Elevator Blog - Fun, quirky, interesting and informative.
Retrofit Elevator Solution. As I was prepping a wall in my home for much needed improvement, I came to a startling truth. People follow what was done before even if it isn’t the best solution. That thought came to me as I started pealing layers of old construction off the oak studs from our 19th century farmhouse. There was a layer of quarter-inch drywall, followed by half-inch drywall under that. Those were on top of wood paneling and then plaster and lathe. Quite a difficult and messy job to bring it back down to the studs.
But, while prying, cutting, hammering and hacking through the various layers, I noticed several flocks of nails and screws tightly patterned in clusters. Like in the picture a half-dozen nails and screws were all in a three-inch area. The funny thing was that in most cases, none in the group ever hit one of the studs. Obviously, prior workers just saw where previous nails were used. They then figured if they put another one in the same place, they would hit something.
In most cases they were absolutely wrong. The original lathe was securely nailed down with a thick layer of plaster smeared into place, but after that layer it was guess work. A follow the leader mentality. It seemed as if they saw a nail or two and then would follow up with more hoping everything would hold okay.
We see that a lot in the modular elevator industry. Follow the leader is used constantly when choosing the elevator for a project. Not much thought is given, it is just hammer in another nail or turn another screw no matter the implication. It really doesn’t matter if you miss the mark just go with the flock. Why pick the best option or explore a bit more, before you start pounding away.
The result is the best solution to vertical transportation is not tried but, the status quo is the accepted norm and little additional consideration is given. This is despite, especially for retrofit projects the MEM system is always best. It is the perfect retrofit solution because is goes in easiest with the least interruption. It also takes the elevator off the critical path and places it on your timetable, when you want it delivered. Also, it can be added to the exterior or placed in the middle of a building by means of a roof penetration and holes cut at each floor.
Lastly, these are high-quality commercial elevators that are completely factory installed in the hoistway. It arrives onsite with doors, wiring, rails, cab and even elevator buttons installed. It is then craned into place in less than a couple hours.
When power is supplied the modular elevator is then turned on. Then it is setup in a process that takes less than a week. The MEM system is suitable for any low to mid-rise project making it perfect for most retrofit projects. It can of course be used for any new construction as well, traditional or modular.
I can tell you from experience nothing is more frustrating than pulling a fist full of nails out of one small section of drywall. That is especially true when none of them hits the mark. I feel you can avoid the same kind of frustration by giving us a call. Let us help you explore the better option for vertical transportation. If you have a project in mind and would like a thumbnail number, just click the link below. You will get a budget number in less than 24 hours.
If you would like to see behind the curtain we can give you a peak. We will let you see how we produce our retrofit elevator solution, in a live virtual tour. Just click below and let us know when you are available.
New York elevator set over the holidays. While most businesses slow down between the last couple weeks of December and January 1, MEM’s schedule picks up. That slow period for most (especially schools) is the perfect time to install a complete elevator in less than four hours with the MEM system. Because they install so quickly there are minimal interruptions that you will find with traditional elevators.
A great example is a project we just set in New York. The Ateres Girls School was a perfect fit for us. The MEM system for the school is an above-ground hydraulic unit with a 25000lb. capacity and 16′ travel distance. It went in easily and smoothly.
That not only speaks to the product and our production team, but also the professionals at Nadler Modular that led the project. They made sure everything was ready and therefore the project went off without a hitch.
A modular project is not a requirement. Even with the elevator placed on the exterior of the building, that is not a always necessary for our elevators. MEM elevators can be placed in any type of construction project. And be placed on the exterior or interior. If you are looking for a vertical transportation solution for any low or mid-rise application we have what you need.
To make MEM a part of your next project just click the link to find out more or get a FAST TRACK QUOTE.
Elevator Winterization – Oh the weather outside is frightful…is your elevator ready to let it snow, let it snow, let it snow? As a chill fills the air in most of the US and Canada, it is a good question. Is your elevator ready for cold temps and inclement weather? This blog has always been about all things elevator including how to take care of them and keep them operating at peak performance. As a result, cold seasonal temps should be addressed. So consider giving your building the holiday gift of elevator winterization.
