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 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|
|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||by elevator safety code in countries|
|Additional phone/intercom and security camera 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|
|Overspeed governor||No||by elevator safety code in countries|
|Additional unintended car movement protection device if they don't equipped||by building owners|
|Backup battery or uninterruptible power supply||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
- ELEMOTION (for low to mid-rise buildings, since 2001)
- NexWay Modernization (for high-rise buildings)
- HydroAccel (for North America)
- Gen2 Mod (for low to mid-rise buildings)
- Elevonic R-Series (for North America)
- Elevonic 411M
- Miconic HXpress (for North America)
- 6400 NA (for North America)
- Schindler Modernization
- 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. 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
- ↑ UK vs US spelling list
- ↑ 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)
- ↑ 【富嘉花園升降機優化工程】 (Facebook page: KONE Hong Kong)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Guidelines for Modernising Existing Lifts (Chinese version) (Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Hong Kong)
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Including door bumpers and sensors
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 To make an ascending car overspeed protection.
- ↑ 日本オーチス・エレベータ - 戸開走行保護装置（UCMP）
- ↑ 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)
- Redundant brake system
- Ascending car overspeed protection
- Unintended car movement protection
- Door interlocks, bumpers and sensors
- Intercom, emergency phone and security camera
- Suspension ropes obstruction switch
- Emergency automatic rescue device
Government official guidelines
- Lift Modernisation Resource Corner(Chinese version) (Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Hong Kong)
- Guidelines for Modernising Existing Lifts (Chinese version) (Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Hong Kong)
- Modernisation of Existing Lifts (Chinese only) (Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Hong Kong)
- Lift Modernization Safe Use of Lifts & Escalators (Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Hong Kong)
Vendors' elevator modernization solutions
- KONE Solutions for Elevator Modernization (Chinese version) - KONE (Hong Kong), for the Hong Kong's Code of Practices only.