FAQ - Elevator Systems Professionals

Frequently Asked Questions

ESP's commitment to guaranteed budget reductions while maintaining both improved service and performance levels is the answer your facility needs.

Reducing costs and maximizing value is more important than ever for institutions to remain viable with today's tight budgetary constraints. At a time when the public's service expectations are higher than ever, indiscriminate cost cutting can be more hazardous then uncontrolled spending. (See our Cost section for online estimate ordering)

What are the benefits of a full maintenance contract?

ESP's customized maintenance contracts ask elevator contractors to provide only the specific services your situation requires. This explicitly written custom contract will allow equitably appraisal of competitive bids. Competitive bidding will result in reduced elevator operating costs. The savings in the first year alone will more than compensate for the investment in this maintenance document written by ESP to protect your interests.

With ongoing contractor performance evaluation ESP can ensure contractual obligations are addressed while maximizing your maintenance dollar yet still preserving a reduced operating budget. The reduced margins, resulting from the competitive bidding process, can be a temptation for the contractor to modify much needed maintenance routines. Unauthorized reduction of your service levels, below your expectations can diminish any savings negotiated in good faith.

Contracts are generally prepared by legal council representing the contractor supplying the goods and services. It is legal council's job to prepare a document that best suits their clients needs. The contractor's best interests are protected within the frame work of this type of document. Can your interests be protected at the same time in this type of arrangement?

ESP's explicitly written, custom elevator contract is composed with one goal in mind, protect your interests. This contract's main body of legal text has been composed after many hours of collaboration with numerous law firms and ESP.

The main document deals with elements required to protect your general interests such as Definitions, Response Time, Insurance, Service Schedule, Building Operation Interference, Confidentiality, Term, Renewal and Termination. This contract will receive quick approval by your law firm to allow for prompt execution.

The cost effectiveness of this contract is due directly to the supplementary components which are tailored to your building conditions and service requirements. A detailed analysis of the building and elevator equipment is undertaken to ensure that contractual requirements are in place to provide the level of service necessary for your facility.
To assist the contractor in complying with your expectations, the contract describes some of the following issues; Material, Labour, Price Increase, Service Reduction, Hourly Rates, Advance Payment Discount, Customer Discount, Warranties, Worker Qualifications, Maintenance Program, and Equipment Specifications to name a few items.

Quickly becoming a recognized standard, this contract is receiving 100% response from the qualifying contractors. This reply is the result of the contractor's complete understanding of the maintenance requirements. By allowing the contractor to make an accurate commitment all parties understand contractually what is expected and required to provide contract performance.

With this contract in place and ESP's ongoing support, your facility will have the foundation that will protect its elevator investment and guarantee predictable savings well into the future.

Monitoring contract performance is the, most important ingredient to guarantee continued savings, maximize equipment performance and minimize liability exposure.

Why is maintaining good records important?

Elevator Maintenance is an exercise in risk management. The less you know about your elevators the more you are at risk. You can only determine the level of exposure through your elevator records.

Records are a very important aspect of an elevator maintenance program. Whether you're trying to determine cost effectiveness, safety, reliability or efficiency, without accurate detailed records it's extremely difficult to evaluate your situation

Typically, most record keeping is left in the hands of the contractor. These records are often less than adequate and difficult to obtain. As a building manager, you typically might have elevator records dealing with pricing information and recommendations. Other information often remains in the hands of the contractor.

The retaining of information gives the contractor a competitive edge that is guarded carefully. Without this information, evaluating a contractor or contemplating a contractor change is a difficult process.

ESP helps you build your records as soon as we start. Within weeks of our equipment survey you will be able to accurately determine the condition of your equipment and start the contractor analysis process with the current contractor.

Once the new contract bids are returned, our analysis of the bidders will help you make a more informed decision on the next contractor.