The holiday season is the perfect time to consider some of the following items. Some of the tips may be part of routine maintenance or you might be Florida, however these are things to consider regardless:
The above is just a short list you can talk over with your elevator maintenance company. If they are not responsive, give you grief or want to charge more for a simple winterization check up…you got the wrong company. Follow through on firing them as soon as you can.
You are responsible for the safe operation of your elevator and the above list will help, but you have to have a willing partner. It is always a good idea to line up maintenance now than dealing with someone stuck, especially when it is cold outside. Be proactive so your elevator can give you years of reliable service. Remember as long as you love your elevator so, you can say let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Happy Holidays from Modular Elevator Manufacturing!
Not going to say much here, but lots of the above steps can be interrupted by purchasing an elevator that has proprietary parts and components or use proprietary tools. Never, let me repeat, never purchase an elevator with proprietary parts and tools. It is a scam and a rip off to increase your costs and the elevator company’s profits in the long run. Secondarily, never purchase a building with an elevator with proprietary parts. It is largely an unseen future expense that will drive up costs for maintenance agreements.
We at MEM never use proprietary parts and tools. Contact us to find out the reasons why. You can also get a Fast Track Quote by clicking the link below. Lastly, if you are interest in the least, set up a live virtual tour of our facility. You can ask any question you want and find out for your self how we are taking you higher with high-quality commercial elevators.
Cold Slows Elevators – An old saying that we use in the Midwest is, “You’re as slow as molasses.” To put a finer point on it we say, “You’re slower than molasses going up hill.” An even further expanded use for the most turtle like folks is, “You’re slower than molasses going up hill, in a snow storm.” As we all know cold slows everything down. And get this, it turns out cold slows elevators too.
I am not saying that cold weather will reduce the functionality of an existing elevator, although it can happen. Usually you press the button and the elevator will show up as expected. But what I am trying to say is that when adding an elevator to a project, cold weather halts the progress of an elevator installation. This happens in a couple of ways.
Traditional elevators require a site built hoistway. In cold temps building one can be a massive challenge. The challenge is both in poured concrete and cmu block construction.
Concrete definitely is a problem child in the winter for shaft or hoistway construction. Pouring concrete is often halted in the colder climates when temps drop in the US and Canada. If it is done anyway the results are often spotty at best. Darrell Bailey from Morton Building, a firm that specializes in metal buildings said, he has seen people try to pour concrete in bad weather with horrible results. He said, “It will freeze and bust. You just can’t pour on frozen ground,” and “that means you are stuck until things thaw out.”
Sometimes warming the ground with black plastic or concrete blankets can work. But if that fails, additional costs must be expended to redo the work. The other option is to change up the mix of the concrete. A chemical accelerator such as calcium chloride can be used. But that does not mean your cold problems are over. The jobsite pour has to be cured for around a week meaning more blankets or black plastic. In extreme cases heating and hoarding is your only option. If you fail, the structure can heave or have chucks of concrete pop off.
With CMU (concrete blocks), you really shouldn’t proceed in a temperature below 20°F or when the the blocks contain frozen moisture, visible ice, or snow on the surface. That stops a lot of building, especially elevator hoistways. I have personally heard of projects where they pushed the envelope and suffered the consequences when they had to tear down the hoistway and start again.
On the other hand, modular building shakes off cold concerns. The work is completed inside a factory. Bad weather? No problem. You do not need to supply a concrete or CMU block elevator shaft on site. The modular elevator includes the hoistway! It doesn’t matter how cold it is outside, our elevator will be produced on schedule.
The hoistway is not the only problem. One of the worst feeling on earth is when you are turning a wrench in freezing temps and it slips. Ouch! A knuckle buster is bad enough in sunny weather but in the cold? My hands ache just thinking about it. I can have empathy for the elevator installer in cold weather, but that empathy fades a bit when you realize contractually major companies won’t install in cold weather. What?
That’s right, often in the “Job Conditions” section of the contract you signed, you will find language that restricts elevator installation to a comfortable minimum of 55°F (13°C). That’s right, they don’t work in the cold leading many to believe that elevator crews watch the thermometer more than the time clock. If temps drop below the magic number, all you will hear is tires squealing in the parking lot and all you will see is a cloud of dust.
But there is a good reason and they are not being big babies about cold hands. The traditional elevator installation is the problem. For an elevator installation the old-fashioned way the elevator must be working. They ride the elevator up and down while they are cobbling all the pieces together. Because the minimum temp for elevator operation is 55° that is the line between being on the clock or not. If it is below that temp, it can void the warranty.
