Articles

Below you will find several articles on modular elevators and elevators in general. We hope you find them interesting, informative and often times humorous. If you have any questions about the subject matter please contact us at your convenience. If you want a full listing of all of our articles on modular elevators please visit our blog Easy Up or our blog Elevator Schmelevator. We welcome any an all comments.

Are All Elevator Companies Equally Bad? 

Are all elevator companies equally bad? This is a question posed in a forum on UrbanToronto.ca in the Design and Architectural Style section. For too many of the commentators in the blog, the answer is an unfortunate yes. Each respondent complained about the state of the elevator industry when it come to repairs. It is true there is a bit of a shortage of elevator techs, but that is not the core issue regarding poor repairs. In other words, a technician properly trained can easily tackle most elevator problems, but what if there was something built into how we buy elevators in the first place that totally did away with any incentive to get the job done right?   Find out the answer to the question by clicking here. 
 
Let it Snow

We are getting unseasonable and unreasonable snow in our neck of the woods–Southern Illinois–so we thought we would revisit precautions for cold weather when it comes to your elevator.

First, we begin with two words that are rarely used in terms of elevators anymore but are likely the most important…preventative maintenance. It is the easiest way to ensure that your elevator will give you great service throughout the entire year, but especially in winter. Routine inspections will catch problems that can cause shutdowns before they happen. Unfortunately, many contracts that once specified monthly checkups no longer exist. The friendly elevator technician seems to visit less and less, unless there is an emergency. So first things first, check your current contract and see if you are owed a visit. If so, schedule one pronto! While the technician is there, cover the items listed below. You should make every effort to look into these with your service provider before the wintry weather gets too bad…Click here for the list.

 
Elevator Trapped – Respond with a Heart

elevator trapped
A lot of our blog readers are people very familiar with elevators and the elevator industry. So when we hear about someone getting stuck in an elevator we tend to think it is not a big deal.

To help demonstrate what it means for the average person to get stuck, I am posting a link to an article written by someone that was stuck in an ever increasingly hot elevator with a baby, husband and two elderly women. Read it with an open mind and an open heart. My hope is that it will reinvigorate your efforts to keep your elevators safe, maintain them properly and respond properly when someone gets stuck. As a second resource here is a link to a post about what you should do if someone gets stuck and you are in charge for all you building managers especially.

But without further introduction here is the perspective of a mom and family getting stuck in an elevator.

Elevator Construction Unsafe

Elevator Construction Unsafe
No one wants to see yellow warning tape going up at job site, so here at Phoenix Modular Elevator, we talk a lot about construction site safety, especially regarding elevators. In other words, safety is a big motivator for us, not just when the elevator is up and running, but from the time the elevator hoistway or shaft is being constructed to the final installation of the elevator itself.

Why? Because we know there is a better way. Modular elevators are simply a safer alternative that need to be embraced by everyone in the building industry so injuries and yellow warning tape can be avoided. If we have said it once, we have said it a thousand times; if you care about worker safety, build with modular.

To help punctuate this point, just this month there have been two breaking news stories concerning elevators and construction site safety.  The links are provided so you will know what we are saying is true, but believe me, there is no joy in reporting potentially avoidable accidents. Find out the tragic facts here.

Christmas Comes Early for PME

Chocolate Factory, PME Christmas,
Every year it seems that the Holidays and Christmas season creeps up earlier and earlier on the calendar. What used to push into November is now full bloom in mid-October. Christmas songs start making their way into the muzak mix in stores and there is more red and green decorations than florid fall flowers. Keep in mind that I have generally been resistant to even picking up wrapping paper and Seasons Greetings cards in October and November. As a matter of fact, until recently the bulk of my Yuletide shopping was done exclusively on Christmas Eve! But this year I am admittedly part of the problem. That is because at Phoenix Modular Elevator we decided to try something different for holiday goodies that make their way to our customers every year.Click here to find out about early Christmas shopping.
Hurricanes Toughest Building Codes

When it comes to devastating storms in the United States, no place is more often the target of hurricanes than the Sunshine State – Florida. According to National Hurricane Center data, from just 1995 to 2017 the number of hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions that have passed through some portion of Florida equals a stunning total of 42. The next closest state on the list is North Carolina with 27 and finishing third is Texas with 22.

Florida Hurricanes

The Florida hurricanes since 1995 includes Opal – 1995, Charley – 2004, Ivan – 2004, Jeanne – 2004, Dennis – 2005, Wilma – 2017 and now Michael a category 4 storm beating up the panhandle. Find out what this means for today’s codes here.

Modular Benefits and Definition

This elevator was put in place in the middle of winter in Canada. Elevator delays are not a problem with modular.
Modular Benefits and Definition – When it comes to blogging, usually you use stories or anecdotes to get your point across. It tends to stick better with the reader if they can identify with the examples given. People tend to engage and respond more favorably if they can feel a connection. But, sometimes you have to just state the facts and tell people point by point what you are trying to say. That is the case with this blog post. No fluff, no mother-in-law stories, no tragic tales of elevator builds gone wrong or funny anecdotes; just the truth about modular building and why it is the fastest-growing and best way to build any project. Click here for just the facts.
The Purrfect Gift – Long Term Elevator Costs

Long term elevator costs

Long term elevator costs and my mother-in-law’s cat. My mother-in law has made several mistakes in her life, but few rank as high as her comment that one of our brand new kitties was so “absolutely cute” that she wished she could have one.

The Cat’s Meow
The story begins one cold, blustery day in December when my mother-in-law came for a short visit to our house. During her stop, she heard a muffled meowing coming from a crate on our front porch that had old quilting poking out between the slats. At once, she bent down to carefully peer into the well-insulated wooden box and saw a moving, purring mound of black and white fur comprised of a mother cat and four cute kitties all snuggled safely together. Click about discovering long term costs of pets and elevators

Manufacturing Day – Bright Future

Manufacturing Day
“What’s wrong with these teenagers?” Sit long enough on a bar stool at a diner or greasy spoon and you are bound to hear that sentiment expressed by someone. There is the notion that hard work in a manufacturing setting is not the work that the soft hands of the current generation would be comfortable with.

But at the recent Manufacturing Day, Phoenix Modular Elevator opened our doors to dozens of young people from Southern Illinois interested in manufacturing as a career. We found great hope and a bright future for the manufacturing industry. Click here for more details on this great day

NAEC Purpose for PME

NAEC Purpose - The real reason to go to NAEC is to lead round table discussions.

The National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) meets every year, this year for the 69th time in Atlantic City, New Jersey  from September 24 – 27. It is being billed as the “Largest Vertical Transportation Show in North America” and without doubt, it is just that. There will be opportunities for education, building connections in business and seeing what’s new in a huge exhibitor area. Phoenix Modular Elevator will be a very active participant; stop by booth #1846 to say hello!

For instance, on Tuesday, September 25th at 1:00 pm, PME President Allison Allgaier and Marketing Manager Russ Ward will be leading a roundtable discussion on how to become a course provider for the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The course presentations are commonly referred to as “Lunch and Learns” and have been very successful for us. We get a great opportunity to tell architects across North America about the health, safety and welfare aspects built into high-quality modular elevators during these lunchtime presentations. For the whole article and all the reasons click here.

Elevator Flood – What To Do

elevator flood - what to do when severe weather strikes and you are in charge of the elevator.
Elevator Flood – When dark clouds roll in, there is often concern for the elevator. This is because often the lowest part of any building is in an unlikely place; under the elevator. Almost every elevator sits atop an elevator pit and as the elevator often travels to all the levels of the building (including the basement or underground parking) the pit and all the elevator components are possible trouble spots when there is too much rain like we are seeing this hurricane season. Because flood waters can permanently damage the equipment, it maybe a good idea to know what you can do to keep the elevator safe in storms and in as good operating condition as possible depending on the circumstances.

So what should you do if a hurricane or severe weather is bearing down? Click here for important steps.

 
 
Elevator Toast – Think Outside the Breadbox

Elevator Toast and modular elevators. Both need invention and forward thinking. Join the modern age and go modular.

Elevator toast – think out side the box. How much longer could he stand it?

Charles P. Strite worked at a factory in Minneapolis, Minnesota and often visited the cafeteria for breaks and meals. Yet every time he ordered a simple piece of toast, it came to him burnt. There is no record as to whether he desired it dry, with butter, smeared with jelly or slathered in honey, but apparently no oleo or margarine could soften the scorched bread and no jam could sweeten its taste. Enough was enough; he had all he could stand. And who among us could blame him?  After all, man had already conquered air with motorized flight thanks to the Wright Brothers in Kitty Hawk; why, oh why, could man not produce evenly toasted bread?

