Elevator system out of the box thinking. The most recent project for Modular Elevator Manufacturing (MEM) was a retrofit elevator for California State University – Long Beach. The demand for updating dormitories is growing. Many colleges and universities across the country are improving the dorms they built decades ago. They are hearing from students and parents, want to be code compliant and convenience are the main reasons. I mean who wants to carry boxes up three flights of stairs on move in day? But updating comes with challenges so an elevator system outside the box of normal thought is in need. Usually, our elevator solution is a fully installed elevator. It is a placed hoistway and all the components in less than four hours. But challenges on this job required a new way of looking at things.
As you can see in the above photographs our normal procedure had to be changed. Usually we just crane in a fully installed elevator. In four hours you can have a a fully installed elevator in place and ready for start up and inspection. But, due to the terrain in this particular job the crane could not carry the full load. The result is a little out of the box thinking was required.
As pictured the hoistway is placed first. Then cab is then inserted into the hoistway. The roof is placed next and finally the modular machine room.
“…our decades of experience allows us to provide the innovation and nimbleness for any project.”Hugo Beltran – MEM Vice President of Sales and Marketing
It all came to together with no problems, thanks to the MEM production team. And just like in the factory, the elevator car slipped in perfectly on the rails and into the shaft.
And it was still under four hours to complete the full set. So, the customer had a completely installed elevator by noon ready for the start up procedure. Quite an accomplishment.
Hugo Beltran, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at MEM was proud of the creative thinking of the team. Everyone came together for this unique build. He said, “The MEM team performs at a high level and there is tremendous flexibility in the product. Those two factors plus our decades of experience allows us to provide the innovation and nimbleness for any project. It really shows in our success.”
In other words if you have a project for any low or mid-rise application MEM should be your first choice. Anywhere a traditional elevator can go the MEM elevator system can be a replacement.
According to Beltran, even if it takes some out of the box thinking. MEM loves a challenge.
“The key is letting us know early in the project.” Says Beltran. “If we are included at the outset of the process our system fits in smoothly and easily. Even with unique challenges.” And over the years, MEM has had several unusual challenges to say the least. The team completed a corner post elevator that no other company would take on. Glass elevators are a frequent request and large capacity elevators are a snap for MEM.
Another challenge for the entire project that updated the dormitory was the timeline of completion. Traditional elevator companies are slow. Installing the various elevator components involves carrying each into the hoistway one piece at a time. Also, elevator doors and frames are often the last components put in place.
That in turn slows down the rest of the build. Call backs are necessary. Exterior finishers, electricians and other trades must return to finish once the doors are installed. That means up to $30,000 an opening or more. There is no slowdown of other trades with the MEM system.
In conclusion, you can partner with us too! If you have a low to mid-rise job that needs an elevator system click a button below. You can sign up for a live, virtual tour of our facility. Or you can get a FastTrack budget number for your project. We will honestly answer any questions you may have. We can supply you with a Fast Track quote in 24 hours. MEM – Quality Elevators taking you to a higher level.
Elevator Wild Cards – We have all been in a friendly game of poker. In my youth I would spend hours with middle-school friends playing penny ante poker, usually in a dimly lit and musty smelling basement. To make the game more interesting, we would employ all sorts of wild card variations. They went from the mundane deuces wild to one-eyed-jacks and suicide-kings. Then there was my personal favorite, jacks-n-fives (big fan of the Jackson Five in the early 70’s).
I remember often sitting smugly with a wonderful natural hand raising as I went. In my clutches was a full house; hard to beat indeed. And to see those two nines and three queens staring back at me from my tight little grip gave me nothing but confidence. The result was a heaping mound of copper coins and the occasional nickel in the pot waiting for the final “call.” A world of wealth and pride for a 6th grader in 1975.
Like a scene from an old western I would lick my lips with anticipation and then spread my cards, declaring “Full house!” Only to be out done by two wild deuces and two lowly fives, four-of-a-kind. Rats, beat again!
We had lots of fun but, I came to the conclusion pretty early on the word “wild card” was a negative. It was not a positive term at all because it altered the game. Using them took a competition of skill and chance to a child’s game of pure luck. And, there is a difference. One is a challenge that can be calculated, anticipated, played with strategy and an understanding of rules and agreements. The other was completely blind and random.
So let’s openly show our cards for a second as we get the elevator part of the blog post.
In the serious business of construction, how much do you want to rely on chance, pure luck or wild cards? The building industry is highly reliant on calculation, anticipation, organization, strategy and agreement. Luck or wild cards should play no part, but it does. Every time you contract with a traditional elevator company job completion becomes blind and random.
It is the nature of how the elevators are installed in the old-fashioned way that makes them so untenable and unpredictable. Let’s face it, you do your end of the work. The hoistway and pit are made ready according to specs. There they sit for months. Because, once the cement dries you lose any and all ability to complete the elevator on your time schedule. And now your project completion rests with an elevator crew showing up when they want, completing the work on their time schedule not yours.
