Archive for the tag “Rope Gripper”

Euro Lift 2015

Spent last week in Kielce Poland working a booth at EuroLift 2015. This trip is always fun – the business? – a challenge to say the least.

We (Teresa joined me this year which made the trip especially nice) traveled overnight Saturday thru Amsterdam to Warsaw where we took a day and a half to adjust to the European time. We had a chance in Warsaw to have dinner again with Tom Sullivan a long time, good friend, of my son Dustin. This year his wife Sarah also came out. They are a neat couple – Americans who have been living in Warsaw for some 5 years now. They now have their first bambino and are beginning to look forward to transferring back to the good ole U S of A.

Warsaw is a beautiful city. The weather was October perfect on Monday – sunny with maybe a high of 70. An ideal day for touring an interesting city. There is a mix of new high-rise, modern architecture, which is within blocks of the re-built old city with traditional streets and squares. There are many excellent restaurants, the people are terribly friendly, and there is virtually no language barrier – everyone there speaks English fluently. Don’t miss Warsaw if you ever get the chance.

On Tues AM, Peter Ackerman, owner of Lifts & More, and Hollister Whitney’s representative in Poland, picked us up for the 2 hour drive to Kielce. He and I spent the day setting up the booth. We needed to overcome some self-inflicted difficulties, but with Doug Dietrich of Hollister providing long distance technical support, pulled it together and had two running Rope Gripper demonstrators before the sun went down. Ahh – the glamour of business travel.

Peter Ackerman and me in the Lifts And More booth

Peter Ackerman and me in the Lifts And More booth

An aside – On Tues, thanks to my son Dustin (Midwest Elevator in St Louis) and his sweet wife Lauren, Teresa and I became Grandparents again – Joleen Elizabeth – all happy and healthy.

Weds, Thurs, and Friday were show days – 10 till 5. The show is very well organized, and the facility is as good as any anywhere in the world – but this is really a regional show and it doesn’t demand 3 days – 2 would be great. There were 115 exhibitors (slightly down from last time) working booths that ranged from very modest to really elaborate. Don’t know the final attendance numbers, but it seemed to us that it might also have been less than 2 years ago.

Brian Farley (Hudson Elevator), President of NAEC, was in Prague visiting his Daughter who is in school there, flew over and joined Teresa for meetings with Polish Lift Association. They reported that their talks were very interesting – both associations trying to figure out if there are things that they could do better. Teresa felt like they fielded many more questions than they had a chance to ask – so be it – new contacts made – our elevator world continues to shrink.

When working the booth, language can become a stumbling block. I was very happy to have Peter there to back me up. The Rope Gripper is technical enough that it’s hard to get features and benefits translated. Even though A17 code and EN81 code are essentially the same, the terminology is very different and subject to interpretation even when being discussed in the same language. Makes working the booth fun and challenging.

Rope Gripper banner in Polish

Rope Gripper banner in Polish

In Poland, the contractors use bi-directional safeties and a solenoid pin through the governor wheel to address the Ascending Car Overspeed and Unintentional Motion issues. Rope Gripper is a much more elegant solution but their market doesn’t demand it. They have no rules to prevent slipping traction. We have taken our at-bats here, Peter Ackerman is a conscientious and competent representative. I doubt if I will return to EuroLift.


Catching Up

Whew, life is flying by – and I’ve been lagging in updating this blog. I have been lucky enough to attend several fun industry events recently.

On June 4th, I met Mark Yako in Chicago where we tag-teamed a full blown customer product presentation. Mark has this stuff down to an art and he is well known and respected in the Chicago area. Fun stuff. We went separate ways with different elevator groups for a while in the afternoon which gave me a chance to catch up with (share an adult beverage) my good friend Mark Kosiara from Urban Elevator.

The evening of June 4th was the annual Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation Boat Ride fund raiser. Some 160 Elevator types enjoyed a cruise on Lake Michigan on the Spirit Of Chicago. Barbara Allen, Executive Director of the Foundation, was on board to say thanks. I guess I don’t know the entire committee who puts this together but I know that Ed Chmielewski (Anderson Elevator) and Cornelius Walls (Formula Systems) put a lot of effort into it. I couldn’t make it, but Corn had a group of friendlies out to Wriggly for the Cubs game the night before. Having two elevator related events in a row, makes this trip really attractive to out-of-towners.

The next week – June 8, 9, and 10, Hollister Whitney and GAL hosted our annual Consultants gathering in Quincy Il. This is always a great opportunity for us to show off our stuff and this year was no exception.