This question soon became his obsession that ultimately put Strite on a collision course with history. Find out how invention is still the watch word for modern times including with modular elevators. Click here! 

Off-Site Construction Expo – Perfect

Off-Site Construction Expo - Perfect trade show in all respect for modular building and construction innovation.

In almost any industry,  there are a plethora of trade shows. So when you finally find one that is a great fit, you like to let others know about it. The Off-Site Construction Expo (OSCE) has been one of the best, and this opinion is not from a novice. At Phoenix Modular Elevator (PME), we attend lots of trade shows because we fit into many different categories, including the construction industry, elevator industry, modular building industry, etc. The list goes on and on because we can, and have, attended many shows for specific sub-groups such as hotel owners or building managers to name just a few. All have their pluses and minuses.

Click here to find our why we think the OSCE is one of the best!

Three Stooges to PME – The History of Modular Elevators

Modular buildings have been around longer than you think. In the United States, Sears started offering their version of modular in the form of self-contained kits in 1908. These are often claimed as “modular” but in reality, they were an all inclusive truck loads of parts and boards pre-cut for specifically purchased plans.

This unique style of home building is forever immortalized by the Three Stooges in “The Sit Downers” where the Stooges attempt to build one of these homes for their new brides (be patient the home arrives 7 minutes in). Find the Stooges movie here and the real history of PME!

Its a Chairlift not a Freight Elevator

Chairlift Problems Freight Elevator
Fantastic news for the elevator industry! Another chairlift has broken down and the building owner is shopping for an elevator as a replacement. That is the last sentence a building owner wants to read, however it is an all too familiar occurrence. The most common reason for failure is that the wheelchair lift is being used for everything other than wheelchairs and being used way too often under stress. Recently one building manager told me that he has heard that employees call wheelchair lifts “the freight elevator”.

That pretty much sums up the issue.

See, most wheelchair lifts and LULA (limited use, limited application) elevators use a cantilever system where the support for the load juts out from just one-side of the hoistway under the platform or car. Ultimately, the further out the load is shifted from that side, the more likely damage can be done, especially if repeated often. Find out how to save headaches and costs here!

It is All About the Tool – The Evil of Proprietary Tools

Proprietary Tools
Ask any handyman, shade tree mechanic, do-it-yourself-er, or even professional and they will say that using the right power tool or hand tool for the right job makes all the difference. If you have ever tried to take lug nuts off with a pipe wrench you know what I mean and the wrong type of screw driver can give you bloody knuckles, a massive headache, or worse.

But, finding the right tool isn’t as easy as it sounds. After all there are over 30 different types of drivers used to turn screws from the simple Frearson to the familiar Phillips, the Dzus to the 12-spline flange. Fortunately, there are also over 20 different kinds of hammers for beating a screw in if you have misplaced your favorite Pozidriv driver or stripped out the head.

Finding the right tool is hard enough.
But, what is even more maddening is when someone intentionally hides the tools you need, making your job even harder, if not impossible. In many respects that is the tactic of big elevator companies. They have often been hiding tools from you and playing keep away with them, making working on your elevator very difficult or impossible. This is done by creating tools crucial to elevator operation, diagnosis and testing, proprietary. In other words if you want to have work done on your elevator you often have to use a specific tool that only they have and they will not let you borrow it or buy it. Find out what you can do here. 

 
 
Relic of the Past to New Future

 There was a little neighborhood market called Jim and Ruth’s near the small house I rented in college. Hidden from traffic in an old residential area of town, it seemed it was stuck in a time warp. It had wooden floors, a meat case in the back, and a white-apron-clad, paper-hat-wearing butcher (Jim) standing at the ready to slice your bologna or T-bone steak to the thickness desired. It was a great place to pick up the occasional item or sit on the bench out front and watch the world go by; the owners ensured it was a place to take a break and leisurely stroll the handful of aisles. You pulled a string to ring a bell when you were ready to check out and Ruth would amble to the old hand-cranked register. If you were in a hurry, the supermarket was down the road.

Remembering Jim and Ruth’s got me thinking about how far the shopping experience has come. That experience tells us a lot about building projects and modular elevators find out here what it all means. 

Superpsyched About Modular Elevators

I recently ran a crossed a web page that was a breath of fresh air. It was a gentleman that was a self-proclaimed promoter, inventor and entrepreneur who was very excited about what he was doing. As a matter of fact, he was more than just plain old excited. He made the leap past “psyched” into the realm of “SUPERPSYCHED” (that’s right: all caps, all one word) about life and his life’s dream.

After a few chuckles and couple of outright guffaws, I wiped the tears of laughter from my eyes and asked myself a serious question: What superpsychs me? And when was the last time that my excitement level at work was so high that I used all caps to describe it? Sure, in my personal life I have been superpsyched a number of times. I was superpsyched about the birth of my children, my favorite ball team winning the World Series and most importantly, getting married to the absolutely perfect woman. But at work, it seems that excitement train has long left the station. This is especially true in the elevator business, as the daily grind can make excitement a stretch to say the least. Let’s face it: some days, work can be as stale as a three-day-old doughnut. Read more to become SUPERPSYCHED too!!! 

Elevator Code – Respect the Code

Elevator Code Book
I bristle at calling any book, “The Bible”. Not necessarily for the notion that something is authoritative and has the last word in matters of the law, but because it can reduce the Bible to a bunch of codes and rules which is not the case. But when it comes to elevators, there is an actual bible (grandma I hope you noticed the small “b”). That bible is the American Society of Mechanical Engineers – Codes and Standards A17 and CSA B44 for our Canadian friends.

The primary purpose for this code is clearly stated by Norman B. Martin, a proponent of the ASME Codes and Standards and highly respected Chief Elevator Inspector for the state of Ohio. He said the following….Find out what he said and examples of misapplied code and how important the code is here!

Its All About the Tools – Elevator Tools

Elevator tools It is all about the tools
Ask any handyman, shade tree mechanic, do-it-yourself-er, or even professional and they will say that using the right power tool or hand tool for the right job makes all the difference. If you have ever tried to take lug nuts off with a pipe wrench you know what I mean and the wrong type of screw driver can give you bloody knuckles, a massive headache, or worse.

But, finding the right tool isn’t as easy as it sounds. After all there are over 30 different types of drivers used to turn screws from the simple Frearson to the familiar Phillips, the Dzus to the 12-spline flange. Fortunately, there are also over 20 different kinds of hammers for beating a screw in if you have misplaced your favorite Pozidriv driver or stripped out the head.

Finding the right tool is hard enough. But, what is even more maddening is when someone intentionally hides the tools you need, making your job even harder, if not impossible. In many respects that is the tactic of big elevator companies. They have often been hiding tools from you and playing keep away with them, making working on your elevator very difficult or impossible. This is done by creating tools crucial to elevator operation, diagnosis and testing, proprietary. In other words if you want to have work done on your elevator you often have to use a specific tool that only they have and they will not let you borrow it or buy it. Find out how big elevator loves hiding its tool from you!

Traction Elevator Safety – A True Tale

**Disclaimer: Read to the end. Don’t stop halfway through, no matter how much you want to, or you will regret it. — The date was July 28, 1945. The time, 9:40 AM. The city, New York. A thick fog blanketed the five boroughs, and the buzz over the fog shrouded skyline was that of a two-engine B-25 Mitchell bomber winging its way to New Jersey from Bedford Army Airfield in nearby Massachusetts. Despite warnings of zero visibility, Lieutenant Colonel William Franklin Smith Jr. pressed forward with the mission of transporting personnel.

Simultaneously, a 20-year-old elevator operator named Betty Lou Oliver, originally from Fort Smith, Arkansas, was on duty in the Empire State Building, on the 80th floor in the #6 elevator.  Elevator operators were common in the 40s. They were almost always young women that had graduated from a charm school, and they did more than just punch buttons. You have got to read the end of this story!!!!!!

 
Close the Door on Elevator Repair

This is a finished doorway for a modular elevator manufactured by Phoenix Modular Elevator.
Elevator doors open and close all the time. As a matter of fact, according to the Elevator History website, every three days, elevators worldwide carry the equivalent of the Earth’s total population. With a global population of 7.4 billion, that’s a lot of elevator trips! And that means there are lots of doors opening and closing.Mechanically, elevator doors are very reliable, especially when you are considering the total use, but they can, and do, have failures.

The good news is that not all problems with the doors means a catastrophic breakdown, and there are some very specific, easy and safe actions you can take if your elevator doors aren’t working as well as they could.The simple maintenance tips below can help keep the elevator and its doors running smoothly without waiting for the elevator technician to show up. This is especially true if the problems include slow closing doors or doors that are staying open when they are supposed to close. Click here for the list of to do’s!