That doesn’t seem like too big a deal right? Until you look into average temps according to the National Climate Report from NOAA. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin it is only above the 55°F mark five months out of the year. The average annual temp is 47.7° in Wisconsin. Also, surprisingly the average temp in the continental US is a chilly 54.4°. The problem is bigger than you think. This could mean delays as the building must in some cases be largely finished before the elevator crew shows up at all. Good luck getting a job done on time.
A modular elevator is completely installed in a hoistway and in a factory! It can be cold or hot, wet or dry outside and it simply does not matter. Your elevator will be completely installed in the factory. When it arrives at the jobsite, it is not installed so to say, but set in place. The setting process takes about 4 hours at most.
Once power is provided all that is left is to turn the elevator on and set it up. A process that takes a couple days. The reason for the short timeline is that all the components are inside and ready to go. It does not matter if it is a freight elevator or a simple elevator with a small capacity. They are all equally as easy to set and start up in no time.
So why use any other method than the MEM modular elevator system? We wonder that too. If you are tired of the excuses and delays it is time to contact us for questions and pricing. We will even schedule a live virtual tour of our manufacturing facility at your convenience. Just click the link below.
The modular industry as a whole continues to grow and as a result modular elevators rise in popularity as well. For example, in 2019 permanent modular construction surpassed the $250 billion dollar mark in construction starts. It was only $173 billion in 2015. The modular elevator rise in units sold is mirrored at MEM. What was an industry that placed just a handful of units annually, has now grown beyond expectations. We have a full production schedule, had to double the factory floor space in 2021 and we are now adding additional shifts to cover the upward trend.
The result of that growth is this month’s blog regarding projects produced a good dilemma to have. In November we had more than just a few elevators to choose from for the project spot light. We hit double digits with ten projects put in place in just the past 30 days. That makes our choice hard for the blog, so we went with photos from several projects. This growth can be attributed to our nationwide efforts, high-quality engineering and a team that supports each and every elevator we put in place.
As the largest producer and industry leader we are excited by our expanding reach as seen in the projects pictured. More and more architects, building owners, design build firms, modular companies and general contractors are exploring their options for low and midrise projects. But we are more than a modular company. Although we have seen a steady rise in modular projects, modular construction remains only a fraction of our mix. Traditional new construction and retrofit applications make up the rest.
We also provide a solution for a wide variety of building types as well. The kinds of projects we set this month include at: a university, a medical, government projects and housing. Each was set on time and in less than four hours. With the MEM system, you get to determine when you want your elevator. Try that with traditional elevators.
So, here is the point. When I started in the modular industry and in particular the modular elevator industry there was a real hurdle of acceptance as an alternative to traditional construction. There was a lot of push back despite modular being greener, faster, more efficient and higher quality. That has changed. Now for low and midrise applications modular is quickly becoming the standard, especially with elevators. Our industry is no longer on the bleeding edge of advancement but the cutting edge, just where everyone wants to be.
If you have a project coming up, have seen modular elevators rise in popularity and want to explore the possibility, just click the button below. We can give you pricing for your project location across the US and Canada. If you want to see behind the curtain and how we produce our modular elevator solution, just click the link for a live virtual tour. It would be our pleasure to show you around and answer any questions.
Record Breaking Year Thank You! – This time of year we cannot help but to look back and see what there was to be thankful for. That at first blush it seems like a difficult chore because 2021 started off rough. Need I tell anyone that? It all began with a continued COVID-19 threat with its evil cousin Delta soon raising its ugly head. There were riots and dissatisfaction. Political problems and the rise of big tech. Inflation worries and supply chain woes still abound. The threat of manufacturing slowdowns even has Christmas looking more like one that Scrooge would approve of, before his reclamation. And yet somehow through it all two momentous earthshattering realities set in.
First, and I hate to say it, but in 2021 Tom Brady proved beyond any doubt he truly is the greatest quarterback of all time. This website that tracks his every success confirms it whether we like it or not. His stats are crazy and he is running out of fingers and will soon have to use his thumbs for all the rings he’s acquired.
