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January 2021
OTIS IN LA DÉFENSE, PARIS
At 228 m the future tallest building in France, The Link in the La Défense business district just west of Paris will be outfitted with 60 elevators and "several" escalators by Otis, Otis CEO Judy Marks said during a third-quarter earnings call in October. The project will also include CompassPlus destination-dispatch, eCall touchless and OptiSenseTM traffic-management technology, she said. Developed by Paris La Défense and designed by Philippe Chiambaretta Architecte (PCA), The Link will consist of 50- and 35-story towers "linked" on 30 levels by green walkways atop a common, three-level base. Aiming for the highest environmental certifications, it will serve as headquarters for energy giant Total and house 130,000 m2 of office, restaurant, coworking and amenity space. Delivery is anticipated in 2025.
 
The company’s first SkyRise® double-deck elevators in France are part of a vertical-transportation (VT) system serving the new 150-m-tall Alto Tower, a 38-story office tower developed by Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and La Défense Public Development Agency in Paris' La Défense business district. Designed by IF Architects, the structure has a small footprint at ground level that expands outward as it climbs. This, according to Otis France High-Rise Operation Manager Fabienne Blot, "presented a unique opportunity to showcase our SkyRise double-deck technology, effectively meeting the building's needs while maximizing leasable space." Otis observes its double-deck technology reduces elevator core space by up to 40%. Upon entering the building, passengers log their destinations using CompassPlus, which assigns them to the proper cabs. To access an upper-deck elevator cab, passengers ride one of two Otis escalators. In total, Alto Tower's VT system has 10 SkyRise elevators, including eight double-deck and two heavy-duty units; two Gen2® elevators; and two escalators. Equipped with Otis' EMS PanoramaTM elevator-management system, the SkyRise elevators "are in a unique configuration with the double decks grouped in a single bank, providing point-to-point travel and eliminating the need for a transfer floor," Otis observes. The OEM will also maintain the tower’s VT equipment.

