Banana Splits and Manufacturing Standards

Banana Splits and elevator manufacturing.
While waiting tables in college, one of the duties that fell to me as part of the wait staff was preparing desserts. One of the most popular requests was the classic banana split. It was easy enough, right? Not so much. There was actually a policy, standards, and procedures sheet in the training and reference manual that encompassed the proper way to make the specialty dessert. This meant that every customer got the very same dessert with the same style of cut banana, the same toppings, the same whip cream, the same nuts and cherry and the same boat or dish every time. Find out how we use those principles to manufacture the best elevators. Click here!
New Sympathy When the Elevator Breaks

Boston Elevators Need to Be Modular
I was recently on vacation with the family. We did the Griswold family version of an eastern United States holiday tour. We hit all of the sites from Washington D.C. to Maine and, for a short time, I was able to put the elevator industry in the rear-view mirror and think about whale-watching and cannoli’s. But then came Boston.
The family and I loaded up on bottled water and all eight of us hit the Boston Freedom Trail. We started out at Boston Common, breezed past the Robert Gould Shaw monument and looked around the Park Street Church. The cemeteries were interesting as was the King’s Chapel and the site of the Boston Massacre. Few dropped out of the tour and trudged back to the Commons. Find out what happened when we got to Bunker Hill with no elevator in sight!
Elevator Bucket List Interrupted

Elevator Bucket List One World Trade
Most elevator folks have a bucket list of elevators they wish to ride sometime before the meet their demise. These lists are usually comprised of unique elevators known for either the ride, the building they are in, the experience of the ride or the view.
The elevator bucket list has my personal top five and includes the following amazing elevators. Feel free to comment and leave your top five as well. I am sure I missed some outstanding elevators that should be on this list. Click here to see the list and the reason I missed marking off one of the elevators.
Tough Love – Time for the Elevator Business to Grow Up

We all have that moment when we need to hear the truth: to ignore it means growth will cease and improvements halt. When it comes to elevators, that time for truth is now and so we need to dish out some tough love. Often times we associate “tough love” with teen angst and pimply, overwrought middle-school students, but as it applies to our industry as well as the elevator business, it is at a crossroad. As an industry, vertical transportation sits astride two differing paths and it is time for a sober conversation, not hyperbole and not blind to truth.
That crossroad is between the old fashioned stick-built method of elevators or the more modern modular elevators and whether modular ultimately makes sense for all low to mid-rise elevator applications. Should modular elevators be the first choice? Click here for the answer!
You Should Care – Non-Proprietary Parts

Elevator manufacturers use all the same components. Phoenix Modular Elevator is no different.
The words “Proprietary” and “Non-proprietary” elevator components and parts and the costs associated with them can be a a bit cloudy depending on who you are talking to. Of course, big companies that provide non-proprietary parts are for them, and people that aren’t, see all the flaws. So what are the real differences between the two? The best place to start with any question like this is with a definition of terms. In this instance, the definition of non-proprietary is the following, taken from an elevator spec sheet calling for a non-proprietary solution. Get the definition here as well as why you should avoid non-proprietary parts.
Presidential Facial Hair – Razor Blades – Elevators

Ranking the pantheon of presidents of the United States is somewhat of a pastime. You can look at everything from GDP to foreign policy to find the right criteria.  However, one of the more creative rankings of our Grand Poobahs comes in an area often overlooked; the category of facial hair. There has been more than one chief executive sporting whiskers of various lengths in a myriad of styles, so ranking them can be a challenge. I will give it my best shot here. By the way, be patient this really does have something to do with elevators. Find out how this ends up being about elevators here.
Modular is Better – Cab Build


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKS_yb1A7tw
Elevators cabs should take hours to install not weeks. See the process that is the fastest, safest and smartest way to install an elevator. Modular is also safer with no working in cramped elevator shafts.  Music provided by bensound.com If you want to see a few more videos about modular elevators click here!
Hoistway Only Packages

Time is always the nemesis of the construction industry. Everything done at the job site is measured in minutes, not hours, and squeezing even a small amount of time out of a project can make a big difference.
The problem is that, often, cutting time off the completion of the project can only be accomplished at the cost of quality. As the old saying goes, “I can do things good, fast, or cheap. Pick two.” So it is very rare when a high quality product is available at a fair price that can accomplish your goals quickly. However, that is just the case with Phoenix Modular Elevator hoistway packages. Click here for the article.
Don’t Guess – Know Elevator Maintenance – Tips On How to Deal With Poor Service

Friendly Elevator Technician maybe nice but is he wasting your time and money?
We have all had the experience: your car just stops going. The engine revs, but you just don’t go forward well at all. You “baby” it as best you can to your local mechanic, a quick fix later your car is pronounced good to go. The problem is when you pick the car up, it makes it home, but the next day isn’t good to go at all. As a matter of fact, the vehicle isn’t going anywhere.
In the world of elevators, building owners and managers see the same thing. The elevator is busted, a frantic call is made, tenants are freaking out and your phone is lit up like a Christmas tree with complaints. When the repair guy finally shows up, he fidgets with his tool belt as he walks, acting as if he is all set to dive in. As he nears, knowing that he can’t avoid a conversation, he spits out an excuse, a weak apology about being late and then says, “It probably just needs to be reset.” For steps to deal with this problem click here!
Find the Magic Number – Elevators Per Building

Elevators per building revealed My personal cheat sheet.
Elevators per building. Talk about a tricky subject! Few try to tackle it in a blog because no matter what I write, there will be people that take exception. Why is this not just some simple formula with occupancy numbers, building type and square feet? Because it is more complex than that. So don’t worry I will get to rough numbers to help guide you on your project, but with a few caveats. The most important being, a qualified elevator consultant can be a huge help in this area. Consider finding the right one. Now on to the things that you should consider.
The number of elevators per building needed has a lot to do with many factors that may not be known when a building is in the planning stages and the first thing that gets dropped into the architect’s plans are the ways to go up and down in a building. So do your best with the list below so you can take the rough numbers I am providing and tweak them closer to your needs. Here are the things to consider.
Quality Craftsmanship – Modular Building

One of the knocks that seems to never go away when discussing modular construction is that a modular building is always cookie cutter, the same boring products cut out of the same boring mold. In some people’s thinking, because there is consistency in manufacturing, quality craftsmanship seems to be elusive or nonexistent. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As a matter of fact, the opposite is true. Find out why quality counts at Phoenix Modular Elevator.  

Kids, iPhones, Technology and Elevators

Technology iPhone Elevator
Just seeing a small child with a cell phone drives me a bit crazy. Maybe I’m getting old, but have you recently had to have a one-on-one or heart-to-heart with a young child or even a teen that is holding a cell phone? Because they are trained so young and distracted, rest assured the conversation will be a bit one-sided. You will see glazed-over eyes darting back and forth and fingers fiercely and frantically, fleetly flying from icon to icon. Forget finding depth of soul or a modicum of understanding. It is a wasteland of mumbles and stares and epitomizes the bane that is technology.

When technology becomes something the people expect you are expected to deliver. This article has specific steps to help you make sure you deliver on the need. 

Marriott Pleasant Prairie – Day One


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9-TxOjFaYU&t=11s
This video shows how fast the installation process can be. Two complete elevators and a machine room installed in one day. Plus the plumbing and wiring was finished as well. Once power is turned on the rest of the process will take just a couple days. The pain-points of a project with an elevator disappear. Click here for a few more videos
Tips – Dealing with an Elevator Modernization

tips elevator modernization
The cost of a complete pit to roof-top machine room makeover can easily run in the tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the total travel distance, type of elevator, and work to be done. But writing the check is just the tip of the hatred iceberg.
Why the hate? Because modernization comes with a myriad of problems. As the building owner or manager, you have to make all sorts of decisions and accommodations, coordinating the intricate dance of building tenants with elevator personnel. Some need to get in and out and others up and down. Schedules have to be merged, communications opened, storage areas coordinated, parking and unloading allowed, inconveniences avoided, and ruffled feelings assuaged. Patience is the watchword, as modernization work can drag on from a couple months to often over a year. In that time span, patience can wear as thin as crepe paper. Find out tips to help you with the modernization here.
Awards Continue for Phoenix Modular Elevator

