Tag: Elevator

Before we look at the impact, if any, that Destination Dispatch Technology has had on energy saving, let’s first have a look at what this actually is.

Destination dispatch is a way of optimizing elevator travel to reduce wait and travel times. Passengers are grouped by their destinations so that people traveling to the same floor ride in the same elevator. This reduces the number of stops the elevator needs to make, which lowers the amount of time people spend riding and waiting for their floors.

Passengers can indicate their destination floors by tapping a keypad or touch screen or using a proximity card in the lobby. They are then directed to an elevator that is going to be traveling to that floor. It may or may not be the next elevator that will be arriving in the lobby.

In a full configuration, destination panels are located on every floor. There are no floor buttons to push inside the elevator, but there are still buttons that can be used to open and close the doors and to summon help in the event of an emergency. Handicap mode is supported in a full configuration. This is the most common type of configuration.

In a hybrid configuration, destination panels are only located on some floors. Other floors have up and down call buttons. There are floor buttons inside the elevator. Handicap mode is generally not supported in a hybrid configuration.

Destination dispatch is becoming popular for several reasons. It avoids unnecessary floor stops, which reduces wait and travel times. It can improve efficiency and organize traffic in lobbies. Passengers with impaired mobility can have better accessibility since they can move in advance to a designated elevator.

So, what has been the energy saving impact?

The technology is impressive, but it is the noticeable, real-world results that are transforming smart elevators from exciting curiosities into high-growth wonders. Advanced destination-based elevator systems today can reduce individual passenger commute times by 20 to 30 percent. In one study of a 15-story office building, it was found that a destination dispatch elevator made roughly half as many floor-stops per trip compared with conventional elevators. This type of performance not only speeds people to their destinations, it also means half as many decelerations and door openings/closing. This translates into less wear and tear on the equipment, and lower energy requirements to run the elevators.

One popular analogy for explaining the difference between conventional and destination dispatch elevator systems is the contrast between taking a bus and a limousine. Both vehicles get you to your destination, but the limo is faster and knows exactly where you are going.

Other Smart Benefits

Efficiency is also a key benefit. Because destination dispatch elevators are so efficient, building designers understand that the total number of elevators can be reduced significantly without affecting service, leaving more usable and rentable floor space in new facilities. Recently, designers of a high-rise building in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. were able to reduce the number of elevators from nine to five. In older buildings, retrofitting with a destination dispatch elevator system can allow companies to increase office populations significantly while maintaining good levels of service.

Additional features can be built into the systems, such as the ability to designate elevators temporarily for special visitors, emergency use, freight or maintenance use. For example, the Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle has a destination dispatch elevator system that makes it easy for personnel to take individual cabs out of general service for emergency or priority uses. The hospital is also equipped with a keypad at the operating room nurses’ station to call the cars when they need to move a patient. They have even programmed the elevator doors to remain open longer for emergency uses to allow gurneys, wheelchairs and stretchers more time to enter and exit.

Many destination dispatch elevator systems today now include handicap features that use voice and light signals to assist hearing or visually impaired passengers. If a passenger presses the handicap button on the central keypad, destination dispatch systems will assign fewer people to the car to allow room for a wheelchair and delay door closing to allow more time for entry and exit.

Into the Future

New human interface access control elevator systems combine destination dispatch technology with electronic identification to take efficiency, specialized service and access control a step further. Unlike simple card-access elevators that grant or deny access, these new access control human interface systems use electronic ID cards to access personal data and customize service. Once a person is identified using a badge, PIN code, key tag or other electronic device, the system assigns an elevator car that conforms to their specific needs.

For example, building tenants with disabilities do not have to push the handicap button because the system will automatically “remember” them and activate the special needs they require. VIPs may be assigned to special limited-access elevators. Equally important, the human interface system enables greater control over access to restricted floors when necessary. This elevator not only knows in advance where the passenger is going, it also knows who the passenger is and personalizes each trip accordingly.

The End Word

All new technologies require time to become mainstream realities as people go through yet another learning curve. Unlike most new products, though, destination dispatch and access control elevators typically require just one or two rides before people become familiar with centralized keypads and assigned elevator cars. For our Canadian readers who also own buildings and are considering installing these systems, consider contacting March Elevator Ltd for advice and prices.

