Category Archives: Uncategorized

Welcome Kelly Schloss as Sales Manager

Kelly HeadshotPhoenix Modular Elevator is pleased to announce that Kelly Schloss has joined our team as the Inside Sales Manager.  She will be managing quick quotes, formal quotes, and sales. She is ready and willing to deliver information to and assist architects, general contractors, elevator contractors, and modular builders looking for an easy, quality, vertical transportation solution. Her addition will ensure PME’s commitment to responsiveness and great customer service.

Kelly has undergone extensive training  in the world of modular elevators and is ready to field your calls, answer your questions, and deliver same-day quick quotes for any project you have in mind.  Her professional goal is to eliminate the pain points that installing an elevator can cause by delivering great customer service and a high quality product every time!

Feel to contact Kelly to welcome her to the Phoenix Modular Elevator team or to request information about placing a high-quality Phoenix Modular Elevator in your next project.

 

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Where Does it Hurt?

medical-563427_1920We have all been there. Sitting on a paper covered, padded vinyl table with nothing more on than a flimsy, backless gown that doesn’t fit quite right. As we awkwardly fidget back and forth, trying to get comfortable and avoid the cold spots on the table, we know there is something wrong and something that needs special attention from the doctor. We need to get rid of the pain we have been facing, but because we are stubborn, we tend to ignore the misery at first, just hoping it will go away. As the constant discomfort begins to needle us more and more, we finally have to breakdown and try to do something about it. So we arrive at the exam room and in what seems like an eternity of feeling a cold breeze blowing where it otherwise shouldn’t, the doctor finally strolls in and the first thing out of his mouth is, “Where does it hurt?”

It is a funny question because we have already told the receptionist where it hurts, the nurse, our significant other, and anyone else that would listen to us complain. But now we are speaking to someone that can actually get to the root of the problem and make the pain, hopefully, disappear–so we tell our tale of woe.

When it comes to a multi-story building project there is pain as well. Just like the pain we feel when we have a doctor’s visit, we have told countless others about the constant throb that drives us to the brink of insanity.  The pain we feel is real and not unusual as it is universal to the construction industry, yet the solution to the problem seems to be unobtainable and outside of our grasp. This all-encompassing pain that afflicts construction projects is more often than not the elevator or vertical transportation system. In the whole of the construction industry, there is nothing that slows down a project more or creates more friction than the elevator. This is the source of all the pain.

Being an antidote to the pain, we hear the stories of woe and hurt. The list of pain points is exhausting: “We were promised a fully functioning elevator in three months,” “The cost is not what was promised,” “There were dozens of change-orders with no good explanation,” “I call and call and no one ever answers even basic questions,” “The bad weather delays the project,” “The elevator company has halted all other construction until they are done,” “Missing parts slows the project,” “Our arguments with subcontractors slows the project,” and more and more and more.

Each of these problems are typical and create issues that mean delays, cost over runs, and pain for all parties involved. Yet if you go to the right source, your pain can be relieved. The aggravation and headaches can be overcome with technology and forward thinking.

Modular elevators are the antidote to this particular cause of pain.

They are the best alternative for any building project between two and fifteen stories. A solution that provides responsive customer service, has an eight week lead time for most projects, and a one week installation. Weather or component availability never slows the build and the elevator installer is the only subcontractor. There is a solution that is safer, faster, and equal in quality to a stick built elevator without the hassle and headache. Instead of finding a way to “fix what hurts,” why not bypass the pain altogether?

 

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How to Buy an Elevator 101

Interior PhotoVolumes have been written about elevators. A simple search can tell you all you would ever need to know about their history, how they work and even more about components such as buttons and cabs. But one thing that seems to be lacking is solid advice on actually buying an elevator.

With this in mind, we have compiled information to keep in mind when thinking about purchasing any type of vertical transportation, whether it be a LU/LA, modular or stick-built elevator.  The first list is information that you should acquaint yourself with before starting the purchasing process, while the second list is a set of questions to consider when talking with an elevator company.

