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Mega-project EN ISO 8100-1/2: what can the lift sector expect?


It is one of the biggest and most important standardisation projects of the lift sector. The development of the worldwide applicable standard, EN ISO 8100-1/2.

The draft is available: prEN ISO 8100-1/2 is to be published in autumn 2024 with slight, mainly editorial amendments as the final draft and will be officially issued in spring 2025 as EN ISO 8100-1/2. Working Group 1 of CEN TC 10 is responsible for the revision. René Hermann is its chairman. LIFTjournal asked him about the mega-project.

How long did the preparation of this standard take and what were the biggest challenges here?
Hermann: The launch for EN ISO 81-100-1/2 occurred as far back as 2014 when it was decided to develop an EN ISO standard based on EN 81-20/50. The goal was to publish a global standard for lifts that was used everywhere as an identical national standard. In 2016, the decision of the European Court of Justice in the "James Elliot" case then transformed the world of "standard developers". In this decision, the ECJ determined that standards are part of EU law and insofar as it exercises control over their preparation or publication, the Commission is also responsible for them.

After this, the EU Commission introduced a strict quality control of all harmonised standards by the "HAS Consultants". These evaluate whether the standards to be harmonised meet the requirements set by the EU Commission in its standardisation mandates. This resulted in the "citation" of various lift standards being rejected in 2019. There was a list of 1,000 defects for EN 81-20/50 alone. The effort involved in implementing the corrections needed in the draft of EN ISO 8100-1/2 as the successor of EN 81-20/50 was enormous and underestimated.

René Hermann. Photo: © LIFTjournal / Bernd LorenzRené Hermann. Photo: © LIFTjournal / Bernd Lorenz

What were the main reactions to the draft?
Hermann: The national mirror committees examined the drafts very thoroughly and made corresponding comments. I believe a standard has never been reviewed so thoroughly and in depth. As a consequence, over 2,000 comments were submitted for the two EN ISO standards, on top of this were another 500 comments from the quality process of the EU by HAS consultants. Many of these comments referred to defects that had already been included in the comments on EN 81-20/50.

On the one hand, I’m gratified that standards are no longer just waved through but on the other this means there is an enormous amount of additional work for me and the entire working group, which means we could occupy ourselves with the standards for several more years. But my goal is to observe the date for publication - the first quarter of 2025. I’m now in the midst of analysing the comments and splitting them up among small working groups and answering them. Above all, care must be taken that no new technical requirements are considered.

Is there a deadline for when the standards have to be completed?
Hermann: According to the new standardisation mandate of CEN with the EU Commission, the goal is that all standards listed have to be available at the beginning of 2028 and are then to be cited by the EU. The EU Commission has already threatened to draw up standards itself if the deadlines are not observed. At any rate, EN ISO 8100-1/2 will have to be available far earlier since it is the basis for all the other standards. The introduction of quality review by the EU has led to an enormous increase in the requirements and effort required for developing harmonised standards. Therefore, as I see it, one needs to check whether harmonising all lift standards is necessary or whether just leaving them as non-harmonised CEN standards (e.g. EN 13015) would be enough.

As already mentioned, the goal is to publish both EN ISO 8100-1/2 standards in the first or at the latest in the second quarter of 2025. To master this great challenge, there have to be improvements in the development effectiveness. There must be a focus on working on the right and important standards, the work must occur with clear objectives in small groups and in particular, no new requirements may be introduced.

Photo: © René HermannPhoto: © René Hermann

What main changes will EN ISO 8100-1/2 introduce compared to EN 81-20/50?
Hermann: I compiled the most important changes in my talk at the Heilbronn Lift Days. The most important changes relate to machine brakes, doors and the new traction gear. The machine brakes have to be stronger in design, this has a great influence on the system design. There are also great changes in relation to the doors, especially the reduction in the gaps between the door wings and door frame. I’ve already spoken to door manufacturers who’ve told me that these requirements cannot be met in practice. There are accordingly several comments regarding this. In my view, they overshot the mark here somewhat. Replying to these comments will still be the occasion for some discussions and a great challenge.

What advantages and disadvantages will they have for the sector?
Hermann: The standards now correspond to the state of the art. Companies that operate internationally can more easily distribute lifts with the new technologies, such as belts or thinner steel ropes, in markets outside Europe with the new standard. Diverging from standards is difficult or in part impossible in many countries. Distributing lifts in Europe is simplified, which is of interest above all for smaller companies. However, adhering to the deadlines communicated is vital for the industry, which needs planning certainty.

This point is absolutely central for small and medium-sized companies alike as well as for the big ones. Planning for the modification of products and selling is complex in the lift sector, since this has to be coordinated with the planning and construction of buildings. Consequently, adhering to the deadlines of EN ISO 8100 is essential for me, since there is also a risk that important markets like China will also introduce their own standards. As I see it, it is important that Europe retains a leading role in standardisation work.

And what advantages does this have for SMEs?
Hermann: In Europe, the simplification brought by the standards will also have advantages for SMEs. For example, in the past lifts with new hoisting gear that did not comply with the harmonised standards had to be distributed via the divergence process of the Lift Directive. This requires the involvement of a "notified body" (NB) for an individual examination, design examination or type examination certificate. For example, there are small lift companies in Switzerland, which often design single lifts that do not meet the harmonised standards. Bringing in an NB for such lifts is associated with effort and additional costs. Therefore, the integration of the state of the art is an important advantage for such companies. The big lift companies usually arrange a "EU type examination certificate" with an NB for their standard lifts. Therefore, for big companies this is not essential or a great advantage.

