Flying High with new energy
The history of architecture covers technical, functional and aesthetic developments across all historical eras and
continents – from sacred buildings still intact since the Middle Ages, to the modern towering skyscrapers of today. However, with progress in technology, architectural styles have changed. Though they all have one thing in common: they have to be regularly cleaned and maintained throughout their useful life. As such, cleaning staff and service engineers must have easy, secure and quick access into and around all building units and elements.
What sounds simple and self-evident at first – access to all areas of the building – on closer inspection often reveals itself to be the greatest challenge in the cleaning, repair and maintenance process. Teupen, the company based in Gronau, North Rhine-Westphalia, has been carrying out high-altitude work for decades and has developed lifts which can be used in the most confined of spaces. POWER news (Pn) spoke with Mr Ritzenhöfer, development manager of Teupen, about challenges, demands and trends.
Pn: Mr Ritzenhöfer, Teupen is a premium brand and innovator in the field of lifting platforms. Where are your devices used and what makes you different from other manufacturers?
Mr Ritzenhöfer: We have various areas of application: hotels, stadiums, airports, museums, shopping centres, conference and concert halls, etc., both indoors and outdoors. The real distinctiveness of our lifting platforms reveals itself when it comes to entering most efficiently and quickly the most inaccessible of places – or when noise and exhaust emissions have to be avoided in buildings frequented by the public, for example. To achieve these objectives efficiently, we have a very future-oriented approach and consistently focus on the latest technology. So we build the most effective overall system for our customers from a cost-benefit point of view.
Pn: As the first manufacturer of chain-operating platforms in the world, your electrical drive is powered by the innovative BENNING lithium ion battery of the type LICUBE®. What are the benefits of this for you?
Mr Ritzenhöfer: Our chain-operating platforms of the LEO series are currently the most compact and lightweight height access solution with working heights from 12 m up to 50 m. For areas of difficult access the platforms, with their compact design, fit through standard doors. Think about the many narrow, historic buildings. They’ve been built, modified and expanded over decades. The maintenance of such buildings is naturally outside the norm. In addition, challenges such as narrow passages and delicate, irreplaceable flooring require all the more care!
The demand for our products is therefore all about compactness and light weight. Compared with lead acid batteries, LICUBE® energy systems offer us the advantages of significantly lower volume and weight, coupled with significantly higher energy density.
Much frequented buildings such as shopping centres, administrative buildings, universities and hospitals in turn require clean, quiet and absolutely emission-free operation. Our electric motors are quiet and the LICUBE® energy storage system used is completely closed (IP67) and thus odour and emissions free.
Pn: Mr Ritzenhöfer, your website frequently mentions technology for people. What is meant by this?
Mr Ritzenhöfer: This requirement is an important contribution to the manifest safety of Teupen machines. The operation of the machines is quite simply easy, convenient, flexible and safe. This includes not only our
intuitive control units and robust telescopic systems, but naturally also a maintenance-free battery pack. In addition, it offers our customers high availability and autonomy with rapid and intermediate load capacity on site.
Pn: So far we have discussed internal operations. How do you assess the robustness of LICUBE® energy storage systems in terms of demanding outdoor use on construction sites or in open terrain?
Mr Ritzenhöfer: We equip our LEO18GTplus, LEO21GT, LEO24GT models with diesel engines or electric motors as an option. Both solutions measure up to the challenging conditions of outdoor use. Yet our customers who work in the rental business are currently asking for the lithium battery solution increasingly frequently, as with this the lift is simply more versatile in various indoor and outdoor environments, and therefore can be rented much more frequently.
Pn: You mention the rental market. What else do lessors place particular value on?
Mr Ritzenhöfer: Sales of our chain-operating platforms to rental companies currently represent approx. 60 % of our total turnover. For these companies it is important to achieve return on invest (ROI) in as short a time as possible, which is why, for them, the total cost of ownership (TCO) plays a special role. We have optimized our systems accordingly.
Pn: How does this affect your choice of LICUBE® energy systems?
Mr Ritzenhöfer: Of course, the payback period depends on many factors. These include the rate of use of the lifting platform as well as the operating and maintenance costs. Based on the energy package installed, this means that the LICUBE® energy systems increase the usable energy from approx. 64% (lead battery) to over 85%. This significantly improved energy efficiency reduces the TCO for the operator and lessor. Because it also emits no gases when charging, loading areas and battery rooms are not needed. The regular monitoring and filling of electrolytes can also be omitted. Moreover, LICUBE® energy systems, which have an operating life up to five times longer than lead batteries, offer more than 2,500 cycles – which reduces operating costs and thus has a shorter payback period.
Pn: As the only manufacturer of chain-operating platforms, Teupen manufactures in Germany and clearly prides itself on being the quality “Made in Germany” brand. Will this continue to be the case?
Mr Ritzenhöfer: Our manufacturing location in Germany offers decisive advantages. The country is marked by decades of engineering skill and quality. Teupen has highly qualified experts at work in all areas and they give their best for the product day in, day out. We also expect this from our suppliers and partners. For this reason, to come back to your question, this will continue to be the case in the future – because everyone speaks the same language here: high-tech.
Pn: Mr Ritzenhöfer, thank you for the entertaining conversation.
Teupen has been developing and manufacturing first class height access systems in Gronau, North Rhine-Westphalia, for over 35 years. Operators and users benefit from years of experience and efficient technology to increase the efficiency of their high-altitude work. Practical and in line with market requirements, the Teupen aerial platform sets itself in the premium segment. Motivated by the requirement to exceed high demands from clients, Teupen uses innovative technology with unique demands on processing quality and practical performance parameters. With a spirit for innovation, Teupen ventures to present the latest technical solutions again and again. And very often these solutions have proved to be true milestones in the industry.
More information: www.teupen.com
contact: Peter Hoeptner
telephone: +49 (0) 28 71 / 93 -233