  1. Assess your needs. Why do you feel you need an elevator? One common reason we hear is to comply with current building codes, but beyond that, what are you hoping to accomplish with an elevator? You can meet codes easily enough, but is that all you are hoping to do?
  2. Think hard about use. Do you see the elevator being used for passenger traffic, freight or both? How often do you think it will be used and for what purpose? Is a gurney compliant elevator wanted or even required? Here’s a short story about what happens when you don’t think it through.
  3. Where will the elevator be placed? An elevator is no small item. In most cases, it is the largest moving object in any building and it takes up significant space. It is not just the shaft or hoistway; there also has to be some sort of machine room unless utilizing a machine roomless system. Elevators can be on the outside of the building or in an internal space. You should also prepare yourself for the bad news that it won’t work where you want it to go. Help from a consultant, architect or local elevator company may come in handy.
  4. Learn some basic terms. On the surface, elevators seem easy enough. You push a button and the door opens, you push another button and it takes you to your floor. However, there is a catalog of terms that apply specifically to the elevator industry. To have an initial conversation, you need to understand basic terms like travel distance, hoistway, car or cab, hall call and stops.
  5. Before you call, know how many stops the elevator will have and whether the doors are inline (all on the same side) or front and back.
  6. Consider overall timeline for completion. Sometimes it makes little difference, but for a stick-built elevator, you are talking months. With a modular elevator, the same elevator can be manufactures and installed in 10 weeks or less.
  7. Lastly, consider the design of the elevator. Stainless steel is common, but several design options are available. Here are a few samples.

Part of a discussion with an elevator professional is you asking questions. This is the best way to get the information you need to help you in your decision making process. All of the questions below can be answered by an elevator professional. If the company you have contacted refuses to answer the questions below, start shopping for a new company.

  1. What type of drive system is recommended for my specific project based on floor travel? Options include holeless hydraulic, in-ground hydraulic, traction, machine roomless and roped hydraulic. Each type has a price and a length of travel they are usually recommended for. Avoid being pigeonholed by choosing a company that can’t provide all types of elevators. Also, any quality elevator consultant or elevator company should be able to help you determine the best option.
  2.  Are the various parts of the elevator proprietary? Proprietary parts can mean short-term savings but long-term headaches. It is best to avoid them if possible and purchase an elevator with non-proprietary parts. Even the National Association of Elevator Contractors is objecting to the use of proprietary parts because it drives up costs.
  3. Who will complete the installation and who will perform the maintenance once it is installed? When thinking about purchasing an elevator, a maintenance agreement has to be part of the thought process. Go over the contracts with a fine tooth comb and realize many have clauses that are five-year deals with automatic increases built in. Here is a series of articles on contracts that you should look at before you buy.
  4. What is the price of the elevator and what is the anticipated annual cost of maintaining the elevator? Depending on the type of conveyance for the elevator and usage, annual costs will vary.

We hope you find this list helpful, regardless of the choice you make. Feel free to contact us at any time to discuss your project or to ask general questions. Of course, we do hope you will consider a Phoenix Modular Elevator for your next project. If you have one in mind, click the button for a free quick quote.

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Manufactured Elevator Quality

Three Towers

by Russ Ward

It makes me chuckle when I hear people say there are several elevator manufactures. In reality, there are precious few that actually engage in manufacturing. The definition of manufacturing is the making of goods or wares by manual labor or by machinery, especially on a large scale. The rub is that the big four elevator companies do not make goods or wares.

Instead, what they actually do is produce some elevator parts. The rest of the parts are produced by subcontractors that supply several companies. When an order is placed and the elevator leaves the warehouse, it is not recognizable as an elevator at all, but several components that then need to be screwed, wired, bolted, hung and placed inside a pre-existing or stick-built vertical shaft.  The real elevator manufacturing takes place inside the vertical stick-built elevator shaft on the job site. Until it is assembled, it is not a ware or a good but a box full of parts.

It would be the same if you ordered a car from your local dealership and were handed the keys and a giant crate full of parts. In a few months, at their convenience, they would send a technician to trudge over to your driveway and put it all together. Of course, because the assembly takes place outside, the work would only be conducted when the weather was nice, and if the manufacturer forgot any of the pieces, work would halt until the part was found and shipped. No one would make the argument that the car was manufactured until the technician was finished putting the pieces together.

