The Extra Mile
In this Readers Platform, your authors provide a list of questions to ask yourself when handling projects that call for high-performance doors.
by Carlo Ferrari and Tommaso Sala
In projects with high-performance doors, either high-speed, high-rise systems or highly refined round or underdriven panoramic systems, it is essential to choose components that are up to the task. Using components that are stretched to the limit of their capabilities will create instability in the system, which will become more prone to failure and, in any case, need more maintenance. Here are our thoughts on what to consider when evaluating elevator doors for a new high-speed, high-rise or special project.
Is the elevator door designed for high performance? A number of details really make a difference when dealing with high-rise doors. A “rush-hour” option enables you to adjust door speed according to the time of day, providing faster operation in the morning and at the end of the day, and slower, quieter operation during off-peak hours and at night. To avoid air turbulence, labyrinths on both the door opening and closing sides are mandatory.
Door coupler position and thickness should be checked to make sure there is adequate distance between car and shaft. When the elevator car is speeding in the shaft, a landing door lock might open if placed too close to the car door. Double-skin panel execution provides better noise insulation.
Sematic 2000 B-HR is one of the solutions that focuses on the high-rise segment. Along with the characteristics listed above, it also includes several innovations achieved through intensive engineering and R&D efforts. The latest evolution of 2000 B-HR car doors includes a new active clutch (from electromagnetic to motor driven) that guarantees higher power, control and speed during the door-closing phase, a new belt-driven carriage — where the belt directly drives the carriage — resulting in more precise movement, especially in the very last part of the door closure, and lower stress on the belt. The doors boast a lighter structure in which all components and materials of the header have been designed to reduce height and weight for better onsite handling.
2000 B-HR is one of the fastest door systems in the world, with opening times as fast as 1.1 s. The system operates at 50 dBA and is quieter than many other premium door systems.
What should I check, as far as the car door operator is concerned? Opening speed is key to minimizing passenger wait times. The power and torque should be adequate to move big, heavy panels effectively. Variable-voltage, variable-frequency (VVVF) control makes it easier to tweak performance, acceleration and deceleration to achieve that last 5% more performance from the system. For this, you will need an easy connection with a PC for effective adjustments.
Wittur SUPRA door drives are effective in providing high speed to door operations. Equipped with a VVVF converter, they feature advanced opening, self-learning, continuous panel mass detection and permanent data storage (also in the case of a power outage). They are tested against electromagnetic compatibility immunity and emission protection, according to European standards. Their average consumption per high-speed opening/closing cycle is 170 W.
The CANopen interface can be supplied to open a digital data exchange channel to the elevator controller and feed data to preventive-maintenance and traffic-management systems.
How can I achieve good looks? Round doors and cabins are perfect for prestigious installations when aesthetics and performance are decisive factors. The wide finish range and potential special solutions make these components suitable for any customized architectonic design.
Round doors are available on the market with both top and under-driven mechanisms. This latter execution lightens the design of panoramic elevators, achieves a higher aesthetic harmony and accounts for a clean shaft appearance with almost no visible mechanical component.
A wide selection of cladding materials helps align doors with a building’s interior design. Alternatively, a highly contrasting finish can be used to make the elevator door stand out from its surroundings. Full or framed glass panels impart a distinctively lighter appearance and provide passengers with a more enjoyable ride. In this case, car interiors can be in plain view from the outside. A full panoramic elevator is at the top of many passengers’ preference lists.
Special executions such as doors with underdriven operators give your systems exclusive design advantages, such as reduction of the visible size of the car door operator from the floor and hiding of the door mechanisms under the floor. By using an underdriven door, you can obtain a clean overall design with few visible mechanical components.
In the long run, which construction details are directly connected with reliability? Tubular frames, cataphoresis treatment on mechanisms, complete stainless-steel executions and sealed execution for weatherproof installations in external elevators set doors apart when extreme reliability is mandatory. High-diameter rollers will not easily get off-shape because of door panel weight. Using standard wear-and-tear components on the doors means it won’t take ages to source replacements. This will make maintenance intervention easier.
Carlo Ferrari is Corporate Marketing Communication manager at Wittur Group. Before joining Wittur in 2009, he worked for 13 years in the packaging industry as Marketing manager. He can be contacted at email: firstname.lastname@example.org.