Just returned from 7 days in Germany at the 2013 Interlift Trade Show. Interlift is one of the largest elevator gatherings in the world. This year there were some 18000 visitors who came to see exhibits erected by 504 vendors from 40 countries taking up 45,000 square meters (485,000 Sq feet).Whew – elevators on a big scale.
Our emphasis at Interlift is the Hollister Whitney Rope gripper. The European Code – EN81 – has just added amendment 3 which for the first time has requirements to protect against unintentional car movement with the doors open – one of the hazards that Rope Gripper is designed to protect against.
I am always baffled by the different approaches to elevatoring that are generally accepted in different places in the world. In North America, Australia, and Asia, almost without exception, we address ACO (Ascending Car Overspeed) and UCM (Unintentional Car Movement) with a rope brake – read the Rope Gripper. In Europe, their approach is very different. They make modifications and add a battery back-up to a traditional bi-directional safety in order to comply. Both are equally convinced that the other is just plain crazy.
This year, because Hollister Whitney is not a household name in the rest of the world, we introduced a new web site – www.ropegrippers.com – take a look. It contains everything about the HW Rope Gripper.
The show itself can be grueling – it goes from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm four days in a row. If you have ever worked trade shows, you know that this is an endurance test. We take a large enough contingent that we can work in shifts – this allows for some time to actually go and see the rest of the show as well as working the booth. This year, the old guys – Walter & Herbie Glaser, Frank Musholt, and I – worked the booth in the AM and the younger guys – Paul Seifried, Brian Musholt, and James Varon took over in the afternoons. Made it more comfortable for everyone.
Teresa also attended and worked a booth for NAEC – looking to attract membership and attendance at their events. John Sweeney, President of the Association, along with first lady Andrea, represented NAEC at many of the official and unofficial functions. I think they found Interlift an eye-opener from the industry/ NAEC standpoint and I know they had ball hanging out with the international crowd.
For the 6th Interlift in a row – (12 yrs cause it’s held every other year) Hollister Whitney hosted a large group of Americans and other friends for a night out in Munich. Crazy fun. We all take a coach from Augsburg to Munich, have a great Bavarian meal, (this year we were at the Hauxenbaur, maybe the most famous Bavarian restaurant in Munich) and then carry on to the Hofbrauhaus (world famous beer hall) for even more merriment.
It is a tradition that the NAEC President gets up and directs the oom pah band in the Hofbrauhaus and John Sweeney did yeoman’s work to raise the bar on this count. I have the video but it’s too large to attach here – take my word for it – entertaining. Shelly Klehr from MEI (Mikes Klehr’s spouse) also showed off her director’s skills – whew, neither is ready for the Philharmonic.
We got to catch up with a lot of our international friends. Dirk Henning and Philip Molineus from Henning are big players in Germany and had the booth directly across for ours. Dagcan Piroglu from Moston, our representative in Turkey, was also in the same hall exhibiting. Peter Lycett had a large contingent with him from ILE in the UK. John Wang from DTS in China with his two new compatriots John Curzon and Peter Collins of Ensota. We also had a good chance to talk with our representatives in India, Ashok Subhedar and Swapnil Astunkar from DSA.
Peter Ackerman from Lifts & More was there. Peter represents Rope Gripper in Poland and introduced me last year to the Euro Lift show in Kielce Poland. For circulation during Interlift, he and I co-authored an article in the Elevatori Magazine “How It Works” supplement.
Every Interlift, there are more participants from the US. Twelve years ago there were very few. This year – and forgive me if I’ve left some out – we saw our friends from: AFD Industries, Canton Elevator, Texacone, Wurtec, MEI, ELSCO, CE Electronics, Elevator Solutions, NAEC, Elevator World, Jersey Elevator, Atlantic Elevator North, and City Elevator (New York).
Interlift is an important gathering for the elevator industry. If you can ever make it fit into your schedule and budget, you ought to go experience it at least once.