Dumbwaiter News and Information
2021 Year End Dumbwaiter News and Info and Outlook for year 2022
Year at a glance – 2021 has been a very difficult year in the dumbwaiter business and many other markets. The Covid 19 pandemic has created a very difficult business environment for not only for the lift market, but manufacturing as a whole. The problems have been compounded by the supply chain bottleneck at ports worldwide. EII has been forced to raise dumbwaiter prices twice in the last year. This is a first for Elevation Innovation Inc, as we have held our prices all year for the last 16 years consecutively. With the following products used in the manufacturing of dumbwaiters experiencing price increases as follow: Wood 300-700%, Steel 100% +, Stainless Steel 120%+ Aluminum extrusions 70% with a 27 week extruding lead time, Copper 50-70%, PVC 70%+, Electronics 20-60%, and many more. With the added rise in fuel costs and the truck driver shortage has increased dumbwaiter delivery costs. Although many items have seemed to somewhat stabilize, the future is still unknown for dumbwaiter manufacturing.
Inventory Control – EII has been stocking up on manufacturing products steadily for over 12 months now. We have invested significant amounts of money in our dumbwaiter inventory to ensure we can deliver our residential and commercial products in a timely manor as our dealer network has become custom too. This has not been an easy task, with all the different products required to manufacture dumbwaiter systems, and some industries going from a three week lead time to 27 weeks for instance in the aluminum extrusion business. We continue to have many blanket order items domestic and international to assure our dumbwaiter production can stay on track. These have also proven to be challenging for our production. Some items get back ordered for months, making delivering current orders and future forecasted systems a significant challenge.
Residential and Commercial Dumbwaiter Labor and Manufacturing
EII has assembled a solid dumbwaiter manufacturing, sales and accounting team of employees that has allowed us to weather the labor shortage storm. With help wanted signs everywhere in all industries, we are grateful for our team members and continue to be flexible and forward thinking in the care and needs of each employee.
EII has been modernizing old dumbwaiter systems for many years now. With the recent upgrades in our control systems, motors and drive systems, and the ability to completely customize our systems, we are able to meet the needs of modernizing the most demanding dumbwaiter systems. We are our way to becoming an industry leader in upgrades and modernization. This past year we have modernized some iconic dumbwaiter systems. A recently completed project in Harrisburg, PA. for the Forum Building. The Forum building is a 90 year old building dedicated on Sept. 16th 1931. For years it housed the state’s department of education. Two of the original six, seven stop 1927 Otis dumbwaiters were modernized with controllers, limit switches, cams, motor drives systems, custom sheaves and call send stations. We revitalized the original cast brass 25 lb. custom Otis dumbwaiter call box’s. This just demonstrates our capabilities and attention to individual project details. We are currently preparing to renovate another iconic dumbwaiter system for the Whisky Hotel in Hollywood, Ca. This will be our longest travel 500 lb. floor loading front / rear dumbwaiter system to date. This was originally to be a Matot dumbwaiter system, however it was discovered they could not meet constraints of the hoist-way and overall travel on the system. EII was contacted and we are now prepared to deliver on the project once released into production.
Third Party Dumbwaiter Testing and Compliance Company Change for 2022
Starting January 3rd 2022 EII will be dropping UL – Underwriters Laboratory who we have been with for the last 15 years as a loyal customer. UL continues to treat small and large companies alike with no compassion, respect or attention to industry competitive pricing. They have priced themselves out of our dumbwaiter compliance business. The final straw was this past year when we had to upgrade some EOL “end of life” variable frequency drive systems to the newest models. UL wanted to charge EII $17,000.00 for a clerical change to our file. These new VFD drive systems we use in our dumbwaiter systems are already listed by UL and they have been paid by the respective manufacturers. UL is essentially double dipping to pad their bottom line. This is the wrong approach by such a global leader. As of January 3rd, 2022 we will be listed and labeling our products with the ETL Intertek mark for the USA and Canada. For more than 130 years, companies around the world have depended on Intertek to help ensure the quality and safety of their products, processes, and systems. Our commercial and residential dumbwaiter systems will proudly carry the ETL Intertek labels.
Ever Growing Residential and Commercial Dumbwaiter Dealer Network
EII continues to add to our organically grown dealer network. This year we have proudly added Savaria and their direct subsidiaries as the sole dumbwaiter provider for the USA, Canada, Australia and world alike. Our organic growth approach has led to a steadily increasing dealer network. We continue to let our products and current dealers spread the word on the quality and consistency of our products. Elevation Innovation manufacturing began in 2005 with one dealer. Today we have over 250 dealers in our system. With our ever changing and evolving modern systems, research and development program, we continue to strive to build and test the best commercial, industrial and residential dumbwaiter systems on the market today. EII strives to have the best customer service in the industry. With our attention to detail on every project and follow up system, we aim to be the number one choice in the industry for many years to come. Give us a call or click today to see what we can do for your current and future dumbwaiter projects.
August 2021 – Modernization of two Seven Stop 1927 Otis Dumbwaiters
The Forum Building in Harrisburg Pennsylvania gets a $90M makeover. This includes Elevation Innovation Inc. reviving two of the six seven stop dumbwaiters with new motors, sheave pulleys, lifting cables and CPLD electronics. The dumbwaiter call send stations were made from solid cast brass that we had bead blasted and powder coated to the green color of their choice. The whole dumbwaiter building crew at EII enjoyed revitalizing these dumbwaiter systems. We have really stepped up our modernization game and look forward to the challenges of future modernization projects.
