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I started writing this piece and it ended up over five pages long. The rest of this post is a summary of what I had originally written but in a condensed format. I hope that you’ll add your comments below of what you believe were important stories and points which made a significant impact on our industry in the last year and decade.
Y2K - Starting with the turn of the century the number one story how our computers were going to handle moving into a new century. Some predicted planes dropping out of the sky, banks loosing our money and elevators crashing into pits when midnight struck. Well all but the last was a real concern. However our industry did make sure that controllers and new equipment was Y2K compliant which in summary was not a big deal but outside of our industry a lot of money was spent upgrading computer systems and programs. Elevator Controllers did not care what date it was and in the end our industry did not see any issues relating to the new century.
9-11 - A little over a year and a half later the tragic events of 9-11 occurred. The worst attack on US soil I don’t think any of us will forget that day, what we were doing and the sickness we all felt as we watched the video coverage of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers. That event would change us forever. In the passing days and weeks later there were multiple news pieces which highlighted elevators. While estimates indicate close to 200 people died in the elevators that day they proved helpful in evacuating people below where the planes struck both buildings. As well a row of elevator machines were noted as saving a stairwell which helped people escape above the strike zone of the towers. One thing is for sure is that industry professionals, some of our brightest, have been working on elevators and emergency evacuations for future building emergencies such as this. In the near future we’ll learn more about the progress they’ve made and whether we as an industry will see any changes in how elevators are used in this important role. There were hundreds of hero’s on that day, many of whom lost their lives trying to help. A collection of some great elevator articles about elevators and 9-11 can be found over on Elevator Bob’s website. http://www.elevatorbobs-elevator-pics.com/wtc.html We will never forget this day!
NAEC – William Sturgeon Man of the Year Award - 2010
Goes to my Uncle Richard Gregory who gave one of the best acceptance speeches I’ve ever heard, once again proving his passion for making our industry better and safer for the riding public. He hammered home the point of how important it is to perform great maintenance to ensure the safety of the riding public. He also advocated for supporting the EESF and encouraged everyone to do so.
We have lost so many great industry professionals that if I were to start the list I’m sure I’d miss someone. But it’s true, just in the last year we’ve lost great guys like Marvin Jacobs, John Brannon and Robert Seymour who were some of the most passionate guys in our industry. It’s important that we learn from those who have worked their entire lives as elevator advocates and remember the important work that they’ve done. Let us hold up glass in honor of them this New Year's Eve and thank them for everything that they’ve contributed to making our industry a better one.
2000-2010 – Known as the Decade of the MRL
This decade will be known as that of the MRL’s. As the major elevator companies all pushed their own version it was quickly evident that these units were here to stay. While the phenomenon has been going on in Europe for quite some time, this was the decade we saw a significant increase in installations and this product push. Energy, Space and Compactness were all feature of installing these types of elevators. Not having a specific machine room seemed to be a selling feature although in many cases it simply didn’t matter if there was one or not. Energy savings through the use of permanent magnet motors was most likely one of the coolest features that are associated with MRL’s. With a scramble by elevator package providers to come up with their own MRL elevators systems, companies like Global Tardiff, MCE and HW/GAL are working at getting into this product market. One thing is for sure, while some say the hydraulic elevator system is dead for the US market it is far from that. Leistritz actually was pretty creative in the MRL that they created calling it the Emarelle which was a push/pull type roped hydraulic MRL elevator. Pretty ingenious making many wonder what the true selling points to the MRL were? Was it space-saving or energy consumption? Leistritz did both and thinking outside the box to do so. Also during this decade and MRL designed it was determined that Kevlar is best left to bullet proof vests.
- Y2K Compliance
- 9-11 – WTC Elevators
- Trapped in Elevator for 41 Hours
- New York City Housing Authority Maintenance Scandal
- Elevator U Formed
- Dave Cooper Brings Attention to Over the Side Escalator Falls
- Rise in Residential Elevator Demand Then the Fall
- Economy Tanks 2009-2010 – New Construction Slows/Halts
- Elevator Radio Show Podcast Started
- Increase in Youtube.com Elevator Videos
- Rise Up Safe Rider Program Created – www.eesf.org
- Burj Dubai Tower Built
- Internet News Stories Explode - RSS Gains Traction
- CCTC - Door Kinetic Energy Calculator
- Wurtec - Time Out Jumper
- SmartRise – Serial Controller
- PVE Pnuematic Vacuum Elevator
- SEES – Enforcer Door Gib
- Emarelle – Leistritz
- Qcesss – Laser Video Transmitter/Receiver for Elevators
- LiftNet – Elevator Monitoring Software
- EMS – VVVF Freight Door Controls
- The Regenerative VVVF Drive
Hollister Whitney - Permanent Magnet AC Gearless Machine
- Peelle – Horizontal Slide Power Operator Freight Elevator Door
- Elevator Man Stories – Jim Collet
- Maintenance on New Equipment Designs - John Koshak
- Elevator Safety Handbook – Elevator World Magazine
- Field Employees' Elevator Testing Manual, 3rd Edition
- Elevators 101, 2nd Edition – Zack McCain
- Elevator & Escalator Rescue - A Comprehensive Guide – Ted Jarboe & John O’Donoghue
What Where They Thinking?
- Florida Decides to provide 7 different key switch number zones for fire service.
- Destination Dispatch – Okay, maybe these do have a place in larger buildings. In the end meeting ADA requirements as well as fire service standards for US and Canadian elevators proves to be tough and an ongoing issue. Average savings of 30% travel time.
- The ElevatorNetwork.tv Channel
- Green Elevators - How About LED overhead lighting?
- Illinois Rescinds Elevator Code Compliance Indefinitely
- Space Elevator
- ElevatorAider.com – Youtube.com
- MaxtonValve.com - Simulator
- Wikipedia.com - Elevator Definition
We are a small enough industry to realize the value in what each of us contributes each day. We are also small enough to understand the importance of working together as a team with the ultimate goal of ensuring the safety of the riding public. No matter what our role is in this industry. Mechanics, manufacturers, consultants and inspectors all have the opportunity each day to act as an advocate. I see the upcoming decade as the one in which we unite as an industry and pull together to close the gaps on the inadequacies we see need improving on and make not only our industry better but the equipment we maintain and inspect safer. We all have it in us to make that difference, one day at time.