View from the Alto Tower roof; photo courtesy of Otis
EW EUROPE FOCUSES ON SAFETY
The March-April 2021 issue of ELEVATOR WORLD Europe will focus on safety (products, systems, field/public). Submissions will be accepted through March 2. Bonus distribution of the issue is planned for Ascen.Tec planned for May 28-30 in Paiania, Greece. Contact Bülent Yılmaz for editorial submissions and editorial and advertising inquiries within Europe. Those outside of Europe may contact Angela C. Baldwin for editorial and T. Bruce MacKinnon for advertising.
CHANGING OF THE GUARD, HONORS FOR ZIEHL-ABEGG
German manufacturer Ziehl-Abegg announced that Uwe Ziehl, grandson of company founder Emil Ziehl, has passed the leadership reins to his children, Dennis Ziehl and Sindia Ziehl, who now serve as supervisory board chair and member, respectively. The pair attended more than 80 board meetings over the past several years to prepare for their roles. Dennis Ziehl is also director of ZIEHL industrie-elektronik GmbH + Co. KG, which designs and produces electronic devices, and is a member of the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Uwe Ziehl was also recently presented with the Medal of Economy by Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Minister of Finance and Economy Nils Schmid for Ziehl-Abegg's contributions to the area economy. The company, which manufactures products that include elevator drives, has approximately 4,300 employees, including 2,400 in the Hohenlohe region.
CHEN NAMED KONE CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICER
Amy Chen has joined KONE as chief innovation officer, a newly created position. She most recently served as head of strategy at Volkswagen Group China and has experience in the automotive industry in Europe and China. She is scheduled to start her new position on January 18. Observing Chen has a "strong track record of innovation in digitization, electrification and shared mobility," KONE Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Maciej Kranz said Chen will be charged with driving and coordinating KONE’s innovation initiatives. "She will partner closely with teams across KONE, as well as with our customers and partners globally, to accelerate and expand the range of innovations from research and market engagements and customer co-creations to products and services,” Kranz said.
LIFTINSTITUUT ADVISES ON POST-BREXIT PRODUCT MARKINGS
With changes brought forth by Brexit set to become a reality, manufacturers of elevators and safety components have been raising questions about what this means for their products. Notified Body Liftinstituut is offering specific guidance for the process, and is advising EU manufacturers that, although their products will need to carry a U.K. Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking (instead of the current CE marking) as of January 1, 2021, a yearlong transition period (until December 31, 2021) will allow CE markings to remain in use. However, EU certificates issued by the U.K. will not be valid, so they will have to be reissued within the EU to remain valid during 2021. After that, products used in the U.K. must carry the UKCA marking. Liftinstituut, based in Amsterdam, is working to receive approval to offer EU and UKCA certificates for the same product, and notes that the difference between an EU certificate and UKCA marking "is negligible."
CIBES LIFT GROUP ACQUIRES U.K.'S TITAN ELEVATORS
Gävle, Sweden-based Cibes Lift Group has acquired Titan Elevators of Sidcup, U.K., Global Legal Chronicle reported on December 15. The move is to strengthen Cibes' presence in the London area and mark an expansion of its U.K. business by adding modernization services and high-speed lifts to its offerings. Titan Elevators services include lift installation, repair, modernization and maintenance, but the company also offers bespoke and standardized lifts for various applications. Since its founding in 1997, Titan Elevators has experienced a growing customer base in the London and Home County areas. A specialty is the company's custom solutions in the luxury segment of the high-speed lift market. Cibes Lift Group is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of space-efficient lifts for both home and business use.
AI PARTNERSHIP TO IMPROVE SCHINDLER ESCALATOR SAFETY
Schindler has entered into a partnership with Chinese AI company SenseTime to develop the Escalator Passenger Behavior Safety System, multiple news outlets, including China Daily, reported on December 8. In announcing the partnership, Schindler said multiple AI technologies, from object detection and behavioral recognition to density analysis, will allow escalators to recognize when passengers engage in dangerous activities, such as boarding an escalator with bulky luggage, wheelchairs or strollers. The system will use voice prompts to warn passengers not to board the escalator and use an elevator instead. It will also raise alarms regarding overcrowding to prevent stampedes. The system will employ cameras mounted above escalators to provide real-time video streams, which are analyzed by SenseTime’s algorithm. An equipment operator will receive an alert, and can stop the escalator and send assistance, if needed. In addition, the system will support operational efficiency by controlling activation and deactivation of building vertical-transportation equipment. Schindler said the system is being rolled out in China, but expects the service to see global demand.
CTBUH RESEARCH COMPETITION, LETTER FROM CHAIRMAN
Students who have an interest or career goal involving urban design, particularly with a focus on tall buildings, are invited to enter the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2020 Student Research Competition. The contest asks students, working in groups under the guidance of a professor, to “focus on a relevant research question and create an engaging output as a response,” with the winning group receiving US$5,000 to fund a research project based on its entry. This year’s competition requires the proposals to directly relate to the topic, “Sustainable Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.” Entries can come from any topic or discipline, and the students may interpret the theme, outline how their research will address it and describe how the award will be used to support the project. CTBUH says the objective of the competition is to give students a chance to involve themselves in detailed academic research. Proposals are due by noon CST on February 3, 2021. The winning proposal will be announced on February 24, 2021, with the group to launch its project in mid-2021.
 
