19 May 2020

Video conference with the Ministry of Industry and Trade

On April 30, the leaders of the National Elevators Union and the Russian Elevators Association took part in a video conference meeting with representatives of the Department of Machine-Building and Investment Engineering of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.

The elevator community was represented at the meeting by Viktor Tishin, the President of the National Elevators Union , Alexei Zakharov, the First Vice-President of NEU, Sergei Chernyshov, the President of the Russian Elevators Association, Peter Kharlamov, the Executive Director of REA.

There were four questions to be discussed at the meeting: 1) Situation in performance of elevator-building enterprises during the pandemic of coronavirus COVID-19; 2) Elevator components of foreign production; 3) Suggestions of REA and NEU regarding the road map of the elevators industry development; 4) Risks of of the industry monopolization.

Peter Kharlamov, the Executive Director of REA, said that the public associations of the elevator industry has long ago planned to arrange a business meeting with the Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia that oversees the elevator-building, but the format had to be changed to the remote one due to the well-known events.

During discussion of the first question, the participants noted that the majority of elevator-production companies in the country have managed to continue the operation in the period of high alert declared because of the pandemic. Some concern arise the limited availability of the spare parts at a number of the production facilities, which expiration might lead to suspension of its activities.

The list of the elevator assemblies, which production is important to be arranged in Russia (question No. 2) was supplemented by the experts of the elevator industry by winches, electronic components in control stations, frequency converters, safety systems (catcher and speed limiter).

It was emphasized that production of domestic gearless winches should be a priority for the industry, as they have a number of technical advantages, but it is impossible to discount the geared winches in the national conditions. The elevators equipped with these very winches are widely used in replacement of the elevators in the apartment buildings by the overhaul programs.

While a number of Russian companies have already deployed the production of the lift winches, there is no a frequency converter of a purely Russian production. In this respect the challenge of arrangement of its full-fledged production at least one site in the country is really pending.

No less complicated remains the situation with the domestic element base for the elevators control stations. It is obvious that the availability of high-quality electronic components concerns not only elevator-building or heavy machinery industries, therefore, it is necessary to discuss this issue on a higher level.

The representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade have familiarized with the suggestions of the professional community regarding the amendments to the roadmap of the elevators industry development, approved by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Construction in August 2019 (question No.3).

The authors based their opinions on the fact that a number of points in the document has already been completed in full or in partially. For example, the elevators industry has achieved a significant success in the field of certification of the professional qualifications of the employees, elaboration of professional standards, regulatory prerequisites for the introduction of electronic passports for elevators, etc.

Considering the difficult economic situation in the country, a number of initiatives from the elevator producers pursued the goal of involvement some additional funds from the federal budget to the industry. In particular, these funds might be required to co-finance the overhaul costs for replacement of the elevators due to drop-down payments of citizens and reduction of contributions for the overhaul of the apartment buildings, subsidize the replacement of elevators in the facilities of health care, social and cultural life, military-industrial sector, etc., subsidize the projects of import substitution in terms of the elevator components.

The list of amendments to the road map also included points related to the idea of consolidating the capacities of the elevator production enterprises, operation and installation of the equipment.

After the meeting, the dedicated department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade received a package of improvements to the road map elaborated by the experts of the elevators industry, in addition, in the near future the agency expects to receive the detailed theses on the problem of the import substitution from them.

The leaders of REA NEU manage to reach an agreement with the representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade on the joint visit Scherbinka Elevators-Building Plant after completion of the high alert regime. It is expected that such a visit will help to objectively assess the progress of the modernization, production capabilities and once more weigh the feasibility of construction of a new powerful elevator plant.

The parties managed to come to the understanding that after softening of the anti-virus measures it is necessary to hold a face-to-face meeting dedicated to the issues of production of national analogues for imported components with involvement of all parties concerned.

According to Peter Kharlamov, following to the tone of the discussions at the meeting, it can be concluded that the Ministry of Industry and Trade cannot do without the support of the industry in implementing certain sections of the road map, and the agency expects to receive it.

In turn, the National Elevators Union and the Russian Elevators Association have long claiming that it is impossible to develop the elevators production industry without a direct participation of its representatives and insist on granting themselves with the status of co-executors of some sections of the "roadmap".