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Elevator Communication & Communication Systems

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This Readers Platform advises contractors and customers on modern elevator communication solutions.

As analog lines continue to disappear, and the communications industry provides newer and more efficient ways to communicate, the elevator industry is forced to keep up. Most installations can’t be done with standard “line-powered elevator phones,” because they are unable to accommodate the requirements for these newer varieties of phone systems. As an installer, you must break out of your comfort zone to meet your customer’s requests for Internet Protocol (IP), or cellular or digital phone lines. If your customer needs an elevator communication system or has to meet the “communication failure” part of the code (ASME A17.1/CSA B44 2.27.1.1.6), it can be a fairly involved design. If you are unfamiliar with this technology, it can be frustrating. This is why you should rely on experts in elevator communication.

The best thing to do is to standardize through use of a supplier able to provide a common standalone phone that can communicate on all the popular modes of communication lines. This way, you won’t have to change phones in the field if your customer is not providing you with a standard plain-old-telephone-service line. At most, all you would need to do is add an interface (from the same supplier) for, say, cellular or IP options. These interfaces are normally installed in the machine or electrical room. This also provides more flexibility at your factory or shop, as they can stock a single style or model of phone and not worry about which type of communication line is initially provided.

Your supplier should also offer systems that allow for lobby units, machine-room units and elevator phones. These systems must function as both intercom systems and allow for offsite calling. Plus, if you standardize using a single supplier, you know the phones in the elevator will work with their systems. The connectivity between the devices for the system is normally hardwired or over an IP network. The supplier must be able to customize these systems based on unusual requirements, such as a customer requiring a separate phone line to feed each elevator phone, while still providing an onsite base station. The means of calling out on these systems must have the ability to work with IP, cellular, digital or regular analog phone lines. Again, this provides more flexibility for your factory or shop, as you are only stocking a single-source phone.

To stay relevant in the industry, not only do you need to have options for all of these communication requirements, but you also need to be code compliant. Rath Microtech provides all styles of communication lines in compliance with A17.1/B44 2.27.1.1.6. We also provide a wireless option that not only allows for voice communication, but also the transmission of data from your elevator monitoring device, all through one device.

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