MEM Cuts Costs as Interest Rates Rise/ Interest rates are on a roller coaster ride and that roller coaster is heading up. This is a very real, and can be a very damaging problem for the US economy and the construction industry. As the chart below demonstrates the march higher began prior to April of 2022 and continues to this day. The purpose is to slow inflation to around 2% by putting downward pressure on economic activity through Federal Reserve rate hikes. In other words if money becomes too expensive, then industries such as construction will slow. The economy does not shift at a whim especially when all the forces are aligned for inflation at this time regardless of Fed policy. The point is that this maybe a long trend and not just a blip. Inflation has been very sticky and continues to be.
So what can be done in the construction industry to combat high interest rates that maybe here for sometime? Borrow less. Our industry engages in long-term commitments and obligations with slim margins. That applies more pressure as we build, meet payroll and see operating costs explode as simultaneously financing those costs increase. Suddenly, we grasp for every potential savings available by trimming general costs and seeking alternatives.
The right alternative is a commercial quality elevator that has a long-term history of success and that can replace the need for a construction elevator on the jobsite. By consolidating the tasks of a permanent elevator and a construction hoist, costs can be significantly reduced. But, only an elevator fully installed at the beginning of the project and ready for start up early on can meet the need.
The MEM Elevator System can cuts costs as interest rates and inflation holds firm. Below are just two recent projects that we just finished installing where the permanent elevator doubled as the construction hoist. Not having to employ a construction elevator can reduce costs immensely. This option is not just a way to save during inflationary times, but just smart business.
In both cases the elevator unit or MEM System was placed early in the project. The system is designed to be self-supporting, so it is placed and awaits power, set up and inspection. Placing the fully installed elevator takes less than four hours and the set up portion of the project is usually less than a week in total hours. This makes it not only plausible to save significantly, but a certainty of reducing costs.
As you can see from the photo the elevator operates just like any other construction hoist with a set call box for access. We also go to great lengths to protection the cab interior. Protective panels and wraps are in place during the build. You can also see that it is not a project dependent on any one type of construction method. the MEM System is at home in modular construction to stick built applications.
Additional project savings are due to fact that the MEM Elevator System arrives with the elevator fully installed in the factory produced hoistway. This includes elevator doors and frames. That means no call backs on tape and mud crews, painters and flooring contractors. It is estimated that $40,000 per elevator opening can be saved on most jobs.
If you want to find out more about how choosing the right elevator cuts costs click below. You can either get a thumbnail budget number for the MEM System for your next project or, your can schedule a live virtual tour. During the tour we will pull back the curtain, so you can see how we produce the best elevator solution for all mid and low-rise applications.
Elevator Poll Results In / Oct, 2023 – When it comes to polls the type you hear about most are of the political variety. I hate to say it, but those polls usually have a hidden purpose. They are not very straight forward and often try to lead to specific predetermined conclusions. Prognostication or propaganda? We approached our first of its kind elevator poll in a much different fashion. We actually wanted to know the truth about what construction professionals really had to say about elevators.
As a result we sent our simple five question poll to nearly 20,000 construction professionals from architects and engineers to project managers and elevator companies. We then took 12 months to gather and analyze results. Our purpose was to gauge and discover impressions, problems, shortcomings and possible solutions.
We also held multiple open forums and are now ready to share final results.
Our desire is to improve an industry that has not substantially changed in how it installs elevators or deals with the construction industry for over 150 years. To make improvements we wanted to start with actual information from the people that deal with elevators and have to live with the challenges they present.
After all, our goal is to lead an elevator revolution. You can’t lead anything unless you know where you are going. And knowing where you have been is also a big help.
As mentioned before to augment the polling data we also held a series of open forums regarding the elevator poll and industry concerns. The opportunity for input was vital because for a revolution to take off it must start with a well founded idea. But as the idea grows, connections are created and communication with like-minded individuals and companies come together. Then you can have true innovation and change.
