Author Archives: prideandservice

Updating the Interior of your Elevator

Interior Post

For several minutes a day many people are confined to a five-foot by six-foot space with five to ten other people in an elevator that has not been upgraded from a decorative perspective for years. Does this describe your buildings elevators? While few of us drive automobiles that are twenty years or older, many buildings utilize elevators that have not had an interior upgrade for the same amount of time!

Riding in an elevator is often an anxious time for passengers.  When asked, many passengers will respond that they feel more comfortable riding in a well-lit, well decorated elevator.  By upgrading your elevator’s cab interior, it will show that you have the building’s residents and visitor’s best interest in mind.

If you are planning on upgrading the interior cabs of your elevators, please keep in mind that this is a specialized business. It is not equivalent to, let’s say, remodeling an office ­– unless entire office moves up and down within the building. When you upgrade an elevator cab interior there are a number of things that you must take into consideration:

1. How much do you want to spend? It is not unusual for people who have never done a major elevator cab upgrade to think that $500 will do the job. A typical budget price for elevator cab upgrades is $9,000 to $15,000. This would include new wall panels, handrails and possibly a new ceiling.

2. How much weight are you adding? An elevator is a moving device, not a closet. Adding or reducing weight can affect the leveling accuracy of the elevator. Often, elevators need adjustments after an elevator cab is modernized. If this is necessary, you should expect to pay for an elevator crew to tweak the equipment a bit. It may not be possible to add the fancy marble interior panels you are thinking about.

3. How will the elevator be used after the interior upgrade? Will you use elevator pads to protect the interior every time a delivery is made or a piece of equipment is placed on the elevator? If not, perhaps you should consider a more durable wall material. Perhaps you have seen a beautiful new cloth covered cab interior, carefully chosen by an interior designer or architect. Check it out six months or a year later. Does it still look as nice?

You have to make sure that materials meet and exceed all safety standards and fire code requirements. Pride and Service has been in business for over 25 years and knows very well how to make sure elevators are following proper codes and requirements. We know that the interior design of your elevators can create an aesthetically pleasing experience for each passenger and improve the overall look and feel of the building. From panels to handrails and carpets – there is so much you can do to create a modern, beautiful space.

Ready to take your elevator’s interior design up a notch?

What if elevator riders could watch the news, check the weather, or glide their finger across a touch screen to select their destination? All this is entirely possible and is already popping up in elevators across the country. New trends in cab renovations include lightweight materials and innovative fixtures, including monitors that display news, weather, or other information of interest. Some buildings have their elevators equipped with touch screens, where riders can select their destinations and view other information about the building.

Call Pride and Service

If you are thinking about renovating and upgrading you’re the interior of your elevator cabs, Pride and Service can help. Contact us today and learn how we can help you turn your elevator cabs into an aesthetically pleasing and modern space that all your visitors will love.

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Avoiding Fines & Violations

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Elevators: while very necessary in our vertical worlds, they have become one of the most challenging issues that building owners and managers face in the tri-state area. Owners and managers have to stay on top of the ever changing and ever growing list of violations, fines, and inspections. Within the past few years, elevator fines have drastically increased, brand new violations have been issued, and the process and requirements for filing have undergone a transformation, becoming more complex and involved than ever before.

When it comes to elevator compliance, here are 4 important pieces of advice that owners and mangers should follow:

1. Never assume that you are not responsible.

DOB elevator violations are issued to the owner of the property where the non-compliant elevators exist. In cases where a correction is necessary after an unsatisfactory inspection, owners must be involved in the process. From authorizing proposals, to submitting any late fees with the correct paper-work, owners must be involved. If you have tenants who maintain their own elevators, you must ensure their elevator inspections are properly filed in order to avoid a violation against your building.

2. Stay aware of increased inspection penalties.

It’s crucial to keep on top of filing your elevator inspection paperwork to avoid unnecessary elevator fines and violations. Every elevator requires an annual inspection and most passenger and freight elevators also require a five-year inspection. Failure to file the required annual elevator inspection report now results in a fine of $3,000 per elevator and failure to file a five-year inspection results in a $5,000 penalty per elevator. The DOB is now rejecting current year inspection reports if the prior-year compliance is not on file. Can you see how things can easily start to back up and fines can start piling up?

