Monday, 18 May 2015

OUR EXPERIENCE



How Does the Schmid Peoplemover Work?


In 1999 Emil Schmid, the owner of Schmid Maschinebrau in Sonnenbuehl near Stuttgart invented a new form of vertical transportation. He applied for a patent in the same year and when it was granted he named his invention the Schmid Peoplemover. He built the first prototype at his engineering factory and then worked with Thyssen Aufzugswerke (now part of ThyssenKrupp) to scale production of his Peoplemover system. The first Peoplemover was installed in Pfulligen, Germany in December 2001.   

What is the Schmid Peoplemover?

The Schmid Peoplemover enables pedestrians to cross major roads and thoroughfares or railways without the need for traffic lights or railway crossings. This is achieved by taking passengers up and over the traffic. The Peoplemover is built as a free hanging system and consists of two towers, a bridge connecting them and a lift car. The Peoplemover is ideal for pedestrians in wheelchairs or with strollers or suitcases. It is of benefit to all pedestrians and cuts overall journey times because there is no need to wait for traffic lights or railway crossings.

How Does it Work?

First of all passengers enter a lift car and are transported vertically to bridge height and then horizontally across the bridge before being transported vertically down on the other side. When travelling vertically, the lift carriage and car are held in the lifting gear guides before gliding smoothly over into the horizontal travel position with the aid of a special guide rail and a sophisticated mechanical system. Construction of the Peoplemover is completed within 3 days and does not require as much surface area as a traditional underpass. The lift car is made of aluminium with stainless steel centre closing doors and a window. It

has a rated load of 600kg and a speed of 1mps vertically and 2mps horizontally. There is a limit of 5 metres for travel height and a span of 20 metres. A total of 720 passengers per hour can make the crossing in both directions.

How Many Schmid Peoplemovers are in Existence?

Peoplemovers can be installed in a wide variety of scenarios: the crossing of streets, railways and waterways etc, linking motorway service stations to car parks and at shopping centres, exhibition centres, leisure parks, hotel complexes, and hospitals. There are currently 3 lifts of this type in Germany at Pfullingen, Altenbach and in Berlin. You can watch a video of the one at Altbach Peoplemover here.

Peoplemovers are a very special type of vertical transportation. Dunbar and Boardman is the lift, escalator and access equipment consultancy. Are you currently planning a project that will involve vertical transportation? We would be happy to discuss with you. Give us a call on T +44 (0)20 7739 5093 or send us an email via peterboardman@dunbarboardman.com to start the conversation.

Image Credit: http://de.academic.ru


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

What Makes the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway Different?


The Lynton and Lynmouth Railway is a funicular or cliff railway that connects the twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth in Devon. Predominantly located in seaside towns there are quite a few working examples of funiculars dotted around the coastline of the British Isles. For a comprehensive list of funiculars in Britain click ‘here’.  In the 19th century the hill separating Lynmouth at the bottom of the hill and Lynton at the top created difficult transport conditions. It was relatively easy for food and other essentials to arrive at Lynmouth via sailing vessel but then the goods needed to be transferred via pack horse up the steep hill to Lynton. From the 1820s holidaymakers who visited Lynmouth from Bristol, Swansea and other channel ports were often deterred from visiting Lynton because of the hill. The economic prosperity of Lynton was being limited because of it. In 1881 the idea of a tramway between the two villages was first discussed publicly.

Three men were largely responsible for bringing this idea to life and they were Thomas Hewitt, John Heyward and George Newnes. Through their endeavour a dedicated act of parliament, the ‘Lynmouth Promenade, Pier and Lift Provisional Order became an Act of Parliament in 1888. Construction of the railway occurred between 1887 and 1890 and on Easter Monday in 1890 the Cliff Railway was opened.

How Does the Railway Work? 
Similar to other funiculars the Cliff Railway at Lynton and Lynmouth consists of a pair of tram like cars attached to each other by a cable. The ascending and descending vehicles counterbalance each other. The Lynton and Lynmouth Railway is one of only a handful of water-powered funiculars currently in existence. Both cars contain full water tanks (700 gallons) and to generate movement the driver of the bottom car discharges water from its tanks and that makes the top car heavier. The cars then begin to move then and gravity takes over. Each car has two sets of brakes that are water operated. The ‘governor’, which in turn, is driven by the main wheels, operates one set. The other set of brakes are calliper type and are permanently on - operated by a large water accumulator via the driver’s hand wheel. When the cars are unattended, the brakes clamp it to the rails making movement impossible.