Just as with everything else, prevention is better than cure. Investing in the maintenance of elevators will help you in the long run. And while it’s true that repairs are going to cost you a fortune and that regular maintenance will increase the lifespan of lifts, there’s another reason for maintaining your elevator: the safety of the passengers.

If your elevator is in a corporate office skyscraper or an apartment building, it is your responsibility, as the property owner or manager, to ensure that maintenances are scheduled regularly. Regular maintenance is even mandated by the local cities and towns, for good reasons.

Elevator inspection, maintenance, and repair should be done only by a professional. But before you go on the hunt for a perfect professional, below are the answers to questions you may be asking yourself:

1. At what frequency must elevator maintenances be scheduled?

Although regulations vary from one country to another and one state to another, it is generally recommended to get inspections done on elevators at least once a year. Since every lift must have a certificate of operation, which must be posted in the elevator itself, the inspection must be successful. Hence the need for regular maintenance.

Therefore, in addition to ensuring the elevator stays in top-notch condition for a long time and ensuring the passengers remain safe, annual servicing also ensures that the elevator stays in compliance with state and federal regulations.

2. I already ensure that maintenances are conducted on an annual basis. I’m all good then?

Sure, regular servicing is good as it ensures that all regulations are met. However, you don’t want to have maintenances too far apart. Instead, you want to be proactive. In fact, the further apart the maintenances are scheduled, the more likely it is you will have to face costly repair issues.

To avoid being blindsided by heavily damaged parts that may put passengers at risk or inconveniencing tenants due to lifts being out of service, you will have to stay on top of the elevator maintenance. The best way to ensure that is by adopting a preventive attitude rather than a reactive one. This approach entails thinking about getting upgrades done at the right time and modernizing the lifts if necessary.

3. What can I expect from a maintenance task?

You cannot expect the elevator units to be in top working order all the time. With every maintenance, you might have some parts to replace and others to repair.

Maintenance tasks would generally reveal the problems, such as:

  1. A broken pit light
  2. A broken top light
  3. A dirty car top dirty
  4. Water or debris in the elevator pit
  5. A faulty door reversal device
  6.  A fire recall service that is not working properly
  7. Malfunctioning emergency lights
  8. Cable measurements that are not in compliance
  9. Missing door restrictor

4. What about the machine room? Do I need to schedule maintenance for that as well?

The elevator machine room refers to the lift motor room. That room houses the machinery and electrical controls needed to operate a lift. It will typically contain:

  • Counterweight governor
  • Deflector sheaves
  • Drive motor
  • Electrical disconnects
  • Encoder
  • Fire alarm devices
  • Geared, gearless and drum-type machine
  • Hoist beam
  • HVAC equipment
  • Light control switch
  • Light fixtures
  • Machine brake
  • Motor generator set
  • Rope gripper
  • Selector

And just like elevators, lift motor rooms have to be in good working order as well. Maintenance will ensure that the elevator machine room is up to code. Part of the inspection will involve ensuring that:

  1. The motor drives are well aligned.
  2. The machine room is self-closing and locking. (this ensures that only authorized personnel can get in.)
  3. The sheaves don’t get worn down.
  4. The room features adequate lighting.
  5. The bearings don’t get too noisy.
  6. The bearings don’t malfunction.
  7. The room is not being used as a storage room.

5. Is there anything I can do on my own?

Lifts are so complex machines that their servicing is better left to experts. In an inexperienced hand, even a little dabbling can lead to disastrous consequences.

What you can do, instead, is to spot the parts that are the most vulnerable to damage. If you know where you run the highest chances of trouble, it will be easier for you to anticipate these repairs. This leads to better budgeting and, in turn, faster repairs.

An example of a part that often malfunctions are the unit doors. About 70% of elevator maintenance calls are due to this. If you know that you may face the problem with the lifts in your building, you can plan ahead and integrate a solution that will reduce the risks of that happening.

Hopefully, this blog post has answered questions you may be asking yourself! If you are looking for a contractor who can handle the maintenance of your lifts, contact March Elevator Limited. They will be able to help you out.

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