The open forums discussed the results of the elevator poll, confirmed our suspicions and we connected through communication with folks that want the same thing; a responsive elevator industry that provides solutions not obstacles.
Everyone involved (including elevator professionals) want to change the practices and products for the better. So what are the findings?
You can access each individual graphics below by clicking on them. Using the polls and with the help of our open forums we came to some important conclusions for the elevator industry and how it is viewed by the construction industry as a whole. But don’t take our word for it. We encourage you to look at the graphics and add your comments below as to what your impressions are. Forward this to others for their input. As time goes by we can enhance our perspective. This is because we are searching for truth and not trying to promote a specific perspective. We feel communicating and continued analysis will help both industries (construction and elevator) improve.
The responses and discussion groups revealed the following:
The overall customer experience is negative regarding the elevator industry. Over 88% feel the experience was horrible to needs improvement. Over 40% felt it was horrible to barely tolerable. No sugar coating it, it is not a good result. However, keep in mind this attitude shifts dramatically depending on occupation or role. 90% of design professionals believe their experience to be generally good. Easy to use websites for plans are a big help. Turns out however, websites can’t install an elevator. This also means that the elevator industry focuses effort on the sale of elevator units, not difficulties of those downline from the decision.
A possible reason for the negative experience is the elevator interrupts job completion. 65% in our poll say the elevator always creates delays. At the end of any build, the pressure is on to finish up. Tensions run high as time is running out. One person we talked with about the frustration said, the elevator company indicated they would have to push out more than 6-months passed the expected occupancy date. Understandably he was apoplectic, but stuck and he knew it. His impression of the elevator industry is forever harmed.
The traditional elevator industry has no solution for the pace of the install. They will be done when they are done and the timelines for the elevator crew are often times at odds with the construction manager’s expectations. Bad communication and unresponsiveness may be the heart of the negative reviews.
The most important consideration regarding the purchase is on time start up and use. But there is no control over that with current industry standards. The conventional elevator is an immovable object stuck on the critical path. That creates a feeling of loss of control or helplessness.
Cost, Type of Conveyance and Structure are also concerns that sometimes present few options for improvement. Too often based on poor specs, builders are over sold regarding conveyance type for the building with hidden costs. Also, cost of the elevator does not encompass all the ancillary aspects of the build, so at the end of the project the actual investment in the elevator is unknown.
How much money per stop is wasted due to call backs of drywallers, flooring and painters? One construction professional has indicated the traditional elevator cost him $30,000 to $40,000 more per stop due to call backs of other trades. He found another alternative.
Good News! There is flexibility as no one polled automatically keeps the same elevator company due to past experience. This means change is possible. However, pushing the choice of elevator to the bidding process leads to specs that stifle innovation. As we have learned and discussed in our forums, elevator companies largely ignore the specs anyway. They supply bid packages with tons of caveats and wherefores, not even addressing specs. So why push the decision out to or past the bid process where you are now under more of their control?
By the time you are passed the bid phase, it is often too late to consider other alternatives without additional costs. All hope of innovation is gone. Ultimately, construction professionals are often locked into just a couple bad choices. It also sets in stone an unfavorable timeline for project completion.
Difficulties – Start up is the elephant in the room. It is a huge issue, but out often out of anyone’s control, including the elevator installer, especially regarding inspection and final approval. Cost overruns are a huge and constant issue. Also, the lack of communication costs time and money on the project. One example provided was the inspection of the elevator was pushed by the general contractor to be expedited. This led to the elevator being fully ready… but life/safety aspects of the building were still not complete. That meant a failed inspection and then change orders to return for a second scheduled inspection. Open communication would have resolved that issue before it became one.
This poll and open forums lead to a great starting point for the construction industry to begin to change how it views elevators and all the pitfalls. It also gives Modular Elevator Manufacturing and others in the elevator industry the perfect opportunity to change the industry from the inside out. In the next blog post, we will get into the specifics of how the elevator industry can change to improve its image, product and installation.
