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An elevator is being modernized into Schindler 3300 AP MRL in 2013. The former elevator was a 1991 Dong Yang hydraulic elevator.

An elevator is being modernized into Schindler 5500 elevator in 2013. The former elevator was a 1980s FIAM traction elevator. The right one is already modernized.

Elevator modernization (or lift modernisation[1]) 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[2][3].

Sometimes, elevator (lift) replacement work also applied in this term[4].


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[5].

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.

It must be emphasized that existing elevators, if properly maintained and periodically examined, are safe[5].

The process

Please refer to 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 that need to be replaced in different elevator modernization plans

Disclaimer: These are the plans with the basic requirement for the elevator modernization. Terms may vary by the elevator safety code in some countries. Elevatorpedia strongly recommend building owners, consult to the professionals suggestions before the construction project get started.

Component Scheme of elevator modernization plan
Refurbishment work Partial modernization Full modernization Full replacement
Elevator car
Sling No No by building owners Yes
Door operator[6] No Optional Yes Yes
Cab design Optional, by building owners Optional, by building owners Yes Yes
Car doors[7] Optional Optional Yes Yes
Car fixtures Optional by building owners Yes Yes
Wedges connected to the governor[8][6] No by elevator safety code in countries
Additional phone/intercom and security camera if they don't equipped by building owners Yes Yes Yes
Traveling cable No Yes Yes Yes
Wire ropes[6] No by building owners Yes Yes
Counterweight[6] No No No Yes
Hydraulic rams[6] No No No Yes
Guide rails No No No Yes
Buffers No No Yes Yes
Electrical components No No No Yes
Tapehead[6] No Yes Yes Yes
Limit switches[6] No Yes Yes Yes
Wiring No Yes Yes Yes
Compensations[6] No No No Yes
Shaft door components Optional Yes Yes Yes
Shaft doors Optional Yes Yes Yes
Hall fixtures Optional Yes Yes Yes
Machine room
Machines[9] No Optional Yes Yes
Controllers No Yes Yes Yes
Removal of the selector[6] No Yes Yes Yes
Overspeed governor[8][6] No by elevator safety code in countries[10]
Additional ACOP and UCMP device if they don't equipped by building owners
Backup battery or uninterruptible power supply[6] No Yes Yes Yes

Notable elevator modernization packages

Disclaimer: Almost every elevator companies provides elevator modernization packages to building owners. Here are some notable elevator modernization packages provided by the elevator companies. Building owners can have their own customize modernization solutions. Elevatorpedia strongly recommend building owners, consult to the professionals suggestions before the construction project get started.


  • Modernization for Royal Superdyne


  • GS-1 (only available in Thailand and Philippines)
  • GS-2 (only available in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong)


  • ReSolve 800
  • ReGenerate 800



  • HydroAccel (for North America)
  • Gen2 Mod (for low to mid-rise buildings)
  • Elevonic R-Series (for North America)
  • Elevonic 411 M


  • Miconic HXpress (for North America)
  • Schindler 6400 NA (for North America)
  • Schindler Modernization
    • Schindler 1000 Plus
    • Schindler 3000 Plus
    • Schindler 5000 Plus
    • Schindler 6200 (for Europe)
    • Schindler 6300 (for Europe and Asia Pacific)
    • Schindler 6500 (for Europe and Asia Pacific)




  • MOD Solutions (for North America)
    • H Power (formerly HYPower, hydraulic elevator modernization)
    • G2 Power (geared to gearless traction elevator modernization)
    • G Power (formerly Numbers, geared elevator modernization)
    • GL Power (gearless elevator modernization)
    • AT Power (modernization to destination dispatch)

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 redundant brake system, unintended car movement protection device on the brake system[11][12]. 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.[13]


Notes and references

  1. UK vs US spelling list
  2. Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Hong Kong - Circular No. 19/2011 Guidelines for Modernising Existing Lifts
  3. Modernisation of aged lifts Enjoy a safer and more reliable ride (Chinese version) (Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Hong Kong)
  4. 【富嘉花園升降機優化工程】 (Facebook page: KONE Hong Kong)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Guidelines for Modernising Existing Lifts (Chinese version) (Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Hong Kong)
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 If those devices exist.
  7. Including door bumpers and sensors
  8. 8.0 8.1 To make an ascending car overspeed protection.
  9. For traction machines, new machines usually equipped with at least two brakes and works independently.
  10. 日本オーチス・エレベータ - 戸開走行保護装置(UCMP)
  11. What is an Elevator Rope Gripper (by ElevatorAdjuster)
  12. Lift Rope Brake (by hkelev.com)
  13. Generic lift companies (Beno.org.uk)

See also

Government related projects

7 essential parts related to the elevator modernization

External links

Government official guidelines

Vendors' elevator modernization solutions

Fan-made guidelines

Drive systems: Traction • Winding Drum • Hydraulic

Types of elevators: Double DeckDumbwaiterFireman'sFreightIncline • PassengerResidentialWheelchair lift

Concept: CapacityDestination dispatchElevator algorithm • Elevator control systemElevator machine room • Elevator maintenance • Elevator monitoring systemElevator modernizationACOP & UCMPMachine room less elevatorMajor alterationsRated speed

Elevator systems, controllers and equipments: Elevator emergency automatic rescue device • Elevator fixtures • Elevator keys • Elevator special modesElevator doorsDoor camDoor interlocks (Interlock wiring communication system) • Door restrictorElevator Inspection CertificateEmergency stop buttonFloor designatorsGate switch • Old Deadman controls • Overspeed governorMotor-generator set & Silicon-controlled rectifier (for DC-powered elevators) • Insulated-gate bipolar transistor (for AC-VVVF-powered elevators) • SelectorTape headRegenerative converter (for AC-VVVF-powered elevators)

See also: List of elevator fixtures guide • List of elevator and escalator companies • Elevator door sill guide (Non-proprietary elevator component door sill guide) • Floor numbering (Unlucky floor numbers) • Elevator incidents and accidents