No water is pumped from the top to the bottom, instead it is taken from a nearby river and the Act of Parliament mentioned above granted The Lynmouth and Lynton Lift Company the perpetual right to extract up to 60,000 gallons of water a day.

How popular were Water Powered Funiculars?
In the late 19th century there were a lot of water-powered funiculars constructed around the world but most of them were later converted into engine driven versions. There are a few still remaining at: Elevador do Bom Jesus in Portugal, Nerobergbahn in Wiesbaden, Germany, Funiculaire Neuveville-St.Pierre in Fribourg, Switzerland and of course at Lynton and Lynmouth.

What makes the Lynton and Lynmouth funicular different?
The funicular needs absolutely no power to operate (however power is required for the lighting). The funicular works on a total loss system. Water provides the power and is not pumped from the bottom to the top. Used water is dropped onto Lynmouth beach 100 metres away from the river from where it was taken. The lifts do not create any emissions and have a low carbon footprint for this reason the railway is recognised as one of Britain’s most environmentally friendly tourist attractions.

Funiculars are a very specific type of vertical transportation. Dunbar and Boardman is the lift, escalator and access equipment consultancy. Are you currently planning a project that will involve vertical transportation? We would be happy to discuss with you. Give us a call on T +44 (0)20 7739 5093 or send us an email via peterboardman@dunbarboardman.com to start the conversation.

Image credit: http://www.funimag.com

Friday, 1 May 2015

Peter Boardman's May Update



We have welcomed Richard Booth to our Leeds team having recently joined from Schindler, we wish him well and look forward to his general contribution.

Ken Young is pinging back from retirement to help our Warrington team on a part time basis.  Ken retired 3 years ago and perhaps he is looking for another retirement party?

Grenville Brookfield and Jim Baynam have now retired and John Daniels will also retire at the end of May.  We are presently recruiting new people in London – so watch this space.

Recovering from the recession our business continues to grow year on year surpassing any pre-recession activity.  We are therefore confident about the future and look forward to continuing supporting our client base and team members.

- Peter Boardman

Thursday, 30 April 2015

What Does Destination Control look like in practice? 2 Examples

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ghjfvbw7tmxdrbp/Korea%20Proj%20After%20Mod.wmv?dl=0

Regular readers of our blog will remember this post, What are the benefits of Destination Control? In this week’s post we have provided two examples of Destination Control one in the form of ‘before and after’ videos and the other in the form of a statistical comparison for a lift traffic simulation of a theoretical building with 10 floors above ground and served by a group of 5 lifts.

Please watch this video. The video is a great example of the impact a Destination Control system can have on passenger traffic.


Lift traffic analysis comparison of Destination Control with Conventional Collective Control.

The two sets of results on the PDF above are for a lift traffic simulation of a theoretical building with 10 floors above ground and served by a group of 5 lifts.

The first page of each set of results details the input data used and it can be seen that in both the values used are identical except for the passenger loading and unloading time.  These have been reduced in the Destination Control simulation to account for the fact that typically people waiting in the lobby will gather outside their assigned lift rather than waiting in the middle of the lobby with conventional control and when stopping on an upper floor a number of people will exit together.

The Passenger Demand graph shows the passenger demand profile and is the same as the classic office up-peak template described in CIBSE Guide D with a peak demand of 15%.

The key results graphs are the “Queue Length”, “Car Loading” and “Average Wait and Time to Destination".

The Queue Length graph shows that during the 5 minute period with peak passenger demand the queue length likely to be experienced with a Destination Control system would be significantly less than with a Conventional Collective Control system which is operating on the point of saturation.

The Car Loading graphs highlight that the Destination Control system manages the passengers in a more efficient manner thereby reducing the maximum number of people in each lift during the peak compared with the Conventional Collective Control where the lift cars fill to the maximum allowed.

The Average Wait and Time to Destination graphs show that for this example the use of Destination Control would result in an average wait and time to destination approximately half of that which could be achieved with Conventional Collective Control.

In summary, Destination Control lifts have the capacity to move more people in a given time period than those with Conventional Collective Control though in some situations the average waiting time may increase.


