Tag Archives: Elevator Installation

Snake Bit – Fear and the Elevator Business

curie_lab_photoby Russ Ward

“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.

Now I can tell you, as a relatively sane man (depending on who you ask), this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.  These slithering creatures are a helpful and beneficial part of the ecosystem, keeping disease carrying rodents and insects in check. They are an all important element of the circle of life. However, I can tell you the happiest part of that circle for me was when I saw a snake snatched up from the ground by a Red Tail Hawk and carried off into the distance. As that glorious bird of prey slowly drifted towards the sunset, a tear literally formed in my eye as gratitude for that hawk’s actions swelled my heart. But nevertheless, my disdain for all thing snake is still irrational.

Another common fear, especially in business, is the fear of the unknown. This can sometimes be a great guard against poor choices and force a deeper look when one is needed, but it can also be a blind spot for business if rejecting something out of hand is the standard instead of the exception. Some folks in the elevator industry have exhibited this kind of fear when it comes to the modular industry.  The concept is rejected out-of-hand without proper research or deeper analysis. For instance, many elevator installers are unaware that the bulk of the work of installing a modular elevator is the very same work performed on every installation and that modular elevators are designed to make the installation go fast and as headache-free as possible.

They are also designed to be installed quickly, so with a modular elevator, you won’t have tons of man-hours tied up in hanging rails or building a cab. Both of those items are checked off the to-do list as they come pre-installed in a hoistway. A hoistway, by the way, that is designed to meet all the building codes, including those for earthquakes and hurricanes for every jurisdiction in the US and Canada. This means a faster installation that takes only days can be placed conveniently into an already busy schedule. And as we all know, more installations mean the more opportunities for maintenance contracts.

Getting past fear is a difficult chore, but the benefits outweigh the risks; of course, unless you are talking about snakes.

If you want to do a bit more research, here are a couple of short videos  and a personal testimony that demonstrate how easy the installation process is. The testimonial is a Phoenix Modular Elevator customer regarding their first-hand experience with the time and ease of the getting the elevator they wanted installed. If you would like to be considered to be an installer for projects, click here.  We install across the United States and Canada.

Marie Curie was right, “Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

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Footprints on the Ceiling

142ofc_copyI 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.

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Phoenix Modular Ground Breaking Announced

New Facility 1

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.

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

Phoenix Modular Elevator Certified as a Woman Business Enterprise

Allison Allgaier
Allison Allgaier – Owner

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.

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

The Challenge – A Glass Elevator

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.

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