What are the Final Developments in Elevator Control Panels?
Elevator control panels are the brain of the whole system. 40 years ago, the engineers were just trying to design a command system that doesn’t fail regularly and has a longer lifetime. But, thanks to the technological improvements, today we are talking about control systems that can;
- Prevent failures during the establishment and maintenance processes,
- Make the connection and wiring fewer and easier,
- Help to have easier and more simple adjustments in the elevator units.
So, what are the latest improvements in elevator control units? As ISF Elevator Company, today we will talk about the new trends about control panels.
As an elevator unit is a system that comprises of different sub-systems are connected to each other with controllers, we can say that it is just like a computer unit. And, it is possible to reach a computer unit remotely to make some processes like control or improvements. So, after the latest improvements, it is possible to reach elevator control panels remotely to achieve something like a computer. You can reach the control panel using a smartphone, tablet, or PC. Reaching elevator panels remotely helps technicians with maintenance.
First, remote access provides more efficient and quick maintenance to the elevator units. Ones the technicians learn the problems remotely, they won’t waste any time on detecting and defining the problems. The system will automatically define the problems and send information to maintenance units. This way, technicians will fix the problem in less time. So, the maintenance will be more efficient and accurate.
On the other hand, remote access is very useful in preventive maintenance. By monitoring the elevator system all the time remotely, technicians can collect informative data, and analyze the lifetime of components. So, they can prevent failures by changing parts before they break. And this is a great way to keep the system operative all the time by preventive maintenance.
VF drivers are one of the most important and innovative parts of new types of elevators. With the help of them, two-speed and hydraulic drive systems left their place to new generation gearless elevators. So, nearly all the elevators are using VF drivers today.
VF drivers provide elevators;
- Energy efficiency,
- High floor level accuracy.
But this created a big problem for the technicians; inconvenience between the drivers and control systems. These two were different components that use different controllers and menus. So, technicians had to use different programs to adjust both systems. They even had to make adjustments floor by a floor which is very hard and time-consuming.
So, engineers had to deal with this problem by integrating VF drivers and control systems. In the beginning, controller and driver manufacturers improved systems like Can Open or DCP. But, these systems were not successful to achieve the collaboration. So engineers aimed to combine the driver and controllers in one mind. This will reduce the material and labor costs while making the controls easier in a less complicated and smaller control panel (switch box).
And the engineers improved the integrated elevator control units. With this technology, technicians can manage both the drivers and controllers from the same single menu. These were the first integrated system examples. Engineers even increased the integration ratio with the second generation systems. The newest generation systems can also provide some important functions that new safety regulations order; such as countermeasures to prevent UCM (Uncontrolled Car Movement) and door contacts bridging units.
With the help of this new generation of integrated elevator control units, control panels contain only some other components like power source, some fuses, and terminals for external connections other than the unit itself. This way, control panels are smaller, less complicated, and easy to use.
Contactors are the elements in the control panels to cut the motor power safely. After the latest improvements, these uncomfortable elements are not needed anymore. Thanks to the VF drivers with integrated control units, a new technology named STO (Safe-torque-off) cuts all the energy that VF drivers transfer to the elevator motor. So the contractors are not needed anymore for cutting the power.
This new method is very advantageous because there is a great efficiency in material, labor, and costs. As control panels don’t have contactors anymore, they are smaller and less complicated. Another big benefit of having contactorless units is about comfort. Contactors create a big level of noise when they operate. This is a very important problem especially with the MRL elevators because the noise was propagating all throughout the shaft. Without contactors, there is no more contactor noise and disturbance anymore.
These are some of the final improvements in the elevator control panel technology. As ISF Elevator Company, we are following the latest trends in the elevator world, and provide the final technology elevator systems to our customers. You can contact us for more assistance and questions.