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New Singaporean composite lift aims to revolutionize the construction industry

News International-French

31 Jan 2017

Singapore Lift Company (SLC), a joint venture between local property developer Far East Organization, construction and civil engineering firm Woh Hup (Private) Limited and holding company Pronus (HK), announced having created the “world’s first composite lift”.

New Singaporean composite lift aims to revolutionize the construction industry
Named “8”, the new lift is made of composite materials such as carbon fibre-reinforced polymers (CFRP), glass fibre-reinforced polymers and bio-derived polymers.

“8 is a game-changer in its field, having the potential to revolutionize the overall building and construction industry”, says Alister Bennett, managing director of SLC, who explains that 8 substantially reduces the time, labour and amount of construction materials needed in lift installation. Its cabin is a mere 150 kg, as compared to a traditional lift of about 1,500 kg for the same capacity.

Lighter and easier installation
With 8, the cabin space has been considerably enlarged to enable it to take a larger load, due to maximization of the shaft size and minimization of the overhead and pit. More importantly, the potential overall savings to be achieved through enhanced productivity in construction and faster installation times allow for better materials to be used and a safety system to be incorporated into the lifts without pushing up the entire construction and building costs. 8 is certified to EN81-41 and EN81-20:50 by Liftinstituut, one of Europe’s certification organizations for lift and escalator safety.

While traditional lifts require on average five to seven days for the installation of a single floor, with 8, the time will be shortened considerably to a minimum of one floor per day. There is also no necessity for welding or heavy lifting equipment, which makes it a safer, less labour intensive process. In the building and construction industry, any small amount of savings in labour and time can go a long way towards lowering overall building costs.

Aside from the cost and time-efficiency benefits, the easy installation of the lift means that specialized skilled labour will no longer be required. With this innovation, any person can be trained and certified to be fully qualified to install the lift and this would reduce, to a certain extent, the labour issue for lift installation and the cost of maintenance.

8 has three types of applications – as a disabled, home or passenger lift – using three different drive options, V-belt, rigid chain or hydraulic. With a minimum 1,400 mm turning diameter, the lift is designed to enable a sufficient turning radius for wheelchairs. It also allows for customized interior design and other technical fittings for a totally personalized and unique expression of an individual’s taste, in the case of home lifts. Energy efficient with remote monitoring, 8 is initially available for installation in low-rise buildings, which will eventually be extended to serve up to 20 floors.

Hub in Singapore
“We see great potential for our product in the building and construction industry as well as the retrofitting industry”, says Alister Bennett, who was confounded when he discovered the astronomical costs involved in replacing escalators in London’s underground system. This inspired him to conceptualize an escalator truss made of lightweight materials that could be flat-packed for easy transportation and installation.

Alister Bennett’s “eureka” moment to use composite materials due to their relative lightness, stiffness and strength led to his design and engineering of the 8 composite lift. He aims to establish a composite engineering hub in Singapore that will eventually provide solutions to a variety of industries and markets.

It is not the first time that the lift industry innovates with composite materials. For example, Finnish elevator manufacturer Kone created UltraRope, a cable made with carbon fibre and a polyurethane coating to solve height and weight problems.

New Singaporean composite lift aims to revolutionize the construction industry