Useful Terminology to Know
Brackets (Guide Rail) - The device used to attach the rails firmly to the hoistway.
Buffer - A device designed to stop a descending car or counterweight beyond its normal limit of travel by storing or by absorbing and dissipating the kinetic energy of the car or counterweight.
Cab - The decorative room in which people ride in a passenger elevator.
Car (elevator) - The load-carrying unit, including its platform, frame, enclosure, and car door or gate.
Compensating Chain - A welded-link chain used for hoist rope weight compensation. One end of the chain is attached to the underside of the elevator car, and the other end is fastened to the counterweight or stationary fastening in the hoistway.
Corner Post -A method of mounting rails in opposite corners of the hoistway, usually to accommodate doors in adjacent hoistway walls.
Counterweight - A dead weight on traction elevators, which counterbalances the weight of an elevator car plus nearly half of the capacity load.
Door Panel - A portion of the door or gate, which covers the opening and moves to uncover the opening.
Door Sill - The threshold of a door opening with grooves to guide the bottom of the car door.
Enclosure - The ruggedly built room on a freight elevator in which the material being carried is located.
Fishplate - A steel plate, which spans the joint where two lengths of guide rails in a stack meet.
Freight Elevator - An elevator used to carry material rather than people and provided with vertical bi-parting doors.
(1) A mechanical speed control mechanism. For elevators, it is a wire rope driven centrifugal device used to stop and hold the movement of its driving rope. This initiates the activation of the car safety device. It opens a switch, which cuts off power to the drive motor and brake if the car travels at a preset overspeed in the down direction. Some types of governors will also open the governor switch and cut off power to the drive motor and brake if the car over speeds in the up direction.
(2) On escalators, a direct-driven centrifugal device which, when activated by overspeed,
cuts off power to the drive motor and service brake.
Governor Rope - A wire rope attached to an elevator car frame that drives the governor and, when stopped by the governor, initiates setting the car safety.
Guide Rails - Steel T-, round, or formed sections with guiding surfaces installed vertically in a hoistway to guide and direct the course of travel of elevator car and elevator counterweights.
Hanger Rollers - Rollers (two per panel) from which horizontal door panels are suspended.
Hoistway - The space enclosed by fireproof walls and elevator doors for the travel of one or more elevators, dumbwaiters or material lifts. It includes the pit and terminates at the underside of the overhead machinery space floor or grating, or at the underside of the roof where the hoistway does not penetrate the roof. (Hoistway is sometimes called "hatchway" or "hatch".)
Hoistway Enclosure - The fixed structure, consisting of vertical walls or partitions, which isolates the hoistway from all other areas or from an adjacent hoistway, and in which the hoistway doors and door assemblies are installed.
Hydraulic - One of two methods by which an elevator is moved, whereby the elevator is "pushed" up by oil.
Hydraulic Elevator - A power elevator where the energy is applied, by means of a liquid under pressure, in a cylinder equipped with a plunger or piston.
Interlock - A device having two related and interdependent functions which are: (1) to prevent the operation of the driving machine by the normal operating device unless the hoistway door is locked in the closed position. An electro-mechanical device that prevents operation of an elevator unless the hoistway doors are in the closed and locked position; (2) to prevent opening of a hoistway door from the landing side unless the elevator is in the landing zone and is either stopped or being stopped.
Jamb - Any one of the three members constituting an elevator entrance frame: head jamb, strike jamb, and return jamb.
Landing - That portion of a floor, balcony, or platform used to receive and discharge passengers or freight.
Landing Door - The movable door at the entrance of an elevator that provides access to the hoistway.
Machine Room - The space in which the driving machine for an elevator or group of elevators, dumbwaiter, escalator or group of escalators is located.
Oil Buffer - One type of buffer (for elevators with speeds of more than 200 feet per minute) that uses a combination of oil and spring to cushion the elevator. It is located in the elevator pit.
Passenger Elevator - An elevator used to carry people.
Penthouse - The machine room above the hoistway on traction elevators.