Instead of a fair game where everyone knows the rules you end up playing poker with a dealer that can make up cards wild at their discretion. You might as well throw out all of your laborious planning and scheduling.
Your strategy becomes the hand you were dealt. Begging, pleading, arguing, yelling, threatening and coercing are the only tools at your disposal. There is only hope and nothing is in your control. For the proactive project supervisor or superintendent this becomes maddening to say the least.
All the planning goes out the window. Not only do you have to wait for the elevator on someone else’s time schedule, you have to work around all their tools, elevator components, excuses and the elevator guys when they decide to show up.
But beyond that, due to the traditional elevator process entrances and door frames go in last multiplying problems. It falls to you to reschedule or call back the rock and tape crew, painters, floor prep and flooring contractors, even electricians and sprinkler workers. They are all delayed until the elevator is finished.
But there is a better way. What if the elevator were 100% in your control with no wild cards? You decide completely when the fully installed elevator is placed. Beyond that what if that elevator could double as a construction elevator?
Suddenly you could have all the trades pushed forward in sequence as all the entrances arrive completed, not when the elevator contractor can get to it. The result is a significant savings (click here for an amazing account from a project superintendent).
The MEM elevator system can make that happen. The commercial quality elevator and hoistway arrives as one finished product off of our assembly line. It comes on a flatbed truck when you want it. Here’s a video of one being placed. Your responsibility is largely the pit poured to our specifications. You tell us when you want it to arrive. That’s a big deal in an industry that thrives on timelines and completion. All that is needed regarding the elevator is time for start up and inspection.
In addition to the dollars and cents savings, there is an overall reduction in the mental stress and aggravation caused by traditional as well. There is peace of mind knowing the full installed elevator is placed often at the beginning of the build.
The benefits are clear and going with MEM is no gamble. We have been providing the best elevator solution for low and mid-rise projects for decades.
Also, there are no limits to the types of projects that we can assist with. The MEM elevator system can be used in new construction or retrofit. We have simple models for ADA compliance to full-sized hospital elevators. Our elevators can be used in parking garages to apartment complexes. Anywhere a traditional elevator can go we can too, only you control when it is delivered.
So end the high-stakes gamble on traditional and go with the your best bet; the MEM elevator system. To get started, click the button below to get a budget price or schedule a virtual tour of our factory and see how we consistently deal a winning hand.
My Monday morning observation when deep cleaning points to modular and modular elevators. When going through my desk in what should be an annual ritual, but too often neglected, I ran across an interesting item. Buried amongst the broke watches, a plethora of wires that go to who knows what devises and batteries (none of which still held a charge), I found a true vestige of the past; the old business card folder.
I remember wanting one when I first graduated from college as it was considered a true and genuine indicator that you were in business, much like the now rare, rigid leather briefcase. The folder was unique as it was a single place to put all of your valuable leads and contacts. It was one step above the old Rolodex as it was leather bound and portable.
I paged through the clear plastic sleeves of cards chuckling over the graphic design style of the various rectangles of 100% rag, 16 point stock that populated the folder. Each was a prized bundle of information I had collected over time and was once held dear, like a Stan Musial baseball card, but now I noticed how few were even still relevant. Businesses had closed or changed names, people had long since moved on or the information was out of date with AOL email addresses and FAX numbers prominently displayed.
But the cards, yellowed with time, were not the funniest part of what I discovered from my perspective. It is the very notion of keeping a catalog of cards categorized based on business type and then alphabetized all in a literal folder. The time for that kind of system has declined to the point of uselessness, worth little more than short lived amusement. That is why, despite a couple decades of usefulness, it found itself shoved to the rear of an over-packed desk drawer.
A better system for keeping track of people and business connections has emerged and in honesty leaves the old folder in the dust and ultimately in the circular file.
I have seen that change too in the elevator industry. There was a time not so long ago that the big elevator companies held a universal monopoly and if you were going to construct a low or mid-rise building you had to pay homage, live within their timelines and buy what they were selling. Thank goodness the old stick-built alternative is due for the dustbin of history just like my old business card folder.
Now if you want a high-quality commercial elevator you simply have to call MEM or email them for FastTrack numbers. Once you place your order you can break away from the control of the elevator industry for good. They no longer can dictate what you can do on your job site, building project or pocketbook. You will be free to schedule elevator work when you want it done, not the other way around. Free to choose who you want the elevator maintenance company to be with a fair contract, not one laced with automatic increases and non-proprietary parts. Deep cleaning indeed.
The barnacle encrusted elevator industry is and will fight back, but the march of time is lined up against them and ultimately modular will be the first and best choice for everyone. Not because it is new (it has been around for a couple decades now), but because it is a better solution. Faster, smarter, greener and can be less expensive.
That can all be said because building a hoistway in a factory, out of the elements and off site means higher quality, truer construction and no delays. Then putting all of the elevator components in the the hoistway while it is horizontal means no safety concerns of lifting heavy parts. The wiring goes faster and the cab is built to more exacting specifications. Just better.
So engage in a little deep cleaning and clean out your desk of all those old drawings, plans and specifications and get ready for the future with modular elevators.