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.

 

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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