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June 19, 2017

INDIAN CITY AMENDS LIFT RULES TO ALLOW PRIVATE INSPECTORS
The Delhi Lift Rules of Delhi, India, have been amended to allow private individuals or agencies to test and certify elevators, which city officials hope will help address an inspector shortage, various news outlets, including The Hindu reports. There are only approximately 12 inspectors for thousands of elevators. Under the new rules, inspectors must have a degree or diploma in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering or the equivalent, have at least five years' experience, be younger than 65 and provide a copy of their Aadhaar number (government-issued Indian ID) and proof or residence or office location in Delhi.

MITSUBISHI INDIA WINS BIG ORDER IN BENGALURU
Mitsubishi Elevator India Pvt. Ltd. (IMEC) has won an order for 178 units at a technology business park in Bengaluru, India, the company announced on June 13. The order includes both passenger and service elevators. The passenger elevators will employ eight-car group operation with destination-control systems and access control in the elevator lobbies. The elevators, which will be sourced from Mitsubishi factories in Japan and Thailand, will include touchpad panels, LED light fixtures and Mitsubishi’s patented “MelEye” monitoring system. The park is being developed by M/s Bagmane Developers Pvt. Ltd. IMEC says the deal represents the largest-ever single order for an information technology park in India, though the company has previously installed about 200 units at the same developer’s various projects around Bengaluru.

IN MEMORIAM: ARUN N. “BOBBY” GOKHLAY
Arun N. "Bobby" Gokhlay passed away on April 4 at age 80 at a hospital in Pune, India. He held a Master of Commerce from Mumbai University and had stints in the attorney general's office and at Rashtriya Metal Industries and XLO Ltd. In 1965, he joined Otis India as cost accountant at Otis' Bhandup factory, rising to chief financial officer in 1990. He later served as director of Quality and Safety until his retirement in 1995. Described as an extremely intelligent analyst and decision maker, Gokhlay "exhibited cool composure even while facing explosive situations in industrial relations." He is survived by wife, Asha; daughter, Abha; son, Anukool; and grandchild, Sanjana.

SEVERAL HURT WHEN KOLKATA ESCALATOR SUDDENLY REVERSES
An escalator at Kavi Subhash Metro station in Kolkata, India, suddenly started moving in reverse during the morning rush hour of June 6, resulting in minor injuries to several commuters, The Times of India reports. Commuters on the escalator tumbled down the metal staircase, and about five people were treated on the scene for cuts and bruises. Metro officials said the escalator had last undergone maintenance on May 14. The cause of the reversal was under investigation.

TECHNICIANS SUSPENDED AFTER ESCALATOR ACCIDENT
The Hong Kong government has suspended the licenses of two technicians for six months in connection with a March 25 escalator malfunction that left 17 people injured, the Hong Kong Free Press reports. The escalator, which carries people between the fourth and eighth floors of a shopping mall, suddenly reversed and began descending rapidly, sending riders tumbling. During a June 9 news conference, Electrical and Mechanical Services Department spokespeople blamed the accident on metal fatigue, which caused the main drive chain to break. In addition, a safety system failed to engage. The two technicians are suspected of not conducting proper inspections and maintenance. An investigation was continuing. Two other technicians were arrested shortly after the accident on charges that they improperly handled mechanical parts of the escalator.

OTIS TO CONSOLIDATE R&D, PRODUCTION IN SOUTH KOREA
Officials from Otis signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Incheon Metropolitan City and Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority on June 13 to build a 15,600-m2 R&D and production facility in the high-tech Industrial Center of the Songdo International Business District in Incheon, South Korea. Construction is set to start in September, with anticipated completion in 2018. The move will bring existing R&D and production facilities in Seoul, Incheon and Changwon under one roof. Otis Korea's modernization-system and quality center will move from its headquarters near Seoul to the new facility, which will serve as an R&D hub for South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

R&D TAX CREDIT FOR ELEVATOR 3D PRINTING
OEMs that utilize 3D printing would be wise to take advantage of an R&D tax credit in the U.S. of up to 13% of eligible spending, 3DPrintBoard.com reports. Embraced by companies like Otis and France-based Sodimas 3D printing has been used in prototype development and training, and has been shown to reduce production costs and turnaround time. The R&D Tax Credit was enacted in 1981 and made permanent by President Obama in 2015. Businesses can use it to offset income and payroll taxes.

