Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Where was the first Travelator Installed?




A Moving Walkway or Travelator is a slow moving conveyor mechanism that is used for the horizontal transportation of people over short to medium distances. They can also be installed with a slight incline.  The primary benefit of a travelator is that it can greatly decrease passenger travel time in areas where there is a high volume of passenger traffic – airports and train stations being two of the most common locations. The word Trav-O-Lator is a registered brand name belonging to the Otis Elevator Company.  You can read more about the Founder of Otis here.

When was the first travelator?

The late 19th century was a time when the founding fathers of the Vertical Transportation industry were manufacturing and installing ever more sophisticated vertical transportation systems around the world.  The first ‘Double Deck Elevator’ was installed in the Eiffel Tower in 1889, for example. This was also the time they turned their focus to moving walkways or travelators.

The first moving walkway debut at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, in Chicago, Illinois. Passengers could choose to sit on one section or alternatively they could stand or walk in another section. It was installed down the length of a lakefront pier and passengers were horizontally transported to a casino.

The next moving walkway was presented to the public in Paris at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900. That walkway consisted of three elevated platforms: the first platform was stationary, the second moved at a moderate speed and the third moved at about six miles an hour.

Given these very public demonstrations in 1893 and 1900 it is perhaps surprising that the first commercial walkway in the United States was introduced over 50 years later in 1954. The walkway was installed at the Pavonia Terminal inside the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad Erie station in Jersey City, NJ. Named the "Speedwalk" and built by Goodyear, it was 277 ft in length and moved up a 10 percent gradient at a speed of 1.5 mph.

It was 6 years later that the first moving walkway was installed in the London Underground at Bank Station. Bank Station’s Travelator was also the first moving walkway installed anywhere in Europe and was opened with much fanfare on 27th September 1960. Click here to view news footage of the opening ceremony. The system installed was the Otis Trav-O-Lator.

Are there any High Speed Travelators?

Since the 1960s there have been many projects investigating the practicality of creating high speed travelators. Ultimately the vast majority of these high speed travelators have not been put into public usage or have been abandoned during testing due to safety concerns. However, a high-speed walkway was installed in the Montparnasse—Bienvenüe Métro station in Paris in 2002. During 2009 it was announced that because of its unreliability and the number of users having accidents the high speed walkway would be replaced with a standard moving walkway. This replacement was made in 2011.

Where are moving walkways typically used?

In addition to airports travelators are often used in the following locations: museum exhibits, zoos, theme parks, theatre, public transport, urban areas, ski resorts, supermarkets. In the UK, The Tower of London uses a moving walkway to horizontally transport visitors passed the cabinets that contain the Crown Jewels to minimize congestion.

Dunbar and Boardman is the lift, escalator and access equipment consultancy. Do you have a current or planned project that includes Travelators? We would be happy to discuss any such requirements and how we may be able to assist. Give us a call on T +44 (0) 20 7739 5093 or send us an email via peterboardman@dunbarboardman.com to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Spotlight on Innovation: What is Lightspeed Technology?




In August Peter and Vance travelled to Amsterdam to meet with a company that has patented a Lightspeed Technology system. The system works by sending light through a fibreglass cable. This cable functions as an optical conductor. A light is received at the end of the cable and is compared to the signal that was originally transmitted. From this point, deformation or bending of the cable will be detected by the transmitter / receiver module and several actions can be programmed into the software. The company behind Lightspeed technology are called Lightspeed Lift Solutions.

What are the benefits of Lightspeed Technology?

Anti- trapping safety for lift doors
The system can detect whether an obstacle has come into space occupied by the lift door and doorframe. This could be a lift passenger’s hand, for example.  Depending on how the system has been set up the lift could immediately stop or open slowly. This is a great additional safety feature for a company’s vertical transportation.

Lift Cabin Detection
When the Lightspeed system is incorporated into the floor of the lift car it can recognise whether there is someone inside the lift and how much of the floor space is remaining. This has great potential in hospitals where it as been applied to the vertical transportation of hospital beds. There is also potential for this feature in high rise buildings and supermarkets.

Call System
With the LightSpeed optical detection system integrated into the floor you do not even need to manually push a button to call a lift. The system reacts when someone stands on the tile. Once again a number of next actions can be set up from that point. This has great benefits when used in care homes or hospitals but also in shopping centres, industrial environments and for car lifts.

Call System Vandal Proof
Lightspeed have a CS2 Call system that is operated via a RVS touch pad.  The touchpad can be used to call the lift. Even if vandals manage to damage the touch pad it will still function.   