Secondarily, and much more importantly I am glad to report, Modular Elevator Manufacturing broke all records for any modular elevator company. That makes us the premier modular elevator manufacturer anywhere. By producing more turnkey, commercial quality elevators than anyone else it qualifies us as the G.O.A.T. of modular elevators if you will. And just like with Brady, MEM’s success takes more than just us.
A company, any company, could not have our kind of success unless it has loyal friends, colleagues and customers (new and old) in ever-growing numbers. We appreciate you and are thankful for you. Too often the shoe of gratitude is on the other foot and we sometimes forget to say thanks as often as we should. Just today we received a great note from a brand new 2021 partner. It said in part:
“As a new trade partner we appreciate your expertise and innovation in pre-fabricated modular elevators.”
Those are rare words. When was the last time that you send a note of thanks to your elevator provider?
Therefore, in this season of recounting what we are thankful for, we here at MEM can say without hesitation we are thankful for you! We thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you and provide you with a great product. We thank you for sticking with us during this turbulent past couple years. We thank you for exploring your options and taking the chance to break away from the old traditional ways of building for new and better. We thank those that have been partners for decades to those that have just discovered us.
We thank you! Happy Thanksgiving!
Turnkey Elevator Solution – The pain points of building a multi-story project are myriad, however one stands out like no other; the elevator. It is one of the most time consuming and often the most costly part of a building project. It can be absolutely maddening. But, beyond that, the way elevators are traditionally installed is not just old-fashioned, but antiquated. I can think of no major product today that has stayed so backwards for so long. Yet, even that is not what is so infuriating. To architects, builders, GCs, design build firms and owners it is the loss of control of the build that hurts most.
Ultimately, control is why there seems to be so much angst, anger and warfare for such a small space. That space or turf will not be surrendered easily because it produces significant income. The result is that monopolistic control must be maintained. So before I get to how specifically a turnkey elevator is the solution lets look at how the big name elevator companies control the process.
Through the above controls and others, the elevator is mystified and complicated. The process is likewise extended and obfuscated. One of the biggest complaints is that people are kept in the dark. From the site supervisor to the property owner they feel they are out of the loop with few alternatives.
So the question is, would you like an easy solution that is an alternative that puts you in control? If yes, we have an alternative and good news. We provide a turnkey elevator solution that puts you in charge of the elevator in the following ways.
The above places control where it belongs, in your hands.
The difference in the process and outcome are huge. The traditional method is slow and controlling. The turnkey elevator is fast and easy. But how? What makes our process, placement and installation so revolutionary? In a nutshell a traditional elevator system takes roughly the same components of a modular elevator and installs them onsite. Mechanics carry them one piece at a time into a crowded hoistway. It is assembled like a ship in a bottle; impractical, slow and laborious.
Our turnkey elevator is produced in a factory where a perfect hoistway is produced out of tough steel. It is then wrapped in drywall for code compliance. All the elevator components are subsequently installed in the factory. All go in the hoistway and get ready for delivery. Weather and other site conditions do not matter in our process.
The elevator then gets delivered on a truck or trucks for your low to mid-rise project. It is ready to be craned into place. The process takes about four hours or less. Once power is supplied we return to start the elevator up. A week later you have a fully functioning elevator ready to be used. They can even be used as a construction elevator.
So, if you are tired of elevator companies trying to control your jobsite it is time to contact us. We will help you take back control of your site and costs. We will provide a no nonsense conversation, including pricing. Just click the link below for a Fast Track quote. To take a closer look at what we do to provide the best turnkey option schedule a live virtual tour. The control is in your hands.
Glass Elevator Easy for Experts. Its not that hard…if you know what you are doing. That bit of wisdom has been lost on many, but I am reminded of it every time I see a true expert at work. You can find them all over the place if you keep your eyes pealed. They come in nearly every line of work. For instance, I watched a tree trimmer reduce a maple tree 50″ at chest height to a stump in a matter of minutes. Unbelievable. I have seen crane operators with less than an inch to spare drop elevators into place as gently as a feather touching the ground. Astounding. They are experts. I, just a mere slack-jawed observer agog.
The key is to find the experts. And in the world of elevators that can be difficult. The reason for the difficulty is not some grand conspiracy. It is that an elevator is complex and that complexity is broken down into several job types with traditional elevator construction. So, you have the pit being poured by experts in concrete. Others build the hoistway. Finally, the elevator is being carried into the hoistway one piece at a time and then cobbled together (sounds crazy I know).
