International Association of Elevator Consultants

IAEC 2010 Summary

This years International Association of Elevator Consultants Conference was held May 13-16 at the Omni Hotel in Houston Texas. The first night was a blast! Thanks to everyone who supported the EESF Silent Auction! The first day of the conference opened up with IAEC President Sheila Swett welcoming everyone. I was amazed at all the cool facts she had to share about the City of Houston. Great cultural events, a city that is continuing to grow and one that has over 11,000 elevators and escalators. I was also happy to hear that the recession has not hit this city as hard as others. One thing is for sure is that the hospitality of Houstonians is refreshing!

Chief Elevator Inspector Lawrence Taylor provided the first presentation, "Welcome to Houston" which was excellent. His perspective and passion for what he does each day is one that I admire.  These kinds of presentations are much better when listened to in person than when I try to recap them. All I can say is that he spoke from his heart and made quite a few statements that made a lot of sense. Thanks for making us all feel so welcomed.

Nicole Saloio from Schindler provided the next presentation on their new ID and PORT Technology. Fascinating stuff! Destination dispatch systems look as if they are evolving to another level with their new system and group passenger elevator traffic management. Schindlers ID and PORT technology may be the next generation destination dispatch.

Lou Bialy, Otis Elevator, gave an update on the Innovation with Safety in the Elevator Industry presentation A17.7 which made me realize just how much I don’t know about the elevator code and how grateful I am that industry professionals like Lou spend countless hours working to improve it. A17.7 should make the approval of new elevator equipment a simpler process. Still requiring a lot of work it’s the roadmap for equipment not yet addressed by the current code and took ten years to complete.

James Fortune started our presentations after lunch. He shared his experiences with his work on the 162 story high Dubai Burj – Khalifa Tower which Otis is installing. Pretty cool facts about the tower, some of which included the reasons why these huge towers are built. Between you and I, is see them as show off pieces to those who want to hold the title of tallest building in the world. Still Jim provided a very informative presentation and provided some interesting information on the challenges of designing and building the elevators.

Emery Thran from MCE gave the next presentation on future serviceability options for today’s MRL Elevators. Pretty interesting in the fact that Emery did a pretty good job presenting that the MRL’s from MCE can be serviced by anyone. With the big push for MRL's that we've seen over the last few years,  MRL elevators are not going away anytime soon. With the time and money being invested in them this might be a product worth looking into if you’re considering an MRL.

Robert Nicholson, Architectural Elevator Consulting, presented on a much-needed topic, "Today’s Application of Seismic Protection". Despite the code not changing much from the 1980’s concerning Seismic requirements for elevators it was nice to get a refresher on it. If you’re a manufacturer or a consultant there’s a good chance you’ll be doing work in a seismic area and California isn’t the only spot you need to worry about it. St. Louis MO, the Carolina’s are both areas that seismic requirements need to be met.

Mike Ryan from The Peelle Company gave an interesting product presentation on a product they’ve designed and sold world-wide which is making it’s US debut. Horizontal Sliding Passenger type doors or their HSD product has been very well received in Europe and Asia. With many different types of panel set ups this may be the product that may help out some unique applications that typical vertical freight bi parting doors may not be ideal for. I was impressed by the engineering presentation by Jose Vilchez who also did a great job affirming the products application and outlining the products details. I could see many gears turning in people’s heads for upcoming product applications.

Day two started with a brief presentation by Ali  Ezzeddine, SmartRise about their innovative controllers. Very interesting in how they work. They sure look simple enough that’s for sure. The price per microprocessor board is econonical and the standard serial fixture wiring looks like a time saver for any installation.

Robert Kreiger, Certified Conveyance Training Corp, provided an excellent presentation on his Kinetic Energy Calculator. His presentation was both enjoyable and technical at the same time. His invention combines a small high speed measuring circuit board with encoder feed back which can calculate the velocity of any door within minutes. Powered by USB it's truly a unique item and easy to use. No more estimations, no more manual presuare guage which only measure the last six inches the door travels. This device measures the entire travel of the door and the force it is exerting. It will help technicians determine if doors are adjusted correctly and also help with liability as you have a time stamped test report after the doors have been adjusted and are in accordance with the code. One other important reason for inventing this product was to help minimize the payout on lawsuits which involve people being hit by closing doors. If you use this device you’ll have the proof that the doors are in compliance. It’s a cool product that can help pay for itself in insurance premium payments. Robert also showed his passion for training. If anyone needs help with safety training he’s your guy!

James Bos, KONE's manager of technology for new products, was up next with another technical presentation, Energy is Force x Distance. His calculations were extensive and a very interesting.  Leading to some important points about line regeneration and energy savings for elevator systems. While there were a few factors to consider the feasibility of energy regeneration on an elevator system, I learned that elevators near or at capacity have a greater chance to push power back into the line than empty elevators when a traction elevator slows down or stops at a floor.  I never really thought of it before but it makes sense. Elevators that are empty have a lower energy usage and also use less energy to stop. You could tell that there was a lot of time spent on determining if line regen systems actually save energy directly.

Carl Strychaluk presented next on MAD Fixtures and their new surface mounted fixtures. Also new is the Gilda Series Touch Screen elevator button. It allows a lot of graphical customization if you can lock down an architect who can actually figure out what they want to see. Touch screens, while not new, seem to be making in roads with both destination dispatch systems and electronics. Whether they can get around ADA requirements is one hurdle being worked on.

John Koshak, Elevator Safety Solutions, presented on the recent book he just authored covering Maintenance Control Plans. John did a great job covering what he felt was necessary to include in the MCP and how important it was that it be available to inspectors at any time. The feedback and comments from the audience was really interesting and the reason why attending these conferences is important. To read or purchase John’s book click the link below.

Tak Mathews, TAK Elevator Consultants India, makes the annual consultants conference each year, which includes a full 24 hours of travel. His presentation addressed a very important issue, ethics. Titled, “An Ethical Elevator Consultancy” Tak addressed that there is NO grey area when it comes to accepting gifts and was a great reminder why we do what we do every day. In some ways we’re all consultants, providing information on what we know, whether they are products or services. It sounds as if this may be a larger issue in India than in the United States however there are larger corporations here that have strict policies on accepting holiday or end of the year gifts which is nice to see.

Jay Popp, Lerch Bates, was the finale of two days of excellent presentations. He had some very interesting statistics on all the MRL elevators on the market today. He also was able to share just how the numbers can be adjusted when determining the best efficiency percentage of any new building. While MRL’s have a place for new buildings they may not be ideal for every new installation. This is the reason why you want to work with an elevator consultant. I enjoyed Jay’s presentation and the perspective he shared on MRL’s and elevator systems in group mode operation. Very intersting.

In summing up the 2010 IAEC Conference I learned a great deal from all the presenters and enjoyed seeing everyone. I appreciate the hospitality of the IAEC Board and their appreciation for everyone who attended. On a sad note this was Curtis Forney’s last year as Executive Director. He will be missed by everyone and has done a great job these past years. Thanks Curtis for all your hard work and enjoy your boat. I expect a fish story of the one that got away the next time I see you.

Fun First Night at the IAEC!

  The first night at the IAEC Conference was a blast! Thanks to everyone who supported the EESF Silent Auction! From those who donated goodies for the auction to those who donated money and those who bid on items you all made a difference in raising money for the EESF! Looking forward to tomorrow’s presenters! I need to hit the hay, getting out of Chicago today was not easy with the bad weather and I’ve been on the go since five this morning.  I’ll do my best to recap tomorrow’s events tomorrow night. All I can say is that the IAEC sure knows how to throw a conference and I’m really enjoying myself!