News

Enjoy reading the most important industry news items happening within India and surrounding regions on a weekly basis.  Simply click the tab with the corresponding weekly news that you wish to read.  If you would like to submit your own news please email us at editorial@elevatorworld.com.  If you would like to keep up-to-date on international industry news on a weekly basis, sign up for our ELENET newsletter.

Week of 6/14/21

KONE WINS 71-ESCALATOR ORDER FOR LUOYANG, CHINA, METRO

KONE has won an order for 71 escalators for the first phase of Metro Line 2 in Luoyang, China, the company announced on June 17. Luoyang opened its subway system in March, placing Line 1 into service. The new, 18-km-long Luoyang Metro Line 2 will cover a north-south route serving 15 stops and connecting the city’s two major existing transportation hubs: the Luoyang Railway Station and Luoyang Longmen High-Speed Railway Station. Metro Line 2 will also serve several other busy centers in the city, including the National Peony Garden, sports centers and museums. Luoyang, known as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, is located in the country’s central Henan province. KONE will provide six stations with 71 TransitMaster™ escalators. In addition, the contract includes two years of standard maintenance. The Metro Line 2 project, under development by Luoyang Rail Transit Group Co., is expected to be complete at the end of 2021.

CONSTRUCTION HAS BEGUN ON NEW KUWAIT CITY TOWER

Construction on the 46-story Capital Markets Authority Headquarters building in Kuwait City has begun, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat reported in June. The headquarters has office space for 1,000 employees, with amenities including automated parking, a cafeteria, prayer rooms and a private VIP entrance. Sustainable building systems will also be employed. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates in collaboration with KEO International Consultants, the building’s façade pulls away from the base, creating a twisted, octagonal effect. The unique construction is due to the irregular shape of the building site. A completion date was not reported.

MERDEKA 118 BECOMES TALLEST BUILDING IN MALAYSIA

Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s (PNB) Merdeka 118 tower has safely topped out with the completion of the final roof slab after reaching its peak at level 118, making it the tallest building in Malaysia, The Edge Markets reported on June 10. PNB said the tower will reach its full height of at least 644 m. Merdeka 118 is set to be the tallest building in Southeast Asia and will be the second-tallest building in the world. Among the tower's outstanding features is "The View at 118" observation deck, which will be the highest in Southeast Asia. It will also have the first and only Park Hyatt hotel in Malaysia, occupying the top 17 floors of the tower. KONE is supplying around 87 elevators and escalators for the project. The tower is currently 81% complete and is set for completion in 2022.

KOLKATA OFFICIALS SAY DELAYED FOB WILL OPEN IN AUGUST

Municipal officials in Kolkata, India, say a foot-overbridge (FOB) at busy traffic intersection Exide is nearing completion and should be open for public use in August, The Times of India reported on June 10. The project began in February 2020 and was originally scheduled to open in May 2021, but the Kolkata Municipal Corp. says COVID-19 restrictions delayed delivery of needed parts for the two escalators that will provide access to the 42-m-long FOB. Once the Exide FOB is complete, officials say the city will begin construction on another elevated crossing, this one requested by the state health department as an aid to doctors, students, paramedics and patients who need safe road-crossing access to the R Ahmed Dental College. The 52-m-long FOB would also be served by two escalators.

Week of 6/7/21

INDIA METRO ADDITIONS, INCLUDING VT, TO CONSERVE ENERGY

Kanpur Metro trains and lifts in India will be equipped with regenerative braking technology to help in energy conservation, The Times of India reported on June 7. The energy efficiency of the Kanpur trains using this system will be around 45%, and the energy generated using the brakes will be conserved and redistributed back into the metro system. In addition, escalators and elevators with a 35% energy efficiency will be installed at the stations. The polytechnic depot of the Kanpur Metro will also be equipped with a zero-discharge facility with two water treatment plants: one will recycle gray water, and the other will recycle black water. The entire metro premises will have 100% LED lighting.