3. Ensure that “unsatisfactory” reports are corrected promptly.

The DOB requires that owners correct unsatisfactory conditions from an annual test, but only recently have there been repercussions for not doing so. The DOB’s brand new “ACCI” violation has a $3,000 civil penalty for any elevator with an unsatisfactory inspection result without a correction on file – which was first issued at the end of 2012. This means that the failure to correct an unsatisfactory inspection now costs the same as the failure to file an inspection report in the first place.

4. Stay on top of rejected inspections

The DOB is rejecting more inspection tests than ever for failure to file prior-year corrections or the failure to pay civil penalties for missed inspections and late filings. This growth in rejected tests is an added burden to you, as rejected statuses require them to constantly check back with the DOB to retrieve rejection letters and re-file tests that may have first been submitted months earlier.

As you can tell, if building owners and managers do not stay on top of these inspections and reports – fines and problems build up very quickly. At Pride and Service, we completely manage the tests and inspections for our clients. We help them stay on top of when their next inspections are due and file the paperwork for them. We make sure that everything involving our client’s elevators is taken care of, so they can worry about the more important matters – like running a business. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Elevator 101

Elevators 101

If you are a building owner or manager, and have elevators in your building, it’s a good idea to know a few things about your elevators! Even if you do not have an elevator, maybe you have been curious about some of the terminology associated. As always, Pride and Service is here to help! Check out the list below for the essential features of an elevator, and what those terms mean!

Automatic Gate Operator – An electro-mechanical device that opens and closes the car gate automatically.

Backup Battery – An emergency power source that will allow you to lower the elevator to the next lower level in the event of a power failure.

“Calling the Elevator” or Call Button – Pressing the call button in the hallway will “call the elevator” to you, if the elevator is not in use and/or is located on a different level.

Car – The elevator car transports passengers from one floor to another.

C.O.P. – The Car Operating Panel (C.O.P.) is the control panel inside the elevator that houses the floor buttons, the light switch, the alarm button, the emergency stop switch and optional key lock.

Controller – The controller houses the electrical control circuits of the elevator.

Drive System –The drive system is the power and strength behind lifting the elevator car and its passenger(s).

Dumbwaiter – Is a self contained car that is lowered and raised on a vertical path. A dumbwaiter carries objects instead of people. Things like: firewood, laundry, dishes, groceries, etc…

Electro-mechanical Interlock – Often referred to as EMI, is an electro-mechanical safety lock that prevents the hoistway door (hall door) from opening if the elevator is not at that landing.

Gate – The gate is a door that attaches to the outer edge of the elevator or dumbwaiter car. It prevents objects inside the car from coming into contact with objects outside of the car during travel. Gate styles include: accordion or scissors gates for elevators and bi-part, roll top, or slide up for dumbwaiters.

Hall Station – The Hall Station refers to the panel located outside the elevator doorway in the hallway that houses the call button.

Hoistway & Hoistway Doors – The hoistway is the enclosed space in which the elevator travels. The hoistway door allows access to the hoistway and is prevented from opening unless the elevator is stopped and waiting at that particular landing.

Hydraulic (Roped) – This drive system utilizes a hydraulic jack and a wire rope to raise and lower the passenger car.

Jack – The Jack utilizes hydraulic power to lift or lower the passenger car.

Landing – A term used to describe each floor on which the elevator will open.

Machine Room – The machine room is a small adjacent room that houses the drive system and electrical controls.

Machine Room-less –  The control box is located nearby but does not require a separate room.

Muntz – Muntz is the name given to the bronze tone finish on the hall stations and car operating panel.

Pit – The pit provides clearance for the support components that are below the floor of the elevator car allowing the elevator floor to level with the lowest landing floor.

Rail – The rail is the steel track that guides the elevator when it travels up and down the hoistway. Depending on the model there may be one or two rails.

Service Disconnect – Located near the controller in the machine room, the service disconnect is the main power switch to the elevator.

Sheave – Elevator term for a pulley.

Sling – The sling is an L-shaped steel support that holds the elevator car and is attached to the rail system.

