As the calendar year draws to a close, it’s a good time for any service provider to take a step back, reflect on what has happened in the year and review what can be improved the following year. For us at Alimak Service it is all about how we can evolve to continue to delight our customers; looking at market trends, new technologies and evaluating the demands coming from our industry segments to respond quickly to the needs of our clients. Considering this, let’s take a brief look at some of the key industry segments Alimak Service supports and what we have learnt in 2019:
Construction Hoists – construction and rental companies operating Alimak construction hoists view minimising downtime as their number one priority, given the hoists role within the logistic flow of the building moving people and materials through the construction site. Downtime is minimised by ensuring the equipment is maintained according to the operators manual, which includes the daily checks, and can be mitigated further by having the right people and materials on hand to respond quickly in the event of an unscheduled downtime event – this can often be minor and with appropriate training can be avoided altogether. Alimak Service has a lot of experience in both managing the service maintenance of Alimak construction hoists on major construction projects, such as Canary Wharf in London, and is also behind some of the biggest names in the rental business, providing technical assistance and fast delivery of spare parts. We also recognise well trained operators and persons responsible for maintenance important to reducing downtime instances.
Industrial Elevators – as an essential part of the plant infrastructure in oil and gas, mining and marine applications, downtime is also important, however, given that these units are permanently installed, in some cases for 30 years or more, total cost of ownership is the key consideration and is becoming increasingly important when we meet to discuss with clients. The ability to have a fixed cost for maintenance over a long term is important for plant managers to secure maintenance budgets. What is also important to the client is the option for a refurbishment or upgrade solution available in the future as industrial elevators can not easily be replaced as they are often built around and into the plant infrastructure. Alimak Service offer both long term service contracts and have a well-established refurbishment programme for industrial elevators offering the ability to manage the equipment over the total lifecycle.
Building Maintenance Units (BMUs) – like industrial elevators, BMUs are designed and built into the fabric of the building, on the roof and in some cases at various intervals of the building, so are a permanent fixture with a long lifespan. As a result, there is a requirement for facilities managers and building owners to control the cost of maintenance over a period and we see an increasing number of clients take advantage of our long-term service contracts to meet this need. Furthermore, we are expanding our capability to support major refurbishment, upgrade and modernisations of BMUs given many units around the world are coming to an age were components and systems need to be replaced because they are worn, superseded by new technology, obsolete or unviable to repair. Alimak Service has a dedicated team of factory engineers to support refurbishment projects from start to finish and have some exciting projects we are currently working on and will share in 2020 – watch this space! Another interesting trend is the increasing demand for enhancing the lifting functionality of the BMU, such as adding auxiliary hoists to bring up loads from the ground to the cradle.
Wind Turbine Service Lifts – wind is moving offshore and in a big way! In Europe alone there is an ambition to build the installed base of wind turbines offshore to produce 450GW of energy by 2050 which would meet 30% of the continents power demand, 85% of which will be installed in the North, Irish and Baltic Seas, making Western Europe a real hive of offshore activity. Exhibiting recently at Wind Europe Offshore in Copenhagen, Alimak Service had some great discussions with our clients about the future of offshore wind and how we will support them during this period of accelerated growth. Another area Alimak Service has recently expanded is the management of rectification programmes on behalf of wind farm operators to bring service lifts back to full utilisation were there has been a history of poor installation and/or maintenance of the service lift that has resulted in long term technical problems at the site.
Despite the geographical, technical and economic differences between the industry sectors in which we operate, we see that the vast majority of our customers appreciate our speed of response, expert knowledge and wide choice of services and products we offer; delivered with the same sense of urgency and integrity no matter where our customers are in the world. Alimak Service will be revealing a range of new digital tools, eLearning’s and service products in 2020 to help make life easier for our customers and become better connected with their products. We love to hear from our customers about our products and services, so don’t forget to follow us on social media or get in touch with us via our website. Finally, Alimak Service would like to send our wishes to our customers around the world during this festive period and we look forward to working with you in 2020!