Dunbar and Boardman is the lift, escalator and access equipment consultancy. Are you currently planning a project that will involve Destination Control? We would be happy to discuss with you. Give us a call on T +44 (0)20 7739 5093 or send us an email via peterboardman@dunbarboardman.com to start the conversation.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Industry Pioneers: Professor Eric Laithwaite - The Father of Maglev


Eric Roberts Laithwaite was born in Atherton, Lancashire on 14 June 1921 and died in 1997. During the Second World War he served in the Royal Air Force and then afterwards studied electrical engineering at Manchester University. In 1964 he became professor of heavy electrical engineering at Imperial College, London and he retired from Imperial in 1986.  In 1990 he became visiting professor at Sussex University. During his career he authored many books and appeared on television many times.

What did he do? 

He was a British electrical engineer who went on create the first linear motor. He lodged his first patent for the design of the linear motor in 1956 and this was to become the major achievement of his career. A linear motor is a motor whose horizontal structure creates a magnetic field capable of propelling objects with friction free movement.  Friction free movement meant the potential for higher speed movement and lower maintenance costs albeit with high costs for the initial construction. He applied this to railway transportation and in the early 1970s, Laithwaite discovered a new arrangement of magnets, a Magnetic River that allowed a single linear motor to produce both lift and forward thrust. This meant that a magnetic levitation or ‘Maglev’ system could be built with a single set of magnets. The linear motor was perfectly suited for Maglev systems. You can watch a demonstration video from Eric Laithwaite here .

In the UK the first commercial Maglev people mover was simply called "Maglev” and officially opened in 1984 near Birmingham on an elevated 600-metre (2,000 ft) section of monorail track between Birmingham International Airport and Birmingham International railway station and travelled at speeds up to 26 mph.  



How does this relate to the Vertical Transportation industry?

Maglev became the basis of many high-speed train projects around the world most notably in Japan. Japan currently operates two independently developed maglev trains. One is HSST by Japan Airlines and the other is SCMaglev run by the Central Japan Railway Company.  Recently the vertical transportation industry has been considering how Maglev systems could be used to move elevators side to side in building as well as up and down as illustrated by the diagram of ThyssenKrupp’ s MULTI  elevator.


Dunbar and Boardman is the lift, escalator and access equipment consultancy. Are you currently planning a project that will involve vertical transportation? We would be happy to discuss with you. 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.

Image credits:
Professor Eric Laithwaite – Imperial College, London
ThyssenKrupp’ s MULTI  - ThyssenKrupp

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Who built the world’s first underwater elevator?


For many people the words underwater elevator will conjure up images of one of James Bond’s adversaries, Karl Stromberg in The Spy Who Loved Me. He had many elevators in his Atlantis structure and sent his enemies to certain death via a trap door that dispatched them into a pool of sharks. Sharks can also be seen at the world’s first underwater elevator at The Deep in Hull, United Kingdom The Deep, an education and conservation charity is home to over 3,500 fish and other marine life and is one of Hull’s most popular tourist attractions. The Deep opened in 2002. As part of a five elevator contract Otis Elevator Company provided the vertical transportation including a glass elevator that rises up through the aquarium. 

Who designed it?

The elevator system was designed and incorporated into The Deep building by award-winning English architect Sir Terry Farrell.  At the time of its opening Farrell said of the project,  "Otis engineers did a fine job of creating this unique transportation system and the elevator journey is now part of the overall experience of visiting the submarium," said Farrell.

Didier Michaud who was then managing director of Otis United Kingdom, provided the Otis perspective when he said, "We were presented with a challenging opportunity of designing, developing and installing a vertical transportation system that allows visitors to view life under water," said. "It was an unusual request for which our engineers found the perfect solution."

How long did it take to install?

The custom-designed panoramic elevator, with a curved acrylic wall and bubble top, was installed in 18 weeks.

What is the technical specification?

The elevators travel up through a transparent tube for a distance of 10 metres or 33 feet. The elevator pauses halfway through to allowing passengers a 360-degree view of marine life that includes the aforementioned sharks, stingrays, moray eels and thousands of other species of sea life. The system has a load capacity of 1,350 kilograms (2,970 pounds) and travels at a comfortable 1.0 meter per second (200 feet per minute). Tourists enter the cab at bottom, or ground level, of the aquarium. 

Are there any similar structures?

In 2004, two years after the opening of The Deep a new Aquarium with an elevator was opened in Berlin, Germany. It was named the AquaDom.  The AquaDom is a 25 metres high tall cylindrical acrylic glass aquarium.

Are you planning any showpiece elevators (underwater or otherwise) as part of projects that you are working on? We would be happy to discuss with you. Dunbar and Boardman is the lift, escalator and access equipment consultancy. 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.


Image Credits:

Children image – Image Credit - The Deep

AquaDom image  - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AquaDom