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Trade press, 2013-09-20, 01:02 PM

International symposium: Engineers and developers from ThyssenKrupp Elevator invited to the University of Northampton

Partnership with School of Science and Technology started almost a year ago

The “3rd Symposium on Lift and Escalator Technologies” organized jointly by the University of Northampton Lift Engineering Section and the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Lifts Group will take place at Highgate House, Northampton, UK on September 26 and 27. Scientists and students, together with engineers and developers from the world’s biggest elevator manufacturers, will be presenting their latest research and technologies. For ThyssenKrupp Elevator, the international symposium is much more than a platform for informative exchanges and networking: Ahead of the symposium, the company will stage a multiple-day R&D training event with academics from the University of Northampton’s School of Science and Technology to discuss new areas of activity under a partnership initiated a year ago.

“Sustainable innovation calls not only for highly qualified specialists, but increasingly also for extensive knowledge sharing between industry and research,” says Thomas Ehrl, Engineering Training Manager at ThyssenKrupp Elevator and initiator of the training event. “Joint events, for example as part of our ‘Accelerated Engineering Training’ program, give us the opportunity to discuss specific topics with specialists and find out whether and how we can apply the ideas and principles developed in our future global research and development activities. At the same time, these events open up numerous possibilities for practical research for scientists at the university.”

At the upcoming event, 20 experts will be looking at various approaches to lean development and discussing possible areas of application for interactive and immersive 3D simulations – a focus of research work at the University of Northampton.

“Rather than on screen, some parts and assemblies can be examined for practicality in an immersive 3D projection cube during the design phase,” explains Thomas Ehrl. Five high- performance computers are required to run the ActiveCube at the University of Northampton – an investment that would not pay for one company alone. Ehrl is convinced of the benefits this approach to design delivers: “For example, our developers can use the virtual environment to test space conditions in the shaft and accessibility to screws/bolts or detect collisions between different parts – whether for simulated maintenance or part replacement. Our aim is to achieve an optimized design for all new products that not only offers practical benefits to customers but also reduces the time needed for installation, servicing and upgrades.”

Partnership creates value for both sides

The cooperation agreement between ThyssenKrupp Elevator and the University of Northampton School of Science and Technology was signed in 2012. Northampton is one of the few universities worldwide to offer students specific courses and degrees in elevator engineering – including various post-graduate MSc and PhD programs. Building on the existing relationship, the partnership now creates a platform to expand long-term joint research and development projects. “We are delighted that this prestigious partnership has been forged,” says Professor Kamal Bechkoum, Executive Dean of the School of Science and Technology. “In view of the present worldwide interest in the development of safe and cost effective means of vertical transportation in the modern built environment this is an internationally important cooperation program in the area of lift/escalator engineering. The partnership demonstrates ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s recognition of the high standards of our research program in this area. It will be mutually beneficial and will lead to increasing research and innovations on both sides, creating safer and more efficient vertical transportation in world class high rise buildings.”

The Elevator Technology business area brings together the ThyssenKrupp Group’s global activities in passenger transportation systems. With sales of 5.7 billion euros in fiscal 2011/2012 and customers in 150 countries, ThyssenKrupp Elevator is one of the world’s leading elevator companies. The company with more than 47,000 highly skilled employees supplies innovative and energy-efficient products tailored to specific customer requirements. Its portfolio includes passenger and freight elevators, escalators and moving walks, passenger boarding bridges, stair and platform lifts as well as tailored service solutions for all products. 900 locations around the world provide an extensive sales and service network to guarantee closeness to customers.