Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Spotlight on Technology: How do you ensure elevator ride quality?



Photo Credit: Physical Measurement Technologies, Inc. 


In our role as consultants for the vertical transportation industry Dunbar and Boardman have overseen many elevator and escalator installations around the world and here in the UK. Once a new vertical transportation system has been installed we are quick to assess the ride quality of all lifts and escalators. This we do by using EVA Vibration Analysis Tools software.

What is the EVA Vibration Analysis Tools software?

The EVA system is the creation of an American company based in Malborough, New Hampshire called Physical Measurement Technologies, Inc. Their product, the EVA-625 Elevator Vibration Analysis system has become the industry standard for the measurement of ride quality, vibration and sound in elevators and escalators. It is used in over 70 countries.

How does it work?

Place the EVA 625 on the floor of the elevator, turn the machine on, press the record button and then take a ride. The system will automatically store the data and will give you readings for ride quality, vibration and sound. Individual components can also be tested via the system. This means that technicians and engineers can take corrective action to resolve problems with ride quality, vibration and sound. In general terms, the quality of installation and service can be improved dramatically.

The EVA System in the UK

In the UK and across Europe one company is responsible for the sale and support for the EVA system. That company is called Eurogears. Eurogears are based in Rochester in the county of Kent. Eurogears Ltd was founded in 1990 & provide on-site engineering, power transmission & mechanical engineering services in addition to  being the European distribution partner for Physical Measurement Technologies, Inc.

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 need help ensuring ride quality for your vertical or horizontal transportation system? 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, 30 October 2014

Spotlight on Innovation: What is Whispering Windows Technology?


                                                        Photo credit: Nock Agnecy

Whispering Windows Technology is the creation of a British company called Feonic. Whispering Windows Technology is ‘invisible audio’ technology that allows music or public announcements to be played via walls, floors and ceilings. Feonic’s products use a smart material that changes shape in a magnetic field. Originally developed for sonar devices for the US Navy this material is now commercially available. Feonic patented their technology in 2002 and created SoundBug, the first of their invisible audio products in the same year.

How does Whispering Windows Technology work?

The products use the use the unique force created by the change in shape of this smart material to vibrate structures such as floors, glass windows, Endcaps, mannequins, shelves and walls. This creates highly intelligible wide bandwidth sound. A Whispering Window is small and easily hidden and so it appears to members of the public that windows or walls are producing the sound and they continue to be amazed by this when they come into contact with the technology.

What are the Benefits of Whispering Windows Technology?

* Shop window displays can be made more interesting and engaging with the addition of Store Window Display Speakers

* Consumers see thousands of marketing messages each day and remember very few of these messages. Using Whispering Windows Technology will virtually guarantee that any message associated will be remembered.

* Routine visual displays can become multi-sensory experiences that deliver more impact and attract new customers. There is empirical evidence to substantiate this statement. For example, in the UK a retail store called Peter Jones experienced a 40% increase in sales during the first week that Whispering Windows was used to promote its range of products.

How does this relate to the Vertical Transportation Industry?

Whispering Windows Technology can he applied to elevators, escalator walls, lift shafts. It could also fitted into Inclinators and Travelators. The image accompanying this post shows City Airport in London. The Whispering Windows Technology has been installed onto the lift shaft on behalf of a client, Credit Suisse*. Members of the public were amazed to hear jungle sounds as they travelled up the escalators and were drawn to the advertisement.

Where else can Whispering Windows Technology be used?

Public Address Announcements at train stations or in the marine environment.

* Professional Audio Sound Zones. Music can be performed live or DJs can perform and the sound transmitted via invisible audio to an appreciative audience. The quality of the sound is much better than traditional speakers.

* Home sound systems. The technology can be used to re-define high quality surround sound with the added benefit of creating invisible speakers.

* Marine Speakers for yacht entertainments systems and waterproof speakers for outdoor use such as a wooden deck can be created using the technology.

* Vandal Proof invisible speakers can be installed in environments where aesthetics and security are important. Museums, galleries and listed buildings are good examples of this kind of installation.

* Outdoor Living - Whispering Windows can also be used outside. Invisible audio can create weather and tamper resistant music systems – great for bars and restaurants that utilise outdoor spaces.

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 Whispering Windows 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.


*Designed and installed by the Nock Agency

To find out more about Whispering Windows visit the website.

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.