You may be thinking I am nitpicking or playing semantic games. Who really cares if the elevator was manufactured or just thrown together on the work site? You should care if you are considering a project that requires an elevator because true manufacturing creates a dynamic where price is lowered as efficiency and quality is increased.

Manufacturing increases efficiency by smoothing out the process of building an elevator into a seamless, step-by-step progression that creates a final product. Adjustments and improvement can be made during the manufacturing process so production time is shortened. Phoenix Modular Elevator’s lead time is only eight weeks for a standard model. Not only that, because it is a finished product, ready for installation, the time to get the elevator up and running on-site is measured in days, not weeks or months.  Also, the weather is never a factor in manufacturing an elevator. It is produced on an assembly line indoors with no delays due to rain, snow or sleet.

Also, having a manufacturing process is a way to decrease product cost. Logically, it follows that if it takes a shorter time to manufacture an elevator, fewer costs are incurred during manufacturing. Total man hours are reduced, and having all of the parts available line side means a smooth-running process that cuts costs. There are no charges for travel time to and from the job for the whole installation crew and there is rarely a time that the elevator is in the way of the rest of the construction taking place. Don’t believe me? Here is a video testimonial of an actual customer that was amazed at the process and the results.

The secret to the Phoenix Modular Elevator manufacturing process is that our elevators are built horizontally. This makes it easier and faster to make, resulting in increased quality. More attention to detail can be accomplished in a horizontally-built unit in a factory setting, where strict tolerances are observed.

Lastly, manufacturing an elevator increases safety not only during the manufacturing phase, but also for the overall job site. Workers are not vertically assembling parts and pieces in less  than optimal weather conditions. Most fatal accidents in construction zones are due to falls from heights, and open elevator door hatches and a protruding elevator shaft only exacerbate this problem. Until the elevator contractor finishes the installation, accidents and injuries are an increased probability. With a factory-built elevator, the finished product rolls off the factory line onto a truck and is freighted to the job site, where it is craned into place. All the while, the doors for all of the floors are closed and locked. There are no open hatches to contend with, just a finished and set elevator. Reduced injuries and work hazards are always a benefit for the contractor and workers.

Manufacturing is the best option when the project requires an elevator. Just remember there are only two true manufacturers, and Phoenix Modular Elevator is one of them. We are ready to provide you with the best manufactured, quality elevator built to your specifications. For more information about what makes manufactured elevators a better option, visit www.phoenixmodularelevator.com.

If you have a project in mind, click the button below for a free quick quote.

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Phoenix Modular Elevator Wins Award of Distinction

Award PhotoPhoenix Modular Elevator (PME) has been recognized by the Modular Building Institute at the World of Modular Conference by being presented an Award of Distinction. The award-winning project features a modular elevator for Center Grove High School in Greenwood, IN, the site of the newly built Ray Skillman Stadium.

The purpose of the ADA- and gurney-compliant elevator was to access the two-story press box at the top of the bleachers, allowing both people and equipment to be moved more efficiently. The elevator has nearly 50 feet of travel with a 3500 lb. cab capacity and is finished in school colors. PME was tasked with ensuring the elevator would be ready for the start of football season, less than three months away when the project began. The total time for the completed functioning elevator to be designed, built and installed was only 78 days. In comparison, a similar sized stick-built elevator would have taken 8 months or more.

center-groveA total of three modules comprised the finished product. The elevator hoistway was broken in two sections for shipping purposes and a modular machine room that housed the hydraulic pump, motor and elevator controller made up the third.

PME president Allison Allgaier was honored by the recognition: “We supply a lot of elevators to the commercial modular building industry, so it’s gratifying to be recognized by our customers’ premiere trade association.”

The entries were judged by a prestigious panel of architects and experts in the modular field. They were scored on a number of criteria, including architectural excellence, technical innovation, cost effectiveness, energy efficiency, and calendar days to complete.

PME is an elevator manufacturer that produces high-quality, commercial modular elevators. A modular elevator is comprised of a steel hoistway with the elevator car and components completely pre-wired and installed inside. They are manufactured horizontally, trucked to jobsites, craned into place and installed in less than a week. This makes PME elevators the fastest installing elevator available. The units are found across the United States and Canada and used in schools, medical facilities, universities, hotels, stadiums, amusement parks, office buildings, government buildings and churches. Phoenix Modular Elevator has been constructing modular elevators since 1995.