We will continue to discuss how a revolutionary way of dealing with real issues can improve your projects, reduce headaches and can lead to a better way of building. Elevators will never be problem free, but they can be improved and that is our hope as we lead an Elevator Revolution.
In the mean time if you want to know more about the MEM Elevator System please let us know by clicking a link below. You can take a virtual tour of our factory where we openly discuss our process and the elevator industry. You can also request a Fast Track Quote if you have a project in mind and are curious about the solutions we offer. One more reminder – please comment below. Your input is important.
Modular Elevator Inside or Out – One of the most common questions we get asked is, Can you place the MEM Elevator System on the inside of a project? The reason for the question is more than likely what you see most in photographs of modular elevators and on our website elevator on an exterior wall. We tend to do that so people looking at them can clearly see the elevator and that it includes the hoistway.
See, a modular elevator is a manufactured elevator hoistway with all the elevator components factory installed, so showing the hoistway seems to make sense. However, that has led to the common mistake of thinking that they can only go on the exterior of a build.
Most recently two of our elevators were placed at approximately the same time and as you can see in the video below there was one of each (outside and inside). That is probably about the percent when it comes to new construction. Exterior placed elevators probably hold a slim edge, but overall as we produce only high-quality commercial elevators and they can be placed anywhere. This is especially true as they are self supporting structures.
Now when it comes to retrofit projects, where the customer is adding an elevator to an existing structure, we do many more exterior applications. But that is not because of our product. It is due to structural needs and spatial requirements for the project. An exterior elevator usually makes more sense and is a better solution.
In the photographs for this blog post you can see the interior application. In the 5 – story dormitory project at the University of La Verne, you can see our fully installed elevator hoistway going smack-dab in the middle of the building. Not only that, if you look at the conceptual drawing you won’t see even a hint of a hoistway. The duplexed modular elevators were simply placed on the inside of the project.
Also, note that the elevators came in sections. Each section can generally be up to 50 feet in height. But, because of the revolutionary stackable design we are not held to 50 feet or less. As a matter of fact they can be designed for most low or mid-rise applications.
For the La Verne project, the elevators went in during the construction phase. However, due to the flexibility of modular elevator units, they can be set at anytime. For instance, with the interior elevator in the video it could have been placed first, but the project manager wanted the bulk of the project standing before the elevator went in. They just left us a hole and our elevator simply slipped into place. That is less common as most often construction managers like to move the process of craning the elevator into place to the beginning. The set takes place right after the foundation work is completed and the pit is poured. They like to see the elevator portion of the project done and out of the way with only a startup needed.
As you can imagine, a fully installed elevator set in just four hours revolutionizes the elevator and multi-story construction industry. That is especially true if it is at the beginning of the build. Once placed the commercial quality elevator waits for the rest of the project and off the critical path instead of the other way around. When power is supplied it is ready for startup. This means they can be used as construction lifts.
Also remember there are other benefits as well:
For instance there is no need for setting aside space for elevator mechanic tools or components. Modular Elevators are safer than having an open elevator shaft on the jobsite. They are greener as well with less onsite traffic, less scrap and more recycling. The revolution has begun. It is time to consider modular.
If you are impressed with the concept or timeline or have more questions. Join the revolution by clicking the button below. We will provide you a Fast Track thumbnail quote in 24 hours. Feel free to start a conversation by providing some details on an upcoming project. You can also sign up for a virtual live tour. One last thing, a big thanks to our friends at Steinberg – Hart for a great design!
MEM – Leading the Elevator Revolution.
Hospitality Needs the Best Lead Time – Usually, I try to begin a post with a soft approach. It pulls the reader in and makes for a better read. But there is no soft-peddling or easing into this one. Plainly put the MEM Elevator System has the best elevator lead time in the construction industry today. It really is that simple. Once all the preliminary work is complete we can deliver a fully installed, ready to start up, commercial quality elevator in less than 6 months. Crunching that lead time is exactly what the hospitality industry needs (See our latest project at a Disney Resort).