Pickup Rollers - Devices on the hoistway door which mate with the clutch on the car door to allow the hoistway doors to be pulled open and closed.
Pit - That portion of the hoistway extending from the sill level of the lowest landing to the floor at the bottom of the hoistway.
Rail Clips - Devices bolted to guide rail brackets to clamp rails firmly in place.
Safety - A large clamp that anchors the car to the building to keep the elevator from falling.
Setting the Safety - The act of triggering the safety to stop the elevator from falling.
Spring Buffer - One type of buffer, for elevators with speeds less than 200 feet per minute, which cushions the elevator. It is located in the elevator pit.
Traction - One of two methods by which the elevator is moved, whereby the elevator is "pulled" up by cables.
Two Speed Door - A type of door consisting of two horizontal sliding panels that move in the same direction.
200 FPM - The speed limitation for spring buffer and the limit of top speed on hydraulic elevators.
Bolster - The bottom member of a sling for a hydraulic elevator.
Brace Rod - Supports for the outer corners of the platform, each of which tie to upper portions of the stile.
Brackets (Guide Rail) - The device used to attach the rail firmly to the hoistway.
Clips, Rail - Devices bolted to guide rail brackets to clamp rails firmly in place.
Clutch - A device mounted on the car door, which pulls the hoistway doors as the car door moves open or closed.
Code, ANSI - The controlling rules by which our elevators are designed, built and installed.
Corner Post - A method of mounting rails in opposite corners of the hoistway, usually to accommodatedoors in adjacent hoistway rails.
Crosshead - The top portion of a sling.
Door-Biparting - Protective devices for hoistway openings of freight elevators consisting of two steel panels that move vertically and counterweight each other.
Door-Center Opening - A door type which consists of two horizontal sliding panels that move in opposite directions.
Door-Horizontal Slide - Entrance protection for both car and hoistway (usually for passenger elevators) that moves sideways.
Door Gibs - Devices at the bottom of horizontal sliding door panels that stick into sill grooves and eliminates door panels swinging in or out.
Door Panel - A portion of the door or gate that covers the opening and moves to uncover the opening.
Doors, Power - Doors which are propelled by electric motor(s).
Door Sill - The threshold of a door opening with grooves to guide the bottom of the car door.
Doors, Single Speed - A type of door consisting of one horizontal sliding panel.
Door Track - A steel guide on door opening on which the hanger roller or door guide runs.
Door; Two Speed - A type of door consisting of two horizontal sliding panels that move in the same direction.
End Post - A method of mounting the two stacks of rails on a common wall at the end of the hoistway.
Fishplate - A steel plate that spans the joint where two lengths of guide rails in a stack meet.
Guide Rails - The tee-shaped devices, accurately mounted in the hoistway to positively locate the elevator as it moves through the hoistway.
Guide Shoes - Devices on the sling that slide or roll on the rails to guide the elevator through the hoistway.
Hanger Rollers - Roller (two per panel) from which horizontal door panels are suspended.
Hitch Plate - A plate (on traction elevators) clamped to the underside of the crosshead and to which the shackles are attached.
Lubricator - A device that feeds oil to the rail and provides lubrication for sliding shoes.
Platen - A plate, used to attach the jack to the bolster.
Platform - The floor of the elevator, which is placed in the sling and is further supported by brace rods in each corner.
Pickup Rollers - Devices on the hoistway door that mate with the clutch on the car door to allow the hoistway doors to be pulled open and closed.
Pit Channels - Steel channels on the pit floor to anchor the guide rails and other pit-mounted devices.
Safety Plank - The bottom member of a sling for a traction elevator that contains the safety.
Shackle - Threaded rods to which the hoist cables are socketed and that bolt to the hitch plate and the counterweight.
Shims - Devices used as fillers to ensure accurate positioning of bolted pieces (such as rails).
Side Post - The normal practice of mounting rails on opposite hoistway walls, and midways, front to back.
Sling - The basic structural frame which consists of two stiles, a crosshead and a bolster or safety plank that supports the platform and cab of an elevator.