Weight Capacity – Is the total amount of weight that can be added to the elevator. For safety purposes, never exceed the elevator cars weight capacity.

Winding Drum Elevator – This drive system utilizes wire ropes that wind onto a rotating drum.

Fixing Scratches on Elevator Doors

Doors for post

We often receive questions from our clients similar to this one:

“What do I do about the minor surface scratches on my elevator doors without having to resurface or replace the doors?”

We have some great tips for taking care of those minor surface scratches. Depending on the type of door you have and the severity of the scratch, there are different ways to go about fixing it.

Stainless Steel or Bronze Doors
Stainless steel and bronze doors can have an easy fix. A Scotch-Brite cleaning pad – yes, the same stainless steel pot cleaning pads you use in the kitchen – can be used to repair slight scratches or abrasions in stainless steel or bronze doors. The safest way to use the pad is to blend the scratch into the same satin finish direction of the overall area, since a satin finish can be polished to different levels of #4 to #8 – a mirror look.  For #8 mirror finish a more professional person may be required to restore a final finish.

However, check the finish of your door before you start. Bronze doors are usually factory coated with a clear lacquer and the lacquer should be removed before attempting to eliminate the scratch. The lacquer can be removed with solvents like lacquer thinner, which are dangerous materials and should only be used in well ventilated environments.

Deep Scratches
Scratches deeper than the surface mark have to be gradually sanded down with coarser abrasives. There is a series of sanding that would move from more coarse to less coarse abrasives until the scratch is worked out.

Non Metal Finishes
Today there are a wide variety of finishes inside the car: glass, woven wire, leather, and decorative etched/plated metals. You can etch these chemically or mechanically (engraving). If a finish on the door is mechanical (cut or etched into the door) or chemical (treated across the surface of the door), a simple rub with a pad won’t work.

One suggestion is that before you take on this project, contact your elevator industry professional (like Pride and Service Elevator) to examine the issue on your doors. If the damage is truly severe, you may be able to clad any door with a new surface that is no more than 1/16th of an inch thick so it doesn’t negate the fire rating of the door.

Painted Doors
The original touch up paint may no longer be available.  You can fill in a deep scratch (down to the metal) to avoid rust build up by closely matching the color from the original manufacturer; inquire with you service contractor. Or, you could visit a local paint store. Instead of just filling in the scratch, the entire door may have to be sanded and spray painted (electrostatically, preferred) by a professional painter.  Use of solvent based paints are hazardous and there are enforcing authority restriction on how, when, and where this work can be performed.

Ensuring Elevator Safety

EnsuringSafety

The United States has over 700,000 elevators installed. It goes without saying that for the many people who use elevators everyday, safety and functionality are of utmost importance. When you consider how many things can go wrong while riding an elevator, it’s a wonder that almost nothing does go wrong. The safety record of most every elevator is of impeccable quality. Those nightmare scenarios of elevator doors closing shut on someone’s fingers or elevator cabs plunging from cable breaks are better suited for wildly improbable movie sequences.

The design of elevators must conform to strict international or local standards. This varies from region to region. Performance based standards are fast becoming the norm in this day and age. These standards must at least be met after rigorous testing. Elevators must also meet the standards pertaining to earthquake, fire, and electrical safety. The American with Disabilities Act also specifies access requirements for the disabled.

Many major elevator companies have built elevator test buildings specifically for this purpose. In 2008, Mitsubishi constructed a $50 million tower called Solae. It is designed to test various high-speed lifts, gears, and cables. The tower is over 567 feet.

Various kinds of test can be performed on these test sites. Otis Elevator has over 20 advanced tests, including ones that test worst-case scenarios and product transport. One of its largest test towers is in the United States is the Bristol Research Center. At 383 feet, it still pales in comparison to the over 500 foot high test tower in Shibayama, Japan.

Simple test cases are also created to test whether the elevator follows its algorithm correctly. These tests typically include: whether the elevator can move up and down, stop at each floor, and move to a specific floor. More complex test involve multiple people accessing the lift. Will the elevator go to the nearest floor first? This becomes all the more important as elevators service more and more floors. Whatever the case, elevator safety is ensured the more tests are conducted.

