From the salespeople who help our clients maximize their budgets to the installation specialists who turn the final screw, it takes all kinds of talents to create striking, quality elevator interiors. To give you a peek behind the scenes and a better understanding of our process, we sat down with a few members of our talented team to find out what they do every day and what makes their job… well… unique!
Enjoy some highlights from our chat with Metal Shop Lead Nick Coloriano, from our Alameda facility.
What’s your role on the team and how does one end up in the elevator industry?
I am the Metal Shop Lead, and I’ve been doing that for a year and a half. I handle any type of welding we need to do for cab interiors — from stainless steel to aluminum and even bronze.
I started working for a sailboat company that would fabricate boat rails, motor mounts, anything that had to do with metal on a sailboat. And I worked for that company for, I would say 18, 19 years.
Getting a great result isn’t always as simple as you’d think — working with new materials brings new challenges.
For a recent project, we needed to make a ceiling made of an aluminum frame with wood attached to it. It was tricky because aluminum welding is much more difficult than other metals, so welding the frame together on top of very delicate wood required some patience. Every weld I did on that project, I had to stop and grab an air hose to cool it down so that I wouldn’t burn the wood.
Making handrails out of bronze also requires a lot of attention to detail. If you’re not careful, you can actually change the color of the bronze — it also gives off a lot of fumes if you weld it too hot, which makes it difficult to see and makes things more complicated. But I enjoy challenging projects. I learn something every time, and once it’s done, it’s always a good feeling.
They say you can’t pick a favorite child, and it turns out the same is true when it comes to elevator interiors.
Every project is my favorite! To me, every single job, every single cab shell is special because I get to see it from start to finish. And I always enjoy taking raw sheet metal and seeing it transform into a finished interior, especially when it’s been installed. It’s amazing — the feeling is incredible, actually.
On what sets UEI apart from other companies and what he loves about his work:
The very specific focus on the details that we put into every single project. We take our jobs seriously and really put care into everything we do. Working as a team and doing things that bring us together also makes our product a lot better. There’s a lot of communication around here, we get along really well, and we love working as a team, so that helps a lot.
We also have a lot of people here that are very talented at what they do. We get a lot of unique projects that let us do challenging things, and I love having the ability to show my skills in order to reach the result our customers want. People, when they get into an elevator, that’s the first appearance that they see of the interior. Knowing that my work is actually being appreciated by millions of people makes me proud.
Has he ever gotten to enjoy the fruits of his hard work?
I haven’t been taken out into a project that we finished because we don’t usually have the time! But when I am at a public building and I use an elevator, I can tell if it’s something that we did. I don’t look for logos or clues or anything like that, but I can always tell from the quality and the unique processes that we use if it’s something we did. Every one I’ve noticed has looked great!
So, we hope that the next time you step into an elevator, you’ll think about the hard work and specialized knowledge it took to bring it to life. Each of us at UEI love what we do, and it fills us with pride when others get to enjoy our work, too.
Look out for more highlights from our team members, and if you’ve got a project in mind for our one-of-a-kind crew, just let us know!