Pre-Engineered Elevator Cab Solutions
Taking the complexity out of aesthetics
When planning an elevator modernization, the focus is most typically on the operational aspects of the equipment. New technologies and products are typically designed to make elevators more reliable, safer and faster. Most elevator companies have expertise in these areas, with employees trained in the mechanical and electrical aspects of the equipment. When it comes to aesthetics, however, many will bring in outside contractors to perform this work for them. This is mainly due to the complexities with finish upgrades, scheduling and coordination. But, pre-engineered cab solutions take the complexity out of cab renovations.
Pre-engineered solutions are designed as a system that works with various types of existing cab shells. They come in various panel arrangements and finishes. Installations require minimal measurements and should take less than one day to be installed.
There are several factors to be considered when updating the finishes on existing elevators:
- Code-compliant materials
- Proper attachment
- Ease of installation
Weights are a critical factor when considering cab finishes. Regardless of the type of operation, weight affects performance, reliability and safety. Installers need to consider how much weight is removed and how much will be reinstalled. Any variance should be evaluated to determine the impact on the equipment and measures that need to be taken to mitigate weight changes. New materials and installation methods are now available to reduce the weights of installed materials, while keeping the same appearance.
Any new materials installed must be evaluated to confirm code compliance. Flamespread and smoke development of materials are critical factors in selecting which ones are to be installed in the elevator. There are several common materials used in cab finishes, including metals, woods, glass and plastics. All must be evaluated in terms of compliance, as well as the means of installation. In addition, the lighting must be evaluated to confirm it complies with minimum requirements. New ceilings should be designed to permit access to the existing escape hatch, regardless of location.
Attachment and Appearance
Most original cab installations have materials that are fastened before the cab is erected. Since cab renovations utilize the existing shell and canopy, the finishes typically have to be applied from inside the cab. This can create issues with alignment, proper attachment and critical measurements. Pre-engineered systems utilize technologies that provide flexibility and ease of installation.
Eleclip is a patented pre-engineered solution intended to eliminate the complexity and risks that can sometimes be associated with cab upgrades. The Eleclip system is designed with a fastening clip as part of the installed reveals. By installing the reveals in predetermined locations, one only has to clip on the panels and lock them into place, all from inside the cab with minimal effort and concealed attachment. In addition, if future panel replacement is needed, it can be done quickly and easily.
The most common finish found in elevators is a code-compliant wood panel faced in plastic laminate. There are varying arrangements and laminates to create different designs. With pre-engineered interiors such as Eleclip, different materials can be used to meet the needs of the application. Metals can be cleanly applied to lightweight substrates or wood. Utilizing V-groove technology, these panels can have clean edges and sharp lines. Composite materials can also be utilized, as well as stone and glass. Different combinations of panel arrangements, finishes and reveals can create a multitude of designs.
By far, the most critical component for elevator installation and maintenance companies is ease of ordering and installation. The ordering and approval process should require minimal field measurements and allow for some variance. Critical factors include locations of any coved bases, cove lighting, and escape-hatch location and fixture location. A simple survey form is key to ensure all items are accounted for prior to starting the renovation.
The installation typically starts with removing any existing finishes that can be removed. These include drop ceilings, handrails, wall panels, bases and lights. Once this has been completed, the cab measurements should be verified to the approved drawings. Pre-engineered systems such as Eleclip utilize a fixed base to locate the applied reveals. Each reveal is located in a fixed location and has integrated clips for panel attachment. After the reveals are installed, the panels are clipped into place. A single fastener is fixed at the top of the panel for security. The frieze is then locked into place to cover the fastener and extend above the ceiling.
Cab ceilings and lighting have always made cab renovations difficult. While many have existing lay-in ceilings with fluorescent light fixtures, some may have light coves or island ceilings. The Eleclip pre-engineered downlight ceiling utilizes a sliding-tray ceiling with LED lighting. With such a ceiling, the frame can be easily installed by two people within minutes. The metal or wood panels are then clipped to the frame, and the sliding escape panel is clipped into place. LED lighting can be used as either direct or perimeter lighting. With sliding-tray ceilings, half of the ceiling is open to allow for access to the escape hatch. Metal sliding-tray ceilings are typically half the weight of a wooden island ceiling and installed in less than half the time.
In addition to taking the complexity out of cab renovations, pre-engineered interior systems provide additional revenue opportunities to installation and service companies. These systems make the renovations much easier with minimal risk. Finally, they add a new product line to a company’s offerings.