Elevator modernization (or lift modernisation) is the process of upgrading the critical parts of the elevator in order for it to be able to handle new technology, have better performance, improve safety, and even give the aesthetics an up-to-date appeal.
Sometimes, elevator (lift) replacement work also applied in this term.
Most elevators are built to provide about 30 to 40 years of service (although some elevators as old as 50 years or more are still in service), as long as service intervals specified and periodic maintenance/inspections by the manufacturer are followed. As the elevator ages and equipment become increasingly difficult to find or replace, along with code changes and deteriorating ride performance, a complete overhaul of the elevator may be suggested to the building owners.
Typically, a modernization will affect the controller equipment (the part of the elevator that controls the movement of the elevator through the floors), the hoist machines and motors (the part of the elevator that does the heavy lifting), electrical wiring and buttons of the cab (controlling the lights, destination floors, etc.,) even the tracks of the doors are sometimes modified and changed, all to keep the elevator up-to-date, and to the aesthetics conscious, paneling, electronics, and additional style changes can also be done in the interior of the cabs.
- Please refer to Elevator major alterations.
For starters, an elevator modernization plan will have to be created. This is done usually with the help of an elevator service company which can also do modernization.
This process will determine which parts of the elevator will have to be modernized, the scope of the procedure, and most importantly, making sure that code compliance is met. Once this is done, preventive maintenance will have to be done until the elevator is removed from service.
During this time, the elevator will be out of service, so building owners will have to compensate for this. This includes proper diversion of building’s traffic, creating contingency plans, and so on. This is needed because depending on the amount of modernization done, the number of elevators, and the size of the building, the whole process may take anywhere from a few months, to a whole year.
When the process complete, elevator service company must complete the elevator examination for newly installed elevator or elevator recently complete the major alterations before it back in service.
Components needs to be replaced in different elevator modernization plan
|Component||Scheme of elevator modernization plan|
|Refurbishment work||Partial modernization||Full modernization||Full replacement|
|Sling||No||No||by building owners||Yes|
|Door operator||No||by building owners||Yes||Yes|
|Cab design||by building owners||by building owners||Yes||Yes|
|Car doors||by building owners||by building owners||Yes||Yes|
|Car fixtures||Yes||by building owners||Yes||Yes|
|Wedges connected to the governor||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Additional phone/intercom if they don't equipped||by building owners||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Wire ropes||No||by building owners||Yes||Yes|
|Shaft door components||by building owners||by building owners||Yes||Yes|
|Shaft doors||by building owners||by building owners||by building owners||Yes|
|Hall fixtures||Yes||by building owners||Yes||Yes|
|Machines||No||by building owners||Yes||Yes|
|Removal of the selector||by building owners||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Additional unintended car movement protection device if they don't equipped||by building owners||by elevator safety code in countries|
|Backup battery or uninterruptible power supply||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Benefits of elevator modernization
Modernization can greatly improve operational reliability by replacing mechanical relays and contacts with solid-state electronics. Ride quality can be improved by replacing motor-generator-based drive designs with Variable-Voltage, Variable Frequency (VVVF) drives, providing near-seamless acceleration and deceleration. Passenger safety is also improved by updating systems and equipment (such as double brake system, unintended car movement protection device on the brake system. etc.) to conform to current codes.
Problems of elevator modernization
Many vintage elevator enthusiasts dislike elevator modernization, because it reduces the aesthetic appeal of the elevator with a generic, modern design, and also may not blend in with the architecture of historic buildings. Also, some people criticize that modernized elevators aren't as well made or have as long a lifespan, because of the sensitive electronic controllers, cheaper made mechanical parts, and fast work method. As a result, some people say that elevators should not be modernized, unless it's absolutely needed, and if so, should be done in a high quality, efficient manner.
Notes and references
- ↑ Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Hong Kong - Circular No. 19/2011 Guidelines for Modernising Existing Lifts
- ↑ Modernisation of aged lifts Enjoy a safer and more reliable ride (Chinese version) (Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Hong Kong)
- ↑ Guidelines for Modernising Existing Lifts (Chinese version) (Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Hong Kong)
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 If those devices exist.
- ↑ Including door bumpers and sensors
- ↑ To make an ascending car overspeed protection.
- ↑ What is an Elevator Rope Gripper (by ElevatorAdjuster)
- ↑ Lift Rope Brake (by hkelev.com)
- ↑ Generic lift companies (Beno.org.uk)
- Lift Upgrading Programme (Singapore, discontinued project)
- Lift Modernisation Programme (Hong Kong, ongoing project)
- Escalator modernization
Government official guidelines
- Guidelines for Modernising Existing Lifts (Chinese version) (Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Hong Kong)
- Lift Modernization Safe Use of Lifts & Escalators (Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Hong Kong)
Concept: Destination dispatch • Elevator algorithm • Elevator control system • Elevator machine room • Elevator maintenance • Elevator major alterations • Elevator modernization • Machine room less elevator
Elevator systems, controllers and equipments: Elevator fixtures • Elevator keys • Elevator special modes • Elevator doors • Door cam • Door interlocks (Interlock wiring communication system) • Door restrictor • Elevator Inspection Certificate • Emergency stop button • Floor designators • Gate switch • Old Deadman controls • Overspeed governor • Motor-generator set & Silicon-controlled rectifier (for DC-powered elevators) • Insulated-gate bipolar transistor (for AC-VVVF-powered elevators) • Regenerative converter (for AC-VVVF-powered elevators)
See also: List of elevator fixtures guide • List of elevator and escalator companies • Elevator door sill guide (Generic elevator component door sill guide) • Floor numbering (Unlucky floor numbers) • Elevator incidents and accidents