Archive for the month “May, 2013”

Liftex In London

Tower Bridge - Terribly British you know

Tower Bridge – Terribly British you know

Last week the Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA) welcomed the industry to Liftex, their exhibition which is held in London every third year. The numbers aren’t final yet but it looks like the show grew some 22% over the numbers in 2000.

The weekend before the show kicked off, Teresa and I were invited to join our good friend John Curzon of Formula Systems for a couple of days on his boat. Even though we experiences typical English weather, it was way fun and gave us a chance to see a part of England that is somewhat off the beaten tourist path. John was a fabulous host. It was great to share the time with him and his friends.

Teresa was accompanied by Mark Boeulhower, the President of NAEC.  Because I travel in the company of heavy hitters like the President and Executive Director of NAEC, I often get invited to join in the VIP events at gatherings, and this was no exception. We were the guests of the LEIA contingent one night for a very enjoyable dinner. The food and the company were superb and we are in debt to Terry Potter and his very hospitable staff for a great night out.

International Lift Equipment is the GAL and Hollister Whitney representative in the UK, and I had a great chance to catch up with Peter, Nancy, and Janet Lycett, as well as all of the rest of the key players from ILE. As is always the case, they had a very impressive booth which prominently displayed the GAL & HW products.  This crew is the best, and it’s always fun to watch them work the booth and to work together on opportunities. Because of ILE, the UK is a very bright spot for GAL.

The usual cast of international players attended. Our representatives from Germany – (Philip Molineus of Henning) and Poland – (Peter Ackerman of Lifts and More) were on hand and we were able to bring each other up to speed on opportunities and problems in their part of the world. Also caught up with old friends from far flung places – Eduard Amigo, John Trett, Greg Bladon, David Mann, John and Pat Gale, Peter Collins, Warren Jenctner, Achim Hutter and Rudolph Grob. Liftex pulled them all together.

One other side note and bright spot. Teresa and I, along with Mark, were guests of John Curzon at the Royal Albert Hall where we were treated to an Eric Clapton concert. It’s hard to describe how special that night was. Erick Clapton? At the Royal Albert Hall? Are you kidding me? Who is luckier that we are? We love you John.

Liftex will be held again in 2016. I encourage you to come and get to see and know what happening in the UK Lift industry.


Consultants In Quincy

Blog – Consultants in Quincy

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week Hollister Whitney and GAL hosted our annual Consultants Visit To Quincy – We have been doing for the last 10 years and it is, with the possible exception of an NAEC convention, the best thing we do to raise industry awareness of all things new at our companies.

Holloster Whitney and GAL host our consultant friends

Holloster Whitney and GAL host our consultant friends

It starts with our guests flying into StLouis on Monday morning. Consultants (30 this year) gather from all over North America at an airport hotel where we have a light lunch and then, after everyone has arrived, we take a coach for the 2 ½ hour trip up to Quincy Il, which is the home of Hollister Whitney. On Monday evening, we host a welcome meet-and-greet dinner on a riverboat on the Mississippi. The weather was perfect and just as warm as the reception that the Hollister staff put on. It is a great ice breaker.

Tues AM we get an early start with product presentations and explanations. It is intense education for 4 hours. Topics this year included PM / AC gearless Machines, MRL equipment, Spectralite Fixtures, Geared Rope grippers, a new door lock monitor and Roper Gripper control, a redesigned brake monitor for geared machines, and GALaxy Controls including an explanation of the soon to be released GALaxy 4.

We break for a nice lunch at Spring Lake Country Club before we head over to the Hollister Whitney factory. Throughout the afternoon, we break into small groups and tour through the factory (200,000 ft sq) and the two test towers. All of the products we make, along with some that are in testing, are there and working for the consultants see and experience. We are terribly proud of the facility and the people at Hollister Whitney – everything you see and everyone you meet is simply top notch. Quincy is not a easy city to get to and it is great fun to be able to show off our stuff for visitors.

Frank Musholt, GM at Hollister throws an absolutely amazing wrap up party at his home on Tues nite. There are tents set up to accommodate dinner tables where we enjoy a catered steak dinner with all of the trimmings. Franks home is high on the bluffs above the Mississippi – a beautiful setting where, during cocktail hour(s) we can shoot clay pigeons and drive golf balls – fun fun fun. The dinner finishes as the sun goes down – and then the coup de gras is an incredible display of fireworks – whew, nobody can do it the way Hollister Whitney does it.

Weds AM, it’s on the bus and back to St Louis. Everyone knows they have had the very best in education, camaraderie, and yes, fun.

ASME Standards Meeting

ASME Standards Committee Meeting was held in Boston on Weds 5/8.

