Success Story

Elevator Cab Renovations

(From left) Gary Morris, President, Elevator Cab Renovations (ECR), OCE Business Development Manager, Dr. Philippa King, and David Thibodeau, Professor, Algonquin College, behind an elevator interior panel being manufactured at ECR.
There are over 1.65 million elevator cabs in North America. Meeting fire safety standards is crucial. Testing for new innovative fire-safe materials and systems is uncommon, expensive and complex, often resulting in potentially unsafe products.

Ottawa’s Elevator Cab Renovations (ECR), in conjunction with Algonquin College and the University of Waterloo, designed and built a Steiner Tunnel, a unique apparatus intended to test research, screen and optimize fire-proof panels. The tunnel allows ECR to inexpensively test new, more lightweight materials that make elevator interiors safer and more energy efficient.

OCE linked ECR with Algonquin College and, through a series of Connections projects, final-year college students built the Steiner Tunnel. OCE then enlisted Professor Beth Weckman at the University of Waterloo and initiated a collaboration with NSERC and OCE’s Technical Problem Solving program. In-depth fire studies and testing is now underway supported by OCE’s Collaborative Research program.

ECR is firing up the Steiner Tunnel for testing this fall and plans to have a range of new lightweight elevator interiors dominating the market in the next 18 months. The company recently opened a second facility in Mississauga, Ontario.

“OCE has provided tremendous help in finding academic resources which can help us solve our R&D problems Philippa King, had great knowledge of the resources available and very successfully connected us to them so we could form long term relationships.”

—Jonathan Adair, Process Manager, Elevator Cab Renovations

Return on Innovation

  • Steiner tunnel testing will propel ECR into an industry leadership position in North America
  • Currently employs 40 people
  • Plans to hire 50 more in the next three to five years
  • Will create 200-300 new jobs in Ontario over the next 10 years

OCE©2012 Last updated 10/2012