But beyond delivering a fully installed elevator when you need it, when it comes to hotels all your specific requirements can be addressed with the MEM Elevator System. Ultimately, for low and mid-rise projects there is no better option that has the reliability and flexibility you need. This includes all building types including modular, storage containers, stick-built, reinforced concrete or any other type of construction.
We can produce elevator cabs to any specs you wish and glass elevators are easy, for us. The units can be for new construction or retrofit projects. They can be on the exterior of the building or on the interior. Placement doesn’t matter. MEM can provide exactly what you need.
With our process you get your elevator when you need it. A fully-installed high-quality commercial elevator can be placed on your site in less than four hours.
It is a real simple process. We know precisely how long the manufacturing process takes from start to finish. You tell us when you would like the unit or units delivered and we back the start of manufacturing to meet your schedule. That easy.
You keep us updated regarding any changes so there are no surprises. When the start date rolls around we manufacture the hoistway and wrap it in the appropriate amount of drywall per code. Then the elevator rails and entrances are installed. Simultaneously, the cab is being built to your specification. All the wiring is being completed. Then the cab is inserted, final prep is done and your elevator is delivered and ready for start up and inspection.
It is more than time to end all the headaches you face with the elevator portion of your project. There is no reason it has to be so complex and filled with so many problems and delays. We have started a revolution with our design and process so join the revolution.
Click the button for a Fast Track or schedule a LIVE VIRTUAL TOUR.
When we say quality at Modular Elevator Manufacturing, it is not just empty words or a marketing ploy. We really mean it and we wished that everyone would take it as seriously as we do. Like you, we have heard the horror story from a project with a different company where, while the elevator was hovering over the building, an elevator jack literally fell out and plummeted into the pit. It could have killed someone.
The story is shocking and absolutely true. People were in danger. Beyond that when a company puts out a product so poorly built it not only potential can harm people on the job-site it can also harm the modular elevator industry and the modular industry as a whole. We all suffer the black-eye, when quality is not just suspect, but dangerous. But MEM is different and here’s how.
To start with MEM has just been at it longer. We didn’t just pop up out of no where with no construction or elevator experience. Our track record is clear with over 40 years experience in the building industry and a 20 year manufacturing track record of success and safety. We have never – never had anything like the scare of a 300 pound jack falling from the sky. Our installs go in smoothly because we have so much more experience in the elevator industry as a result we are not guessing, but we know how things should go.
MEM elevators are also engineered with safety in mind. Usually when you say safety and elevators you are talking about for the riding public and our elevators are very safe; we never put the general public at risk. But we have engineered our products so they are also safe to install as well. One of the many plusses of the modular industry is that it means safety on the job-site. The heavy lifting and working in cramped quarters is eliminated when the process is moved to the factory. There are plenty of cranes, lifts and working space on the factory floor. Plus there is no working at heights while the shaft is being built like in traditional construction. If poor engineering or lack of care causes components to fall out of a hoistway the benefit of modular goes away. That is why we care about safety and the manufacturing process.
With MEM we understand how important work site safety is and engineer that into each and every elevator we produce. It may take more effort, higher-grade materials and more care when building them, but MEM elevators are built for safety before, during, and after the set and start up.
Lastly, we check every product we manufacture with our one-of-a-kind 10 Point Inspection by a certified elevator technician. Before the elevator is loaded on the truck, we make sure of the following:
Each of the above is a part of a process that produces consistent quality. But, keep in mind that having a is great but, the most important aspect at MEM is that a certified elevator technician is doing the checking and not just any old employee. We have multiple employees that are qualified and capable of checking everything out. We simply cannot vouch for what others are doing, but rest assured we do our best to make sure the elevator you get is the highest quality.
