Contactless Position Supervisor Unit
CEDES looks to transform how elevator safety works with a simpler solution five years in the making.
iDiscovery is a new product from CEDES that serves as “a position supervisor unit.” Together with the company’s absolute positioning system (APS; aka shaft information system), it “takes over the safety-relevant functions of an elevator” in only one system, the company says. It also does not need prerequisite products installed. The result of a five-year-long project by CEDES and its partners, its main advantage is “significantly reduced complexity” in the hoistway. This leads to quicker integration (via the CANopen DS417 protocol), installation, teaching, maintenance, and greatly decreased material and labor costs, the company explained.
The test elevator has already completed more than 1.2 million rides this year alone in what the company says is an illustration of the straightforward configuration of iDiscovery in the field. A “teach process” can be started at any time, regardless of car position, and even a single ride past the position-indicator clips and rated-speed clips provides the device with all the information required for configuration.
Lars Kollmorgen of Kollmorgen GmbH, a control systems manufacturer and longtime collaborator with CEDES, said of the product:
“We have been testing the product live in elevators since the end of 2018. It’s a very versatile and multifunctional product. It’s very easy to install, and that’s why we believe in the success of iDiscovery.”
iDiscovery monitors the position and velocity of the car, as well as status of the car and hoistway doors and additional status signals of the elevator, such as emergency operation and inspection control switches. In an unsafe condition, iDiscovery opens the safety chain. It also provides two additional output contacts that trigger an auxiliary braking device and an electronically activated safety gear. It provides:
- Door monitoring
- Leveling, releveling and preliminary operation with open doors
- Detection of unintended car movement via monitoring of the door-zone speed and the door zone of the target floor to ensure it is not left with open doors
- Overspeed detection with different speed limits
- Retardation control
- Final limit switches
- Bridging of door contacts for maintenance (bypass)
- Checking for faulty (bridged) door contacts
- Safety gear monitoring
While iDiscovery made its official debut at Interlift, the company said “guests from all over Europe” came to see the product’s full potential in a “pre-launch” event, held in Landquart, Switzerland, in September. Forty business representatives from nine different countries attended. According to Andreas Hunziker, CEDES managing director, this “proves the market has been waiting for a product just like iDiscovery.”
The company added that guests noted “the increased level of safety offered by iDiscovery.” Improvements can benefit not only elevator passengers, but also technicians. Additionally, it is designed to be less complex and less time-consuming in terms of commissioning, which, in turn, leads to lower costs.
Guests tried out the new technology for themselves in the factory’s simulation room and had lively discussions with Michael Schatt, CEDES APS project manager. Attendee Jörn Wittig of GAT Gemeinschaft Aufzugs-Technik eG remarked, “In my opinion, reducing installation time and, thus, staff costs, is the right way to go, and iDiscovery seems to offer a very clear advantage in this respect.”