TWIN – progress in parallel
Higher, faster, fairer – the “Main Triangel” business complex in Frankfurt, Germany involved a number of engineering superlatives. First, two elevator cars had to be able to move through a hoistway in such a way as to optimize load. Second, the whole construction had to be aesthetically pleasing as it ran along the outer façade of the building. But would it possible to achieve both aims in harmony?
A specialist for tricky situations: Dr.-Ing. Günter Reuter was in charge of developing the mechanics for the two-story panorama elevator.
TWIN is a new type of elevator system consisting of two cars in the same elevator hoistway – one above the other, using the same carriage system, yet operating independently of one another. In contrast to conventional systems (with one car per hoistway), this elevator system makes it possible to convey 40% more people (measured on the basis of a typical “unit” of four people), or save 25% in terms of construction volume – which in real terms equates to a complete elevator hoistway. What’s more, the TWIN System could be constructed to blend in visually with the inner courtyard of the “Main Triangel” – a feat that took a good deal of planning, technical knowledge, and a certain amount of improvisation. Technology is developing at such a rapid pace that it was necessary to include a significantly higher number of technical components than you need with conventional elevators. Also, the engineers had to come up with a special air-conditioning system for the cars made entirely of glass. Now the TWIN elevator transports visitors to and fro between the 13 floors – a real feast for the eyes.
True beauty comes from within: invisible from the outside, the technology behind the innovative elevator system seems to let the cars simply float through the air. It’s a breathtaking sight – and artistic in its own way.
Forger of the future:
Dr.-Ing. Günter Reuter has been with the company since the first TWIN concept came off the drawing board. The specialist PhD graduate has been at ThyssenKrupp Aufzugswerke GmbH for 13 years and now heads up machine construction development. With his co-workers, he was responsible for mechanical engineering aspects of the project. The TWIN elevator installed at the “Main Triangel” was an elegant solution to a tricky brief, but for Dr. Reuter it was also a “major challenge”, a challenge overcome by all. Especially the need for a panoramic elevator took a great deal of sensitivity – and some ingenious thinking. Not only would he have to find a way to hide the machinery, incorporating an entire air conditioning unit for the glass car would turn out to be “an extremely demanding aspect”. But the overriding priority on this milestone project would actually be how well everybody worked together as a team. Dr. Reuter’s team is mainly made up of young technicians, some of them former interns and students who were at ThyssenKrupp while writing their thesis. So everyone has their own area of specialist knowledge where they can provide input. Even experienced engineers still wonder at the team’s achievements: “Watching the TWINs going up and down from the outside really is amazing. Fascinating. Just looking at it makes your pulse beat faster.“
Even young engineers will find plenty of areas of opportunity at ThyssenKrupp and the freedom to pursue new ideas, turn them into reality, and forge ahead with their development.
Also interested in moving up a floor or two? Please explore some of our other flagship projects.