OTIS UNVEILS TWO NEW, CONNECTED ELEVATOR PLATFORMS

On June 8, Otis unveiled two new, connected elevator platforms: The Gen360 elevator, which introduces what Otis describes as “an entirely new electronic architecture with impacts for safety, service, passenger experience and comfort,” and the Gen3TM elevator, which adds built-in Internet of Things (IoT) features to the Gen2® flat-belt system. Gen360 is initially available in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the U.K. Gen3 is initially available in in North America, Australia, China and other parts of Asia. The Otis ONETM IoT digital platform is native to both. The platform provides real-time status information, proactive communications, predictive insights and remote service. The connected elevator “creates value for our customers with greater equipment outcome,” Otis President and CEO Judy Marks said. “It enhances the productivity of our own teams, and it exists at the heart of any smart building’s ecosystem.”

RRTS STATION IN GHAZIABAD, INDIA, TAKING SHAPE

The highest Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) station, which is part of the 17-km-long priority section of the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS corridor, is now taking shape in Ghaziabad in the National Capital Region of India, ConstructionWeekOnline.in reported on June 4. The platform level of the Ghaziabad RRTS station is about 24 m high, making it the highest station on the RRTS network. It is a crucial regional node and is expected to facilitate the integration of future corridors of the phase-2 RRTS network. Accessibility to the station will be provided through foot overbridges (FOBs) with lifts and escalators. Each of the station platforms will be served by two escalators, three staircases and a lift. For the safety of passengers, all platforms are provided with automatic Platform Screen Doors, and the lifts will have the capacity to accommodate stretchers. The priority stretch includes five stations: Ghaziabad, Sahibabad, Gudhar, Duhai and Duhai Depot, and the corridor is expected to be commissioned by March 2023

RITZ-CARLTON PLANNED FOR NINGBO, CHINA

The Council on Tall and Urban Habitat, citing Marriott, reported on June 2 that a new Ritz-Carlton is expected to open in Ningbo, China, in 2025. Slated to occupy the 62nd to 80th floors of the 409-m-tall Ningbo Central Plaza, the building will also house offices, commercial space and residential apartments. The hotel will feature 257 rooms, suites and a club lounge, as well as panoramic views of the city skyline and coast. Plans call for three restaurants, a lobby lounge and a destination bar. In addition, 1,700 m2 of banquet space are planned. The project, which represents an agreement between Marriott International and the Ningbo Central Plaza Construction and Development Co. Ltd., marks Marriott Bonvoy’s first luxury portfolio brand in the southeast China city.

Week of 5/31/21

TKE JOINS GLOBAL NET-ZERO EMISSION EFFORT

TKE is among companies committed to the Business Ambition for 1.5˚ campaign, led by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in partnership with the U.N. Global Compact and the We Mean Business Coalition in an "urgent call-to-action for companies to ensure their (CO2) emissions will match with the 1.5˚ goal," the OEM announced on May 28. The goal is linked to a requirement in the Paris Agreement that all countries work together to bring greenhouse gas emissions to zero within the second half of the 21st century. TKE said it is committed to reaching net-zero global emissions by 2050 at the latest, and observed it has adjusted its vehicle fleet, facilities and products. Other companies involved in the vertical-transportation (VT) industry that have either committed to the campaign or set targets include U.K. outfits Arup, Mott MacDonald Group, Buro Happold and the British Standards Institution. Globally, companies with VT divisions, such as Hitachi and Prysmian Group, have set targets and committed to the campaign, respectively. 

