2007 Conference

2007 VTCCU Conference (Wrap-up)

The 2007 conference was hosted by the Martin Culp from the University of Maryland and Chip Albertson of the Smithsonian Institution.

Day one was spent touring the National Museum of Natural History on the Smithsonian Institution campus. The evening included dinner hosted by Schindler Elevator Company. John Attridge from Schindler spoke to the group about how the company is using the Internet and wireless technology to run a preventative maintenance program and provide reporting of elevator statistics to its customers. The group ended the evening touring different types of elevator equipment in the museum.

The conference transitioned to the University of Maryland campus for day two and found a new approach to the educational sessions then previously employed by the association. In the past the conference provided several educational topics offered in concurrent break-out sessions. That approach left attendees missing other presentations of interest due to scheduling conflicts. The 2007 program offered one session at a time. The group dynamic provided an exciting learning environment with increased participation and interaction.

Jim Coaker of Coaker & Co., P.C., provided insight to the new technology flooding the industry. Topics included MRL’s, new suspension means, how they fit into the industry, how code is dealing with new innovation and how maintenance and repair are affected.

Trying to compress and simplify the difficult topic of traffic analysis was taken on by Bob Beyer from Elevator Advisor, Inc. Traffic analysis can be used to determine the proper type, number, speed and size for renovations and new construction by comparing similar buildings with similar populations. Consultants can be utilized to perform calculations and interpret the results.

John Rearick of Code Data Plate and Dave Flint from The University of Michigan gave a joint presentation about owner’s responsibilities in maintenance evaluation. Schools that use in-house, contract maintenance or a combination of the two are ultimately responsible for the work performed (or the lack thereof) on all equipment on campus. Elevator personnel are the most important link between the equipment and a safe ride for the public.

The Board meeting on the first evening was honored to have a proposal presented by Barbara Allan from Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation. The proposed joint partnership between EESF and Elevator U could produce a safety program targeting college age young adults; similar to the very successful Safety Rider program used to educate second graders on safe rider habits. The Board moved to form a committee to consider the EESF proposal. Don Ross is the committee chair.

Day three opened with an interactive panel discussion about remote monitoring. Bart Stephan from Lerch Bates and Associates moderated a very knowledgeable panel consisting of John Blatt of John W. Blatt Consulting, Lewis Cantrell from University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Dave Flint from The University of Michigan, and Winslow Soule of Integrated Display Systems. After a short presentation on how remote monitoring works and can be used, the floor was opened for questions. Several issues were discussed: how can a university justify the cost, how much time is really saved by notification generation, is it really used to its full potential; along with numerous other thought provoking inquiries.

Gary Ward from Imperial Electric started the afternoon speaking about AC gearless PM motors. AC motors have the advantage of being smaller, having high starting torque and lower energy consumption, they can be battery powered and have improved ride quality. These advantages bring varied opportunities to the elevator industry; including alternative mounting configurations for the hoist motors. A university now has a wider range of options to create an MRL-type layout. Depending on the controller paired with the motor this also provides the possibility of economical non-proprietary avenues for this popular new technology.

The evening wrapped up with a Vendor Expo and included 30 display booths. Participants were able to see a variety of products from controller systems to door protection. Attendees were treated to dinner by Draka Elevator Products and libations by Computerized Elevator Control Corporation. Karaoke, trivia games, name that tune and prize drawings provided ample entertainment for the group. Congratulations to Clint Halcom of Arkansas State University; the winner of a 26″ LCD flat panel television! Clint received an entry to the prize drawing just by registering for the 2007 conference.

Pat Carrajat from Certified elevator and Escalator Products Company began the morning of the last day speaking about a defensive elevatoring system (how owners can protect themselves from/in litigation). Example: Code requires log books. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure the field technicians are using the log properly. This can be one of the best defenses in litigation. Law suits involving the elevator system can include: mis-leveling, door strikes, abrupt stops, evacuation of passengers from stalled elevators and even falls down the hoistway. Mr. Carrajat included relatively simple, economic suggestions to minimize the likelihood of the above mentioned issues from occurring. The group also learned different ways to better protect themselves in litigation involving escalator products, service contracts and employees.

Brad Hunt of The Peelle Company focused on the proper, safe operation and maintenance of freight doors when he addressed the group. New products driven by code changes were highlighted including locked and covered door unlocking devices, door safety devices and safety labels. The addition of these items and proper maintenance can decrease your chances of injury involving freight doors.

The attendees of Elevator U were given a special treat for lunch…an authentic Maryland Crab Feast! Mark Dietz from Wurtec and David “Doc” Maltrotti from SEES volunteered to demonstrate technique and made sure the group knew the proper way to crack and eat the delicious crab.

After lunch the conference got back to business with a serious subject; Overloading of Elevators. John Blatt of John W. Blatt Consulting provided insight to the tragic elevator accident that occurred at Ohio State University in October 2006.

Suggestions that have been presented to the ASME A17.1 Mechanical Design Committee were shared. The ASME committee was receptive; but no formal code changes have been implemented to deal with this important issue to date.

Bob Caporale, Editor of Elevator World provided an overview on the options available for continuing education currently being offered.

For the final presentation, the conference welcomed back a familiar face. Jim Coaker educated the group on the A17.1S-2005 supplement. This supplement addresses MRL design and installation. Jim further explained how the new code was developed, why it was printed the way it was, how to maneuver through the book and how it ties back into A17/1

The 2007 Elevator U conference closed with a thank you to all the generous support from our vendors and attendees, the Pledge Of Allegiance and a special Native American drum song performed by Don Ross of D.H. Ross Elevator Inspections Inc.

We look forward to seeing you again in 2008!

Thanks to our 2007 speakers:

  • Barbara Allan – Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation
  • Bob Beyer – Elevator Advisor, Inc.
  • John Blatt – John W. Blatt Consulting
  • Lewis Cantrell – University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
  • Bob Caporale – Elevator World
  • Pat Carrajat – Certified elevator and Escalator Products Company
  • Jim Coaker – Coaker & Co., P.C.
  • Dave Flint – The University of Michigan
  • Brad Hunt – The Peelle Company
  • John Rearick – Code Data Plate
  • Winslow Soule – Integrated Display Systems
  • Bart Stephan – Lerch Bates and Associates
  • Gary Ward – Imperial Electric

Special thanks to our 2007 sponsors:

  • Century Elevator Incorporated
  • Computerized Elevator Control Corporation
  • Draka Elevator Products
  • Schindler Elevator Company
  • Thyssen Krupp Elevator Company
  • Van Deusen & Associates