Awards Phoenix Modular Elevator
Phoenix Modular Elevator was honored as an affiliate to the Award of Distinction with partner Silver Creek Industries at the annual World of Modular Conference held in Hollywood, Florida in March of this year.
The World of Modular event is sponsored by the Modular Building Institute. Awards of Distinction are the modular building industry’s premier awards program recognizing design excellence in structures built utilizing prefabricated systems. This is the second year in a row that Phoenix Modular Elevator has walked away with hardware as a recognition of the product and use. Read the whole story here!
Work Force Crunch Making Modular More Attractive

The benefits of going to this year’s Modular Building Institute, World of Modular conference in Hollywood, Florida were more than just sunny beaches and warm tropical breezes. We also got to hear from industry experts in nearly every applicable field. They brought their scope of knowledge to the modular building industry, often presenting opinions to help reveal where the modular industry could be going over the next few years.
One of the experts we look forward to hearing from every year is Anirban Basu, Chairman and CEO of Sage Policy Group, Inc., an economic consulting firm particularly well known for its analytical capabilities in healthcare, energy, real estate, construction, and manufacturing. Because modular is both construction and manufacturing, Basu brings a lot to the table. Find his trends and secrets here!
Hydraulic Elevator Rumors – Don’t Believe What You Hear

Hydraulic elevator jacks like this one move the elevator up and down.
Hydraulic Elevator Rumors – Rumors are not relegated to the far reaches of society or the hoi polloi. They can encompass the middle and upper classes, sometimes making the chatter even more believable. This idle talk can be about subjects as innocuous as elevators. One of the fabricated tales often heard by those in the periphery of the elevator industry is that hydraulic elevators are bad for the environment. This old canard is based on out-of-date technology and just plain old poor information, but yet the rumor still survives. Just like JFK assassination theories, stories of aliens visiting with Donald Trump in the White House, and Hitler living in Brazil with Elvis, the persistent fable rears its ugly head all too consistently.
The truth of the matter is that modern hydraulic elevators pose no real threat to the environment and to say otherwise is a prevarication of the worst order. Click here for all the details and the reasons why hydraulic is safe.
Faster, Better Greener – Making a Difference for Marriott

Check out this story about the Marriott – Pleasant Prairie Project. It has two modular elevators that were duplexed and set in one day! Faster, better, greener.
Click here for the news story!

Elevator Ignorance Cost You Big Time

Elevator ignorance. Benjamin Franklin - We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.
“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
Recently we received an inquiry from a prospective client regarding our suggested use of a hydraulic unit in a four story project with approximately forty-five feet of travel. The client was very impressed with our eight week lead time and one week install that could simply not be matched by any stick built alternative. However, they were being sold hardcore on the notion that hydraulic elevators were too out-dated and more costly regarding electricity used over time and the initial wiring. To answer their questions and suspicions, they went to an electrical contractor for basic answers and got some really bad info.  Fortunately, they reached out to us before making a decision. Without casting aspersions, the electrician was obviously out of his depth and showed the ignorance that good ol’ Ben Franklin was warning about.
The electrician was just flat out wrong about required lighting and receptacles in the elevator pit (yes, you still need one for MRL Traction) and shaft as well as shut off requirements, but, more than that, he was quite myopic when it came to overall electric costs. His contention is found in the old canard that hydraulics are significantly more expensive to run as there are no counter-weights. Usually missing in the equation is that hydraulic units cost virtually nothing when they go down (gravity, not an electric motor, does all the work in the case of hydros when they descend). Also, electric is not the only cost in play and ultimately not that important in the overall picture. But, don’t take my word for it.
Click here for facts you can’t ignore!
Don’t Suffer Elevator Buyer’s Remorse

Elevator Buyers Remorse is over paying for an elevator by not doing your homework.
Recently, we got an all-too-familiar email when following up on an apartment complex bid we had put together on an elevator project. We had been asked to provide a bid for a new project, and about a year had passed since the project had been awarded. We were not the vertical transportation solution chosen. However, this type of email exchange is something that has become very common for us as the prospective customer checks their wallet at the end of the project and finds out it is empty.
In answering our question about how the project was going, the customer responded, “As you know, the contractor went with a conventional unit, which on the surface is cheaper. However, if all the costs were included, I’m sure we picked the wrong one. Anyway, I like what you are doing and will look forward to working with you in the near future.” Click here to find out what they didn’t count on in the budget. 
Taylor Swift and Your Elevator Contract

Do you remember when Taylor Swift was 18? She was Fearless and still sangin’ country. How about insulated Crocs – the shoes you could eat? Blockbuster video stores? Or RadioShack? These are all ancient history; including Taylor’s twang.  They have all disappeared or were a fad that faded with time, all from around ten years ago give or take.
One of the few things that, unfortunately, has survived longer than any of this is probably your current elevator service contract. They are horribly lopsided agreements specifically designed to keep you locked in and shelling out too much money for too long a period of time. Even despite bad service, as seen in the complaint from a website below, the only thing that will survive the Apocalypse will be the Crocs on your feet, Twinkies, cockroaches and your elevator maintenance agreement. Find out how to get out of the contract trap here!

Please Check Your Elevator Specs

Elevator Specs and Building specifications are important to check on construction bids.
When it comes to new elevator installations or big modernization projects, it is crucial to check your specs. I am talking about the specifications of the project where the elevator is concerned (Section 14) and the very basis for the bids you will get for the job to be completed. One of the no-nos we see most is the old copy-and-paste routine where old plans or ideas get dragged and dropped into place without the slightest run through or consideration (we’ve actually seen specs with the wrong project name because they were copied-and-pasted right from another project). The more complex the overall project, the more likely someone just plopped old specs down from previous jobs. Resist this temptation as it could keep you from finding the right fit at the right cost.
Click here to find out how this can hurt you and an actual example.
Please Use the Fireman’s Key (Not an Ax)

Elevator Keys Information
There is as old joke about fireman’s keys in the elevator business. Basically, if someone is stuck in the elevator and 911 is called, the way firemen get people out of the elevator is with the “fireman’s key”…their ax.
For any joke to be funny there has to be some truth behind the humor. So, chances are, more than once emergency personnel have used an ax or other implement of destruction to pry someone free from a stuck elevator. It is a (sad) reality and probably happens more than it should. After all, the purpose for the call to 911 is to get someone out of a stuck elevator and not to necessarily worry about the state of the elevator doors afterward.
Part of the problem is that in some areas, fire departments do not have the resources to have tons of training on elevator passenger extraction and, honestly, not much opportunity to receive this training, even if the resources were available. In the area we are located in, some communities may have only one or two elevators in the whole town. Find helpful hints here!
New Year, New Growth for PME

In this past year, Phoenix Modular Elevator has made tremendous strides forward in its effort to provide an alternative to stick built elevators that is also faster and easier to install. We have moved to a brand new facility that has improved our quality and speed, with elevators flying through our production process.
We have also added more team members that do everything from welding and drywall to improving the manufacturing process. As a result, we remain the fastest installing commercial, quality elevator available, with the shortest lead time (eight weeks if it’s standard). Due to our unique design of the hoistway and elevator components all in one, there is no better way to have a quality elevator installed in any construction project. Find out how much we are growing!
Weather Halts Construction – But Not Modular

Modular manufacturing is not effected by cold weather.
Weather stops construction.
We have all seen the headlines: The winter weather this year, and nearly every year, puts a damper on the construction industry and new elevator installation. Work vehicles get stuck in the snow, batteries are drained dead in equipment, and materials often have a negative reaction to sub-zero temperatures. If you are having a new stick built elevator installed, it is important to know about these delays. Concrete is one of the materials that suffers most during construction in winter weather and it’s also one of the most common ways people build hoistways or shafts. Pouring concrete is delayed anytime it gets too cold…Click for the rest.
Avoid Feeling Trapped During Elevator Repairs

Trapped Elevator, elevator repairs, Stuck elevator.
What would you do if you learned that the elevator in your apartment building was going to be down for a month while undergoing extensive repairs or upgrades?
In an article that appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Peg Meier followed the life of Joann Hunt as she adapted to life on the top floor of her apartment complex while the elevator was out of service for a full 30 days right before Christmas.
Meier details the struggles for the 78 year old, active woman that could not negotiate the three flights of stairs in her living quarters. She simply lost the ability and freedom to come and go as she pleased and was left with very few options. Click here for the whole story and how to avoid feeling trapped.
A Christmas Elevator Tale – Happy Holidays from Phoenix Modular Elevator