ELEVATOR ACCIDENT IN CHINA CLAIMS LIFE OF TEENAGER

Officials in southern China are investigating the death of a teenage girl who was killed when a suspected faulty elevator rose quickly and struck the top of the elevator shaft in May, Newsweek reported on May 26. A statement released by the office for industry and commerce in Zhanjiang said the passenger became trapped inside the elevator when it stopped between the first floor and basement level 1. The girl called a family member, and a maintenance worker was dispatched. As the worker began manually opening the doors, the car suddenly rose 30 floors, striking the top of the elevator shaft. The government office said a task force was formed to investigate the incident, which is believed to have occurred following a malfunction of the elevator's braking mechanism. The maintenance worker was employed by a third party, and his attempts to open the elevator doors are not believed to have triggered the brake failure. The equipment has been in use since 2014. Local residents said malfunctions had occurred with the lifts, including unexplained stalling, but a serious incident had never been reported.

Week of 5/24/21

ESCALATOR SENSING SYSTEM WINS GOLD MEDAL

An obstacle-detecting device for escalators was among the inventions that won four gold medals and four silver medals at the International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, The Standard reported on May 24. The Hong Kong Electrical and Mechanical Services Department device, which won gold, is made from AI nylon optical fiber-sensing combs, which monitor operations in real time. Infrared heating was used to join the layers of nylon, making the comb plate more flexible. If the system encounters obstructions on an escalator, management companies will be alerted via mobile notifications and will be able to clear the way to avoid accidents. The sensing combs are currently being tested on eight escalators and have shown good results. The system is planned to be promoted to the Airport Authority and MTR Corp., as well as used for teaching purposes by the Vocational Training Council.

OTIS NAMES LUERSMAN EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, CPO

Otis Worldwide Corp., in a May 25 announcement, said Abbe Luersman will join the company as executive vice president and chief people officer (CPO), effective July 26. In making the appointment, Otis President and CEO Judy Marks called Luersman "a passionate leader who brings decades of proven experience, business understanding and a commitment to ensure all voices are heard, especially across a globally distributed workforce." Luersman currently serves as chief human resources officer with Ahold Delhaize, a Netherlands-based international food retail group, where she has worked to develop and drive the organization's enterprise-wide people strategy. She holds a Bachelor and Master of Art in Human & Organizational Development from Miami University in Ohio. She will report directly to Marks.

DEADLINE APPROACHING FOR IEES ABSTRACT SUBMISSION

Those interested in presenting a paper at this year's International Elevator & Escalator Symposium (IEES), "The Future of Vertical Transportation in 2030," planned for December 6-7 at the Hotel Okura Amsterdam, should submit a brief abstract including the following information:

  • Name of author
  • Company/organization affiliations
  • Email address
  • Title of paper
  • Paper's objectives
  • Methodology employed
  • Main results
  • Conclusions

Authors should submit abstracts no later than June 18 via email, and those accepted will be notified by July 16. A 10-page maximum paper must be submitted by October 1, and authors will receive notification of acceptance or feedback by October 8. Final submission is due October 29. More guidelines are available online. Also, a limited number of booths is still available for rent; those interested should submit an email. IEES is co-organized by liftinstituut and Elevator World, Inc.

OFFICIALS SEEK FUNDS FOR RAWALPINDI HOSPITAL LIFTS

Authorities with the District Health Authority in Rawalpindi have asked the Punjab government to release funds for the installation of elevators at Wah General Hospital, Urdu Point reported in May. Health CEO Dr. Faiza Kanwal said that elevators are needed for the smooth functioning of the hospital, adding that patients and staff have been facing severe difficulty due to the absence of this basic facility. Kanwal reports that the deputy commissioner’s office has sent a summary to the Punjab government for the release of INR60.73 million (US$833,000) to execute the project. "A 100-bed hospital was set up to provide best health facilities to the residents of Wah, Taxila, for which the Pakistan Ordnance Factories Wah had provided 96 kanals (4,500 ft2) of land free-of-cost," she said. She said more than 200 employees, including nine specialists, nine medical officers, seven women medical officers, three dental surgeons and other para-medical staff were rendering services in the hospital. She added that 11 departments are functioning in the hospital to provide quality health facilities to the residents of Wah, Taxila, and adjoining districts.