Lastly, we want to assure everyone that despite poor quality from some, modular is the safest and best way to build. Whether you are considering the method for an entire building or wanting to retrofit an existing structure with a safe, fast installing modular elevator, reputable companies in the modular building industry are ready to build faster, greener and most importantly safer.
If you are curious about modular elevators and have a project in mind that you would like a quote for, click the button below. If you want to know more details about the accident that has caused such a stir, contact me at your convenience. I am always more than happy to explain why modular is the best solution and MEM is always quality elevators taking you to a higher level.
Shorten Elevator Lead Time – One the best kept secrets in the elevator industry is the timeline from a contract being signed until the elevator is delivered and then passes inspection. I am no conspiracy theorist, but it seems that no one wants to talk about the subject in the least. See for yourself. Go ahead, I encourage you to search for a source on any platform that tells how long the timeline is for a commercial elevator installation. I’ll wait…
So what are we to do if you want a general timeline for getting an elevator installed in new construction or even a retrofit application? It is kind of important to find out how long generally an elevator takes to install and get running, right? Now, I can tell you how long it takes for the MEM Elevator System, but as a rule in the elevator installing world that is a top secret. As a result, for that information we are stuck with general polling and anecdotal stories. The need for you to know that information is the lack of knowledge does not allow you to compare the facts of the install and puts you at a disadvantage when deciding on the elevator type and company.
Now up front there is not a poll completely on point. However, there are a couple that can give some guidance. There is no denying the timeline when actually applied to projects is a huge problem in light of these polls. One of the polls of construction industry professionals found that 100% of respondents said the elevator “always created major delays” to “usually creates some delays”. In this day, when people rarely agree on anything 100% is astounding. But get this, 0% or none said that the elevator never creates delays. So why do so many respondents think there are delays? Because the timeline for completion is not accurate from the outset or one has not been established or taken seriously by the elevator company.
This result was replicated in another question in the same poll that asked, “What are the biggest difficulties regarding the elevator?” A full 82% indicated that delays in start up were the biggest problem. Am I crazy or does the elevator industry have an issue? Maybe both?
The results could be waved away if it weren’t for so many stories we are hearing from elevator installers, project managers, and building owners. Often they contact us or request a Fast Track Number stating the reason they called was because the lead times from the major companies were so long. They felt they were given every excuse in the book but no solution to delays. They mentioned production delays to manpower shortages as to why the expected delivery date and installation was over a year out. And the timeline for some has even been stated to be in excess of two years.
In an industry that is so slow to respond (as seen in this short video) what are customers supposed to do? Where can the buyers of commercial elevators find the answers they need? Where can they get a reasonable timeline? First, a quick examination of why the delays.
Having a hoistway built first and then sit empty until there is permanent power is lunacy. But this is the general way elevators are installed. Months tick by while nothing is done in a fully finished hoistway. Then once permanent power is provided the elevator installation company arrives. They take over and get in the way of every other trade filling a predetermined area with parts, pieces, tools, and components.
The reason for the need of power is that the elevator has to be operational to install the rails and clips as they use the elevator as a work platform. If the area is not climate controlled and the weather gets too cold or hot, they simply stop work. Try getting an elevator installed in the northern US or Canada without delays if you don’t believe me. An old saying is that in some climates the elevator installer watches the thermometer closer than the timeclock.
Meanwhile as every elevator component has to be carried into the enclosed hoistway and screwed, bolted or cobbled together work is slow, laborious and often unsafe. There is lots of heavy lifting and risk of dropping objects inside the shaft.
Only after all of the work is completed regarding elevator doors and entrances can other trades such as rock and tape crews, painters, flooring installers and exterior finish workers can return to finish the job. In most cases it means more delays usually unaccounted for.