Stile - The vertical member of the sling, one on each side.
AC - (Alternating Current) A source of power for an elevator machine.
(Single Speed) - A type of traction machine powered by an AC-driven motor of one fixed
(Two Speed) - A type of traction machine powered by an AC-driven motor (actually 2 motors built into one) that has 2 distinct speeds.
(Variable Voltage) - A method of controlling a AC-driven machine that produces many different speeds.
Brake - A spring loaded clamping device that holds the elevator car when the machine is turned.
Brake Drum - A round, machined surface on the motor shaft that the brake clamps.
Cable (Rope) - Usually 4 to 6 in number, used to support the car and (passing over the drive sheave to the counterweight) pulls the car.
Cable Wrap - That amount of the drive sheave actually in contact with the cable.
Control Valve - The device which, on hydraulic elevators, controls the oil flow to and from the jack.
DC - (Direct Current) A source of power for an elevator machine.
Gear - (Housing) The enclosure, containing oil, in which the worm and ring gears are located.
(Ring) A large gear, driven by the worm gear, which is attached to the drive sheave.
(Worm) A spiral gear connected to and driven by the motor that drives the ring year.
(Vee) A groove in the drive sheave that produces a pinching or wedging on the cable, used
on geared machines.
(U) A groove in the drive sheave which relies on friction between groove and cable, used on
Jack - The device that pushes the hydraulic elevator.
(Babbitt) A soft metal used in the guide to reduce scratching the plunger surface.
(Cylinder) The outer piece of the jack that contains oil.
(Drip Ring) A flange on the guide used to collect oil from the plunger so it can drain into a
(Guide) An assembly, bolted to the upper end of the cylinder that centers the plunger in the cylinder.
(Plunger) The inner piece of the jack that supports the car.
(Seal or Packing) A device mounted on the guide to minimize oil escaping around the
Machine - (Geared) Traction machines for elevators of 450 FPM or less in which the drive sheave is connected to the motor through a gear train.
(Gearless) Traction machines, for elevators of up to 1000 FPM, in which the drive sheave is
directly connected to the motor, which is controlled by variable voltage.
Oil Line - The pipe that channels the oil from the power unit to the jack.
Power Unit The device on hydraulic elevators, that supplies the motive force to run the car.
Pump - The device that draws oil from the tank and pushes it through the oil line to the jack to move the elevator up.
Sheave - (Compounding) A pulley located on the car and on the counterweight, under which the hoist cables run to double the capacity and reduce the speed of an elevator.
(Deflector) A pulley, aligned with the drive sheave, which provides a path for the cables to
drop straight to the counterweight.
(Drive) The pulley or wheel, grooved for each hoist cable, which drives the elevator up or
(Secondary) A pulley on a gearless machine that serves two purposes; (1) allow each cable
a second pass over the drive sheave; and (2) deflect the cable for a straight drop to the
Tank (Reservoir) - A container to store the oil used to move the elevator.
Torque - The pulling effort developed by the motor.
Travel - (Net) Distance from the top floor to the bottom floor.
(Over) A short distance beyond the terminal floor as allowance for building inaccuracies,
manufacturing or installation inaccuracies.
(Total) Net travel plus top and bottom over travel.
Acceleration - A period during which the elevator moves at an ever-increasing rate of speed, usually referring to the period from standstill to full speed.
Controller - An electrical panel that performs many computer functions by which it operates the elevator.
Deceleration - A period during which the elevator moves at an ever-decreasing rate of speed, usually referring to that period from full speed to leveling speed.
Electric Eye - A light beam (or beams) that span a door opening and, when interrupted, causes the door to reopen.
Emergency Stop Switch - A hand-operated switch in the car push-button station which, when thrown to the off position, stops the elevator and prohibits its running.
Full Speed - The contract speed at which the elevator should run.
Leveling - A slow rate of speed used for the final approach to a floor to ensure an accurate floor stop.
Operation Types - The system by which the elevator responds to passenger requests.
(Constant Pressure) A very simple form of elevator operation where the elevator runs only so long as a button is pushed, and can handle only one call at a time.