There is no way to make these meetings fun – this is code work. I know that most people think that code committees are slow – and they question the output. Code language is terribly specific stuff and it is wordsmithed to death. If you are critical of the way elevator codes are written and you haven’t been there, you need to come and sit in and find out how hard this group of people works in an attempt to make elevators and escalators safe for the public. It is a daunting effort. There is a ton of expertise and passion poured into it.

At this meeting, Andy Juhasz of KONE was honored for his 35 years of contribution to Elevator and Electrical codes. Andy is retiring and will be sorely missed around the A17 tables. He had chaired the Electrical Committee for years and the industry will benefit from his influence on A17.5 forever. Thank you Andy.

I am in the process of turning my code work over the Carl Burch of GAL. We have swapped positions on the working committees and Carl is now the member on the Hoistway and Emergency Operations committees and I am now his alternate. Hopefully he will become a member of Standards after the qualification period is complete, and then I will become his alternate there as well. He is much more technical than I am and will make a great contribution to elevator codes and standards.

So even tho the meetings are grind-it-out work, the nights don’t have to be. Had a very enjoyable meal and evening with Patrick Bothwell of EHC, Carl Burch my cohort from GAL, , and Pat Redington,, Alison Byk, and Riad Mohammed from ASME. Stayed out too late but it seemed like the right thing at the time. Patrick says we can blame it on Riad.

IAEC Gathering

The International Association of Elevator Consultants held their annual Forum in San Antonio spanning from the last couple of April days through the first days of May. For peddlers like me, it’s a great opportunity to spend time one-on-one to explain to some of the most influential members of the industry just why their clients might benefit from using our products on their projects.

Attendance was good – especially considering it was a Western location where the elevator industry often struggles to attract attendees. IAEC allows sponsors to set up table top booths to display product and hand out literature. This also gives suppliers a lot of time to share information among themselves. Mark Yako was there with me from GAL / HW, and he and I both stayed busy digging for new opportunities.

Teresa and I had a really enjoyable evening catching up with some of my good friends from my Chicago years. John Donnelly and Leo Fenili joined us for a spectacular meal on the Riverwalk – good friends, good food, good time.

Dick Gregory – the guy who launched me in the elevator industry was, as always, there in fine form, and I also got a rare chance to catch up with TAK Matthews. I’m not positive, but I think TAK owns the country of India – well, maybe only the building industry there.

The education that IAEC puts on is usually, and this year was no exception, touching on some of the most sophisticated topics in elevatoring. I was particularly impressed with a presentation made by Brian Diviney of KONE. KONE has developed a product and procedure for modernizing escalators and Brian took us through all of the considerations associated – whew – I know that I know nothing about escalators – heavy duty stuff, really well presented.

Jay Pop of Lerch Bates Associates has been kicking around and doing very high end consulting for years. He is staying on as President of IAEC. Gordon Ernst of Elevator Consulting Services, after handling the Executive Directors responsibilities for years, is passing them on to Sheila Swett of Swett & Associates. Sheila – AKA That Damned Woman – (you’ll have to ask her) is off to a great start, and IAEC is in good hands all around.

And then I have to mention this: Bob Caporale of Elevator World  – you reading this? We all voted. Landslide. It was Unanimous. All verses none. IAEC is much better for having Liz represent Elevator World. No one is sure but everyone thinks they’ll miss you – LOL

NAEC Spring Conference

I am way behind with my Blog – just too busy to sit down for the 15 mins it takes to tell a story.

The first omission is my attendance at the NAEC Spring Educational Conference. (known at the mid-year to all of the old timers) This year the event was held at the Ritz Carlton in Dana Point Cal – how nice is that? The facility and the service were over the top.

I think this is a special event – if you want to be immersed in elevators, this is the place for you. Several days of high level education equally interspersed with fun, recreation, entertainment, and camaraderie. Some 200 plus people from every sector of the industry have a great chance to rub shoulders, share problems and successes, meet new friends and break bread with old friends.

I have been chairing a committee to develop a ‘specifications data base’ for NAEC. This project is nearly complete and I had a chance to report to all of the attendees. If you are an NAEC Supplier member, of if you would like access to well written specifications for non-proprietary elevator components, give Amanda a call at the NAEC offices. She is staying on top of the progress here.

The weather wasn’t exactly what you think of when you imagine southern California in April. Most of the time is was overcast – sometimes spitting rain – and most of the time down right chilly. There were two golf tournaments and, like a lot of the others, I bought an extra set of sleeves and played in slacks both days. Brrr. Nothing can be done about the weather.

NAEC attracts the best from the elevator industry annually to their Spring Educational Conference. If you want to be on top of the current topics, you ought to be there next year – Fort Myers / Sanibel Island. See you there.

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