New technologies on the way to series production
Raloe is currently deploying several new technologies at once They are expected to offer numerous advantages for elevator manufacturers and operators.
Shorter assembly times, more safety for fitters, fewer components and therefore more space in the shaft – these are supposed to be the benefits for lift builders. Reduced maintenance effort, lower costs and less frequent malfunctions – operators should benefit from all this.
Up to now, several mechanical and electronic components that took up space in the shaft have been required for reduced protective spaces. This is also associated with greater effort in assembly and maintenance. While assembly and maintenance-friendliness have already been considerably improved through the use of modern safety gear with overspeed switches, Raloe intends to take the next step towards tomorrow with regard to electric rope lifts.
Several lifts are undergoing practical trials
Currently, several lifts are undergoing practical trials. For this purpose, Raloe is using shaft copying equipment from New Lift and Cedes, which meet both the safety level SIL 3 as well as the requirements of EN 81-20 and EN 81-21 and are correspondingly certified.
Both systems assume safety-relevant lift functions and make many mechanical and electrical components superfluous. "These technologies, which have already been standard for a long time in current vehicle and aviation technology as well as in manufacturing technology, are increasingly becoming accepted in the lift sector. This will further enhance the high safety level of lifts with simultaneously reduced mechanical effort," according to Toni Campos, technical manager at Raloe.
Infrared or magnetic scanning
New Lift now optionally offers a system called FST-S1. Basically, it consists of three components:
• a flat metal strip with magnetic coding stretched in the shaft,
• a position sensor and
• the associated safety module, called Safebox S1.
The magnetic strip coding is read contactlessly and as a result noiselessly by an on-board sensor. The SIL3-certified position sensor transmits the position data of the car precisely to the safety module. It permanently monitors the position, acceleration, deceleration and speed of the car. In addition, the emergency brake system can be triggered and monitored with it.
iDiscovery from Cedes
Another system from Cedes called iDiscovery is currently being tested at Raloe. Unlike the system from New Lift – which uses magnetic coding - the system from Cedes scans the information optically via an infrared double camera system.
Irrespective of the mode of operation, both systems detect unintended car movement (UCM) and no longer need any mechanical limit switches.
Interplay with electronic safety gear
The safety systems described can in particular make full use of their potential in combination with electrical safety gear. Raloe employs the electromagnetic safety gear ESG from Wittur.
It was especially developed by Wittur for the new lift sector. The fail-safe designed system with electromechanical activation mechanism is combined with one of the SIL3-certified position and speed sensors mentioned. Mechanical speed governors and the accompanying rope or belts are no longer needed for this.
Mechanical connection of the individual safety gear devices to each other is eliminated as well as to the speed governor. Time-consuming setting and synchronising of catch rods becomes superfluous. In addition, the shaft space can be used even more efficiently. By dispensing with mechanical speed governors, the noise level both in the car as well as in the shaft and as a result in the building is reduced.
Systems will be adopted
Another advantage is the option of creating temporary protective spaces via the positioning systems and the electric safety gear. By dispensing with supports or buffers that need to be attached or folded out mechanically, safety is further improved - unlike in the mechanical version, defective attachment or manipulation of safety systems is practically ruled out.
After concluding the test phase, these systems will be adopted at Raloe in the series Symbio (centrally guided MRL), Optimus (backpack MRL) and Genesis (centrally guided with machine room).
By Martin Grabmayer
The author is sales manager of Raloe Germany for the German-speaking countries and Denmark.
More information: raloe.com/en