There was a time when black, steam powered locomotives would huff and puff into the station, take on water and coal, load up with cargo and passengers and the conductor would yell, “All aboard!” It signified the train was leaving the station and if you weren’t on the train and ready to go, you would be left behind in a cloud of steam, smoke, and coal dust. The analogy has been used countless times when writing about new innovation and being a part of a movement forward or advances in technology. You don’t want to miss the train and be left behind.
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” – Marie Curie
Fear is one of the most powerful emotions, as it can create anxiety, foster poor decision making and even immobilize the victim. I, for instance, suffer from ophidiophobia, or fear of snakes. It really is beyond just being scared of them or a simple dislike. It is a deep hatred, and when it comes to snakes, my judgement is indeed clouded. For instance, I live in a rural area and so you hear tall tales of the scaly creatures ending up in everything, including toilets and car dashboards. When my mind drifts, it tends to drift towards a myriad of “What if’s?” What if a snake gets in the bathroom? What if a snake is in my car? What if I see one in my yard? This has led me to keep a garden hoe within arms reach of my front door, just in case. I check my car thoroughly each morning before hopping in, and I tend to hover more than relax, if you know what I mean. Click to find out how fear can lead to bad decisions.
I remember a Classics Illustrated comic book from my youth telling the tales of Abraham Lincoln. One of the stories involved Lincoln gathering a group of younger boys and having them step in the mud with their bare feet. As a prank, Lincoln held each of them upside down and had them walk their feet across the kitchen ceiling, leaving muddy footprints as they went. When his stepmother, Sarah Lincoln, came home and saw the muddy footprints on her ceiling, she threatened to spank him.
Lincoln was 6 feet 4 inches tall at the time, and I can all but imagine seeing the future President bent over his stepmother’s knee, stovepipe hat and all. Also, his stepmother’s initial reaction to the unnatural site of footprints on her ceiling would have been priceless.
Sometimes when our elevators are craned vertically into place and the inspector or elevator technician is in the hoistway for the first time, they, too, have a reaction like Sarah Lincoln. They see footprints going up and down the hoistway walls, along guide rails and around hatchway door openings. Some have even asked our installation crew where the footprints came from and how they could be up and down the vertical hoistway. And no, we don’t hold people upside down.
That is one of the challenges we face when describing the Phoenix Modular Elevator process of manufacturing. In the mind of most elevator professionals, they think vertically when they enter a hoistway or elevator car. It only makes sense, as they have spent years, if not decades, inside a vertical shaft. For them, it is hard to think of it any other way.
However, our elevator manufacturing process is born horizontally. The hoistway is not built on a work site, but out of tough 4×4 inch tube steel in our production facility. Once the frame is laid out, it is plumbed and squared to make sure the shaft is always perfectly square and straight. Phoenix Modular Elevator workers and inspectors are able to walk alongside the frame, inside and out, testing welds and checking quality. As the frame is constructed, it is placed on a machine that can literally spin the hoistway, so welding in 2×4 C-studs and placing fire-rated drywall takes hours, not weeks. When one side is done, the entire hoistway is rotated to the next side. The guide rails are then installed, leveled and inspected. We know when a hoistway leaves the factory, it is completely square and the guide rails are straight and level.
During this whole process, a great crew of quality inspectors, welders, drywallers and finishers stroll through the hoistway, leaving footprints. Mystery solved.
Simultaneously, the cab is completed to the customer’s specifications. Again, the cab is not inside the shaft; instead, it is built in a separate area of the factory and not in a cramped hoistway. This means building the car is safer, easier and faster. When the car and hoistway are complete, we simply insert the cab in the still-horizontal hoistway. All connections are made, the car and counterweights are roped if needed, and it is ready to be transported by truck to the work site.
So the magician has shown his trick. How did the footprints get up and down the hoistway walls? The hoistway is never vertical until it gets to the site where it is installed faster and easier than a site-built elevator.
Phoenix Modular Elevator (PME) is set to break ground on their new production facility in Mt. Vernon, Illinois on August 24, 2016 at 11:30AM. Phoenix Modular Elevator and dignitaries representing the city, Jefferson County Development Corporation and Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce will be on hand to officially begin the project. This means that the first tenant of the new industrial park is ready to begin construction.
The new 25,000 square foot manufacturing plant and ground breaking will be located in Mt. Vernon, south of Highway 15 and west of Interstate 64, at the end of a temporary road that has been constructed for the project off of Davidson Avenue to the west.