Modular elevators on the other hand consolidate the various aspects of the elevator build into one easy process for you. And at MEM with our system you have a personal project manager to assist in every step. For instance, we don’t pour concrete, but we provide an easy to use template and make sure of the dimensions. We build the hoistway and install all of the components in our factory. You get updates on progress.
It is extremely rare for crossover like this in the elevator industry. And, that crossover can only come with experience. With that even a glass elevator is easy with experts from MEM.
As an example the MEM system was use to finish a stunning, cutting edge design of seven repurposed cargo containers adjacent to a championship soccer stadium at the Great Park in Irvine, California. The architectural drawings included at glass elevator. Modular Elevator Manufacturing was called in to handle the details, put the elevator in place ready to receive the glass in less than four hours and have it started up and running completely finished inside and out. We proved that a glass elevator is easy for experts.
So, if you are wanting a beautiful glass elevator to enhance any project, but not sure where to start, start with MEM. The MEM system allows for ultimate creativity that will actually keep the elevator off the critical path saving you precious time. Remember, we are the only high-quality commercial elevator that sets in four hours or less ready to receive the glass and starts up in a week. Our knowledge about glass elevators is beyond compare as we have placed more modular glass elevators than anyone else in the nation. We are elevator experts.
So, make your next glass elevator easy! First, to get the process started just click the Fast Track button below. By doing so we can get you thumbnail numbers in about a day. Second, if you are a little interested, but still not sure about our product, you can schedule a Live Virtual Tour of or facility. We will pull back the curtain and show you how we can accomplish what some people call amazing.
During the tour we will answer any and all of your questions.
Above all, you will be able to see first hand how we produce the MEM system. Just click the Live Virtual Tour button below.
6 Reasons Modular Quality Matters – We have all been frustrated by low quality. Items purchased in good faith sometimes seem to break before they come out of the box. Or once out of the box, they look or perform nothing like what was pictured or promised when we bought the item. Instead of being happy with the purchase, words like cheap and flimsy cross our lips, meaning that we have been had. The more expensive the item, the more remorse follows.
However, in the modular industry quality is high because we take an antiquated process where onsite construction is the norm and move it to a production facility. What was then built by various people, in various trades, in various conditions becomes an orchestrated symphony of production. Historically poor quality and high cost is moved to a factory where exact processes and standards can be measured and accomplished. The modular process takes various acts of individual quality to a habit of success. For instance, our factory produced hoistways are always plumb and level. That is simply due to our factory processes that cannot be accomplished on the jobsite and it shows.
“Quality is not an act, it is a habit.”Aristotle
As Aristotle said, “Quality is not an act, it is a habit.” And those habits are formalized into higher quality with modular manufacturing. In modular building you will never hear “close enough” or “I guess we will have to make it fit.” It is right every time, because the habits that produce quality are built in.
Unfortunately, there are outliers in some manufacturing facilities. Quality becomes just a slogan. If modular quality matters why do some not improve quality? Procedures are skipped, shoddy workmanship is allowed, new practices are slow to be adopted or worse continued tinkering and “problem solving” doesn’t allow for systems to work. In other words, if you have a team of problem solvers constantly changing the system in an unorganized fashion, the quality will undoubtedly suffer.
At Modular Elevator Manufacturing we make sure changes to procedures are checked and double checked before becoming standard operating procedures because modular quality matters. One person cannot just change something at a whim, even if it is generally a good idea. The procedure must likewise be changed with the whole team being aware of any alterations. That is where habits of quality are formed for the whole organization.
We agree with the Phil Crosby philosophy of quality and as a literal rocket scientist he knew a thing or two about it. He said, “Quality is the result of a carefully constructed cultural environment. It has to be the fabric of the organization, not part of the fabric.” Quality is not posters, or slogans or bright ideas that get used once and then forgotten.
For us quality is a top-down effort and philosophy emanating from senior leadership and permeating the organization at every level. Quality is crucial and should matter that much at every business. It does at Modular Elevator Manufacturing where we take quality seriously.