René Hermann. Photo: © LIFTjournal / Ulrike LotzeRené Hermann. Photo: © LIFTjournal / Ulrike Lotze

Do you share the view that the formulation of standards is in part too complicated?
Hermann: Absolutely. It was already recognised in the EN 81-1 version of 1998 that the standard did not meet the CEN rules. This was noted in the foreword to the standards. Unfortunately, these defects were not corrected during the development of EN 81-20. For example, the requirements are often formulated in a way that cannot be measured and verified. In addition, the formulations are often complicated with long sentences and subordinate clauses. Even I sometimes find it difficult to understand what is actually required. This complexity impedes translation into other languages, results in mistakes and many questions of interpretation. For example, there are also errors in the German version compared to the English version. We have to be careful in revising standards to use sentences with precise requirements and uniform terminology. We also have to consider whether artificial intelligence could support us in the standardisation work.

According to your report, during the CEN/TC 10 meeting at the end of November 2023, there were controversial discussions about the interface to and inclusion of the building in the regulations. What was this about?
Hermann: Since February 2019, the requirement of the EU is clear: "The normative section may not include any requirements on the building." The EU Commission has made unmistakeably clear that building regulations are regulated nationally and the responsibility for the building, such as the strength of the walls, does not lie with the installation company. From the point of view of the Commission, the lift is a machine integrated in a building. But as you determined at the plenary meeting, this is still called into question. Therefore, this has still not yet been completely implemented but has already been correspondingly criticised and commented on by the HAS Consultants. Therefore, I will no longer discuss this point but implement it according to the requirements of the EU in the standard.

You are going to retire at the end of the year and also hand over the chairmanship of WG 1. What conclusions do you draw?
Hermann: You’d have to ask my colleagues there. It was very challenging and intensive. However, despite the standard being rejected in Europe and the many comments, I would draw a positive conclusion. Constructive cooperation in the working group has greatly improved. This was also reflected in the fact that the review of the standards in the mirror committees was performed very thoroughly despite the brief period and during the Christmas season. Now there is a lot of work to correct the many defects introduced. But I can see a great deal of motivation and readiness in the working group to tackle this major task together and complete it on time.

Has your successor already been chosen?
Hermann: A successor is coming into sight. Schindler has always had the chair of WG 1 and we are working on retaining it too.

Personal details: René Hermann has been chairman of the CEN TC10 WG1 "Lifts and service lifts" since 1 January 2021. As a qualified Swiss electrical engineer and graduate of ETH Zurich, Rene Hermann has been working in research and development in the lift industry for Schindler Aufzüge AG for 36 years. Rene Hermann is a member of the board of management of the European Lift Association (ELA) and is chairman of the Technical Committee of the Swiss Lift Association (VSA).

These are the main changes: New technical requirements
• New lifting gear
• Traction sheave lifts with increased service area
• Requirements on machine brakes
• Safe access to shaft pit (ladders)
• Trapping of hands in doors
• Inspection trip beyond the final stop
• Automatic "rescue system" (ARD)
• Maintenance platforms in the shaft pit
• Vertical sliding doors
• SIL-evaluated safety switches (replaces PESSRAL)

New lifting gear
• Steel wire rope with diameter from 4 mm
• Steel wire rope or belts with plastic coating
• Requirements defined for
o material, design, dimensions, strengths
o D/D relationship depending on type (see Table 11)
o safety factor depending on type, number and design (min. 12)
o traction capacity o criteria for the replacement state of wear (service life)

Relationship useful floor space to rated load
• Traction sheave lifts with increased useful floor space of the car (EN ISO 8100-1 Table 7)
• Requirement: o Car design, car frame, safety gear and guide rails with higher load requirements (EN 8100-1 Table 6)
o Machine design, UCMP, buffer, traction capacity and safety factor rope with rated load o Downward movements with overload prevented by: mechanical stop (e.g. catch device) o Engagement of the safety gear
• Overload must be "safely?" detected

Requirements on machine brakes
• In the event of the failure of a "brake circuit", the braking force must be sufficient to decelerate 110 % of the rated load
• Brake ventilation independent for every brake circuit
• Ventilation of the brake monitored for every brake circuit
• Monitoring of the brake occurs o detection of the wear of the brake lining or o automatic testing of the braking force (in ACOP or UCMP always)

Safe access to shaft pit
• Amendments to EN ISO 14122-4 Safety of machinery – Permanent means of access to machinery, - Part 4: Fixed ladders
• Definition of distances (safe mounting, use and leaving)
• Restriction of weight of movable ladders depending on distance to access
• The "parking position" of movable ladders is monitored

Trapping of hands in doors
• No sharp edges between frame and door edges
• Reduction of gap between doors and door frame (max. 8 mm)
• For all doors: reduction of opening force
• Car doors:
• - Detection of hands in intake gaps
• - Reduction of gap between doors and door frame (max. 5 mm, otherwise 6 mm)
• Without locking of the car doors, max. distance between shaft wall and car sill max. 12 cm
• Distance between closed car doors and landing doors max. 12 cm

Inspection trip beyond the final stop
• Stop upon reaching the final landing (normal travel range)
• Continued travel after repeated actuation of the travel button and direction button
• Max. 0.15 m/s speed in overridden range
• Limit switch and buffer switch are bridged