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How to decide Specification of Goods or Freight Elevator?

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This is the Question many face while planning or designing a Building or even during replacing the Elevator. And there are many factors on which the decision can be based we are mentioning a few below which we feel are important from the owners or users point of view.

  1. Requirement of Lift Code / Rules and Regulation / Law
  2. Building Certification from Third Party
  3. Type of building and Use
  4. Type of Products and its packaging
  5. Type of Area and Environmental Conditions
  6. What Specification do you get to decide?

Each of the above point is discussed below in details and also mentioned are the specifications which you may get to choose depending on the vendor which may or may not be related to the preceding points but are relevant in selecting the right kind of product.

Requirement by the Lift Code / Rules and Regulation / Law

The lift code dictates the type of lifts, its specification (minimum requirments) and sometime even the minimum number of Elevators required for the building. These rules are very important and cannot ignored as most of the countries requires a lift certification to be done prior to handing over the lift for use. Most of the Industrial Buildings also require to be certified before occupation and the lift certificate is a Part of requirement for the Building Certification. This means if the lift certificate is not available, the building certification may remain incomplete.

The lift rules may mandate the minimum specification generally depending upon the height of the building and use of the building. For example, building beyond certain height may require two lifts. Some buildings may require a lift for Fire Evacuation. The lift code may also specify the minimum number of passenger, the time from the lowest floor to the top floor, etc.

Most of the elevator Manufacturers will update their products based on the local requirements however, some manufacturers do not update some products so it is best to check and verify to ensure that the Lift and the building codes are conformed to before freezing the specification.

Building Certification Requirement from Third Party

The Building or the facility in many industries is required to be certified from the Third Party for various purposes, Buildings may require certification for safety, Energy Efficiency, Manufacturing Practices, etc. This is very important for the owner of the building to ensure that this certificate is obtained as this means that the building conforms to infrastructure standard which is recognized by clients for the evaluation of infrastructure before placing orders.

Examples of such Certification is GMP for Pharmaceutical Industries and LEED certification for datacenters buildings. To conform to such certification, there are requirements to be followed which clearly indicate the specification of the elevator or the end goal of the elevator specification. For example GMP clearly states the specification of the lift mentioning that the Flame Proof lift is required where hazardous chemicals are moved through the building while LEED has a goal to have the most energy efficient building which means the building must have energy efficient elevators which ultimately means that the elevators must be built to specification which involves most energy efficient technology to meet such requirement.

Type of Building and Use

Type of building defines the specification of the Elevator, the different type of building will require different type of Elevator. A warehouse will have a different type of elevator than a Manufacturing Plant. It may be totally different in carrying capacity, Speed, Door Opening and Type, Type of Motor, etc.

Use of Building is an equally important factor which will determine the specification for the Elevator, For example an Assembly building may have large Machines for tooling works placed at different floors So the Elevator may be required to move the assembly raw material but also occasionally to move the Large tooling Machine for Maintenance Purpose. This means the door opening, the size of the elevator and the carrying capacity has to be maintained considering the large machine to be moved.

Type of Product and its Packaging

This is simple as the Industrial Elevator is meant to move the products including the raw material, the finished products, the packaging material, etc from one floor to another for the Purpose of converting the raw material to finished goods and then to pack the Goods into a Package which might involve Boxes or Drums Packaged on a pallet or Individually.

Specification of the Elevator is chosen based on the Raw Material type, Package Type, Size of the Package and its weight. The Type of Products handles in the Elevator will also influence the Specification for example corrosive chemicals will require stainless Steel Flooring in the cabin. Flammable products will require flame proof lifts, etc.

The Material Handling is also very important depending upon how the material is to be loaded or unloaded from the Elevator. For example if the Forklift is used for unload, elevator has to be rugged and heavy duty and rated carrying capacity must be higher, the reason being that the Fork will be used in the elevator and may be placed on the floor of the Elevator. If the Material is handled by manually or by Pallet truck, in that case the elevator must halt at exact floor level so that the pallet truck moves freely between floor and elevator.

Environmental Conditions and Area Classification

Some of the Elevators are required to be installed in the industries or facilities which have highly volatile and Flammable or Corrosive chemicals and gasses which require special care while handling. Moreover, the area in and around such Industries and facilities are classified Zones. These Zones are classified for the Flammable or corrosive Substance and Temperature.

In the Classified Zones all the elevators are required to have specification which would allow safe working of the elevator and also the building. For example, in the Classified Zone for Flammable dust and gasses, special flame proof elevator is required which involves using flame proof components and enclosures to contain the slightest Spark or any flame that may occur during switching of the electric switch gear, running of motor, etc. It also Specifies the ambient Temperature for the building at which the whole system must function safely without heating or burning up.

Elevators are installed in Dusty environments like that of a cement plant and they are required to be function normally even in such dusty conditions. The Optical Sensors or any other components must function in presence of dust and necessary IP Rating will be required for the components to prevent failures.

What Specifications do you really get to decide?

Generally, a owner of the building will employ a third party consultant who may be well versed with deciding the specification of the elevator. Most of the Time the Elevator for the industrial use is Custom Made to suit the application of the Elevator. But most of the time the specification of the elevator is mostly a variation of the standard industrial elevator and the same is presented to the owner or consultant by the various elevator manufacturers as a part of the solution based on project needs. In the Industrial Elevator, the owner has to follow the requirements of the Project and the Manufacturer has no choice but to accept the specification with little or no deviation. The choices within the solution may be the interiors of the Elevator, the Type of Door – Center or Side opening (if technically feasible), The Speed of the Elevator depending on the speed ranges within the model of that elevator, Some non mandatory features to be included or excluded, etc.

Below is a List of Specification which a buyer may put forth the Manufacturer at least to have before him a comparative for evaluation

  1. Type of Lift – Goods Elevator or Goods cum Passenger Elevator
  2. Type of Lift Mechanism – Hydraulic or Geared Traction Machine or with Gearless Traction Machine
  3. Lift Type based on Area Classification and Environment Type- Safe Zone or Classified Zone or Corrosive Environment or Humid Environment or ambient Temperature Rating, etc
  4. Speed of the Lift
  5. Carrying capacity
  6. Type of Door – Manual Door or Automatic Doors
  7. Door Opening Width – As per the Product or Packaging Requirements
  8. Control Type – Closed Loop or Open Loop – Closed Loop is Preferable
  9. Fire Switch, Fire Mans Switch and Fire Modes – to be included or no – Preferable to be included
  10. Load Weighing Device – to be included or no – Preferable to be included – prevents overloading
  11. Door with Fire Rating or No Fire Rating – Preferred to have Fire Rating
  12. Auto rescue device – Preferred and sometime required by Lift Codes for safe evacuation in case of Power Outage
  13. Interiors of the Cabin – Walls, Flooring, Ceiling, Door type (Stainless Steel, Mild Steel Painted), etc – Choose based on Product to be handled in the Lift
  14. Earthquake / Seismic Sensors / Detectors – Preferred to be included
  15. CCTV Camera System – Preferred to be included
  16. Telephone / Intercom System – Preferred to be included with separate battery in case of Power Failure

The above list is comprehensive and may not include all the options but it is a simplistic list which you can put before the manufacturer to ask for the options to be listed or to check if they have been included in the elevator.

Here is a video for the Freight Elevator Manufactured by Blue Star Elevators for 3000 Kgs for a datacenter.

Freight / Service Elevator for 3000 Kgs by Blue Star Elevators India Ltd.

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