June 12, 2017

JOHNSON LIFTS ENTERS HEAVY-DUTY PUBLIC ESCALATOR MARKET
India’s Johnson Lifts Pvt. Ltd. has set up a heavy-duty escalator factory in Oragadam near Chennai, India, The Hindu reports. Johnson officials held a media event on May 31 to announce the move, prompted by the announcement of metro projects and construction of foot overbridges across India. The new facility is equipped to test all equipment before it’s shipped, enabling customers to inspect their products before they leave the factory. Johnson Lifts bought the technology from SJEC of China, and funded the project in-house. Approximately 80 percent of components will be produced domestically.

SINGAPORE SAFETY CODE LAUNCHES DECEMBER 1
A new code for escalator safety in Singapore will become mandatory on December 1, the The Straits Times reports. The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) reported that in the last two months of 2016, there were 63 escalator accidents, about one a day. While 95% of all accidents were determined to have been the result of "user behavior," BCA said, the new standards will include signage for the country’s 6,000 installed escalators, as well as technical improvements for new installations. The code was published in April by Spring Singapore, the national standards board. It requires signs warning riders to hold onto small children, use the handrail and not bring strollers onto the escalator. It also requires new escalators to include safety devices, including sensors to monitor handrail and step speed, and to stop the escalator if a step is missing or improperly installed.

KONE WINS ORDER FOR 69 UNITS AT SINGAPORE DEVELOPMENT
KONE has won an order to supply 69 elevators and escalators to Funan DigitaLife Mall, a mixed-use development in Singapore, the company announced June 6. The mall is designed as a unique lifestyle destination, and will follow a live-work-play model. The integrated development will include two premium Grade A office towers, a residential block and a retail component. KONE will supply 28 S MonoSpace® elevators, one Transys® elevator with a maximum travel speed of 2.5 mps, and 40 TravelMaster™ 110 escalators. Funan, owned by CapitaLand Mall Trust, was closed in July 2016 for redevelopment. The project is slated for completion at the end of 2019.

GIRL KILLED AFTER BECOMING STUCK IN ELEVATOR DOOR
A 10-year-girl was killed June 4 in Visakhapatnam, India, after she got stuck in the door of an elevator at an apartment building, thenewsminute.com reports. The girl was reportedly playing in Kota's Residency, an apartment building where her uncle was the watchman. Reports said she got stuck between the elevator door and grill when the car was called to another floor. She was crushed between the elevator and the interior wall, reports said. A police investigation was ongoing.

HITACHI’S WORLD’S FASTEST ELEVATOR ACHIEVES 1,260 MPM
Hitachi, Ltd. announced on June 2 its world's fastest elevator, in the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre in China, achieved a speed of 1,260 mpm, compared with its rated speed of 1,200 mpm, reached in May 2016. The new speed was recorded by public accreditation body the National Elevator Quality Supervision and Inspection Center, and will be used for future product development. When it goes into service, the elevator will run at its rated speed. Hitachi observed the feat was achieved thanks, in part, to advanced drive and control technologies, compact traction machine with stronger, lighter ropes and a single governor corresponding with different rated speeds for ascending and descending.

SEVERAL HURT WHEN KOLKATA ESCALATOR SUDDENLY REVERSES
An escalator at Kavi Subhash Metro station in Kolkata, India, suddenly started moving in reverse during the morning rush hour June 6, resulting in minor injuries to several commuters, The Times of India reports. Commuters who were on the escalator tumbled down the metal staircase, and about five people were treated on the scene for cuts and bruises. Metro officials said the escalator had last undergone maintenance May 14. The cause of the reversal was under investigation.

