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Press Release
11.05.2020

Environmental services leader Ecolab turns to thyssenkrupp Elevator to improve passenger safety and travel times at its global headquarters

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  • thyssenkrupp Elevator upgraded 12 elevators and two escalators at Ecolab’s 17story global headquarters in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Completed in August 2020, the modernization included AGILE Destination Dispatch and MAX, the industry’s first predictive maintenance solution
  • Across North America, thyssenkrupp Elevator is helping thousands of building owners save money and increase property value with its modernization services

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ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA (November 5, 2020) – thyssenkrupp Elevator has completed a modernization of the 12 elevators and two escalators at the Ecolab global headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ecolab is the global leader in water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services with its products available in 170 countries.

After purchasing the 1989 vintage tower from Travelers Insurance, Ecolab immediately sought to update the building to support its modern workforce. This included its 20-year-old vertical transportation systems, which experienced frequent shutdowns and significant elevator delays. Accessibility was another challenge. In its original design, the only way to reach the main lobby was via the escalator, creating challenges for wheelchair-bound or disabled individuals, as well as those carrying or transporting anything not conducive to safe escalator use.

“Ecolab’s sole mission is to make the world a safer and healthier place, and we were honored that they entrusted thyssenkrupp Elevator to do the same for their employees and visitors,” says Kevin Lavallee, President and CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator North America. “Now, with our technologically advanced systems in place, they have reliable vertical transportation systems that align with their other modern building upgrades.”

Work began in March 2019 with the first priority to get all systems up and running – three elevators were out of service when the modernization project began. Multiple crews worked throughout the building at off-peak hours to avoid tenants in the morning and afternoon, and noise had to be managed strategically to ensure no disruption for Ecolab employees. This meant moving materials and equipment early in the morning before any staff arrived onsite.

“The modernization team was very responsive to minimizing noise and making COVID-19-related work adjustments,” says Tim Yohnk, facility manager at Ecolab global headquarters. “Weekly meetings with the modernization team were very effective at keeping myself and my team aware of what was happening with the project. Knowing what’s going on makes all the difference in the world.”

On the first day, thyssenkrupp Elevator installed AGILE, its innovative dispatching system that reduces building traffic congestion, improves elevator performance, and enhances aesthetics and even security within a building. The heart of this system is its destination controls, which allows Ecolab to move its large tenant population during peak hours with little elevator wait time.

AGILE allows property managers to more intelligently group and assign passengers to elevators, move people more rapidly to their destination, adjust passenger flow in real-time and personalize touchscreens and kiosks.

To avoid future shutdown challenges, each elevator was also equipped with MAX, the industry’s first real-time, cloud-based predictive maintenance solution. Since 2015, thyssenkrupp Elevator has installed MAX on more than 82,000 elevators in the U.S. and 128,000 elevators in 10 countries worldwide, collecting data on components, systems and performance, which has helped building owners and managers achieve higher elevator and escalator uptime and longer product lifespans.

In January 2020, thyssenkrupp Elevator introduced three MAX digital service packages, which offer varying levels of maintenance service protection to ensure smarter and safer building management.

Also, as part of the modernization, one of the low-rise elevator units was extended one floor down from the lobby so select visitors would no longer be required to take the escalators to the lobby. And for the escalators, thyssenkrupp Elevator replaced the Westinghouse modular escalators with Velino escalators featuring the ES-Power modernization, replacing everything but the truss and cladding. The escalator equipment overhaul improves safety, reliability, appearance and energy efficiency.

The project was completed in August 2020.

Overall, the elevator and escalator enhancements improved uptime and passenger travel times without sacrificing speed and capacity, providing the 1,800 employees that work at Ecolab’s global headquarters with greater peace of mind.

“After the modernization, the building elevators and escalators are running very well,” continues Yohnk. “The AGILE - Destination Dispatch solution is also working well. I work on the sixth floor and it’s been a long time since I’ve had to stop on the first five floors on the way to my floor, and that’s a wonderful thing.”

Earlier this year, thyssenkrupp Elevator introduced the H-Power SL controller modernization package, which improves microprocessor speeds, increases storage capacity, connects with building system security and adds data capabilities for MAX. The modernization package replaces the Dover Microprocessor (DMC) for hydraulic elevators.

To learn more about thyssenkrupp Elevator’s modernization packages and services, go to https://thyssenkruppelevator.com/modernization

To view images of the Ecolab modernization project, click here.

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TK Elevator (formerly: thyssenkrupp Elevator)

With customers in over 100 countries served by 50,000 employees, TK Elevator achieved sales of around €8 billion in the fiscal year 2019/2020. Over 1,000 locations around the world provide an extensive network that guarantees closeness to customers. Over the past decades, TK Elevator has established itself as one of the world’s leading elevator companies and became independent since its sale by thyssenkrupp AG in August 2020. The company’s most important business line is the service business represented by over 24,000 service technicians. The product portfolio covers commodity elevators for residential and commercial buildings to cutting-edge, highly customized solutions for state-of-the-art skyscrapers. In addition, it also consists of escalators and moving walks, passenger boarding bridges, stair and platform lifts. Integrated cloud-based service solutions, such as the MAX platform, are gaining in importance. With these digital offerings, there are no limits to urban mobility anymore. TKE – move beyond.