Why and When? Those are the two most common questions asked by building owners and managers. The first question is an easy one to answer while the second can be tricky. First of all, lets talk about the reasons to modernize…
Most of the elevators in service today were installed in the 70’s or 80’s. There are even quite a few elevators that are from the 60’s that are still in service. 30 to 40 years of service out of an elevator is outstanding. These elevators have been around for a lot longer than most of the automobiles on the road today. They also arguably take more abuse than the cars people drive to work and back. It is not uncommon for an elevator in a relatively busy hotel to make over 300,000 trips in a year. So, the number one answer to the question “Why?” is the age of the elevator.
Modern elevator equipment has evolved far beyond the relay logic and early microprocessor controls of the 70’s and 80’s. Today’s elevators are fast, smart, and reliable. A good comparison would be for those of you who owned a computer in the early 80’s. Remember how slow it was compared to the computer you are using today. Elevators are incorporating more advanced technology as the years go by. The dispatching algorithm of a modern controller can “learn” the traffic of a building and park the elevator where it will be the most efficient. This not only makes the elevator seem “faster”, it also saves energy.
New advances in drive technology make it possible for elevators to utilize highly efficient AC induction motors. This eliminates the need to keep a DC generator spinning while there is no demand on the elevator. This translates to a considerable savings for the building. There are even energy rebates that are available for this type of upgrade. The controllers use less electricity and deliver an excellent ride quality.
Modernization can also be the answer for buildings looking to comply with all the latest codes. Seismic codes have changed significantly over the last 20 years and are making elevators very safe during a seismic event. Fire codes have also changed and there are also new requirements for fire alarm and elevator integration. ADA requirements for handicapped individuals are also standardized for elevators. Any one of these reasons would be instrumental in deciding “why?” to modernize your elevator.
The really tough question is “When?” There are many variables that go into the answer to this question. First of all, is there money in the budget? Most buildings overlook the elevators as one of the parts of the building that need to be overhauled at some point. The result is a crunch to save money to complete the upgrades. We take pride in the fact that we can keep your older elevator running while you are budgeting the money for a modernization. The only major problem is obsolescence. At some point in time most older elevators are no longer supported by the manufacturer. This creates a problem when trying to track down replacement parts. Once all resources are exhausted, the end result is an emergency modernization. We will do everything we can to help avoid this problem. So, the answer to the question “When?” is, whenever the building is ready as long as the equipment isn’t obsolete.
We have a modernization manager with many years of experience in this field of the elevator trade. We can help owners and managers decide where their money will be best spent. Give us a call today and setup an appointment to have us evaluate your elevators. We would be happy to tell you what your options are and help you build a modernization budget.