Why Modernize a (perfectly functional) Elevator?

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By Phil Martin, Business Unit Manager
Shindler Elevator Corporation
www.us.schindler.com
December 2011

Elevator Modernization: Avoiding Failure

Elevators are critical elements of modern-day, multi-story buildings. Owners expect they will function as reliably as the sun comes up in the morning. Unfortunately elevators, just like any other mechanical component, eventually fail.

Waiting for an old elevator to fail exposes the association to higher costs (expedited parts delivery, overtime labor), and weeks or even months of extended downtime due to limited parts availability and the permitting and scheduling aspects of a modernization project.

Elevator Failure Warning Signs

Timely, professional maintenance will extend the life of your elevator system, but there are warning signs that the elevator has reached the end of its service life.

If any of the following are true, your elevator system is demonstrating it is a candidate for modernization:

  • Your system is over 20 years old
  • The ride is noisy or jerky
  • The cab smells like hydraulic fluid, or is stuffy or not well ventilated
  • It seems like you wait a long time for the elevator to arrive
  • It seems like travel is slow once it is moving
  • You are experiencing frequent, or longer, “downtimes”

Elevator Modernization Benefits:

The benefits of elevator modernization are the following:

  • Shorter wait times
  • Shorter travel times
  • Even distribution of passengers between cars
  • System redundancy, so the building retains elevator service if one car goes out of service.
  • Anti-nuisance car-call cancellation
  • Increased ride comfort and car leveling at floor stops
  • Quieter operation
  • Increased reliability (fewer unscheduled service calls)
  • Lower energy use (by as much as 45%)

In addition to the functional reasons for modernizing your elevator system, modernization also comes with a Real Estate benefit. New buildings constantly are coming on the market with new elevators, built to the latest quality standards, applicable codes, with maximum performance, and minimum energy costs. How does your building compare in attracting new owners? Does your elevator scream “outdated”? Your elevator makes a statement about your home, and its appearance and function either supports, or detracts from, your home value.

The biggest drivers for an elevator modernization project are increased reliability and performance, with improved safety and aesthetics.

Don’t let your old elevator fail on an unscheduled basis, exposing your association to higher costs and an extended period of time without elevator service. All elevators have a service life expectancy. When yours gets to the end of its design life expectancy, it is time to schedule a modernization project and enjoy the many benefits of newer equipment.

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