors, and awarded two “Ellies,” in the 2018 Elevator Industry Awards.

Columbia Elevator is an industry leader in the manufacture of elevator cabs, entrances and door systems, serving OEM’s, Independents, Mod Managers, Construction Managers, Maintenance Supervisors, Architects and Consultants. Columbia was voted as Best Supplier-Cabs and Best Supplier-Doors, and awarded two “Ellies,” in the 2018 Elevator Industry Awards.

Metal traditionally has been a popular, adaptive medium for the design of cab interiors, with widely-differing applications that can reflect the varied tastes and trends of the day. Past decades have seen the use of various metal treatments in cabs and their surroundings, including oxidized bronze, bright brass, nickel-silver, aluminum, and, of course the mainstay, stainless steel.

Stainless, as it is commonly referred to, can be shiny, which is highly subject to fingerprints and scratching, or matte, which also shows scratches but not fingerprints.

  • Vandalization and accidental damage are an eternal problem, but “pre-vandalizing” the finish – by using a grinding wheel to intentionally scratch the surface in a random pattern – can eliminate concern about future appearance issues and possibly-expensive repair work.
  • Non-directional stainless can create a consistent, less edgy look via a hand finish that, if damaged, can easily be ‘re-blended’ in the field with hand tools.
  • Classic Satin #4 is a machined finished product, but it can be field re-finished by hand if damaged. With its straight up-and-down lines, #4 can be fashioned into an elegant long-grain look.
  • These finishes are often topped with a clear coat of lacquer to add a deeper luster, resembling the appearance of nickel-silver.
    • Nickel-silver itself can be used
      • if budget allows for the generally three to five times cost of stainless,
      • to provide a dullish finish looking somewhat like platinum.
    • So-called ‘super-mirror’ finish on stainless steel is one of the more stunning recent additions to the elevator design palette, yielding a reflection virtually equivalent to high-end glass.

The quest for the perfect metal mirror has been an ongoing pursuit, and recent technological advancements are allowing this to be achieved. While in the past, upon close inspection, one could perceive visible brush strokes in the finish, now there are no such strokes to be seen. This is accomplished via the use of new-generation buffing wheels and rosins finished by machine rather than by hand. Since such a finish is very easily scratched, it is best deployed in out-of-reach locations such as a ceiling. Next time I’ll talk about how we can create cabs using metals other than stainless.

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