(Momentary Pressure or Full Automatic) A simple form of elevator operation that accepts only one call at a time, remembers that call, and dispatches the car in the proper direction.
(Selective Collective) A modern form of elevator operation wherein the system accepts
and remembers an infinite number of calls, and answers them as the car moves in the
Position Indication - The function of monitoring the location of the elevator and notifying the controller and the passenger of that location.
Push-Button Station - A decorative device containing one or more hand-operated devices (buttons or switches) by which the passenger tells the controller what action is desired.
Safety Edge - A mechanical device on the leading edge of a door panel which, when operated, causes the door to reopen.
Selector - An electrical device, driven by the elevator, which simulates elevator movements.
(Cable) A small steel cable attached from the car or counterweight to a drum on the selector by which car motion is transferred to the selector.
(Cams-Fingers, Wipers) Electrical signaling devices located on the selector carriage that
contact segments of floor bars and thereby pass circuits to a controller.
(Carriage) A simulated car located in the selector that carries cams through which electrical
signals are passed.
(Drum) A cylindrical device on the selector, to which the selector cable is attached, that
(through gears) transfers the car motion to tile selector carriage.
(Floor Bars) Simulated floor devices on a selector through which cams pass electrical
Stopping - The action of final motion of the elevator from leveling speed to an accurate floor level.
Dispatch Control - A system that controls two or more elevators by governing assignment in response to hall calls. It also controls zoning, peak traffic demands, and parking. Also know as Group Supervisory Control.
Firefighter's Service - A device or group of devices which provide: (1) a signal for immediate recall to a designated landing in order to remove cars from normal use; and (2) to permit special operation for firefighters or other authorized personnel.
FPM - Feet Per Minute. Measurement of speed at which an elevator travels. A typical hydraulic elevator travels at 100-150 fpm, while traction elevators range from 350-1000 fpm or faster.
Reverse Phase Relay - These relays monitor the 3-phase inputs to see if one of the phases is missing (motors won't run) or if two phases were reversed (causes an AC motor to run backwards) and use their relay contacts in the safety circuit to shut down operation of the car. In newer models they also monitor for low phase. (All phases must be within a fixed percentage of each others voltage.)
SCR Drive - SCR's (Silicon Controlled Rectifiers) are used to convert AC into DC to the Motor Field and the Motor Armature. A microprocessor varies the firing angle of the SCR's to control the amount of voltage applied to control the DC Drive Motor.
VVVF Drive - Variable Voltage Variable Frequency Control system that digitally varies the amount of voltage to the motor in order to adjust motor torque for varying loads, acceleration, and deceleration. It digitally adjusts the frequency of the applied voltage in order to adjust car speed. Increase Voltage/Amplitude, increase torque. Increase Frequency of Voltage, increase speed. This digital control is created by a microprocessor pulsing 6 IGBT's (Insulated Gate Bi-Polar Transistors). By turning these on and off, three-phase AC waveforms can be created from an applied DC voltage. The amplitude and frequency of these waveforms control the AC Drive Motor.
Wye (Y) Delta Starting - Two-step process of starting a motor. In the Y configuration, a motor will start with lower amounts of current. The motor starts easily and rotates up towards maximum RPM. After a period of time, approximately one second, the controller will drop the Y relay and pull in the Delta relay powering the motor up to full speed. In the Delta configuration, the motor will deliver more torque but draw higher current.
Across Line Starting - With this system the motor is started and run using the Delta configuration. The high initial current draw can load down the building feed causing electrical problems. This is why you often see the lights dim and hear a groaning noise when a large duty motor is started with Across the Line Starting.
Solid State Starters - Uses SCR's to control a Delta configuration giving it the capability to start a large duty motor with lower current and giving it the "Soft Start".
Remote Monitoring - This to monitor elevator control status, check traffic patterns,
for field personnel to make adjustments, etc. Owner version is for building owners to
monitor the status of their elevators, check traffic patterns, and monitor and adjust security
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.