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Louis "LJ" Blaiotta, Jr. on Monday, July 30, 2018 at 12:00:00 am
Calvary Hospital Tree of Life Close Up
Plaque is engraved with one of Mr. B’s famous sayings,
LJ Blaiotta, Marie Blaiotta, and Margaret Gilhooley
I’m posting a special blog today in memory of my father and Columbia Elevator founder, Lou Blaiotta. It’s been five months since Dad (“Mr. B.”) passed away, and the emotion and adjustment to life without him is still a process for all of us in the Blaiotta family. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve wanted to pick up the phone and tell Dad about a new job that’s running through the factory – or to share with him a funny story from the industry that I had just heard – or to ask him a question because if anyone would remember the details, it was always Mr. B.
In July, my mother Marie, my sister Margaret and her husband Paul, and my wife Laura and I all attended a special memorial service in Calvary Hospital’s auditorium. (Calvary Hospital was where Mr. B. received his final hospice care.) The service was dedicated in memory of patients like my father. It was a touching tribute to remembering the love that everyone in attendance had for someone they had lost.
After the service, our family was asked to visit the Fargione “Tree of Life” in the hospital’s atrium for an additional private ceremony in Dad’s honor. The “Tree” is a brass wall sculpture composed of mini-plaques which commemorate large donations made in memory of former patients. We watched in humbled silence as Mr. B.’s special ‘stone’ plaque was mounted on the wall because so many of our family and friends honored Dad’s memory with a donation to Calvary Hospital. The director of the program commented that Mr. B. must have been a very well-respected individual in his community and his industry to have elicited so many donations in his honor from all over the country.
Seeing the stone with Dad’s name posted made us all feel blessed because it reminded us that so many people cared deeply enough about Dad that they reached into their pockets to donate to this unique hospital. The stone also reminded us of Mr. B.’s resolute spirit because it was also engraved with one of his favorite quotes: “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” We spent a few hours in prayer to remember a loving husband and father; moreover, we prayed in thanks for the amazing Calvary Hospital doctors, nurses, technicians, aides, social workers, and support staff who all touched our lives and made Dad’s last few weeks as comfortable as possible.
My family is deeply grateful to those who donated to the hospital in memory of Mr. B. and making this special event a unique way for us to take a moment to honor the man and father whom we loved in life and we hold with love in our hearts forever.
Louis "LJ" Blaiotta, Jr. on Monday, July 23, 2018 at 12:00:00 am
TOWER-ASSEMBLY-C3-CO drawing - Above is a detail of Columbia tower assembly equipped with a C3 Commercial angle.
Technological and economic changes outside the elevator industry are strong influencers on our business, as is the growing societal emphasis on efficiency. There are increasingly more jobs being done with fewer people. Sometimes, especially in construction, this can lead to unintended consequences and new approaches are required to react to them.
One such technological advancement consequence is the high-speed pouring of concrete. While in one way a positive, it is causing the sacrifice of accuracy. In the past, a great deal of care was devoted to determining exactly where the elevator’s edge of the slab would be. For elevator contractors, this was critical because the angle that would support the elevator sill was mounted to that slab, and they relied on it to be absolutely level and straight. This made for easy and precise entrance installation, but that is no longer possible with the irregular slabs contractors are encountering because of current, rapid concrete pouring methods.
When we at Columbia Elevator Products heard about this problem from our customers, we determined it was time to innovate a solution. We developed a tower entrance or a self-supporting structure that does not at all rely on the accuracy of the slab on every floor; instead it carries the load from the pit to the openings. It’s like a series of rails that are, in effect, a ladder.
As a further innovative solution, we can supply a structural part called a ‘slab correction angle.’ The angle gets mounted on the edge of an imperfect slab and is adjustable so that it can close the gap between an imperfect slab and a perfectly aligned tower.
Instead of having to wait for the structural trades to build a perfect landing on which place to put our sill, we now are positioning our sill where it needs to be relative to the moving platform. No matter how inaccurate the slab, we can install a correction angle that has telescopic abilities to adapt to it to inaccurately poured landing slabs.
This provides flexibility to elevator installing contractors:
Columbia’s innovative spirit is customer-centric. Bring your installation or other elevator challenge to us, and we will design a solution!
Louis "LJ" Blaiotta, Jr. on Monday, July 9, 2018 at 12:00:00 am
Columbia’s CEO LJ Blaiotta, with the company’s new QuikEnt3 (QE3) entrance. QE3 features standard strut/sill support and hanger assemblies that work with any provider’s door operator and hanger equipment. Prior to QE3, it was necessary to supply a different entrance type for each specific installation. With QE3, the jamb, door, and strut are always the same. The only variables are the type of sill support and drilling pattern to mount the door tracks onto the header, allowing for expedited delivery and faster, easier installation.
A recent addition to the Columbia line that will help keep customers off the Critical Path is the QuikEnt 3 (QE3). Over the years, we have produced many versions of standard-sill depth entrances and narrow-sill entrances. Each type was designed to be compatible with one of the various available door operators. Now, with QE3, we have developed standard types of strut/sill support and hanger assemblies that can work with any style door operator and hanger equipment.
Traditionally, while the struts were standard on every type of entrance, a contractor still needed to select a specific type of entrance design depending upon the desired sill support angle. Further, that sill support angle selection was dependent on whether the installation was going into a haunch (concrete pocket),with a GC-provided structural sill support angle, a floating sill support angle, or a C3 commercial angle. The customer doesn’t have to make such decisions with the QE3 entrance because it can handle all those options.
Rather than offering different entrance types for different situations and changing the entire entrance every time, the jamb, door, and strut that we make as part of the Columbia QE3 are the same every time, regardless of the hanger and sill support angle. Based on job specifications, we simply change out the type of sill support and the drilling pattern to mount the door tracks onto the headers.
The QE3 also makes for quick work by the installers because they do not have to ‘learn’ a new entrance design every time they install one of our entrances. Instead, they simply customize the work depending on the type of track being provided and/or the loading requirement, which drives the type of sill support angle. The header mounting location is the same every time, but the shape of the header might be slightly different to accommodate non-proprietary and different OEMs’ hanger requirements.
QE3 was developed because our Account Representatives listened to the needs of our customers. This is what we do best at Columbia and how we drive our product development. We hear about problem or concern, and we innovate new products and services as solutions to a customers’ field or design challenges. Talk to one of our Account Representatives about a design or Critical Path issue you are experiencing and we will work to bring you a solution!