Phoenix Modular Elevator has outgrown their current location in an old shoe factory. The new manufacturing site will increase productivity and efficiency by being larger and keeping all of the production on one level. In the current location, manufacturing is in several separate areas and on two different floors. The new larger location and design of the plant will allow the assembly and manufacturing area to be more organized and to flow more smoothly.
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.
January 13, 2016/Mount Vernon, IL – Phoenix Modular Elevator (PME) has now been certified as a business owned and operated by a woman by the National Women Business Owners Corporation. The purpose of the certification program is to increase the ability of PME to compete for more contracts on a national level. The certification also means that PME is now an eligible Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) for the WOSB Program through the Small Business Administration.
Due to the approval Phoenix will now get consideration in government building projects and building projects for private enterprises that seek out women owned businesses as contractors and subcontractors.
“This certification will provide PME with additional opportunities regarding potential customers and contracts in both the private sector and the government sector. That is what we find most important about the certification. It will help ensure continued growth for the business.” Says Allison Allgaier, PME President.
Phoenix Modular Elevator produces high quality, commercial elevators that are comprised of a steel hoistway with the elevator car and components installed inside and completely prewired. This makes Phoenix Modular Elevators the fastest installing elevators available.
The units are factory built and shipped across the United States and Canada for use 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, with hundreds installed throughout North America.
When Clarence Bergen of Urban Life Pools and Hot Tubs had a vision for a new facility in Steinbach Manitoba, it included a glass elevator that would be in the center of the showroom. To accomplish that dream he began where most people in the market for an elevator would, by calling big elevator companies. Unfortunately his experience, like so many others, consisted of leaving messages, not getting returned phone calls and leaving his questions unanswered.
Bergen said, “I was getting nowhere and wasting time. I could tell by their attitude that they didn’t have time for me or my project.”
He then called Phoenix Modular Elevator (PME) in Illinois and with their help he began to start piecing together the project that he had in mind. First, the elevator would be in the center of the building and needed to be self-supporting. Second, it had to be cost effective. Dreams don’t have a price tag, but the $200,000 number being kicked around by big elevator companies was a bit much even for a dream. Lastly, he wanted a glass elevator to match the design of the rest of the building.
He knew right away that PME was different. They answered the phone every time, and they were friendly, professional and responsive. They were willing to discuss the project Clarence had in mind and how they could work together to make the dream a reality. Freestanding structure? Check. Phoenix Modular Elevators are designed to be self-supporting. Cost effective? Check. The outlandish $200,000 price tag to seem like an amount big elevator companies used to discourage his plans. PME’s numbers worked much better. Glass elevator? Check. It was not only doable but, PME worked with Clarence to meet all of his unique specs for the job.
It may seem odd that an Illinois company would be providing Canadians with elevators, however the unique approach used to build and install them, makes PME elevators a perfect match for any project. Whether they are specialized glass elevators or not, PME elevators begin with heavy 4X4 inch, tube steel columns and beams that make up the frame.
The elevator is constructed horizontally with greater quality controls, faster production and installation time at a lower overall cost.The glass elevator hoistway was left uncovered or “naked” where most elevators PME produces are covered in fire-rated material. Then non-proprietary components, including the car, are installed and wired in the factory. The old way of building an elevator is to build the shaft on a job site vertically, then assemble the numerous components inside the vertical shaft in less than optimal conditions. That process takes months and means a dangerous working environment in the cold, snow and rain, causing construction delays. This dated method is less safe, more confined, and requires more time to build, slowing construction projects and increasing costs.
A Phoenix Modular Elevator is built to exact specifications in a factory setting, then shipped on a truck to the location and hoisted into place at the job site, requiring only a few days of final installation work before it is ready for inspection.
PME president Allison Allgaier is looking forward to more projects in Canada and said, “Phoenix Modular Elevators are approved for the Canadian market and we are sending more and more north. They are safe, high quality, commercial grade and factory built means constant controls and inspections.” She went onto say, you can find PME elevators installed across the United States and Canada in hotels, stadiums, office buildings, theme parks, government buildings and churches as well as schools.
Recently Phoenix had two other elevators approved for use in Manitoba at Manitoba Hydro north of Gillam. The Urban Life project is the third in the past two months and owner Clarence Bergen is pleased with the project, “This elevator was easy to install, rides great and the project was completed in no time. I am proud of the job and how it looks.”
Phoenix Modular Elevator is a Mount Vernon, Illinois business and has been constructing modular elevators since 1995.