Elevator Christmas
A Christmas Elevator Tales By Kelly Schloss
For my family, Christmas and the holiday season is a time to share and recount days past. This year, I’d like to do that in the form of an old cautionary tale of magical doors and a secret room. It is about the thrill of Christmas shopping with mom, discovery, fear, separation, reunion, and my very first elevator ride (that I can remember, anyway).
It all begins in the parking lot of a busy shopping mall during the Christmas season and walking past bell ringers in bright red aprons and dodging icy puddles on a chilly day at  a Chicagoland mall. I was an over-exuberant 8 year old, already straining against holding my mom’s hand or latching on to the stroller of my younger sister. I had been enticed by the tale of shopping for Christmas gifts over Thanksgiving turkey, cranberry sauce (yuck!), and mac and cheese, but had never experienced it for myself. As we moved closer to the entrance, I licked my lips with anticipation and strained to wedge myself in the door first. You must read the epic conclusion here!
Congrats On Your Elevator Purchase – Next Steps

Congratulations on your elevator purchase! Phoenix Modular Elevator is building your brand new elevator. However, there are a few things that we need you to do to get ready for the delivery. We understand that buying a commercial, quality, modular elevator is a big step and a big commitment for many, even if you are a design/build firm or investment group.
It is an investment of dollars and time, even if it is the fastest and easiest elevator to install. So, we will do everything we can to make the project go as smoothly as possible. Just keep in mind that there are some things on your end that still have to be done, before it is lowered into place. Here is a list of things that are on your plate regarding the building site as we go forward…Click for the list! 
Elevator Rot from the Inside Out – My Tooth, Your Elevator Jack

Elevator Rot
Elevator Rot – Recently, I bit down a bit too hard on a candy cane and I felt a strange sensation. My mouth was suddenly filled with a substance that was more like small gravel or sand than a candy cane.  I knew that gravel wasn’t on the list of ingredients, which meant something I dreaded much more:   One of my molars was broken and the pieces filled my mouth. Ouch!
I’m obsessive about my brushing and flossing, to the point of pride.  But, little did I know, deep in the recesses of my #18 molar, insidious forces were at work.  Painlessly and silently, tooth decay destroyed my dental pride from the inside out, and made a dent in my bank account. What does my tooth have to do with elevators? Click here to find out!
Modular Early Planning Makes for Easier Planning

modular early planning is easier planning to get beautiful elevators
Modular Early Planning is Best – There is no doubt that modular elevators are the future for almost any building application, from modular buildings to traditional projects and from low to medium rise and beyond. Everyone knows that modular elevators are simply safer, faster, and smarter.
But they are also easier for everyone involved in the process. Designers, architects, builders, and elevator installers are all helped by the overall concept and tremendous flexibility provided with modular.  However, there is one thing you can do in the earliest phases of construction that can make converting to the modular solution even easier:  consider a modular elevator solution as early in the process as possible.
Click here for the whole article and find out why early is best, but anytime is fine.
Freight Vs. Passenger – The Difference is more than Size


Freight Elevator Passenger Elevator
The differences between a freight and passenger elevator are as simple as the definitions of each that you can find in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) – Code for Elevators and Escalators. Unfortunately, just like most code books, the definition doesn’t really reveal much. For instance the freight elevator is defined as, and I quote:
“An elevator used primarily for carrying freight” (no kidding) “and on which only the operator and the persons necessary for unloading and loading the freight are permitted to ride.”
The code does go on to indicate there are three different classes of freight elevator– general, motor vehicle, and truck loading–but beyond that there is little that legally distinguishes freight from passenger. This is confirmed by the definition of a passenger elevator. It is defined in the same publication as:
“An elevator used primarily to carry persons” (again, no kidding) “other than the operator and persons necessary for loading and unloading.”
Well that was the shortest blog post ever right? Now we all know the differences. Click here for more info. 
Pour the Perfect Modular Elevator Pit

The elevaotr pit has anchors in each corner that are ready for elevator installation.
One of the biggest concerns that customers have is regarding the pit. Every elevator needs one, including your new modular elevator. You want to make sure you do everything right for when the elevator arrives, and this article will give you some tips to make it easy. By taking some time now, you can avoid issues and problems down the road.
On the surface, it seems easy enough.  Dig and pour a concrete pit for the hoistway, with cast-in-place anchor bolts in the corners. But, when you mix in the need to engineer the pit foundation and add reinforcements based on the elevator’s pit reactions, all the while accounting for the job site’s soil conditions and your local code requirements, it can seem more daunting. Keep in mind though, we supply the necessary information, plans, and even a template (if requested) to help out. Click for more info.
Cold Hands Means Elevator Delays

This elevator was put in place in the middle of winter in Canada. Elevator delays are not a problem with modular.
No one wants to work in cold conditions. Turning a wrench in sub-zero temperatures isn’t really a problem on it’s own, but it is a problem when the wrench slips and you find yourself busting your knuckles. Cold hands means elevator delays. Something about cold weather makes hitting your hands feel worse than if the slip occurs on sunny, warm days. So, no one should be blamed for not wanting to work in cold weather. For the major elevator companies, working with cold hands is more than just a thing they hate, it is a thing they won’t deal with at all. In the “Job Conditions” clause of most major elevator purchase contracts you will find language that restricts elevator installation to a comfortable minimum of 55°F (13°C). Find out other reasons for delays here!
All About Elevator Jacks

Hydraulic elevator jacks like this one move the elevator up and down.
When it comes to many elevator applications, especially for buildings between 2 and 5 stories, you will find a hydraulic jack is a common, yet crucial part of the system that drives the elevator up. As a matter of fact, approximately 70% of all elevators installed are hydraulic in nature and contain jacks.  The jacks are part of a system that includes hydraulic fluid, tanks, motors, and pumps with the jack being the final piece of the system.  So, understanding the basics of the elevator jack is crucial if you are considering buying a new elevator or modernizing the jacks in an existing elevator.
Depending on the system you have, the distance your elevator travels, and the space available, you have several options available. This article will explain the various types of jacks and the advantages and disadvantages associated with each. Click for all the details you need to know.
Elevator Contract Exclusions – Shop them All

Elevator Contract Exclusions
For some, shopping is about more than finding bargains, it is an obsession. They can’t quit comparing apples to apples and finding success in each penny saved. This is despite the fact that quite often going to store after store means burning more gas and time than actual savings generated. Of course, the more costly the item, the more justification there is for doing a thorough job of looking around and comparing products.
When it comes to elevators, it seems like everything is expensive, especially when considering repairs that are outside of the warranty or maintenance contract. People feel trapped by the contract and elevator company, so, often the work is approved without considering other options. But shopping around can help lessen the overall cost of elevator ownership.
If, like most buildings owners, you have a standard oil and grease agreement, you may find that there is lots of (necessary) stuff left outside of the contract or that has been excluded. For instance, service calls and parts are usually specifically not covered, and good luck getting any major repair to fall under the current maintenance agreement you have. Click here to find out what exclusions you can shop.
We are leaving the station!

All Aboard Modular Elevators
There was a time when black, steam powered locomotives would huff and puff into the station, take on water and coal, load up with cargo and passengers and the conductor would yell, “All aboard!” It signified the train was leaving the station and if you weren’t on the train and ready to go, you would be left behind in a cloud of steam, smoke, and coal dust.  The analogy has been used countless times when writing about new innovation and being a part of a movement forward or advances in technology.  You don’t want to miss the train and be left behind.
The elevator industry is on the cusp of just such a transitional move forward and leading the way with the innovation is Phoenix Modular Elevator. We have seen exponential growth over the past few years as people become more acquainted with the company and what makes us unique to the building and elevator industries. That uniqueness, to state it plainly and simply, is due to the fact that we offer a manufactured, commercial, quality elevator that is safer and faster to install than any traditional elevator available at a comparable price. Find out how to get on  board!
Manufactured Elevators Quality



by Russ Ward – It makes me chuckle when I hear people say there are several elevator manufactures. In reality, there are precious few that actually engage in manufacturing. The definition of manufacturing is the making of goods or wares by manual labor or by machinery, especially on a large scale. The rub is that the big four elevator companies do not make goods or wares.
Instead, what they actually do is produce some elevator parts. The rest of the parts are produced by subcontractors that supply several companies. When an order is placed and the elevator leaves the warehouse, it is not recognizable as an elevator at all, but several components that then need to be screwed, wired, bolted, hung and placed inside a pre-existing or stick-built vertical shaft.  The real elevator manufacturing takes place inside the vertical stick-built elevator shaft on the job site. Until it is assembled, it is not a ware or a good but a box full of parts.
It would be the same if you ordered a car from your local dealership and were handed the keys and a giant crate full of parts. Click for the whole story about manufacturing elevators.
Timeline: Actual Modular Elevator Project