June 05, 2017

EW PROJECT OF THE YEAR 2018 CONTEST OPEN
Submissions are now being accepted for the ELEVATOR WORLD Project of the Year Awards 2018. The contest recognizes excellence in vertical, horizontal and inclined transportation. As the new deadline for entries is September 30, no deadline extensions will be made. Winners in each of nine categories, “Elevators, New Construction”; “Elevators, Modernization”; “Escalators, New Construction”; “Escalators, Modernization”; “Moving Walks”; “Inclined Elevators”; “Platform Lifts & Stairway Chairlifts”; “Private-Residence Elevators”; and “Special-Purpose Lifts,” will receive an award and be recognized in a feature story in the January 2018 issue. The contest is open for projects that have been completed within the past two years, and both text and photos must be submitted, along with a completed entry form, via electronic file sharing, or a mailed disc and/or flash drive. To simplify the process, hard copies are no longer required. To download the form and obtain more information, visit elevatorworld.com

SCHMERSAL MARKS 10 YEARS IN INDIA, HITS PRODUCTION MILESTONE
Schmersal Group subsidiary Schmersal India Pvt. Ltd. marked 10 years in India with a celebration drawing approximately 200 guests, including German Consul General Dr. Jürgen Morhard, to its Ranjangaon factory on June 2. The factory produced its millionth safety switch in April. Schmersal India was founded in 2007 as a sales organization catering to India's growing machine-safety market. The 4,000-m2 factory began production in July 2013. Today, Schmersal India serves not only the domestic market, but also Southeast Asian Association for Regional Cooperation countries. Schmersal India anticipates increasing employment from approximately 70 to up to 85 as a production system is relocated from Wettenberg, Germany, to India.

WITTUR: MARX INTERIM CEO AS WOHLHAUSER STEPS DOWN
Patrik Wohlhauser and the supervisory board of The Wittur Group have mutually agreed to part ways, with Gerrit Marx, an operating partner at Bain Capital, filling the CEO role held by Wohlhauser since Wittur's merger with Sematic. Marx has been responsible for Wittur since Bain Capital invested in the company more than two years ago. He has been released of his duties at Bain as it searches for a CEO. Marx held top positions at Volkswagen and Daimler Trucks prior to joining Bain, and boasts a wealth of management experience and elevator-industry expertise. Wittur stated it "remains fully committed to its strategy and future expansion plans following the successful integration of Sematic."

CTBUH’S WOOD GETS THRILLING TOUR OF FUTURE WORLD’S TALLEST
Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Executive Director Antony Wood recently received a thrilling tour of the world’s next tallest building, Jeddah Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from developer Jeddah Economic Development Co. and main contractor Saudi Binladin Group. At the time of the tour, the structure had reached 56 of a planned 167 floors. The tour was part of a trip to explore the possibility of a CTBUH conference in Dubai and Jeddah in 2018, and ended in grand fashion, according to CTBUH, which observed: “Rather than return to the ground floor on the construction elevator, Wood [and his hosts] all took a hair-raising journey down the outside of the tower lowered via crane [in a materials hoist].”

HIGH RISES BANNED IN KARACHI
The building control authority of the Sindh province of Pakistan has imposed a ban on the construction of high-rise buildings in Karachi. DAWN reported that, acting on the orders passed by the Supreme Court, the Sindh Building Control Authority imposed a “complete ban on the construction of multistoried and high-rise buildings beyond ground plus two floors" in Karachi, the provincial capital and the largest and most populous city in the country. Authorities noted the approval of building plans without developing civic infrastructure and conducting environmental impact assessments. Approximately 85% of the 80 high-rise residential projects announced annually in Sindh are intended for Karachi.

ELEVCON 2018 ANNOUNCED, ABSTRACTS REQUESTED
The International Association of Elevator Engineers (IAEE) has announced Elevcon 2018, the 22nd iteration of its world congress. Taking place at the Hotel Sofitel in Berlin on May 22-24, 2018, it will focus on the presentation of original papers on all topics relevant to vertical-transportation technologies. Abstracts are being accepted through October 1. They should be no longer than 100 words (with titles no longer than 10 words) and include a classification of the topic, author name(s), company and contact information. Proposals for interactive discussion workshops are also welcomed as well. All abstracts and proposals should be sent to IAEE President and Elevcon 2018 Chairman & Programme Manager Ami Lustig. Event details and registration are available here .