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8 Elevator Upgrades That Deliver the Most Value

By Cory Hussey

Elevators in the United States make 18 billion passenger trips and travel the equivalent of 1.36 billion miles per year, according to National Elevator Industry. Years of constant use can take a toll on any elevator, even with proper elevator maintenance. To meet the most current code requirements and keep your elevator running smoothly, it’s a good idea to consider upgrading some of your elevator’s parts. Doing so will ultimately reduce the chance of future down time while increasing safety and efficiency. The key to keeping elevator upgrades affordable is to invest in ones that will have the most impact on the reliability, efficiency, performance, and safety of the elevator. Here are eight elevator upgrades with a high return on investment:  

1. Elevator door sensors: Today’s highly responsive electronic elevator door sensors protect passengers by setting up a harmless curtain of infrared beams. Block a single beam and the door reopens. The beams are controlled by ultra-reliable electronic circuitry, thus eliminating costly service calls associated with the traditional mechanical safety edge that requires physical contact to activate.  

2. Door operator systems: Door operation is the most visible aspect of elevator service and the source of the majority of service calls. Advances in door operator technology ensure quiet opening and closing and feature fully adjustable operation speed to suit the needs of the building. 

3. Control systems: The control systems direct the elevator’s motor by processing information about where the cab is located and where it should be sent. Malfunctioning controllers can leave passengers stranded and cause delays. Consider upgrading them to keep down time to a minimum. 

4. Hydraulic valve replacement: The hydraulic valve controls the flow of oil in and out of the piston, causing the elevator to move within the hoistway. Upgrading to a new valve can improve ride quality and eliminate floor leveling issues.

5. Emergency hands-free phones: Everyone may seem to have a cell phone today, but most people cannot call out from an elevator. It’s important that the elevator’s phone is functioning perfectly to comply with elevator code and ensure rider safety. 

6. New fixtures: Keep building lobbies and elevator interiors looking modern with new elevator pushbuttons and car operating panels. Replacing them, as well as arrival lanterns and position indicators, provides an instant aesthetic upgrade.

7. Cab interior finishes: The elevator interior is often the first thing visitors notice about a building. Cab interior replacement is an easy and affordable way to improve an elevator’s aesthetics. There are many design options to choose from when it comes to colors and textures that can be mixed and matched, which makes it possible to personalize the elevator’s look or easily match lobby finishes.

8. Emergency lighting: It’s important to ensure that the elevator’s emergency lights will function when the power goes out. Checking the lights and replacing any malfunctioning lights provides safety in the event of an emergency. 

If you are still on the fence about upgrading your elevator, keep in mind that doing so will ensure the safety of your passengers and provide a good first impression for anybody visiting the building.

An established elevator consulting company can assess the condition of an elevator’s components to ensure the elevator is up to the highest standard and upgraded where possible. 

Cory Hussey has been with Stanley Elevator for over 13 years and currently serves as COO and general counsel. 



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posted on 3/1/2019