Lift Shaft Detection
Part of the Lightspeed system can be incorporated in a rubber mat or applied to the floor to secure the cabin roof and lift pit. In practical terms this means that if a person is on top of lift - ‘lift surfing’ they will be detected by the system. Once again a number of desired next steps can be incorporated into the system to enhance safety.  This is a great feature to have at your disposal during maintenance and inspections.

Dunbar and Boardman keep a watching brief on technological advances within the vertical transportation industry to better serve our clients. Dunbar and Boardman is the lift, escalator and access equipment consultancy. Do you have a current or planned project that would benefit from using Lightspeed Technology? We would be happy to discuss any such requirements and how we may be able to assist. Give us a call on T +44 (0) 20 7739 5093 or send us an email via peterboardman@dunbarboardman.com to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.

To find out more about Lightspeed Technology visit the website of Lightspeed Lift Solutions.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Double Deck Elevators: Where was the first one?

 Double deck lift within the Eiffel Tower

A Double-deck elevator is a type of elevator where two cabins are attached to each other. One In a typical example, one of the elevators cabins will stop at even floors and the other elevator cabin can stop at the odd floors. They are also useful for  for delivering high volumes of people to a Sky Lobby in super high rise buildings. Double-deck elevators save time and space in high-occupancy buildings by mounting one car upon anotherhaving two cars in the same vertical shaft. The efficiency of Double-deck elevators serving all floors, can be further enhanced by the use of a destination control system.

The first Double–deck elevator was installed in The Eiffel Tower in Paris in 1889. by The Otis Elevator Company.  Charles and Norton were carrying on the work of their father, Elisha.  The Eiffel Tower has double-deck elevators built into the legs of the tower, serving the ground level to the first and second levels. Even though the shaft runs diagonally upwards with the contour of the tower, both the upper and lower cars remain horizontally level. The offset distance of the two cars changes throughout the journey.

There are four elevator cars of the traditional design that run from the second level to the third level. The cars are connected to their opposite pairs (opposite in the elevator landing/hall) and use each other as the counterweight. As one car ascends from level 2, the other descends from level 3. The operations of these elevators are synchronized by a light signal in the car.
 

Where are other examples of Double–deck elevators?

List of structures with double-deck passenger elevators:   
   
Dunbar and Boardman is the lift, escalator and access equipment consultancy. Do you have a current or planned project that includes Double-deck elevators? We would be happy to discuss any such requirements and how we may be able to assist. Give us a call on T +44 (0) 20 7739 5093 or send us an email via peterboardman@dunbarboardman.com to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

How did the Schindler Group become so successful?



 

Today the Schindler Group is one of the top four elevator manufacturers in the world, has over 50,000 employees in over 100 countries. Schindler manufactures, installs and services elevators and escalators. Schindler elevators and escalators move 1 billion people every day but it wasn’t always this way. How did the company get started?

In 1874, twenty years after Elisha Otis was demonstrating his elevator brake at the New York World’s Fair two Swiss gentleman, Robert Schindler and Eduard Villiger founded a general partnership company in Lucerne, Switzerland. The company was called Schindler and Villiger and the company opened a mechanical workshop on an island in the Reuss River in Lucerne, Switzerland. The workshop produced lifting equipment and other machinery.

Few details of the early lives of Schindler and Villiger are known. The Swiss reputation for privacy is well earned. Once the company was established Schindler and Villiger wasted no time in building the business and increasing its scope of activities.

Key Schindler Dates:
 
1878: The first Factory regulations include a 63 ½ hour week, a 14 day notice period, and accident insurance.

1883 Moved to the newly built 300 m^2 plant at Sentimattstrasse in Lucerne. The products are laundry equipment and water driven elevators

1890: Delivery of first Hydraulic freight elevator.

1892: Eduard Villiger leaves the partnership. The company continues under the name of Robert Schindler Machinery Manufacturer. / The first electric elevator with belt drive is built. Schindler's most important customers during its first years were large hotels and production plants, first in Lucerne and later throughout Switzerland.

1894: Introduction of the 59-hour week.

1895: The factory is extended and an iron foundry is added.

1899: Schindler elevators were equipped with worm gears and controlled by a pull rope.

1901: Robert Schindler sold the business to his brother Alfred Schindler, who became the new sole proprietor and changed the firm's name accordingly.

1902: The first electric passenger elevator with automatic push button control is delivered. 

1906:  A new business partner, Fritz Geilfuss, joined the company and it became a partnership, Schindler & Cie.

1906: Schindler opens its first subsidiary in Berlin.

1907: Agency in Lausanne established.

