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Conveyor System

One of eight primary systems in a building. 

The conveyor system provides vertical transportation within the building and includes assets such as 

  • Geared machines 
  • Drives
  • Compensating chains
  • Door operator hardware
  • Elevator cab. 

Financial analysis of the systems can be found at:

Physical analysis of the systems can be found at:
Maintenance attributes:

Risk Management
Risk management is about identifying the undesirable things that could happen to the organization, to the people who live and work in the building(s) and the things that must be done to avoid (or to lessen) the negative impact.
Some of the primary risks (the “consequences”) that are to be avoided or mitigated through management of the elevator system are as follows:
  • Mental anxiety arising from elevator entrapments (people stuck inside)
  • Ligament injuries arising from door operator failures and elevator levelling problems
  • The nuisance of unreliable elevator equipment
  • Load test failure
  • Restricted access for people with reduced mobility (walking sticks, crutches, wheelchairs)
  • Restricted access for fire emergency first responders, such as fire department and ambulance personnel
Some of the hazards (the “causes”) that can affect the performance of the elevator assets are as follows:
  • Water exposure to electronic equipment in the elevator machine room, the elevator shaft and the traveling cab
  • Dust accumulations in elevator machine rooms and the elevator control equipment
  • Inadequate clearance around machine equipment for ventilation and maintenance access
  • Vandalism, misuse and abuse by residents and guests
  • Inadequate maintenance and testing of the elevator assets
Once the team fully understands and appreciates the significance of the consequences that may arise from inadequate care of the elevator assets, the team can start to make appropriate plans for operations and maintenance so as to mitigate the impact on our organization and our people.

Operations is about the day-to-day activities in the building that must be coordinated amongst different people with a variety of skills.  Listed below are some of the things that should be considered in estimating the level-of-effort to directly operate (or indirectly care for) the elevator assets and the composition of the team that will be required.
  • Durability and Service Life - The elevator system typically has both medium-life assets and long-life assets. For example, the controls on most elevator systems have an average life span of 25 years.
  • The Asset Inventory – Just like the fire safety system, the elevator system is dedicated to a very specific function. It therefore does not contain a large inventory of assets. The average low-rise building would have approximately 2-4 assets in its elevator system inventory.
  • The Team – Elevators are a regulated asset and must be maintained by skilled contractors. Since all elevator maintenance is performed by a 3rd party contractor who is appropriately skilled and certified, the organizations role will be focused on cleaning the inside of the elevator cars.
  • Equipment & Supplies – As with the fire safety system, the organization will not be required to carry its own equipment and supplies as these will be provided by the 3rd party contractor.
  • Documentation & Recordkeeping – All the recordkeeping associated with the elevator assets is kept by the contractor in a logbook in the machine room. The organization has little documentation requirements other than the annual certificate.

Maintenance is defined as work done to preserve the elevator assets over their useful service lives, without unforeseen repairs or major renewal. Included below is a summary of the things to consider for ongoing maintenance and periodic repairs of the different components of the elevator system.

Just like the fire safety assets, elevators assets are also regulated for safety reasons and subject to statutory maintenance requirements. They are always maintained on rigid schedules under a preventive maintenance program with no room for flexibility.

Repairs to elevator equipment is almost always covered under the terms of the maintenance service agreement, except for misuse and abuse. Vandalism inside the elevator cars and the call button panels in the hallways is constant challenge for some organizations and requires ongoing diligence by the O&M team. 

The organization can play a large role in minimizing repair cost by ensuring that the residents do not abuse the elevators. It is a perennial human condition that some disgruntled residents will take out their frustrations on the elevators.

Capital Planning
Capital planning is about making appropriate financial preparations as each of the elevator assets approaches the end of their respective service lives. As assets get beyond a certain age, maintenance is no longer sufficient to stop their physical deterioration (or slow down their obsolescence) and plans need to be made to replace and/or upgrade some (or all) of the components.  The elevator system is subject to technological obsolescence. This means that major components eventually need to be replaced because parts are no longer manufactured.

Retrofits and Adaptive Renewals

Energy Considerations
The elevator equipment is very specialized and regulated for safety reasons. When it comes times to consider a modernization of the elevator controls, an elevator consultant can provide the organization with advice on any energy efficiency opportunities that should be taken into consideration.
Fig. Geared traction elevators typically in high rise buildings.  

Human physiology as an analogy to illustrate the importance of system interaction.
Fig. Human physiology as an analogy to illustrate the importance of system interaction.

Retrofit of elevator controls from relay technology to solid state technology
Fig. Retrofit of a elevator controls from relay technology to solid state technology.

Retrofit of elevator hydraulic cylinder with PVC corrosion protection
Fig. Retrofit of elevator hydraulic cylinder with PVC corrosion protection.

Expert system by cohort to identify obsolescence of elevator components
Fig. Expert system by cohort to identify obsolescence of elevator components.

Fig. Hydraulic elevators, typically in low-rise buildings.

See also:

The maintenance plan organized by system across a 12-month cycle.
Fig. The maintenance plan organized by system across a 12-month cycle.

Distribution of medium-life assets within each of the eight primary physical systems
Fig. Distribution of short-life, medium-life and long-life assets within each of the eight primary physical systems.

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