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Phoenix Modular Elevator Scores a Touchdown

centergroveCenter Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana, wanted to make a big splash for their home opener. To do so, they planned to debut the Ray Skillman Stadium, a brand new, state of the art football and track facility that was to be a point of pride for the high school and community.

The problem? As kickoff loomed near for the Center Grove Trojans, one piece of the plan was still needed: the elevator. This was a crucial piece of the project, as the elevator was required for access to the two-story press box. A stick-built elevator was not a viable alternative, as building the hoistway from the ground up and installing the necessary elevator components would have takes months to complete. A faster solution was needed.

Phoenix Modular Elevator was that solution. The elevator was completed on time as an important part of a stunning project that included a new field, stands, additional buildings and a two-story press box. With less than a week before the opening kickoff, Phoenix Modular Elevator was able to ship the elevator, where it was quickly craned into place and installed in time for the big home opener.

The elevator installed at Center Grove had a 68′ hoistway with a modular machine room and an ADA and stretcher-compliant elevator car with 3500 lb capacity. The elevator also had three stops, one at ground level and one stop each for the two-story press box. Total travel was just under a total of 48′. The elevator was propelled by a two-stage in-ground hydraulic jack, chosen for its cost effectiveness and ability to move the unit smoothly and quickly to the top of the press box.

The key to the fast completion of this and other projects is the difference between a stick-built elevator and a Phoenix modular elevator. A stick-built elevator of equal height and distance of travel would have taken months to complete, as the hoistway would have to be built onsite and then the elevator components would have to be installed in the vertical hoistway. The Phoenix solution allows modular elevators to be manufactured horizontally in a factory, where onsite job conditions and weather aren’t a factor.

Phoenix Modular Elevator is used to a making elevators easy and quickly to meet the needs of clients in a time schedule pinch, and we are happy to report the Center Grove project was no exception.

The fastest installing elevator begins with a quick quote.
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Bost Visits Modular Elevator Factory

Mike Bost AllisonMt. Vernon, IL/March 31, 2016 – US Rep. Mike Bost held an event to hear concerns of women business owners in Mt. Vernon on March 29, 2016, followed by a visit to a local female-owned manufacturing facility. The visit to Phoenix Modular Elevator, also in Mt. Vernon, included a factory tour, as well as a frank discussion on the current business climate with owner Allison Allgaier.

The facility manufactures high-quality, commercial modular elevators that are shipped and installed in buildings across the United States and Canada.  Phoenix is only one of two modular elevator manufacturers in the U.S.  What makes modular elevators unique is the manufacturing process: they are built horizontal, with the elevator car fully assembled inside the shaft.  They are then trucked to the job site and hoisted into place with a crane.  This process allows for a better product and faster installation than a conventional elevator.

Allison Bost ElevatorAs he toured the factory, Rep. Bost was clearly impressed with the operation. “As a woman owned business this is a shining example of how hard work and determination can produce a needed product from southern Illinois for use throughout North America. We are proud that our region has great female business leaders and a highly skilled work force.”

Allgaier is glad that Rep. Bost took the time to tour the plant and speak to her about future growth. “He was impressed with the elevators we make, and happy to hear that we are moving to a larger and more efficient facility in Mt. Vernon. Our goal has always been growth and now we have outgrown our current facility.” The move to the new manufacturing site is scheduled for later this year.

Phoenix Modular Elevator produces high-quality, commercial modular elevators that are comprised of a steel hoistway with the elevator car and components installed inside and completely pre-wired. This makes Phoenix Modular Elevators the fastest installing elevators available. The units are used in schools, universities, hotels, stadiums, amusement parks, office buildings, government buildings and churches. Phoenix Modular Elevator is a Mount Vernon, Illinois, business and has been constructing modular elevators since 1995.

The fastest installing elevator begins with a quick quote.
To get an elevator start here with a quick quote!

Factory Quality with Design Versatility

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In 1913, when Henry Ford rolled out the first Model-T from a factory in Highland Park, MI, the manufacturing process was forever changed. Seventeen million cars later, this moving assembly line increased the quality and speed of manufactured goods while simultaneously lowering prices.

