Published May 17, 2005
Volume 13, Number 5

Amtech S.F. Elevator Knows the Ups and Downs of Vertical Travel

Brendan Kildune, center, and the rest of the staff of the Pleasanton office
of Amtech SF Elevator provide service to companies around the area.

By George Walsh
Special to NETWORK

Many of us take it for granted that any building over a certain height will have an elevator as an amenity. However, by their very nature, these devices need to be kept in peak operating order for the sake of safety—not just convenience. In the Bay Area, one of the companies that people rely on to handle the important task of keeping people moving safely between the floors of a building is Amtech SF Elevator at 5627 Stoneridge Drive.

“We’re engaged in the service, repair, modernization, and installation of elevators,” says Brendan Kildunne, account manager for Amtech SF Elevator. “We install elevators in brand-new buildings, we modernize elevators in old buildings, and we do service and repair on existing elevators. In the real estate market, we act as a service organization, like an air conditioning company or a security provider. We work with the property managers to maintain their elevators. In the construction industry, we act as subcontractor with the expertise to correctly and safely install elevators.”

Amtech is owned by United Technologies Corp., a Fortune 500 company and world leader in the building systems and aerospace industries. It is also a sister company of Otis Elevator, an organization that sells approximately 100,000 elevators and escalators annually. Otis has an approximate 28 percent share of the world new elevator equipment market. Amtech was originally founded approximately 25 years ago, before merging with San Francisco Elevator, a company that has been in business for over a century. Amtech SF Elevator was acquired by United Technologies in August of 2003. The company has four employees on staff in its Hacienda office and around ten field employees operating out of the facility. In its San Francisco, Sacramento, and Pleasanton offices, Amtech has a total of 85 employees.

The potentially deadly possibility of a cable breaking wasn’t addressed until the mid 1880s by Elisha Otis. Otis designed a safety brake for elevators so that if a cable snapped, the brake would immediately engage, preventing the platform from falling. Otis presented his new safety elevator in a demonstration where he had one fully loaded with freight, climbed on board, and had the platform raised to full height. While standing on the elevator, he had an associate cut the rope supporting it with an axe. Before the elevator could fall, the safety brake locked the lift in place, keeping Otis, the elevator, and its freight from falling to the ground. From that point on, the demand for elevators increased exponentially, and they increasingly became a trusted part of daily life, as well as enabling the construction of high-rise buildings.

“Our predominate focus in business is service,” Kildunne says. “We’re very customer focused and responsive. People typically don’t just call us up and to tell us that their elevator is broken. Most of the elevators we service are covered under a service contract. We visit our clients monthly to do preventative maintenance and any repairs or upgrades that are necessary.” In the immediate area, Amtech services companies that include the Carr America Center, AT&T, and the San Ramon Marriott.

Amtech’s association with Otis provides them with a number of benefits, including financial and engineering resources, technical expertise, the Otis engineering facility, and an extensive parts warehouse. In many cases, Amtech can obtain the necessary parts for repairing or maintaining an elevator overnight. In regards to the importance of keeping elevators operating safely, Kildunne likes to use an old quote from his industry: “If your elevators don’t move, your tenants will.”


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