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July 1, 2009 -
I'm Brandon Lorenz, senior editor for Building Operating Management magazine. Today's tip: Elevator wait times.
Long wait times are an inconvenience for building occupants. But to facility managers, they should be taken as a warning sign that the elevator control system is developing problems.
Wait times and elevator speed should be checked on a regular basis. Time how long it takes to go from the bottom floor to the top floor. Measure the time spent waiting for an elevator during peak and off-peak periods. Record the times and compare them to a baseline for the elevator, or to the manufacturer’s specifications for that type of application.
Long wait times and slow performance may be caused by a malfunction as simple as a defective relay, or problems may be caused by the age and overall condition of the elevator. While repairs can improve performance in some cases, elevators that use old mechanical relay control systems may simply need a new control system. Upgrading to a new microprocessor-based control system reduces average wait time by 50 percent.
Though budgets are tight, here's a final factor to consider: If system performance is already a problem, it is far better to plan for replacement now rather than have your hand forced some time in the future.