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continued from page 26             core. This rope was described as a Seale   intended as an “alternate for traction
         wire ropes, which, for safety, silence and   Patent rope and its design was based on   elevator service.” While it was described
         comfort, are preeminent in this field.”  Thomas Seale’s 1885 patent “Wire Rope   as less expensive and as operating “ef-
           This statement is of interest because   or Cable” (U.S. Patent No. 315,077).   fectively where sheaves and drums are
         of the repeated use of the words “safe”   The product was identified as the com-  comparatively large and speeds mod-
         and “safety,” which occurs three times,   pany’s Extra Flexible Traction Steel El-  erate,” it was also described as having
         and references to noise. Passenger safe-  evator Hoisting Wire Rope, “designed to   “less flexibility and tractive grip.”
         ty was a constant industry concern, and   give maximum resilience, flexibility and   If we fast forward to the early de-
         the issue of machine or system noise   tractive effort, combined with smooth   cades of the current century, a German
         during elevator operation had been a   running  qualities.  This  rope  gives  ex-  industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp
         topic of discussion since the 19th centu-  ceptional service on all ‘U’ and ‘V’ groove   AG,  is  pushing to utilize  something
         ry. The use of wire ropes in high-speed   traction  elevator  installations...  good   called  magnetic-levitation technology
         elevators had apparently created a new   contact and minimum slippage, which,   to change an industry in essence pro-
         source or type of noise, which was occa-  in  turn,  decreases  wear  on  both  the   ducing  the  same commodity for  more
         sionally referred to as the ropes “sing-  rope, and the sheaves and drums.”  than 100 years. Otis demonstrated one
         ing” when the elevator was running.  This rope was an improvement over   of the earliest mechanical elevators at
           American Steel & Wire’s catalog in-  the original elevator wire rope that was   the Crystal Palace in London in the
         cluded  illustrations  and  descriptions   composed of six strands, 19 wires to the   1850s. In the first electric elevator was
         of a variety of wire ropes for use in hy-  strand, wrapped  around a hemp core.   built by Werner  von Siemens in Ger-
         draulic and electric elevators. These in-  American Steel & Wire still manufac-  many. And in 1870, the first passenger
         cluded a new type of rope composed of   tured the 6 X 19 wire rope, which was   elevator went into service in a building
         eight strands, 19 wires to the strand, all   now identified as its “Traction Steel El-  in New York City.
         of which were wrapped around a hemp   evator Hoisting Wire Rope Type N” and   Now ThyssenKrupp seeks to adapt
                                                                                     maglev technology now used in
                                                                                     high speed trains, while at the
                                                                                     same time possibly moving aside
                                                                                     such  longtime  firms  as  United
                                                                                     Technologies Corporation’s Otis
                                                                                     unit. The latter also happens to
                                                                                     be the worlds’ largest and oldest
                                                                                     elevator maker. ThyssenKrupp
                                                                                     as well as Otis are joined by
                                                                                     two other global competitors in
                                                                                     Finland’s Kone Corporation and
                                                                                     Switzerland’s Schindler Group.
                                                                                     These two appear to be engaged
                                                                                     in approaching this change in
                                                                                     people-transport a bit more in-
                                                                                       Kone  has  carbon-fiber  eleva-
                                                                                     tor cables with a higher tensile
                                                                                     strength than traditional metal,
                                                                                     with a side effect being that
                                                                                     shafts can be taller with the use
                                                                                     of such material. Schindler and
                                                                                     Otis, on the other hand have
                                                                                     zeroed in on improvement of
                                                                                     computers managing how banks
                                                                                     of elevators function. This devel-
                                                                                     opment may have the greatest
                                                                                     impact on those riding elevators;
                                                                                     the hope is that passenger wait
                                                                                     times diminish and overall effi-
                                                                                     ciency of elevators improves.
                                                                                       However, only the German
                                                                                     firm  mentioned  above,  aims  to
                                                                                     replace elevator cables com-
                                                                                     pletely. ThyssenKrupp current-
                                                                                     ly operates a scale mock-up of
                                                                                     this equipment and soon plans
                                                                                     to demonstrate a full-size work-
                                                                                     ing version. Depending on the
                                                                                     results, sale of this new product
                                                                                     could begin a bit later this year.
         In June 2017, thyssenkrupp Elevator publicly unveiled the first rope-less elevator, MULTI, which can   Andreas Schierenbeck, Chief
         move both vertically and horizontally. The first installation in Berlin is expected to be completed in late
         2020 or early 2021. Artist rendering courtesy of ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corporation     continued on page 30
         28     Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   February 2018
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