Smart Solutions

Sensor boxes used by Elevator Cloud, such as this one from SafeLine, are installed on top of the cab roof.

Components for making elevators better maintained and prepared for the future

Remote Monitoring/Predictive Maintenance System

Frankfurt am Main, Germany-based Bosch Service Solutions GmbH’s Elevator Cloud is designed to make elevator operation safer and more efficient. The Internet of Things platform already has more than 60,000 elevators connected to it, which includes sensors, software and services. Benefits include monitoring, emergency calls, trapped passenger rescue and visual inspections. The company says its hardware requires no hardwired connection to the elevator control system and fits on any elevator. Its sensor box is designed as a plug-and-play unit and takes less than 30 min to install. Acceleration sensors detect and record elevator condition data, such as position, movements, the number of door openings and potential unscheduled downtimes. All incidents of malfunction are recorded in a traceable manner, and data can be used for early detection of maintenance needs.

Lubrication System

Gustav Wolf of Gütersloh, Germany, has released the GW-Lub lubrication system designed for easy rope maintenance. Thin oil can be equally and properly distributed over the product’s special brushes to the ropes. The product is a combination of a device known as the simalube from simatec ag filled with Gustav Wolf’s solvent-free T10 relubrication oil. The GW-Lub is recommended for installation where the ropes vibrate little. It features adjustable output rate (depending on the ambient temperature, which can range from -20 to +55°C). Thanks to a hydrogen-gas-producing dry-cell battery producing a working pressure of up to 5 bar, it can offer long-term automatic lubrication. It can be installed in any position, even underwater, but should not be exposed to direct heat.

New Encoders for Elevators Combine Features

Traunreut, Germany-based HEIDENHAIN projects that its KCI 419 Dplus rotary encoder for elevators will soon make microswitches for brake-release monitoring for cable-based elevator technology obsolete. It provides not only position feedback for elevator motor control, but also additional data for brake monitoring. The company also projects elevators will run without cables further in the future, for which it offers the LINA 200 absolute linear encoder.

The KCI 419 Dplus integrates position feedback, brake-release monitoring and temperature monitoring. It also features online self-diagnostics. The company says this would make microswitches disappear in elevator systems. In addition to transmitting rotational position values, the product measures axial motion. When mechanically coupled with the brake’s armature plate, it can also detect the brake stroke. Based on this information, other electronics can determine the state of the brake (released or engaged) and its amount of wear.

The LINA 200 is designed to help make an elevator car not pulled by cables, while capable of both vertical and horizontal travel, possible. The encoder features two tracks with different signal periods from which an absolute position value is calculated. Rather than lying in the same plane, these tracks are designed to face each other. The resulting U-shaped scale allows the measuring standard to be scanned from two sides.

At the same time, a double-wall design protects both the graduation and scanning process from mechanical and electromagnetic interference. With an overall length of 2,400 mm, the graduation carrier of the LINA 200 is mounted to the elevator car in four segments. Each is read by scanning heads mounted in the hoistway to provide continuous position feedback.

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