Our ongoing monitoring, will insure your records will contain the information necessary to determine cost effectiveness, safety, reliability and efficiency of your elevators without difficulty. ESP's support forms the base for continued savings, maximized equipment performance and minimized liability exposure. We work hand and hand with the contractor to provide you with a level of service, expertise and savings never before available.

Acting as your expert representative, ESP can provide real savings with the added benefit of increased equipment performance through specification administration. ESP can start the process today with a free current contract analysis and projection of the savings You could be experiencing. Elevator Systems Professionals (ESP) Inc. has the formula to solve your vertical transportation dilemma.

What is the Quality Assurance process and how will it save you money?

The ESP Quality Assurance process also generates equipment performance gains. Performance gains of 30% are not uncommon by insuring the elevators are being maintained according to the industry standardize original specifications.

Performance gains can often be sufficient to delay or eliminate the need for costly equipment modernization. Increased elevator performance translates directly into improved user efficiency and satisfaction.

In one well documented case a facility was under pressure to modernized its three units at a conservative estimated cost of $350,000. The main floor lobby would back up onto the front street with people. A 1991 traffic study by the maintenance contract showed a average wait times in the range of 39 seconds. The contractor had indicated a reduction below the existing level was only possible through the installation of new electronic controllers. The modernization would reduce the wait times to the mid twenties.

Waiting times above 27 seconds are considered unacceptable.

In 1992, ESP was hired with the primary goal to improve passenger traffic flows. ESP did not concur with the contractor’s assessment and maintained the same proposed improvements could be achieved with the existing equipment.

The ESP Quality Assurance Process started with an equipment inspection that confirmed deficient operation and served as a base line for future corrective action.

A new maintenance tendering process, which included a custom Maintenance Contract produced a new contractor with the added bonus of reduced annual maintenance costs.

Using explicit contractual maintenance requirements, annual ESP verification inspections and enforcement of requirements, the traffic flow improvements progressed at a steady pace.

A March 1998 traffic study confirmed the equipment was now operating at its peak efficiency.

The average an waiting time was 24 seconds which was accomplished without any capitol expenditure.

The performance gain is fragile and will require constant monitoring to maintain the equipment’s current performance.

How can I increase my equipment life span?

Increased equipment life can also result through insured quality maintenance and repairs. ESP's experience has revealed many basic maintenance routines such as lubrication, repairs and safety inspections are carried out at insufficient levels that are not documented. Accumulating quickly, these deficiencies can often result in the need for premature equipment modernization. By monitoring these routines and issuing work orders when necessary, ESP can increase equipment life through documented long cycle lubrication and safety routines.

What are 3 components you need to make sure are up to date?

Elevators consist of three types of components.

Are those items which by their intended design are subjected to wear and require replacement one or more times during the life of a building.

These components include but are not limited to; coils contacts, relays, buttons, indicator lights, bulbs, switches, door guides, car guides, motor brushes, fuses, etc.

These components are subjected to normal operational wear. When the maintenance program fails to replace these items, and they become the primary reason for breakdowns.

Are those items which by their intended design are typically not subjected to wear when installed/maintained properly and are typically never replaced during the life of the building.

These components include but are not limited to; Hoist & Governor ropes, Motors, Generators, Hoist machine, Governor, car and counterweight buffers-guide rails, Car and Hall fixtures Door operators, Car frame, Car safety mechanism, Car traveling cables, Pumps, Valves, Plunger.

When the contractor fails to maintain these major components and they become the primary reason for lengthy breakdowns and costly unplanned modernization.

These components can be subject to design obsolescence. This can manifest itself when competition from newer facilities generate the need for better; levelling accuracy, door protection, energy consumption and quicker elevators.

Although a modernization can restore the reliability and performance of an aging elevator, modernizations are often mistakenly undertake to correct poor Contract maintenance.

When is it time to modernize?

However, even with quality maintenance, overtime some components will require modernization due to component obsolescence.

