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Bravo November » Blog Archive » Going up?

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Going up?

I’ve been meaning to post this list somewhere for quite some time now.

Ever noticed what brand your local elevators are? I have, but then again, that’s because I’m a geek. I should really make up an identification guide for linking some characteristic hardware features to certain brands on those installations where the original branding is stripped…

Here is the great master list, in order of subjective, or is it objective, quality, by brand:

Otis - these like to last FOREVER - banks of the original ‘Autotronic’ series are still serving happily to this day in a couple of Miami locations! The newer Otis stuff is damned good too… even hydraulic, which is usually the cheap and nasty product line for other brands.
Old-school Montgomery - Unusual nowadays, but still going strong. Of particular note, these have all relay controls, and are immune to even the most severe power surges!

Dover - These often go unlabelled. If you get in an elevator and the buttons are white squares with rounded off corners, and the floor indicator’s a fake LED dot matrix arrangement (it’s really a set of square light/transparent mask assemblies), you’ve got a Dover. The build quality’s good on their stuff, and installation quality tends to be a cut above the rest for some reason.

Thyssen-Krupp: Same as Dover. They bought Dover.. why not? The only reason I’m putting them a cut below is that a few cost-cutting measures seem to have made themselves visible.

Now we start to get to the ones I’m a little iffy about …

Kone / Montgomery Kone: The hardware’s starting to get a bit flimsy as we go down the list here. Traction elevators in this line seem to be prone to freaking out and getting stuck more than usual. Interior panels don’t fit right. I think the best feature Kone’s got going for them is their optical door edge sensor, which can reliably tell if a very small object (like someone’s finger) is in the way. I’ve seen the Kone sensors installed on older Otis stuff a lot. Installation quality, at least in the Miami area, is usually terrible!

A rotten old wood packing crate hanging from a moldy frayed sisal rope over a squeaky pulley dangling down the open center of a staircase - This is vastly preferable to what comes next… trust me.

Schindler - Total, unadulterated crap. Schindler elevators can be expected to break down quite regularly, in very interesting ways.  Even on brand new installations, Schindler elevators will make scraping and grinding noises, randomly fail to level at floors and sit there with the doors closed for long periods of time, or even slap into the springs at the bottom of the shaft at full speed for no particular reason. When I used to go to MDC Kendall campus, one building’s classrooms were only accessible via a pair of Schindler hydraulics, and I got very used to prying the doors open after the elevator slammed into the bottom after failing to level. Newer Schindler door hardware features a frighteningly oversized hatch restrictor mechanism which makes rescue of trapped passengers extremely difficult if access can’t be gained to the top of the cab… and the failure of a single weak plastic part causes the door to jam as soon as it closes, requiring the same rescue procedure. I declare these completely unacceptable.

Yep. There’s the list.

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