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.



Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Curved escalators: Who made the first one?







Curved escalators exist now. They are still relatively rare and are often provoke wonder and awe when the general public first encounters them. Many are justifiably regarded as tourist attractions in their own right as they're often visually more appealing than linear escalators and perhaps more in keeping with the luxurious settings they often become part of. There are curved escalators in hotels, casinos and upscale shopping malls around the world. 

Curved escalators: How do they work? 


Curved or spiral escalators present new engineering challenges compared to linear escalators. They do take up less floor space but need to be assembled on site. Key challenges include the curvature of the steps and the returning steps back under escalator. One company has mastered this and refers to their pioneering technology but more on them shortly. 




Who built the first curved escalator?



In 1985 Mitsubishi Electric installed the world's first practical spiral escalator in Osaka, Japan and began building curved or spiral  escalators on a regular basis and it is they who dominate the curved  or spiral escalator market today however, it is not Mitsubishi who built the first curved escalator.



So who did? The first curved escalator was built by Jesse Wilford Reno in 1906 and installed briefly at Holloway Station on the London Underground.  Reno was the inventor of the escalator having built the first working escalator in New York’s Coney Island in 1891.  The curved escalator at Holloway Road was removed shortly after installation and never used by the public. The spiral escalator was not a successful experiment. The photograph below was taken before it was removed. 




From Reno until now.... 

There has been a lot of progress since Reno’s day and now curved escalators manufactured by Mitsubishi can be found at the following locations:  San Francisco Centre, San Francisco, Canada’s River Rock Casino Resort, Wheelock Place in Singapore, Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Hilton, The Landmark Tower in Japan, the Times Square shopping mall in Hong Kong, Lotte World in South Korea, The Venetian Hotel and Casino in Macau, Wynn Las Vegas and The Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In conclusion these machines can only be deployed it situations where money is no object as there are very costly when compared to conventional escalators in conjunction with ongoing maintenance and support over the life of the equipment.


What next?


In the UK, the Levytator was created in 2010 and launched with much publicity heralding it as the first free-form curved escalator. The Levytator is capable of following freeform curves, achieved by replacing the traditional rectangular steps with curved modules that also allows the modules to be placed in a continuous loop.

You can see a demonstration of the Levytator here.

Dunbar and Boardman is the lift, escalator and access equipment consultancy. Do you have a current or planned project that includes escalators? Curved or linear? 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.