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Alimak Hek Introduces New Tower Crane Operator Elevators and Hoists

Alimak Hek elevatorsAlimak Hek launched several new products recently, including two tower crane operator elevators, a medium-range construction hoist, and mastclimbing work platforms.

Alimak developed the internally-installed CabLift with Potain. It can be added to Potain K Mast tower systems 1.6 to 2.45 meters wide and pre-installed on new cranes. A platform at the top of the mast can help create tower sections and ensure that sections of elevator mast fit correctly. Since all of the components are contained within the mast, additional storage, transport, and assembly are not necessary. If power fails, the cabin can descend with gravity. There is also a ladder.

The CabLift’s normal speed is 24 meters per second, but that can be reduced to 12 meters per second. The cabin is accessible through the floor and the roof. It has a capacity of 200 kg, but that can be increased to 240 kg for erecting work.

The externally-mounted TCL has been used on many tower cranes. It does not require any mast modifications and has greater tie distances for reduced assembly times. The mast sections are made from galvanized steel, are 1,508 mm long, and weigh 48 kg. The mast sections have centering notches and captive bolts. The TCL’s capacity and lift speeds are similar to those of the CabLift. Doors can be located on the left or right. The maximum lift height is 90 meters, but that can be increased to 180 meters by mounting the drive motor in the middle instead of the bottom. The cabin is 1.2 meters by 630 mm.

There has been increased interest recently in tower crane elevators due to health and safety requirements in Sweden, the Netherlands, and Denmark, where they are required on cranes more than 30 meters tall. France’s requirement will be reduced from 60 to 30 meters in 2017. Interest is also growing in other countries.

Alimak has introduced the 45/30 medium-range hoist that uses the Scando 450 mast, has similar performance, but costs 20 percent less. It can be used to transport passengers and materials, comes in single and dual car configurations, and has a capacity of up to 2,000 kg per car.

The hoist is available with a Direct on Line or Frequency Control motor system, high-efficiency helical gearbox, and microprocessor control system with stop-next-landing control. The Scando 45/30 has the same payload, load space, and lifting height as the Scando 450, but the speed is 42 instead of 54 meters per minute. The 450 has flexible car lengths and lightweight doors, but the 45/30 does not.

Alimak is almost done with a new range of mastclimbers. It hopes that the new mastclimbers will help it remain a market leader by offering the best technical specifications, prices, and performance. The first model will be the Hek MC 450, which will cost 30 to 35 percent less than the MCM range.

The MC 450 will be available in single or twin mast configurations. Platform lengths will range from 4.2 to 10.2 meters for single mast configurations and 8.4 to 30 meters for twin mast configurations. Platform widths are 1.2 and 2.2 meters for both configurations and have speeds of 8 and 9.6 meters per minute. The first tie position is at 3 meters. Tie distances range from 8 to 10 meters, and the maximum tied lift height is 200 meters.

The MC 450 should be available in December. Developments will be made in the coming months to the centrifugal brake, deck rotators, harness anchor points, anti-collision device, and a web tool to compare the time and cost required for a mast climber to those for scaffolding.

New York Officials Concerned about Elevator Keys Sold Online

1620 elevator keysNew York City’s elevators, construction sites, and subways use universal “1620” keys so that firefighters can gain access quickly in the event of an emergency. Access to the keys is restricted to New York firefighters, law-enforcement personnel, elevator contractors or inspectors, and business owners. The FDNY issues 1620 keys to all firefighters that they are required to return if they leave the force or retire. A city law was amended in 2013 to make it illegal for unauthorized persons to possess 1620 keys.

The keys are now available for purchase online. The New York Post reported that it was able to buy two 1620 keys online from Northeast Lock Corp., based in Clifton, New Jersey, with no questions asked. The Post reported that the keys were able to unlock elevator control panels at a high-rise in Midtown.

The company is selling the keys at $15.50 for two, $7.40 each for up to nine, and $6.66 each for 10 or more. It gives a 10 percent discount on orders over $249.

Firefighters and city officials are concerned about the potential public safety risks that come with the sale of the keys. A person could take over all of the elevators in a skyscraper, send them to the lobby, and trap people in the upper floors. The keys can also control any individual elevator.

The keys open lock boxes at construction sites and other buildings. The lock boxes contain other keys for gates and entrances that are meant to give firefighters access in the event of an emergency. Having the keys readily available leaves buildings vulnerable to theft, vandalism, and sabotage. The keys also open subway entrance gates.