With that said here are the 6 reasons quality matters for us at MEM. There are probably more but these came to mind:
The entire premise of modular construction is that by instilling factory processes into the construction trade, the industry can produce a higher level of quality, faster and often at a reduced cost. That is what we do at MEM day in and day out. However, when slipshod practices and lack of experience infiltrate the market, quality declines. Then the premise of factory production being better comes under attack.
Whether due to ignorance, no experience or a desire to make a fast buck, when quality is ignored the reputation of the industry gets sullied. The result is a better process that produces a better product (safer, greener and faster) becomes more difficult for the consumer to accept. Who knows how many dollars, how much time and how much energy has been wasted. How many injuries could have been avoided? All due to a very small number of businesses that do not see quality as important.
That is why at MEM we do not think “close enough” is good enough. We know that low-quality has a cost to the industry, the customer and to safety. We strive for quality in all we do. Whether you need a multi-family unit elevator or one for a medical facility, an elevator for a retrofit project or new construction we provide a quality solution.
If you have tried modular elevators before and found that the quality was not as promised, don’t give up. Instead give MEM a try. We live by the above list of 6 reasons modular quality matters. You will not be sold a bill of goods for a fast buck, but instead you will find a partner providing quality you can count on.
If you have a project in mind just click the button below, we can get you budget numbers in less than a day. Of course you can also call us anytime, and have a real conversation with an expert in the elevator industry. We are looking forward to talking to you. You can also click the link for a tour of our facility. Also, we are proud of what we do and how we do it. So, if you are curious schedule your live virtual tour today.
People Stuck in the Elevator – It was storming pretty bad outside the hotel my wife and I were at. All day long red flag warnings were out on the beach, so we decided to stay at the hotel for supper. We were strolling towards the elevator as winds howled outside and I said, “You know, I’ve never been stuck in an elevator.” with a laugh. I pushed the button and she said, “Well you just jinxed us.”
Both of us chuckled a bit and then we heard the inviting and all too familiar “ding” as the doors opened and we stepped onboard. The doors swiftly closed behind us but then the lights flickered and we heard an unexpected clunk.
Obviously the power had been interrupted and as a result the elevators in the entire hotel came to a screeching halt. Not only that, but I am sure all sorts of services were interrupted throughout the property. As we stood there we both knew better than to panic, so we waited.
That episode got me to thinking, if I were in charge of the building what should be done? I write a lot about elevators, but I rarely write on what the building owner or property manager should do when the elevator thuds to a halt. Not that this happens often.
Elevators get stuck rarely in the United States and injuries are even rarer. Especially considering that elevators move nearly the entire world’s population or 10 billion passengers a week. There is the occasional power outage or mechanical problem, but statistically only 1 elevator ride in 12 million or so results is some kind of issue and when it does happen it is extremely minor in nature.
But, my mind could not help thinking about when you are in charge and people are getting stuck in the elevator. What should be done? So, I came up with a list of steps if it ever happens to you. Feel free to borrow or print any of this list and keep it for a reference or reminder. Just remember the most important thing is to make sure the passengers stay safe and you do what you can to get the elevator moving as quickly as possible.
One last thing, everyone on staff should know if you are the auto-dialed, priority call for the elevator car. Sometimes the emergency phones are programmed to contact the non-emergency police or fire department in the local jurisdiction. They can also be programmed to contact your elevator service company directly. No matter who is called automatically, it still does not relieve you of your obligations to the passengers. So find out what floor and open a dialog. It shows you care. Most importantly don’t let people just stand there wondering. If you do they will be thinking more of escape than waiting which is always a danger.
Fortunately for my wife and I the emergency was relatively brief unlike Nicolas White. He spent 41 hours trapped in an elevator. When the power came back on in our case, the elevator system was reset and we zoomed down to the lobby without a further care in the world. We enjoyed a great gourmet meal and had several fun conversation about getting stuck…
But we did take the stairs back to our room.
Sometimes our blog posts are not all about selling elevators, but issues like people getting stuck in the elevator. They are often about general information you might find useful. So, feel free to comment below, ask any elevator questions you would like or follow future blog posts by signing up. However, if you do have a need for an elevator and want to know a general budget number, just click below for a Fast Track number. Also click to take a virtual tour of our facility. You can see for yourself what it takes to produce the best commercial quality elevator that is set in place fully installed in less than four hours. In any case we love hearing from you!
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