Timeline Modular Elevator Project
When it comes to elevators in multi-story construction projects, there is often significant and well earned moaning and groaning from general contractors as their past experiences have been fraught with problems. The elevator becomes a stumbling block due to delays for several reasons; weather, hoistway construction, availability of elevator parts, and lack of qualified elevator personnel have all contributed to a lengthy timeline for the entire project.
At Phoenix Modular Elevator we shorten the process significantly, but there are still a lot of questions about the timeline and how we can make elevators easy. So, to demonstrate exactly how the process works, we are taking a typical project and following the timeline from start to finish. Click here for the entire timeline!
Modular Ready for Disaster


Massachusetts Elevator Disaster Modular Ready Photo Credit MassLive/Mark Murray
Imagine if a tornado or other act of nature destroyed your local school just before summer break and just twelve weeks prior to the first day of class for the next school year.  What would you do then? How would you meet the needs of the community, students and teachers? This time of year with hurricane season bearing down on us, it is a distinct possibility that a damaging storm could occur.
Elias Brookings Elementary School in Springfield, Massachusetts was faced with that problem.  It was June 1, 2011 when a tornado moved quickly through the city, leaving damage to property and four dead in its path. Significant damage was done to some of the school buildings, leaving Brookings Elementary unusable. Click to the rest of the story.
A Blank Canvas – The Architect’s Dream

Architect's Dream Architects are Artists.
Architects often see setbacks worthy of quitting when trying to integrate the restrictions and requirements of GC’s into their artistic design.
One of history’s most important artists could have also let setbacks and failures crush him as a young painter. Giving up would have been more than understandable, as Paul Cézanne’s father saw no future in the world of art for his son and, ultimately, was instrumental in pushing his young son to study law and work in the bank he had founded instead of following his heart.
Further disappointment followed when Cézanne finally applied to enroll in the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris (one of the most prestigious schools) and he was rejected almost immediately. Likewise, in the various salons in Paris, time and again his work was refused. A lesser man’s dreams would have been extinguished and one could only imagine the pressure and anxiety that accompanied every stroke of the brush.
It’s no wonder he was quoted as saying, “It’s so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas.” Read the rest here.
Solving Problems with Prefab Hoistways

Prefab Hoistway
Recently, we have been producing just hoistways for a major elevator manufacturer in the United States. These contain no installed elevator, just the hoistway. The company sees the benefits of faster installation and flexibility that we offer as opposed to waiting around for a stick built shaft.
Prefab Hoistways – It only makes Sense
It is easy to see why: having a completed hoistway craned into place means saving time and that means saving money. But having a prefab hoistways means more than just fast installation. Here is a list of reasons why every hoistway should be a prefab…Click for the list.
An MRL Still Needs a Pit

Everyday at Phoenix Modular we field questions about elevators. Usually they are one-time questions about specific needs based on a certain make or model. We cover everything from wiring to whether a rope or hydraulic is better in a specific application. As we service and manufacture any type of elevator, like a roped MRL at Brooklyn’s Basis School to simple two stop hydraulic elevators, we have become a one stop place to answer tons of questions. However, when we get the same question multiple times, we usually make it the subject of a blog post as it’s likely that there are more people out there with a similar inquiry. So, here is the blog post on a question that we are getting on a near-monthly basis; the conversation often goes something like this…Click here for the details.
Elevator Keys – Ring Full of Questions


Elevator Keys Information
You just got a brand new elevator or completed an elevator modernization. On the way out the door, the elevator technician gives you a quick demonstration and a ring full of keys. As the maintenance supervisor, property manager or building owner, you already have enough keys on your chain to drown if you fell into the swimming pool, and the elevator guy just gave you five more! What do all these keys do, and do you really need them all on the key chain you carry around everyday?
The problem is that the answer to this question varies due to elevator companies, components, location and function.  For instance, here is a catalog of keys and locks from a company often used when manufacturing commercial quality elevators. There are dozens of locks and keys for a wide variety of applications. As a matter of fact here is just a partial list of the number of available keys based on the manufacturer…Click for the list and more.
Safety : A Primary Concern

If you work in construction at all, you’re probably familiar with the the term “workplace falls”. Two past headlines concerning workplace falls involving elevator shafts include: “Worker Critical After Fall Down Elevator Shaft” and “Man Recuperates After Surviving Fall Down Elevator Shaft.” In the first example, the scaffolding the man was working on collapsed. He fell down the shaft and suffered two broken legs and a broken pelvis. He is expected to make a full recovery.
The second man didn’t fare as well. He was finishing concrete near an elevator opening when he lost his balance and fell 45 feet, breaking both his vertebrae and ribs. Fortunately, he still has feeling in his legs and plans to walk again in the future. A third recent accident is under investigation, but it seems that it was an accidental fall down a hoistway as well, this time resulting in death. Click here for the rest!
Innovation the Key – Jefferson the Example

Jefferson Statue at Monticello What would he think about modular elevators innovation.
At the recent Elevator U conference, on the last day  we had the pleasure of leaving the final session, boarding buses and, as a group, visiting the historic home of Thomas Jefferson in Monticello. The Elevator U conference is an annual gathering of elevator and facility managers from colleges and universities across the country where participants learn more about vertical transportation, innovation in the industry, and make important contacts. We cannot give a higher recommendation for attendance to this annual event.
The visit to Monticello demonstrated the forward thinking of Thomas Jefferson, but also represented the forward thinking of Elevator U. Click here for the rest of the story!
Welcome Kelly Schloss – Sales Manager

Kelly Schloss the new salsses manager for Phoenix Modular Elevator.
Phoenix Modular Elevator is pleased to announce that Kelly Schloss has joined our team as the Inside Sales Manager. She will be managing quick quotes, formal quotes, and sales. She is ready and willing to deliver information to and assist architects, general contractors, elevator contractors, and modular builders looking for an easy, quality, vertical transportation solution. Her addition will ensure PME’s commitment to responsiveness and great customer service.
Kelly has undergone extensive training in the world of modular elevators and is ready to field your calls, answer your questions, and deliver same-day quick quotes for any project you have in mind. Her professional goal is to eliminate the pain points that installing an elevator can cause by delivering great customer service and a high quality product every time! Click here for the bio.
Where Does it Hurt?

Where does it hurt. There is pain associated with the elevator industry. Phoenix Modular Elevator can beat the pain points.
We have all been there. Sitting on a paper covered, padded vinyl table with nothing more on than a flimsy, backless gown that doesn’t fit quite right. As we awkwardly fidget back and forth, trying to get comfortable and avoid the cold spots on the table, we know there is something wrong and something that needs special attention from the doctor. We need to get rid of the pain we have been facing, but because we are stubborn, we tend to ignore the misery at first, just hoping it will go away. As the constant discomfort begins to needle us more and more, we finally have to breakdown and try to do something about it. So we arrive at the exam room and in what seems like an eternity of feeling a cold breeze blowing where it otherwise shouldn’t, the doctor finally strolls in and the first thing out of his mouth is, “Where does it hurt?”
It is a funny question because we have already told the receptionist where it hurts, the nurse, our significant other, and anyone else that would listen to us complain. But now we are speaking to someone that can actually get to the root of the problem and make the pain, hopefully, disappear–so we tell our tale of woe. Where is the elevator stuff? Click here for the rest!
Elevator U Report: Maintenance – It’s Just Business

Helpful Elevator Industry Links Elevator U is a tremendous organization that educates and informs colleges and universities about elevators. Phoenix Modular Elevator is a member in good standing.
Recently, I sat in on a great discussion at Elevator U regarding elevator maintenance. Elevator U is an organization that has an annual gathering of elevator personnel from colleges and universities around the country. The conference is a great opportunity to meet and greet some great folks in the elevator business and to learn a lot of valuable information through taking part in the various seminars and breakout sessions about the industry. One of the speakers this year was Dr. Clemense Ehoff, an accounting professor at Central Washington University. He is a published writer on information specific to the elevator industry, especially elevator maintenance.
During his presentation, Ehoff made a couple of important points about the vertical transportation industry that ought to be paid special attention by those that own buildings with elevators who might be looking to buy an elevator, or by those in charge of maintaining them. Read the rest here!
Elevator U: The Myth of Maintenance Teamwork

Baseball game demonstrates a different kind of teamwork.
Long-term planning for elevator maintenance takes cooperation from several parties and often is equated to teamwork. However, the idea that a team is always the solution to the problem often misses the bigger point. At the recent Elevator U conference we learned a lot about the various people that make elevator maintenance systems work but, surprisingly, the word team was never mentioned.
This is may be because when you hear the word “team,” you think of a group of individuals all dressed in the same uniform striving for victory, all pulling in the same direction. Even though everyone’s in-game goals may be different, victory for the team is always the objective, so they cast self-wants aside for the win.
Continue to read to find out how we need to look at each member of the “team” to help have a realistic view to maintenance. Click here!
Speed does not Mean Fast