CHINESE RESIDENTIAL COMPLEX UNVEILS PAY-PER-RIDE ELEVATORS

The Biguiyuan residential complex in Hangzhou, China’s Lin’an District, has unveiled “public transit elevators” that charge 1 yuan (US$0.16) per ride, according to a report by Sixth Tone on May 19. The complex currently accommodates 1,849 households, all of them living in six-story buildings constructed some 20 years ago. Around 30% of the residents are older than 60, according to community official Du Weidong, and, thus, elevator-less buildings were becoming a concern. Installing an elevator costs around 300,000 yuan (US$46,621) with government subsidies, which can be prohibitively expensive if not shared by a large pool of residents. The Biguiyuan complex has settled on this novel solution: The company installing the elevators bears cost of construction and maintenance, while the residents pay to use the facilities. The service provider helped the residents set up cashless payment accounts, and the elevator scans a resident’s face to deduct 1 yuan per use, regardless of how many people are inside. Residents can send visitors a QR code to use the service. This initiative could solve the problem of how to raise funds for facilities much-needed by elderly residents and, so far, 75 elevators have been installed with plans to add 39 more by the end of May.

Week of 5/17/21

CHINESE RESIDENTIAL COMPLEX UNVEILS PAY-PER-RIDE ELEVATORS

The Biguiyuan residential complex in Hangzhou, China’s Lin’an District, has unveiled “public transit elevators” that charge 1 yuan (US$0.16) per ride, according to a report by Sixth Tone on May 19. The complex currently accommodates 1,849 households, all of them living in six-story buildings constructed some 20 years ago. Around 30% of the residents are older than 60, according to community official Du Weidong, and, thus, elevator-less buildings were becoming a concern. Installing an elevator costs around 300,000 yuan (US$46,621) with government subsidies, which can be prohibitively expensive if not shared by a large pool of residents. The Biguiyuan complex has settled on this novel solution: The company installing the elevators bears cost of construction and maintenance, while the residents pay to use the facilities. The service provider helped the residents set up cashless payment accounts, and the elevator scans a resident’s face to deduct 1 yuan per use, regardless of how many people are inside. Residents can send visitors a QR code to use the service. This initiative could solve the problem of how to raise funds for facilities much-needed by elderly residents and, so far, 75 elevators have been installed with plans to add 39 more by the end of May.

CHINESE RESIDENTIAL COMPLEX UNVEILS PAY-PER-RIDE ELEVATORS

The Biguiyuan residential complex in Hangzhou, China’s Lin’an District, has unveiled “public transit elevators” that charge 1 yuan (US$0.16) per ride, according to a report by Sixth Tone on May 19. The complex currently accommodates 1,849 households, all of them living in six-story buildings constructed some 20 years ago. Around 30% of the residents are older than 60, according to community official Du Weidong, and, thus, elevator-less buildings were becoming a concern. Installing an elevator costs around 300,000 yuan (US$46,621) with government subsidies, which can be prohibitively expensive if not shared by a large pool of residents. The Biguiyuan complex has settled on this novel solution: The company installing the elevators bears cost of construction and maintenance, while the residents pay to use the facilities. The service provider helped the residents set up cashless payment accounts, and the elevator scans a resident’s face to deduct 1 yuan per use, regardless of how many people are inside. Residents can send visitors a QR code to use the service. This initiative could solve the problem of how to raise funds for facilities much-needed by elderly residents and, so far, 75 elevators have been installed with plans to add 39 more by the end of May.

INDIAN RAILWAYS WORKS TOWARD ZERO DEATH MISSION

Indian Railways is taking advantage of the lockdown that began in March 2020 to speed up works to achieve its “zero death” mission in suburban sections of the Central and Western Railways in Mumbai, India, the Mumbai Mirror reported on May 16. Measures taken in the recent past have succeeded in drastically reducing deaths and injuries. Key initiatives include the construction of 11 foot over bridges (FOBs) in FY 2020-21 with work on 26 FOBs, 47 escalators and 54 lifts in progress on the Western Railway; the addition of 17 FOBs and 30 escalators and lifts to existing ones on the Central Railway in 2021-22; the extension of a boundary wall and added fencing in some areas; the addition of private security guards at 33 gates; the closure of 59 (so far) of the 73 most vulnerable trespass locations; awareness campaigns; and the creation of a joint committee where the state government would provide an officer to work with local agencies on this issue.