1908: Schindler builds houses for 50 Schindler workers in Littau. Agencies in Zurich and Basel established.

1909: Delivery of first multi speed electric elevator, driven by an Oerlikon two speed motor.  Schindler and Houplin is founded in France.

1910: The first elevator with a single-phase commutator motor is delivered. Agencies in Bern and Argentina established.

1911: – Agencies in Turkey, Algeria, Russia and Italy established.

Why were Schindler successful when many others failed? As this timeline demonstrates international expansion and product innovation laid the foundations for the future success of Schindler. After 1911 Schindler expanded into more European countries and by 1931 had even reached China. In the late 1960s expansion through corporate acquisitions became the preferred strategy and many smaller companies were acquired around the world. This proved to be a very successful strategy that explains their presence in over 100 countries today. 

Dunbar and Boardman is the lift, escalator and access equipment consultancy. Do you have a current or planned project that includes elevators? We would be happy to discuss any such requirements and how we may be able to assist. Give us a call on T +44 (0) 20 7739 5093 or send us an email via peterboardman@dunbarboardman.com to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Conference Overview - Facades Design & Engineering – UAE Summit



                                           Peter Boardman addressing the conference attendees

Last week Dunbar and Boardman attended the Facades Design and Engineering Summit in Dubai. It was a great opportunity to meet with many of the Vertical Transportation industry’s key individuals from across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.  There were over 200 attendees representing 80 companies at the event. For over 30 years Dunbar and Boardman has attended similar events around the world.

The conference started with a Façade Lighting Focus Day. Themes covered included, ‘Lighting up your projects to drive aesthetics and building functionality’ and ‘Next generation lighting technologies and opportunities for façade design’. Detailed approaches and methodologies were shared during the project case studies.  

The focus of the second day was the UAE Facade landscape.  Particular emphasis was placed on innovations, building codes and beyond. Understanding the new building regulations and how to ensure your project conforms to compliance requirements.  There were great discussions around the advancements in efficiency, sustainability, and cost effectiveness.  It is often easier to absorb key details via project case studies these were a key feature of all three days at the conference.

On the final day our attention was turned to the Western architectural influence on Arabic Design and the need for attention to detail in Facades. Once again some great insights were shared during the project case studies that included a spotlight on UAE universities.

On behalf of all staff at Dunbar and Boardman I would like to say a big thank you to the organisers, IQPC & all the event sponsors, we look forward to seeing you all again next September.

Dunbar and Boardman is the lift, escalator and access equipment consultancy. Do you have a current or planned project incorporating Façade access? We would be happy to discuss any such requirements and how we may be able to assist. Give us a call on T +44 (0) 20 7739 5093 or send us an email via peterboardman@dunbarboardman.com to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Spotlight on Dubai


Dunbar & Boardman’s first project in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was in the late 1990s. This was the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and we quickly built on that, increasing the number of projects we worked on not only in the UAE but also across the Gulf Region. Since the 1990s we have completed Vertical Transportation and Building Maintenance Unit projects in the UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait. Many of our projects have been for internationally prestigious buildings.

Here are just two examples of prestigious buildings we have worked on and a brief project description:

The iconic Burj al Arab Dubai - The brief for Dunbar and Boardman was to assist with planning the space accommodation for the 18 elevators and 2 escalators. Our role included specification writing and contractor evaluation and the firm remained involved with the project from conception stage through to final commissioning.

The Bahrain World Trade Centre – Dunbar and Boardman were appointed to witness test and commission the work - Secalt fully powered BMU systems were specified by Atkins and these were to be installed in both towers. Following completion, we were awarded the contract to manage the site maintenance work.

Listed below are some more of the projects we have completed in the UAE and Gulf Region:

Jumeirah Beach Complex Dubai

Four Seasons Dubai

Damac Ocean Heights

Damac Signature Tower

Saraya Towers Abudhabi

Al Mafraq Hospital Abu Dhabi

Gate District Towers Abu Dhabi

King Abdullah Financial District, Riyadh

Al Madah Towers, Jeddah

Four Seasons Hotel, Bahrain

National Bank of Kuwait

Kuwait Investment Authority HQ
 

The full list of our projects in the region can be found here. Do you have a current or planned project in the UAE or other country in the Gulf Region? We would be happy to discuss any such requirements and how we may be able to assist. 

We are attending the ‘Façades and Design Engineering - UAE Summit’ this week so this is a great opportunity for you to meet with us face to face if you are also attending the summit in Dubai. Give us a call on T +44 (0) 20 7739 5093 or send us an email via peterboardman@dunbarboardman.com to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.