Skyscrapers need fast elevators but most elevators travel at less than 3 miles per hour.
Recently, it was announced that the CTF Finance Center in Guangzhou, China broke records as the fastest elevator in the world to date. Believe it or not, it travels at an astounding 46.9 miles per hour straight up! Wow! Talk about elevator speed. An elevator in Shanghai, China (Shanghai Tower) finishes in second place with a speed of 42.8 mph. The fastest North American elevator clocks in at a paltry 22.7 mph in comparison. It is located at the Freedom Tower at 1 World Trade Center in New York. It is a bit slower but the show you get going up and down is worth it.
As it turns out, the elevator in your building is not breaking any world records. but, unless you are in the Willis Tower in Chicago or the Empire State Building in New York, you probably don’t need a three million dollar monstrosity that can hit highway speeds. Keep in mind that the world record holding building has a total of 95 elevators and only two are the super fast ones and they only go from the first floor to the 95th where the world’s highest hotel resides. As a matter of fact, the CTF Finance Center has 52 medium and low speed elevators, as well as the two speed-demons.
So, if you can build an elevator that goes that fast, why aren’t all elevators designed the same way? Click here and find out the answer to the question!
Piecing It All Together

Construction is like a jigsaw puzzle putting in the elevator when you want with Phoenix Modular Elevator.
By Russ Ward – My mother loved doing jigsaw puzzles. The more difficult the better, as far as she was concerned. These puzzles became family projects that we all worked on, especially in the winter while we were cooped up in the house on snowy days.
My mom was no novice of puzzle completion and had a strictly adhered to plan in putting them together that made a lot of sense: start with turning all of the pieces to the picture side and then find all of the corners. From there, the rest of the edge pieces were found and put into to place, making an outline of the picture. The rest of the puzzle, one piece at a time, would then follow.
Construction, especially with modular components, is its own kind of puzzle with an organized order to increase the productivity and speed of the project. Read the rest here!
Eight Weeks Means Eight Weeks


High School football is a great place to learn life lessons. Just a few include: (1) teamwork and planning leads extraordinary success, (2) hard work pays off, (3) how to win with grace, (4) how to lose with dignity, and, lastly, punishment is capricious and arbitrary.
Once upon a time, while I was playing football in high school, we lost a big game to a cross county rival. I did my job just fine. I blocked as I should, pushing myself and my opponent the extra yard. Not once did the guy across the line of scrimmage from me take part in any tackle. He never laid a finger on the quarterback or running back, and I did this without landing a single penalty. However, when the time came to pay for the loss, we all took the hit. See how taking the hit means stereotyping in business.
Elevator Company Comments Out of Order


 A recent news story focused on a major elevator company and poor service regarding a building with senior tenants. The elevator company comments revealed an unflattering look at the vertical transportation industry. In this case, despite having a current maintenance contract in place, the elevators in a 10-story apartment complex were frequently down. Unfortunately, the response from the elevator company made the elevator industry look like it was either hiding from responsibility or looking for a quick sale. Neither are good images.
As for background , when the story broke, the senior citizen tenants of the building were quickly labeled as victims by the media, while the elevator company was cast as the villain. No surprise. It portrayed people stuck in their apartments because the elevator maintenance was not prompt or completed improperly. Find out what happened and the poor response from the elevator company here. 
Machine Room Temps Battle


Machine room temperatures should be clearly posted in the machine room.

In our office, there are a handful of dictators vying for power, and yes, they know who they are. They run roughshod over the whole office, seizing control, forming alliances and flexing more muscle than Mussolini in pre-war Italy. Because of the internal power struggle, there is more drama, intrigue and manipulation than in an episode of Game of Thrones as hopes are raised then dashed, and the struggle for control reaches a literal fever pitch.
What is the object of their desires? What do they wish to control beyond anything else? The office thermostat. Since the advent of modern history and the birth of Willis Carrier (of Carrier Air-conditioning fame), I feel I am safe by saying there is nothing that has affected more lives, created more tension and led to more divorces than the temperature control on a heating and air-conditioning unit.
When it comes to your elevator machine room, there is also a temperature struggle…Click here for what you need to know.
Benefits of the MRL


architect portfolio
In 1996, Kone introduced the world to its first Machine Room-Less traction elevator (MRL), and worldwide, this design has become common for medium-sized buildings. While regulations, code requirements and new product hesitancy have made growth slower in the United States, we are now seeing steadily increasing installations.
The MRL elevator is attractive due to emerging technology that significantly reduces the size of the electric motors normally used with traction elevators. This gives elevator manufacturers the option to replace the large machine room used to accommodate the motor with a small, more efficient motor placed in the overhead at the top of the hoistway.  Instead of accessing the machine via ladders onto a roof, it is serviced from the car top. See how it all ends with tips on elevator choice.
Elevator Technician – Mr. Friendly Says Hello


Friendly Elevator Technician maybe nice but is he wasting your time and money?
Everyone wants to see the friendly elevator technician. He’s a nice guy with the big smile and the big handshake. After a merry greeting and traditional backslapping, he disappears down the hall and goes to work. Thirty minutes later, you hear the familiar sound of the tool belt jangling toward you and you know you are about to get a full report. But, after 40 minutes of discussing the weather, family, friends, fishing, the best BBQ in town, the nuances of abstract animation in the film noir era, oh and the elevator, he leaves. Both of you are the wiser for solving the world’s problems, but are you lighter in the pocketbook for the casual conversation.
This may be happening more than you think. How often do you actually look at the contract or repair bill and compare it to actual time spent by the friendly elevator technician on the elevator itself?Or do you know exactly what the contractual terms of your agreement are? Click here for the rest of the story.
It’s a Machine Room, Not a Broom Closet


Elevator machine room should be clean and comply with all codes.
There is an old joke that the long in the tooth elevator folks repeat to the new guys. If they happen to make the mistake by saying an elevator has just one stop, the rookie will inevitably hear, “It’s an elevator, not a broom closet.” The veteran will be quick to point out that every elevator has at least two stops or it simply will be a broom closet with expensive doors. Unfortunately, they don’t have a similar joke about the machine room with the punchline being “It’s a machine room – not a broom closet.” Ba dum tshh.
Machine rooms don’t start out being a catch-all, but the open space is a tempting sight for everyone in a crowded building. The result is that some building owners or managers see lots of real estate in a machine room that is going unused, and they lick their chops with envy and desire to fill that void with all kinds of stuff. Read the rest here!
Snake Bit – Fear and the Elevator Business


Marie Curie Comment about Fear
by Russ Ward
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” – Marie Curie
Fear is one of the most powerful emotions, as it can create anxiety, foster poor decision making and even immobilize the victim. I, for instance, suffer from ophidiophobia, or fear of snakes. It really is beyond just being scared of them or a simple dislike. It is a deep hatred, and when it comes to snakes, my judgement is indeed clouded.  For instance, I live in a rural area and so you hear tall tales of the scaly creatures ending up in everything, including toilets and car dashboards. When my mind drifts, it tends to drift towards a myriad of “What if’s?” Click for the whole story! 
Buying an Elevator 101


Elevator car interior showing elevator buttons, the panel and raised wood panels.

Volumes have been written about elevators. A simple search can tell you all you would ever need to know about their history, how they work and even more about components such as buttons and cabs. But one thing that seems to be lacking is solid advice on actually buying an elevator.
The List
With this in mind, we have compiled information to keep in mind when thinking about purchasing any type of vertical transportation, whether it be a LU/LA, modular or stick-built elevator. The first list is information that you should acquaint yourself with before starting the purchasing process, while the second list is a set of questions to consider when talking with an elevator company. Click for the whole list and some helpful questions too! 
Lincoln – Footprints on the Ceiling


I remember a Classics Illustrated comic book from my youth telling the tales of Abraham Lincoln. One of the stories involved Lincoln gathering a group of younger boys and having them step in the mud with their bare feet. As a prank, Lincoln held each of them upside down and had them walk their feet across the kitchen ceiling, leaving muddy footprints as they went. When his stepmother, Sarah Lincoln, came home and saw the muddy footprints on her ceiling, she threatened to spank him.
Lincoln was 6 feet 4 inches tall at the time, and I can all but imagine seeing the future President bent over his stepmother’s knee, stovepipe hat and all. Also, his stepmother’s initial reaction to the unnatural site of footprints on her ceiling would have been priceless.
Read the rest here and get the secrets of our footprints
Hotels Plus Modular is the The Perfect Solution



Phoenix Modular Elevator portfolio.