Elevator to Be Built at 86th Street Subway Station in Brooklyn

86th Street subway elevatorNew York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to install an elevator at the R train subway station at 86th Street in Bay Ridge in Brooklyn. Local officials are hailing the move as a positive step that will benefit senior citizens and people with disabilities.

The elevator will probably be installed next to the entrance to the subway station on the southeast corner of 86th Street and Fourth Avenue. It will transport passengers from the street to the mezzanine level of the subway station. A separate elevator will take passengers from the mezzanine to the train platform.

A date for the beginning of construction has not been set. The 86th Street elevator is included in the MTA’s 2015-2019 Capital Plan, which lists all major construction projects the MTA is planning.

Planners involved in the project will have to consider the layout of the street and infrastructure in the area, including underground electrical wires, gas mains, and other equipment. Some reconfiguration will probably be necessary that will change the appearance of the street.

This will be the first elevator at an R train station in Bay Ridge. Over a dozen other subway stations in Brooklyn are already equipped with elevators.

State Senator Marty Golden, who has long championed the idea of constructing an elevator at the 86th Street station, believes it will be a great help to senior citizens and people with disabilities who have trouble using the station’s stairs. He said the Bay Ridge neighborhood has a large population of senior citizens, as well as residents with disabilities.

Grain Elevator to Be Turned into Affordable Housing

Indiana grain elevator housingCommunity members in Noblesville, Indiana have been fighting to preserve the town’s historic grain elevator, which was in the process of being demolished as recently as June. The property owner, the North Central Co-op, has reached an agreement with the Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development (HAND), a nonprofit housing agency, to develop the elevator into affordable housing. The Co-op was in the process of demolishing the elevator and other structures on the property when HAND contacted it and offered to buy the property.

HAND has retained a team of architects led by Darren Peterson and John Dierdorf. The group wants to turn the grain elevator into residential and commercial properties to promote economic development in the Southwest Quad, the neighborhood that lies adjacent to the grain elevator. HAND wants to build a three-story project with 54 apartments, most of which will be income-based, as well as retail space and possibly a parking structure.

The planning is still in the early stages. HAND is inviting the community to give input about how to develop the grain elevator. It is working to obtain funds to buy the property from the North Central Co-op. The group will know by March if funding has been secured and it can move forward. HAND hopes to start construction in about a year and to have people move into the new housing in two years.

The dilapidated wooden and concrete grain elevators on the property have long been considered an eyesore. The North Central Co-op stopped using them last year because local demand for grain had declined.

Some parts of the wooden grain elevator cannot be salvaged, but architects hope to be able to save part of the original 85-foot-tall structure, including the elevator’s foundation and one or two stories. The majority of the structure is unusable. Most of the buildings on the property are in poor condition and will continue to be demolished. The work will be completed by the end of 2015.

The wooden grain elevator was built in 1904 and could hold 350,000 bushels of wheat. The concrete grain elevators were built in 1911, doubling the size of the operation.

The Eighth Street corridor has been struggling due to the decline of the milling industry in the 20th century. HAND and several other organizations have been trying to revitalize the area. It has spent $3 million to redevelop three buildings to create 14 apartments. Work on the last building will be completed this year.

BART Elevators to Get Upgrades

Bay Area Rapid Transit BART elevatorsCustomers who use Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) stations in the San Francisco area have long complained about the cleanliness and smell in many of the elevators. Now BART is planning to take action to correct the problems.

On Monday, August 24, BART began cleaning and replacing the flooring in some of the elevators at stations and parking garages in the Bay Area. BART officials decided to make the upgrades after recognizing that the material currently used in elevators absorbs odors and liquids that can damage the underlying structures.

The plan is to make upgrades to all 127 elevators. The work will be performed in stages and should be completed in December 2016.

Technicians will tear out the existing floors and then clean, disinfect, and repair the entire elevators. They will make repairs to any areas under the floors that have been damaged by urine or other liquids. They will then install new aluminum diamond-plate flooring and completely seal the floors to prevent the same problems from occurring in the future.

BART released a schedule of the first five renovations. Crews will work on the elevator in the Pleasant Hill Station parking garage from August 24 to 28, the Lafayette Station from September 18 to 23, the Walnut Creek Station from September 24 to 29, the 12th Street Station in Oakland from September 30 to October 5, and the 19th Street Station from October 6 to 9. A full schedule of renovations will be provided as information becomes available.

While the upgrades are being made, the elevators will be removed from service. People who need to use the elevators at the stations will need to modify their travel plans during the renovations. BART encourages passengers who need to use elevators to call (510)834-5438 or (888)235-3828 to find out if the elevators at their origin or destination stations will be closed for renovations.

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