Exact tolerances could be obtained in the factory environment that were not achievable before large-line production became commonplace, resulting in improved quality.  Due to ever increasing efficiency of the assembly line, speed of production also increased. The first Model-T’s took over 12 hours to build, but by 1927, the factory cut production time dramatically, spitting out an impressive 9,000-10,000 cars per day. Assembly line production also allowed the price to plummet. In 1925, the price of a touring car version of the Model T was just $290, $560 less than the initial price in 1909.

This new, improved quality and efficiency, plus the drop in price, was unique thanks to the production system,  where prices for the product diminished as better cars were manufactured. We have seen similar improvements in almost every industry where mass production is employed. For instance, many credit a lesser known Ford employee, William “Pa” Klann, with the innovative manufacturing process after observing a slaughterhouse in Chicago. What works with meat, works with cars and even works with elevators and modular building overall.

In the construction industry, assembly line production of various components in a commercial building is now commonplace. Just like the Model-T, quality and speed of production increases while prices drop. It is now realized that quality can be increased when efficiency is introduced in a factory setting, even when building the various parts of a commercial structure.

The downside to Henry Ford’s assembly line dream of an affordable car for the masses and the argument of some detractors of a manufacturing process, is that choice is restricted. As proof of the lack of flexibility, it is pointed out that Henry Ford famously equipped, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants, so long as it is black.” Although the earliest Model-T’s came in several colors, by 1914, there was precious little versatility in the “Tin Lizzy.”  It turns out that black paint was less expensive and it had a shorter drying time, so color was sacrificed for efficiency.

The image of the all black Model-T led many to incorrectly assume that something manufactured in a factory setting will always result in less choice. While some segments of manufacturing have limited choice, this is not true for all. For example, when a modular manufactured elevator is produced and installed, the interior designers and architects have complete control over the look of the cab design, as well as the size of the elevator, number of stops and the type of propulsion (hydraulic, traction or machine roomless), just like the stick-built version. The elevators can be constructed to match any interior and exterior design.

The only difference between an old-fashioned, stick-built elevator and a modular is the construction layout. Modular elevators are constructed horizontally on a factory floor to ensure stringent standards are met, resulting in increased quality while also allowing for faster construction and fewer job site delays. It also means that the elevator will be competitively priced and take less time to install. A modular elevator has approximately eight weeks of lead time and a one week installation time, while a stick-built elevator can take between six months to a year or more from start to finish.

Current modular elevators are high quality and built with exacting standards, and unless you know you are in a factory-built elevator, you would never know the difference. And unlike the Model-T, they come in more colors than black.

The fastest installing elevator begins with a quick quote.
To get an elevator start here with a quick quote!

 

The Pressure of the First Post

The pressure builds to produce a blog for Phoenix Modular Elevator.When producing your very first post you are under a lot of pressure. Let’s face it, you have spent sometimes hours on coming up with a catchy name and working on the look, but now you have to put in writing what are the real goals of the blog. If your blog has no purpose and no real goals, no matter how catchy the name or slick the look no one will waste their time reading it. That is where the pressure comes from.

So with that said, here is the skinny of Easy Up.

First, we are the official blog for Phoenix Modular Elevator; the creation of the collective minds of our company.  At Phoenix we say that “We make elevators easy” and this blog has the same goal. We are hoping to inform and educate you about a superior product for vertical transportation in many buildings, both new and existing.  We’ll do this by sharing case studies, walking you through choosing the right elevator for your building, providing detailed information on incorporating a modular elevator into your building design, and posting loads of nuts and bolts how-to’s for the general contractors and elevator contractors who will install them.

We feel that our high quality, modular elevators are not just a solution, but the solution and every builder, architect, building owner, contractor and modular builder should take a serious look at what we provide. We also are all about de-shrouding the mysteries of elevators so that you can become as expert as you choose.

We take our product and your project seriously, but not ourselves, so we’ll aim to be helpful without being preachy as we help you think differently about the biggest moving apparatus in a multi-level building.

Lastly, we want to hear from you! Please comment positively or negatively on our posts, give your opinion and ask questions.  Your question just might become the subject of our next blog post.

The fastest installing elevator begins with a quick quote.
To get an elevator start here with a quick quote!