An example of well-founded obsolescence requiring modernization are door protection devices. In buildings more than ten years old, the original door protection device was not designed to close the doors at the level of safety now expected. Replacing the door protection devices with modern units allowed the elevator to run at today’s safety levels.

Justifications for modernization:

  • improved traffic handling of high speed elevators in high rise buildings
  • equipment obsolesces
  • building use changes since the original design
  • the replacement of originally installed marginal equipment
  • reducing annual maintenance costs

Often in buildings more than ten years old, the original design of the motion control equipment is relay based which is labour intensive. The maintenance methods required for this type of equipment are no longer as readily available. Maintenance staff training is continuously focusing on newer equipment and attrition is depleting those adequately trained for these controls.

A modernized controller would replace the hundreds of relays with solid state equipment requiring less labour to maintain. At the same time solid state controls also provide increased reliability resulting in fewer shut downs. On-board diagnostics reduce down time and repeat failures. Intuitive solid-state controllers can improve traffic handling by eliminating coincidental hall and car calls. High traffic floors would have free cars automatically parked at that floor for instance response.

New drive controls can also eliminate power consuming maintenance intense generators with SCR drive technology. Reduced power consumption, improved reliability, lower noise levels, enhanced ride quality and improved leveling are some of the benefits from this drive change.

What are the benefits of modernizing?

Often in buildings more than ten years old, the original car door motor design requires a high level of maintenance and is obsolete by current standards. New solid state high speed door motors function with consistent reliability and dramatically reduced maintenance requirements.

By replacing labour intensive equipment, maintenance frequencies, currently specified as weekly can be reduced to every two weeks and quite possible monthly. Reduced maintenance frequencies directly translate into lower annual operating costs.

A modernization can add new features previously missed or unavailable at the time of the original installation.

  • Automatic Emergency Power Selection, emergency power is diverted to each elevator without delay to the main floor. This reduces delays encountered when removing trapped passengers during a power failure.
  • Stand alone emergency lighting units will insure uninterrupted car lighting even during backup power delays or failures.
  • Security enhancements are also available with card readers or access codes required to enter any or all floors.
  • 24 hour electronic monitoring of motion controls, elevator failures could become self reporting. The failure is automatically signaled often well before any building staff may become aware of the difficulty. This can reduce down time and prevent or minimize the impacts of such down time.
  • Voice annunciation can instruct passengers of building conditions, floor designations and service locations. In addition safety announcements such as Fire Alarms or voice announcements such as Please stand clear of the closing door can help keep the elevators moving safely and quickly.

What about the timing of such an undertaking?

If the building is occupied the existing equipment must be optimized prior to starting. This will more comfortably allow continuous building operation while elevators are removed from service for the upgrade. Failure to insure this important aspect will insure your tenants move out before the new equipment is running.

New elevator technology has reached a plateau. Future developments will never be as dramatic as in the last 5 years.

The likely hood of future technological obsolescence of a modernization is now remote. Once software driven equipment is installed, any changes, only require software reprogrammed and hardware (equipment) changes rarely become necessary.

Once experimental in design and prone to onsite redesign after installation, the current technologies are proven in hundreds of installations.

The compounding effect of lower annual operating costs can help offset the modernization cost.

In 1992, Elevator Systems Professionals Inc. was proud to announce their newly formed Elevator Consulting Services support for building Owners and Managers.

Using extensive insider industry experience, ESP is able to offer the Quality Assurance Support necessary to give you the competitive edge your facility demands.

To date ESP's track record has been one of impressive savings and increased elevator safety and efficiency. With proven real world savings of 58% on average, ESP's performance for savings can be an important part in sound fiscal responsibility. ESP services also provide increased value and improved performance. This happens through our ongoing monitoring of contract and equipment specifications.

With ESP acting as your interpreter, you will enjoy the confidence of negotiating with all the accurate facts at your disposal to guarantee the services and value you are entitled.     

If you have more questions please contact one of our experts.
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