Q2 2021 – Tough Business Environment for all, Labor & Material Shortage
Dumbwaiter manufacturing is a challenge. As a result of the Covid 19 pandemic, we have all experienced unprecedented price increases on just about everything it takes to manufacture. Material shortages, extremely long lead times and lack people to fill positions across the country. We have been working very hard to keep ahead of the curve on everything we require to manufacture our dumbwaiter systems. For the first time in our dumbwaiter history we have been forced to raise prices in the middle of the year, and only guarantee our dumbwaiter quotes for 30 days.
Q1 2021 Savaria chooses Elevation Innovation Inc. as their Dumbwaiter Supplier
Savaria, a publicly traded Canadian accessibility company with a strong presence in North America and Australia has chosen Elevation Innovation Inc. as their sole dumbwaiter supplier for all commercial and residential dumbwaiter systems. This includes all their satellite direct offices across the United States. Savaria continues to diversify their accessibility products by acquiring quality accessibility manufacturers and elevator / dumbwaiter contractors both in the US, Canada and abroad. Elevation Innovation Inc. a fully certified dumbwaiter manufacturer is proud to be chosen by such a high quality and well-respected company.
December 2020 – Changing from UL – Underwriters Laboratory to Intertek – ETL
We made the decision in December 2020 to change our third-party dumbwaiter certification company from UL to ETL. We have been the only fully UL certified dumbwaiter company in the world to meet and exceed the ASME A17.1 and CSA B44 elevator codes. This is not a requirement to sell dumbwaiters, however we decided to go the extra mile in 2006 and get our 250lb and below dumbwaiter systems evaluated by UL to meet the elevator standards and certify our dumbwaiter systems. After battling with UL for the last 15 years, they have become very difficult and extremely expensive to work with. As an example of the straw that broke the camel’s back, we attempted to have UL modify our dumbwaiter evaluation reports for some end of life products. The variable frequency drives we use to run our dumbwaiter systems were being phased out for the newer updated and fully UL listed models. One would think this would be a simple clerical change to the reports (as it is) however Underwriters Laboratory wanted us to pay them $20,000+ for the changes. This comes after we had to already educate UL on the new Canadian elevator and dumbwaiter electronic controller codes that require the use of fully redundant control systems. We had sold several dumbwaiters for commercial use in Canada and suddenly they would not pass the new codes. We invested over $30,000 in research and development along with Canadian elevator consultants to re-design the dumbwaiter control systems to meet the new codes. When we approached UL to inform them they approved our systems for the US and Canada and they no longer meet the code, they were at a loss for an explanation. We educated them on the new dumbwaiter / elevator standards and the devices it required to meet them. UL had no choice but to modify our two files with the updated components required to meet the new code. They had to do the clerical changes at no cost to us. It seems that UL wants to be paid back for not keeping up on the standards required to meet the dumbwaiter and elevator code. Unfortunately, Elevation Innovation Inc. finds UL’s excessive fee’s as nothing more than a form of legal extortion. Starting in Q4 of 2021 we will begin using the ETL Intertek marks on all of our fully certified systems and electronic controllers for all dumbwaiter systems.
March 2020 NAEC Mainline Newsletter – Member Spotlight – Elevation Innovation
January 2020 CPLD Electronics for Dumbwaiters
Elevation Innovation Inc continues to innovate our dumbwaiter systems on a nonstop research and development mission. Beginning in January 2020 we introduced our 3rd generation of custom in house electronics. After eight months of development we released our CPLD (Complex Programmable Logic device), a solid-state relay logic dumbwaiter control system. We had great success with the GEN II microprocessor system we introduced in 2013. This system was a fast installation dumbwaiter system with one cat 5 cable from floor to floor. However, as time went on we experienced problems with the system that the design engineers could not pinpoint and solve. They showed up in only about 5% of dumbwaiter field installations, but that was still unacceptable. So we went back in time for a proven schematic based CPLD solid state control system used by military still to this day. The success of the systems has been awesome, with zero issues. Our goal for our dumbwaiter systems has always been to have flawless performance and zero call backs to resolve issues. Our new dumbwaiter controls have shown the best results of all our control systems. Relay logic has always been a proven dependable old-school rock-solid control system. With the Xylinx CPLD schematic based chips giving us a solid-state relay logic platform, we are now able to have our dumbwaiter systems travel up to nine floors with a compact dumbwaiter controller. We have designed three CPLD dumbwaiter control PCB boards, a 2/3 stop, a 4, 5 and 6 stop board and a 7, 8 and 9 stop dumbwaiter control board. We can run two doors at each level, up to 18 door openings. All systems come with an “In Use” and “Car Here” LED indicator as well as an arrival buzzer with optional additional “Car Here” lights or other 24vdc devices. These have proven to be a must have item for our restaurant dumbwaiters. The additional “Car Here” indicator can be placed in a discrete location that the restaurant servers can see from the main dining area. This alerts them that the dumbwaiter is on their floor with hot food, increasing the efficiency of the restaurant, and keeping happy customers.