In a classroom setting, Rick Cahoon and Doug Deitrich delivered formal presentations on PMAC Gearless machines, and the other MRL components coming out of Hollister. Steve Husband covered the MOVFE door equipment coming from Canada. Doug did a return engagement to explain the G model Rope grippers followed by Mark Duckworth’s presentation of GAL’s newly released GALaxy IV control. Frank Marchese batted clean-up covering our new FM and FMG products.

In the afternoon, the whole group spread out and got a close look at the Hollister Whitney factory and test tower. It is really fun to show visitors through these facilities. Hollister’s factory is clean and modern. Every year there are new and more sophisticated machines on the floor. And the people at Hollister are second to none. They are engaged, competent, and friendly – always willing to explain our processes to any interested visitor.

Lest it should sound like it was all work, I’ll also tell you that we had cocktails and dinner on a riverboat on the Mississippi on Monday night. On Tues, Frank Musholt hosts a big bash at his house on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi. It is a spectacular under-the-tent event where everyone mingles, laughs, and shares elevator stories. During the evening, we shoot clay pigeons and hit golf balls, and then after dinner, the night ends in an unbelievable display of fireworks.

I have to mention Kathy Guifoyle (Hollister) – whew – She does all of the logistics and organization necessary to fly this group of 28 into St Louis, gather, move ‘em to Quincy, arrange the lodging, meals, and transportation back to St Louis and then flights home. Quite a feat. All of the consultants love Kathy before this event is over.

OK – I got caught up. No pics cause I have no time. Next week there is the Pop / Joe outing in NY and then a group NAEC Directors are going to come tour at GAL. I’ll do my best write up some feedback.

Interlift 2013

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.

Frank Musholt in the Hollister booth at Interlift

Frank Musholt in the Hollister booth at Interlift

This year, because Hollister Whitney is not a household name in the rest of the world, we introduced a new web site – – 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.

Walter Glaser welcomes Hollister's guests at the Hauxembaur

Walter Glaser welcomes Hollister’s guests at the Hauxembaur

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.

Walter and John Sweeney get into the atmosphere at the Hofbrauhaus

Walter and John Sweeney get into the atmosphere at the Hofbrauhaus

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.

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.

Euro Lift

Well, Euro lift did not disappoint. It was a well organized and well attended elevator exposition. Some 110 exhibitors participated. Show management said that they would send me the attendance numbers after they are totaled – but we stayed busy for all of the first two days saw some visitors on the third. Probably really would only need to be a two day show. Read more…


Well, I guess that’s why they call it an experiment – doesn’t always work

I am at the MADE (Milano Architettura Design Ediliziz) show – in Milan Italy. For years there was an elevator only show here every year. This year, that show got cancelled and the lift association here threw in with this huge architectural exhibit. The show is a monster, they are expecting some 350,000 visitors – the elevator portion is definitely not. Read more…

It Take All Kinds

This ad was forwarded to me by Tom Sybert at CJ Anderson. I was flabbergasted. Can you imagine a seller calling a ROPE BRAKE a ROPE BREAK? Insanity.

A rope BREAK is exactly what you would never want.

So beware of goofy products out there. This one doesn’t even pretend to have any approvals – and it claims you can install this rope BREAK in 10 mins! What?

Most of the time having competitors that aren’t very smart is a bad thing. Sometimes it’s dangerous. Sometimes it’s flat out entertaining. ROPE BREAK indeed.


I spent last week in Miami representing Hollister Whitney at Elevcon. Elevcon is a unique gathering in the world of elevators. The sponsoring group is the International Association of Elevator Engineers, and it is organized by Chairman Ami Lustig – a highly respected consultant from Israel.

Some 120 people attended the three day event – and there were 23 countries represented. Elevcon has two main components – a Congress, where individuals present technical papers that were proposed and approved in advance, and a small expo where product and service vendors have an opportunity to show / expose their products to the Elevcon attendees.

The presentation of technical papers is the meat of the gathering. The topics touch many aspects of elevatoring and are divided into themed sessions – each of which has a Chairman to conduct the session, introduce the presenters, and keep the program on schedule. I was honored to have been asked to chair one of the technical sessions. Most presentations represent new / innovative thinking or research – all are very interesting.

The expo is very small and all of the breaks take place in the room where the table top displays are set up. I had a demonstration stand that displayed two different designs of the Hollister Whitney Rope Gripper. Rope Gripper is a hot topic around the world right now because the EN81 code (European) Amendment 3 went into effect in Jan. For the first time in EN81, Amendment 3 contains requirements to protect against Unintentional Car Movement in new construction as well as modernization. Rope Gripper is an ideal product for complying with these new requirements.

Elevcon was a great learning experience and a good time to renew friendships with elevator types from all around the world. Many thanks to Teresa and to Pat Tobin of MEI who both helped me set up and position my display.

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