State of the Industry
Today’s vertical transportation industries equipment is fairly complex. Elevators and escalators are in use every day in many applications throughout the United States. In many cases they are the central core of the building providing vertical transportation services twenty-four hours a day.
We have come to expect fast, efficient travel that is safe to use. Generally, the riding public does not hear of many issues or problems with this type of transportation and assume it to be safe to use. In fact, we assume that preventive maintenance is part of the buildings daily, weekly and monthly schedule. In many cases you would be correct in your assumption. But, there are cases where the little or no maintenance is common practice.
After the installation is completed the maintenance plan is started. Working on these units demands a high degree of knowledge and expertise to maintain them in correct working order. In facilities like these, units that are constantly “in and out of service” can mean a decline of maintenance related activities.
When the unit eventually shuts down, technicians are called upon to repair the unit. Usually, there are two phases to this undertaking. First, the technician is in an information gathering phase which helps ascertain the problem, then the unit is repaired and restored to service. Troubleshooting an elevator or escalator is not an exact science however, there are logical steps that the technician would use to perform the job correctly.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or proprietary systems can be difficult and at times very elusive to repair. Technician’s legitimately trying to fix the problem and must work through several scenarios to come to an educated decision of how to best repair the elevator or escalator.
First, let’s understand what is going on within todays elevator industry. Each year material costs rise as expected. Next, the hourly rate that is paid to elevator technicians has risen dramatically over the last several years. Finally, the fees that elevator companies can charge for their services have not escalated like the labor rates. For the company to stay in business and make the desired profit level several things will likely occur:
The result of the labor escalations and reduced monthly maintenance charges translates to a decrease in hours spent on the project performing proper maintenance. In other words, the maintenance hours must be reduced to provide the desired profitability level. The building owner bears the brunt of the reduced level of maintenance in several ways. Issues will start to occur such as; elevators not leveling properly, entrapments, frequent break downs, loud noises that only seem to get worse over time and a host of other issues. Many times, the company that provides the maintenance will tell the building owner that the elevators are worn out and need to be replaced. It is our position that you may not be hearing the entire story.
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When you hire AEC you can be assured that our clients best interest is of the utmost importance and we will be by your side until the project is 100% complete.