Hotels built prior to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have a decided disadvantage when meeting the needs of potential customers. With only stairs to transport guests to upper floors, people with some disabilities have limited choice of the rooms they can occupy. It also means that people who do not want to carry luggage up a flight of stairs may seek other accommodations.
This issue  will likely grow. With the graying of America, the number of disabled persons will continue to increase from the 57 million current reported by the US Census Bureau. That is a whole lot of people that a hotel without an elevator may not be serving well, or at all.
Hotels need a vertical transportation solution. Click here to find out how we can solve hotel elevator problems. 
Phoenix Modular Elevator Wins Award of Distinction


World of Modular Award of Distinction, MBI, Modular Building Institute
Phoenix Modular Elevator (PME) has been recognized by the Modular Building Institute at the World of Modular Conference by being presented an Award of Distinction. The award-winning project features a modular elevator for Center Grove High School in Greenwood, IN, the site of the newly built Ray Skillman Stadium.
The purpose of the ADA- and gurney-compliant elevator was to access the two-story press box at the top of the bleachers, allowing both people and equipment to be moved more efficiently. The elevator has nearly 50 feet of travel with a 3500 lb. cab capacity and is finished in school colors. PME was tasked with ensuring the elevator would be ready for the start of football season, less than three months away when the project began. The total time for the completed functioning elevator to be designed, built and installed was only 78 days. In comparison, a similar sized stick-built elevator would have taken 8 months or more. Read more!
Grand Opening Success for Phoenix Modular Elevator


The Grand Opening was a huge success. PME got to demonstrate elevator manufacturing.
The official grand opening for Phoenix Modular Elevator was a tremendous success! Nearly 100 of our friends and partners came out for a celebration that included a ribbon cutting, a few words from Mt. Vernon Mayor Mary Jane Chesley and Phoenix President Allison Allgaier and facility tour.
For the first time the public was able to see the new 25,000 square foot manufacturing plant that is now the largest modular elevator manufacturing facility in North America. The visitors got to witness production and hear from the team that assembles the modular elevators. With the new building the factory is more efficient and the team has more room for larger jobs and more elevators.Click here for the whole story and photos. 
Phoenix Modular Elevator Scores a Touchdown


Phoenix Modular Elevator is one of the leading elevator manufacturers.
Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana, wanted to make a big splash for their home opener. To do so, they planned to debut the Ray Skillman Stadium, a brand new, state of the art football and track facility that was to be a point of pride for the high school and community.
The problem? As kickoff loomed near for the Center Grove Trojans, one piece of the plan was still needed: the elevator. This was a crucial piece of the project, as the elevator was required for access to the two-story press box. A stick-built elevator was not a viable alternative, as building the hoistway from the ground up and installing the necessary elevator components would have takes months to complete. A faster solution was needed…click here for the success story.
Real Life Example of Savings with Modular Elevator


What is the difference in the two elevators pictured? $100,000. One of the most common questions we get asked is, “Will installing a modular elevator save us money?” The easy answer is that it depends. But, we thought we would let you know a real world example that shows the potential savings. A job was bid on by four companies for a simple two stop hydraulic elevator added to an existing building with a matching brick facade for a state housing authority. Of course the elevator had to meet all Illinois codes and were ADA compliant. The results are stunning! Click here for the stats.
LULA Means Limits


LULA means limits, when you want to buy an elevator a limited use limited application choice maybe your best choice.
Limited Use/Limited Application (LULA) elevators have many advantages that make them an ideal elevator solution for low-rise projects. They help building owners comply with ADA Accessibility Guidelines, they can be less expensive than a commercial passenger elevator, and the smaller size might be just right for the space. However, LULA means limits and it’s important to remember one important aspect of LULA’s. As the name implies, they come with limitations.
Before buying a LULA, make sure there is a clear understanding of use and application. More than once, we have seen a perfectly good LULA succumb to the constant need for attention and unusual wear patterns in places where there shouldn’t be any. Often, this is due to an unrealistic understanding of the LULA’s capabilities when purchased. Click here for the case study! 
 

Time – The Most Precious Commodity



Russ Ward Marketing Manager Phoenix Modular Elevator Time of installation means more revenue. Russ Ward – Marketing Manager

By Russ Ward – Being raised in the the 1960’s and 70s, my friends and I actually lived scenes from movies like Stand By Me and The Sandlot, as well as television shows such as The Wonder Years.  We were close-knit compadres, and many life lessons sprung from the hijinx and innocence of suburban neighborhood living in small town America. Even today when the “gang” gets together to reminisce about days past, there are still nuggets of knowledge that we glean from the stories we tell. For instance, while speaking with a childhood friend recently, I learned an important lesson about time and how precious it is.

That friend was Abe, one of the brightest, most introspective men I know. However, this wasn’t always the case. He, as was the whole gang, was a victim of poor teenage driving habits, often confusing the left pedal with the right.  Read the rest and find out about time savings and modular elevators. 

Peace University – Install Time Laps

People ask how long it takes to install a modular elevator and as this video demonstrates, the modular unit is completely installed in a matter of hours. Once in place the installation is completed by a certified elevator technician. This project was completed by Resolute Elevator.

Elevator Manufacturer Grows – New Plant to be Located in Mt. Vernon

Elevator Manufacturer Phoenix Modular Elevator grows.
Elevator Manufacturer Phoenix Modular Elevator is growing. And every once in awhile, you have to blow your own horn. So here we go! As of January 1, 2017, Phoenix Modular Elevator has a brand new location!

As most of you that follow our Facebook page or Twitter account  know, we are growing. We have been working over the past several months to upgrade our capabilities through an improved production facility. The work is now finished and we are moved in.

For nearly 20 years, we have been manufacturing elevators out of an old shoe factory in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. The factory was in the middle of town. While historic, this building was far from ideal. Read the rest of the story here.

Quality of a Factory, Versatility for the Designer


Quality factory built elevators are what Phoenix Modular Elevator Does.


The assembly line revolutionized the way almost every business has made products since Henry Ford rolled his first Model –T’s out of the factory doors in Detroit, Michigan. The revolution increased quality, speed and lowered prices simultaneously. Exact tolerances could be obtained in the factory environment that were not obtainable before large line production became common place.  Due to the ever increasing efficiency of the assembly line, speed of production also increased. The first Model-T’s took over twelve hours to build. By 1927 the total production time was less than 30 seconds.

What is unique about the assembly line is that it allowed for faster production while increasing quality and driving prices lower. This means that prices for the product diminish as better products are produced. Read more about manufacturing quality elevators here! 

Ship in a Bottle


Elevator Design and Ship in a bottle don't seem to fit, but they do.
I had a great uncle on my father’s side of the family that lived on big farm in relative seclusion. I would go for a visit with family occasionally and the one thing that I remember most about those visits was that he had a ship in a bottle. For the average ten year old before the advent of video games and tablets, it was pretty exciting to see. One evening I was sitting near the fireplace staring at the model stuck behind the green glass. I must have been concentrating pretty hard because my uncle came over and asked what was so interesting.

As a child I only had one question. “How did they get the ship in the bottle?”   He went on to explain that the creator slowly crafted the model, folded down the masts and sails and then poked it all into the hole at the end of the neck. Find out what this has to do with elevators here!

Old Ways – Breaking Dated Thinking

Old ways are not best ways regarding elevator installation.
A lecturer once told a familiar story about a young newlywed that was preparing a roast for her husband. It is a good lesson about breaking old ways of thinking so I will retell it here.

The husband was watching his new wife as she prepared a roast for their first meal together. Before she put the roast in the pan she cut off the end. This made him curious so he asked, “Why did you cut the end off?” She replied, “I’m not sure it’s the way my mom always did it.” Now she was the one that was curious and called her mom and asked her why she always cut the end off the roast before cooking it. Her mom said she didn’t know why either, but it was the way her mom always cooked roast. Read the rest of the article here. 

Architects Modular Solution

Architect love the flexible design and drag and drop drawings available.

Architects modular solution. Being an architect is one of the most demanding occupations in existence.  Years of study, combined with formal training and on the job experience, is required. Added to the mix is the pressure of perfection coupled with a demand for creativity. Sometimes there seems like very few ways for architects to escape the woes, stresses and strains of the occupation they have chosen when working on a project.

One solution to lighten this load is to consider modular construction for some project building components. Oftentimes, modular solutions are easily incorporated into drawings and plans with drag and drop capabilities. Modular elevators fall into this category. They provide a fast, simple solution for vertical transportation, as well as a flexible hoistway  and car design. Read the rest here!

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