Simply put it is a mess; a slow, plodding, inefficient mess. Beyond that, the completion time of the whole project hangs in the balance because the elevator is smackdab in the middle of the critical path. The elevator shouts, “None shall pass.” at the top of its lungs and the project grinds to a halt. All stops when one hoistway heaves with cold weather, one part is on back order, with one injury in a dark dangerous hoistway, one misplaced tool, one blown console, one little problem and the whole project grinds to an unforgiving halt.
A better or revolutionary process changes the entire game. We provide an elevator when you need it not tied to the old fashioned practices. In the chart below you can see how we are different.
The traditional elevator process is linear and mired in design and engineering of the hoistway, to gathering up all the parts and components. Our system is not. The MEM Elevator System is delivered hoistway and all, fully installed. It is placed in a couple hours and can be started up in as little as a week. We start with the day you need it and then count backwards in days to place it our production schedule to be be delivered on time every time.
It is so fast in delivery and set in just a couple hours, that it is often used in lieu of a construction elevator on some projects saving even more time and costs. When modular units are built in factories, the time is simply shortened. But what is not incorporated in this chart are the ancillary savings and benefits.
More and more builders and building owners are joining the revolution. They are exploring what modular has to offer and how the modular timeline can be a huge benefit.
Our MEM Elevator System is beneficial for the whole project and the results are stunning especially when taken of advantage of in full. Can you imagine how your project would change if you could determine when your fully installed elevator arrives? Then started up in less than a week? Or realizing it goes in so fast it often doubles as the construction elevator on the job? That is a game changer, especially in current times where every penny counts.
So now is the time to act if you have any questions about modular elevator or the MEM Elevator System. If you are the least bit curious about Modular Elevator Manufacturing just click the button below. You can get a LIVE VIRTUAL TOUR of our factory. We will pull back the curtain and let you look at our process and how we are leading the modular and elevator revolution.
Do you have a project in mind? To get thumbnail numbers to consider, just click the Fast Track Quote button below. We will be in touch in less than 24 hours. At that time we will give you an idea of how your project will be improved and your investment. You will also find out what it takes to make a change for the better.
We Are More Than Modular – With the big win at the World of Modular conference where we won two trophies, it is easy to think our MEM Elevator System is only for modular construction projects. Yes, the first place Award of Distinction was for a park concession area that was built totally with shipping containers. And the runner up Award of Distinction was for a traditional modular build. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that Modular Elevator Manufacturing creates its award winning elevator solutions for just the modular industry.
Far from it. All sectors of the construction industry can benefit from the easiest, fastest and most cost-effective commercial quality elevator solution. It is for everyone. Our projects can include retrofit elevator installation to new construction.
One of our recent retrofit projects was placed on the exterior of a production facility. It went up so quick that the construction elevator was taken down with the benefit of the savings going to the owners. The elevator could have just as easily been placed in the interior of the build by cutting a hole in the roof and lowered into place.
Another application that is not modular is for parking garages. The MEM Elevator System can be placed along side the structure for a fast and easy way to meet code and provide vertical transportation.
Traditional construction methods are employed in a wide range of vertical markets and we can help meet those needs as well. Hospitality, commercial spaces, schools, and medical facilities all have used our solution with great success. You can see some of them below and here in our gallery.
The reason for its popularity and that it has largely found market acceptance is the MEM Elevator System has significant benefits over traditional elevator installation:
So the bottom line is that we are grateful for the recognition. It is confirmed, we are the leaders of the modular elevator revolution and our recent awards prove as much. However, what means more to us is that we can provide a much needed solution to vertical transportation woes.
If you want to join us in this better way, regardless of your project, contact us. We can provide a solution for all low and mid-rise applications. To find out more click the button below and schedule a live virtual tour of our facility. If you have a project in mind, start the process by requesting a Fast Track Quote.
Non-proprietary parts matter. However, often times non-proprietary parts are over looked, not considered or just not understood. So, let’s start from the beginning. What’s the definition of non-proprietary elevator parts and how can they solve problems regarding your elevator choice.