CTBUH Chairman Steve Wattsand partner of Alinea Consulting recently penned a letter on the success of CTBUH’s first-ever virtual conference on November 17, 2020. Subtitled “Post-Crisis City,” the event is to serve as a template to “evolve the future model of CTBUH activities, which I’m sure will be a greater mix of the physical and the virtual — with the former hopefully involving a greater degree of local and regional get-togethers,” he added. Additionally, the organization has “soft-launched” its new website, designed to deeply integrate member pages and activities, resources, CTBUH’s tall building and urban database and other initiatives. Finally, Watts pointed to major CTBUH hires coming up in 2021, along with a new membership structure and benefits proposition, a new accreditation program, the creation of international model tall building codes and more.
KONE, THYSSENKRUPP ELEVATOR ON ENVIRONMENTAL "A LIST"
CDP, a nonprofit that rates global companies for their environmental efforts, has named KONE and thyssenkrupp Elevator among vertical-transportation (VT) companies placed on its "A Lists." The two companies were recognized for their efforts in taking on climate change. More than 5,800 companies worldwide were scored on climate change, forests and water security disclosures, and only 313 — the top 5% — made at least one of the A Lists. KONE, responding to the announcement, noted its intent to significantly cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and have carbon-neutral operations by 2030. thyssenkrupp Elevator said its sustainability efforts involve environmentally friendly manufacturing, and that it is committed to reducing CO2 emissions, targeting a 25% reduction in carbon footprint by 2030 and a 50% cut in GHG emissions by 2040. Two other VT companies, Mitsubishi Electric and Hitachi Building Systems, both headquartered in Japan, were also named to the lists. The complete rundown of company scores can be found at the CDP website.
U.K. METRO ESCALATORS TO GET UV-C TREATMENT
Thirty-six escalators on the Tyne and Wear metros in the U.K. will be outfitted with devices that treat them with UV-C light in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, ChronicleLive reports. Nexus, which operates the system linking South Tyneside and Sunderland with Gateshead, Newcastle Upon Tyne and Newcastle Airport, said the UV-C devices will be installed in 2021. Nexus said it is following the lead of Transport for London, which had planned to install more than 200 UV-sanitizing devices on 110 London Tube escalators and reported success with an installation at the Heathrow Tube station.
NEW ELEVATOR EASES ACCESS TO ATHENS ACROPOLIS
A new, wheelchair-accessible elevator was put into service at the Athens Acropolis on December 3, according to the Greek Reporter. With its glass cab, the elevator will allow riders to see nearly unobstructed views of Athens. The bottom landing sits at the ancient promenade on the north slope of the Acropolis, and riders are taken directly to the top of the hill. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the elevator is “an iconic project to the global community, on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.” He said the new elevator and new pathways make the Acropolis more accessible to those with mobility difficulties. The new inclined elevator replaces a failure-prone platform lift installed on the side of the hill in 2004.
ESCALATORS TO BE REPLACED AT LONDON TUBE STATION
An escalator-replacement project will close the South Kensington, London, tube station to Piccadilly line commuters for more than a year beginning in late February 2021, IanVisits reported on November 23. All five of the escalators serving the Piccadilly line, which were originally installed in 1973 and are past their designed 40-year lifespan, will be replaced. The escalators are in two banks serving the line, with two units between the ticket hall and a mid-concourse level, and three between the mid-concourse level and the train platform. The units have become unreliable to the point that their replacement is the top priority among the Tube network's escalators. They will be replaced by a new, more-efficient design that has been installed successfully at 25 other Tube stations. The South Kensington station will remain open for the Circle and District lines, but Piccadilly passengers will be advised to use the Gloucester Road station, an 8-min walk away. The project is expected to be complete in early spring 2022.
NEW ELEVATOR LINE FOCUSES ON AESTHETICS
IGV Group SpA of Milan, Italy, has introduced the Ad Hoc elevator line. Calling it ”the evolution of IGV's DNA, which has its own vocation in the special project," it concentrates effort in design in what IGV calls an industry "generally characterized by standardization." The company said it chose Giulio Cappellini as art director to promote the concept of the lift becoming an integral part of architecture.

IGV's goal is making the lift an integral part of architecture.
IGV says it draws from its technical expertise to meet architects' most challenging design requirements.
TRAFFIC-LIGHT BEACONS
E2S Warning Signals, based in West London, recently upgraded its B350TLA and B450TLA traffic-light warning-signal beacons. The former features a compact 100-X-140-mm housing intended for space-constrained applications or mounting directly onto machinery. The larger B450TLA units are 140 X 177 mm. Both were upgraded with an array of 18 high-output white LEDs, which give outputs up to 356 cd. The ultrasonic welded diffused lens determines the output light color (amber, blue, clear, green, red or yellow), which can be reconfigured onsite. There are now seven flash patterns, including a temporal pattern the company says is more effective, in addition to a steady output for status indication.
 
An included connector enables multiple units to be assembled into stacks, and dual pluggable terminals simplify cable installation for looped installations. The operating voltage ranges are 10-14/16-33 VDC and 48-260 VAC/VDC. The 1-Hz flash operating current is only 88 mA at 24 VDC, and the operating temperature is -40°C to +70°C.
 
E2S' STA and STB families of customizable stack signals have also been upgraded with the latest 18 white LEDs. These are UL-approved for general signaling applications such as status indication, security and process control. The STA stacks have a SONF1 compact 100-dB alarm horn sounder to give an integrated audible/visual unit. The STB stacks are beacon-only arrays. Both versions are available with two, three or four units in a stack array terminated in a common junction box via a factory-fitted internal wiring loom to give a single external interconnect point. The UV-stable lenses are available in amber, blue, clear, green, magenta, red and yellow.

The upgraded (l-r) B350TLA and B450TLA, and STA and STB
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