HONG KONG LIFTS, ESCALATORS SHORT OF SAFETY STANDARD

Two-thirds of Hong Kong lifts and escalators "do not meet the latest safety guidelines," the officer of the ombudsman reveals, triggering a call for more no-notice inspections, the South China Morning Post reports. Some 50,000 lifts and escalators out of the 80,000 in Hong Kong still do not comply with latest set of non-mandatory standards issued in 2019. The ombudsman says failure to follow those guidelines does not necessarily mean the facilities are unsafe, but demands improvements in supervision. Ombudsman Winnie Chiu Wai-yin says only a handful of the city’s lifts and escalators have been upgraded, and points to several “serious accidents.” In the latest, dozens of people on a 45-m-long escalator at a shopping center fell when it suddenly stopped and reversed at high speed. Eighteen people were injured.

Week of 5/10/21

ELEVATORS BAN ELECTRIC BIKES AFTER FIRE INJURES FIVE

Communities across China tightened bans on electric bicycles in elevators this week after a rider’s battery exploded, injuring five people at a residential building in Shanghai, including a woman holding her grandson, Global Times reported on May 12. The woman suffered burns over 75% of her body, and she and the child were taken to a hospital ICU, where they remained on Tuesday. Many residential buildings in China have resorted to smart devices, which will stop elevators when they detect an electric bicycle inside. The public has called for tighter restrictions on electric bicycles in residential buildings, and most property managers have banned them on elevators or in entire residential buildings, only allowing them to park outdoors. Authorities said if the bicycle was modified, the owner could face criminal charges.

ONE EXCELLENCE DEVELOPMENT IN SHENZHEN COMPLETE

The One Excellence development in the new Qianhai district of Shenzhen, China, is now complete, World Architecture News reported in March. Farrells won the design competition for One Excellence in late 2013 with a design featuring four office towers, including a 300-m-tall landmark tower and two residential towers. The mixed-use development covers 757,000 m2 and sets a precedent for high-density urbanism, with social and green space at its heart. The two 180-m-tall gateway towers aim to draw people toward the waterfront. The geometric elements on these towers reinforce this vision, from the tapering of the building roofs to the architectural lines, fins and features, as well as the sturdy base. The project draws its inspiration from nature and proximity to the waterfront. White and silver colors visually dominate, while the structures evoke the shape of ribbons and waves, reminding onlookers of the nearby coast as well as bringing a softer sensation to the skyline.

KÜBLER GROUP ACHIEVES RECORD TURNOVER

Elevators are among industries "feeling a revival," according to Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany-based Kübler Group Managing Director of Sales and Marketing Martin Huth. This revival helped usher in a successful first quarter 2021 on the heels of positivity already felt at the close of 2020, according to Kübler, which operates Kübler India Automation Pvt. Ltd. in Pune. Despite pandemic-related challenges and an electronics component shortage, the sensor specialist, whose products include encoders for gearless elevator drives, achieved in March the highest monthly turnover in the company's 61-year history. In addition to the economic upturn, Kübler attributes recent success to dedicated employees, focused sales efforts and product innovation. Employing just under 500 people, including 49 at the Pune subsidiary, Kübler is family owned and has production facilities in Germany and Charlotte, North Carolina. In a May press release announcing the strong start to the year, Kübler observed it has invested heavily in R&D to develop new products that are ready for an increasingly digital future. It is setting its sights on "high-growth industries of the future," such as energy-efficient elevators, as it looks toward continuing global urbanization. Among Kübler's recent offerings are elevator positioning systems. The company said it is hiring, including engineers in R&D, both in Germany and at its other locations.