Generally, proprietary elevator parts are components produced, marketed and controlled under exclusive legal rights of the manufacturer. The manufacturer has no obligation to share any information about the part or component, how it functions, how it operates, how it can be repaired or used to adjust or improve the overall functioning of an elevator unless it is contractually obligated to do so.
Non-proprietary on the other hand, means there are no restrictions to the use or what company can repair or improve the functionality of the elevator.
Well that was a mouthful. The definition can be reduced to a more simple, proprietary elevator parts are ones that only the manufacturer can repair or use in a repair or maintenance of an elevator. Non-proprietary opens the door to any qualified and licensed elevator professional.
An even more concise characterization is, proprietary bad; non-proprietary good.
But why? Why are proprietary parts to be avoided when looking at elevator purchases.
There are limited arguments against choosing an elevator that has non-proprietary parts over proprietary. When non-proprietary options were first available, there was a short time that they were considered inferior due to their recent emergence.
That thinking is no longer a concern. There is a decades long track record now that shows reliability and durability for non-proprietary components. Keep in mind that all elevator components and elevator operations are subject to elevator codes, inspections, and parts must pass rigorous testing before they would ever be allowed in an elevator.
Also, much of the functionality that proprietary elevators could boast of is now available with non-proprietary units.
Too many times we receive calls from individuals that are dissatisfied with their current maintenance supplier. They are sometimes unresponsive, operate at their own pace with little concern for the end user or the building owner and often lack availability of parts or tools with many on back order. With proprietary parts you lose the ability to find solutions to the problems you are facing.
This was illustrated in a recent article regarding elevator repair delays. A lack of parts was the cause for denying people mobility and access. You can help shorten that time of repair if you chose for your next project an elevator without proprietary parts. If you want to know more about us, just click one of the buttons below. We would love to talk to you about your next elevator project.
You should care – Elevator parts are not all equal…but they are. Years ago there used to be a commercial that had the catch phrase “Parts is parts”. They were talking about chicken nuggets and not vertical transportation and their facetious point was parts are not all equal. There are better and worse pieces of the chicken to use in the production of a nugget.
In the home or commercial elevator industry that knife cuts both ways and a bit hard to explain. First, it is true there are differences company to company in components. But second, those differences are superficial at best and for a purpose. So the parts are not all equal but… still equal??? How does that work?
That doesn’t seem to make sense so let me explain this weird dichotomy by stating the following. Factually, most companies purchase the bulk of their components from the same group of independent companies. As a result an elevator, home or commercial, is filled with dozens of components and pieces that come from those various companies from around the world. The difference is largely relegated to different nameplates and logos being etched or painted on the components themselves and that is about it.
This gives the illusion that they are all coming from the elevator company you are buying from. Generally that is not true. As a result when you step into an elevator car most often very little of what you see or that makes it go up and down, comes from the name on the control panel. And in all likelihood the bulk of those parts are found in every other elevator you ride regardless of the company.
Also, the vertical transportation industry, for good reason, is highly regulated. Elevators in the United States make 18 billion passenger trips per year according to the National Elevator Industry Inc. For that reason alone it is very important that all parts must meet high standards. You just can’t put anything you want in the elevator as a component. They must be test and approved for quality and durability.
Alright, if only a handful of companies produce most of elevator components and all parts meet the same rigorous standards, how can they possibly be different? Well before I get to that I want you to know that I am not wearing a tinfoil hat. I believe that we did go to the moon, Elvis is dead and aliens had no part in building the pyramids. So what I am about to say is not a crazy conspiracy.
Here, goes. The big commercial elevator companies make the bulk of their profits in maintenance and not selling you an elevator. Shocked? They realized pretty early on that if any certified elevator contractor could provide maintenance, they could lose customers and money. People would simply shop around and find the lowest price for service.
The solution was two-fold. First, sell elevators that require the most expensive maintenance agreements regardless of the purpose. Second, place in those elevators components from manufacturers that will require special tools, passwords or programs to maintain the elevator.