Week of 5/03/21

RESEARCH PAPER ON ELEVATOR ARRIVAL TIMES PUBLISHED: Elevator transport capability is the focus of a research paper titled “When will an elevator arrive?” published in April in the Journal of Statistical Mechanics, Eurekalert reported on May 3. Physicist Zhijie Feng, a graduate student at Boston University, and Santa Fe Institute Professor Sidney Redner made a simple “toy” model, and their minimum-variable simulation made the following key assumptions: unoccupied buildings, first-come-first-served transport, identical elevators traveling to uniformly distributed destination floors, 2.5 s to enter or exit elevators, and 1 s to travel from one floor to the next. The results show that there is not an easy answer to the main question of elevator arrival times, but the pair hopes their research is the entry-level for further inquiry.

Week of 4/26/21

EW 2021 PHOTO CONTEST OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS

ELEVATOR WORLD’S 2021 Photo Contest is now open for submissions. The ninth-annual contest features nine categories, including a new category, Projects in Action. This category invites entrants to showcase their teams by sharing photos of them performing elevator/escalator modernizations, construction/installations, service/repair, inspections and manufacturing. Existing categories are Elevators (Commercial), Elevators (Private Residence), Escalators & Moving Walks, Historical & Legacy Equipment, Machines & Components, City Skylines & Tall Buildings, Who Reads EW?, Industry Art/Illustrations and Hoistways. Submissions in the Industry Art/Illustrations category can be any type of art or illustration, including, but not limited to, hand-drawn, painted and computer-generated images that are original and relevant to the industry. So, send us your best shots and you could win one of many great prizes and be published in EW!

IMEC WINS 72-ELEVATOR ORDER FOR TWO COMPLEXES IN INDIA

Mitsubishi Elevator India Pvt. Ltd. (IMEC) has won an order to supply 72 elevators, including 37 high-speed units, to the Commerzone Madhapur and Altimus luxury commercial complexes, developed by K Raheja Corp. in Hyderabad and Mumbai, respectively. At Commerzone Madhapur, there will be 18, 210 m/min and 29 standard lifts and at Altimus, 19, 360 m/min and six standard lifts. Both systems will be equipped with the Destination Oriented Allocation System (DOAS®) to meet COVID-19 needs for touchless operation and M's BRIDGETM predictive-maintenance technology. In announcing the award on April 21, IMEC observed that business decreased temporarily due to the pandemic, but is expected to stabilize from fiscal 2022 onward.

SHANGHAI BUILDING REPAIRS, ELEVATOR INSTALLATIONS UNDERWAY

Authorities in Shanghai have ordered the overhaul of exterior walls on downtown buildings after a woman was killed by falling debris, Shine reported on April 12. In addition, elevators will be installed citywide. The city’s construction and housing authorities have ordered an inspection of all the buildings by the end of April. Regulators said all buildings should be covered in the overhaul and inspected regularly. Meanwhile, a citywide campaign to install elevators in old residential buildings has been accelerated in downtown neighborhoods. Putuo District alone plans to install 200 elevators at residences for the convenience of elderly people. By the end of March, a total of 265 elevators had been installed in Putuo, including 66 that are in operation and 42 under construction.

BIG DESIGNS TOWER FOR CHINESE SMARTPHONE MAKER

Chinese smartphone maker OPPO has commissioned Danish architecture studio BIG to design an R&D building named the “O-Tower,” dezeen reported on April 19. Described as being infinity-loop shaped, the 42-story skyscraper is designed to "connect ground to sky in a continuous loop of collaboration." BIG notes the building's form aligns with the design aims of OPPO. The circular skyscraper is designed to surround an open courtyard and will be built within Hangzhou's Future Sci-Tech City. The ground floor of the skyscraper will contain a public space that connects to the publicly accessible central courtyard. Lower floors will contain exhibition spaces, conference areas and a canteen. WSP is listed as the project’s vertical-transportation consultant. A construction timeline was not reported.