If you combine those two principles with a confiscatory maintenance agreement you have a lock on maintenance income for that unit for decades. And there is really no way for the building owner to extricate themselves from the long-term costs.
So, despite elevator components largely being the same, parts are not all equal. This is by design and for a specific purpose that has nothing to do with the elevator ride or functionality.
Unfortunately, when asked, “What can I do?” the responses are limited. This is especially if you already have an elevator in place. It is not practical nor cost effective to replace the proprietary parts that force you into the long-term contract. It’s like the old adage, you pay for some mistakes forever. But learning from those mistakes is important as well as spread the word that you can make upfront decisions next time that will save you from the headaches and costs associated with choosing the wrong company.
The word to commit to memory is non-proprietary. Non-proprietary parts and components are simply those that any elevator technician can work on. They are not better or worse they are just accessible for maintenance from any company. You can even use the big elevator companies if you wish. It just opens the door to anyone to repair or maintain the elevator. So always, always, always have an elevator installed with non-proprietary parts.
Finally if you have any questions regarding what proprietary parts and components can mean to your elevator project please contact us. At TL Shield and MEM we pride ourselves on giving honest answers to your questions about elevators, home or commercial.
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When we say safe, quality Modular Elevators it is not just empty words or a marketing ploy. We really mean it and we wished that everyone would take it as seriously as we do. Like you, there are rumors from the past of a project with a different company where, while the elevator was hovering over the building, an elevator jack literally fell out and plummeted into the pit. It could have killed someone.
The story is shocking and absolutely true. People were in danger. Beyond that when a company puts out a product so poorly built it not only potential can harm people on the job-site it can also harm the modular elevator industry and the modular industry as a whole. A safe quality modular elevator is always our goal and we accomplish that goal. But, we all suffer the black-eye, when quality is not just suspect, but dangerous. MEM is different and here’s how.
To start with MEM has just been at it longer. We didn’t just pop up out of no where with no construction or elevator experience. We have over 40 years in the building industry and a 20 year manufacturing track record of success and safety. We have never – never had anything like the scare of a 300 pound jack falling from the sky. Our installs go in smoothly because we have so much more experience.
MEM elevators are also engineered with safety in mind. Usually when you say safety and elevators you are talking about for the riding public and our elevators are very safe, never putting the general public at risk. But we have engineered our products so they are also safe to install as well. Part of the many pluses of the modular industry is that it means safety on the job-site. The heavy lifting and working in cramped quarters is moved to the factory with plenty of cranes and space on the factory floor. Plus there is no working at heights while the shaft is being built like in traditional construction.
With MEM we understand how important work site safety is and engineer that into each and every elevator we produce. It may take more effort, higher-grade materials and more care when building them, but MEM elevators are built for safety before, during and after the set and start up.
Lastly, we check every product we manufacture assuring safe, quality modular elevators with our one-of-a-kind 10 Point Inspection by a certified elevator technician. Before the elevator is loaded on the truck, we make sure of the following:
Each of the above is a part of a process that produces consistent quality. If you are not careful you could pick the wrong modular company (the one where the jack fell out). Keep in mind that it is important that it is a certified elevator technician doing the checking and not just any old employee. We have multiple employees that are qualified and capable of checking everything out. We simply cannot vouch for what others are doing, but rest assured we do our best to make sure the elevator you get is the highest quality.
Lastly, we want to assure everyone that modular is the safest and best way to build. It is tested. tried and true and takes advantage of the latest building principles. Whether you are considering the method for an entire building or wanting to retrofit an existing structure with a safe, fast installing modular elevator, reputable companies in the modular building industry are ready to build faster, greener and most importantly safer.
If you are curious about safe, quality modular elevators and have a project in mind that you would like a quote for, click the button below. If you want to know more details about the accident that has caused such a stir, contact me at your convenience. I am always more than happy to explain why modular is the best solution and MEM is always quality elevators taking you to a higher level.
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