However, it doesn’t fall upon the industry itself to ensure the safety of elevators. We all have to do our part. Because no matter how safe elevators are made to be, recklessness and not being responsible when it comes to regular servicing and maintenance can cause these machines to be unsafe. For regular elevator service in New York and New Jersey, call Pride and Service Elevator, the premiere elevator servicing company in the tri-state!

Modernizing in the New Year

2014

The modern elevator is a machine, which theoretically, could last indefinitely if proper care and maintenance was given, and parts and components were replaced on a regular basis. But this doesn’t mean, however, that it will always be useful, or efficient, or even safe. Pretty soon, social needs, along with current technology, will change, and with it, the way the elevator should function. This is most especially evident with changing building, life-safety, fire, and elevator safety codes. And this is where elevator modernization comes in.

As we have talked about in previous blog posts, elevator modernization is the process of upgrading the critical parts of the elevator in order for it to be able to handle new technology, have better performance, improve safety, and even give the aesthetics an up-to-date appeal. Typically, a modernization will affect the controller equipment (the part of the elevator that controls the movement of the elevator through the floors), the hoist machines and motors (the part of the elevator that does the heavy lifting), electrical wiring and buttons of the cab (controlling the lights, destination floors, etc.,) even the tracks of the doors are sometimes modified and changed, all to keep the elevator up-to-date. And to the aesthetics conscious, paneling, electronics, and additional style changes can also be done in the interior of the cabs.

To start the process, an elevator modernization plan will have to be created – which Pride and Service would take care of. This process will determine which parts of the elevator will have to be modernized, the scope of the procedure, and most importantly,  making sure that code compliance is met. Elevator modernization can save you a lot of headaches in the future, and it’s something building owners or managers should really consider in the new year. Give us a call today for more information! (908) 967-6074

Choosing an Elevator Company

CHooseCOmpany

Every time the New Year comes around, business owners across the world take some time to evaluate how their business is running. What is working well? What can be improved? For those of you who own a building (or multiple buildings), now is the time to think about what can be done to improve it’s overall function.

Your elevators play a crucial role to how you building functions. Do you have tenants that live in your building? Or people who come to work in your building every day? Take a look at how your elevators have been operating over the past year. If you have had several different issues with your elevators, chances are your tenants, guests, or employees have complained on different occasions. How frequently do you have problems with the elevators in your building? Does your current elevator company show up promptly when you have an issue? Since your elevators play such a crucial role to how your building operates, maybe it’s time to reconsider your current elevator company.

Here are some things to look for when selecting a new elevator company this year:

  1. Check out their products and see if they offer products from leading manufacturers. An established company will offer a wide inventory of advanced models of elevators. Branded models come with proper safety features to ensure a comfortable and safe ride.
  2. An experienced company will have vast technical expertise and provide you with technical guidance and support for choosing the right product based on your structural and budget constraints.
  3. A good elevator company will install the devise with the least structural modifications in accordance with local building rules and regulations.
  4. Prompt service and on-call support is another thing that you should look for. The right company will offer 24-hour emergency support.
  5. An experienced elevator company will provide periodic testing, evaluations and inspection services to make sure the system is functioning smoothly and efficiently. This would include modernization surveys, violation surveys, code evaluation, test witnessing, and so on.
  6. Competitive pricing is another characteristic of a professional elevator company. The right elevator company will partner with you at every phase of your project from installation to maintenance. Customer satisfaction should always be a priority.

Pride and Service Elevator meets all the criteria that we mentioned above. We have been in the business for well over 25 years, and we have locations in both New York and New Jersey. Customer service and satisfaction is always our number one priority. We pride ourselves on making sure that our customers are 100% happy with our work. We can take care of everything including installations, maintenance packages, modernization projects, inspections, witnessing, and more.

If you were not happy with your elevator company in 2013, its time to give us a call and experience the Pride and Service difference. We take care of absolutely everything so that you do not have to worry about anything happening to the elevators in your building. For more information, please give us a call today.

M-RL: Machine-Room Less Elevator

MRL

The machine-room-less elevator is the result of technological advancements that often allow a significant reduction in the size of the electric motors used with traction equipment.  These newly designed permanent magnet motors (PMM) allow the manufacturers to locate the machines in the hoistway overhead, thus eliminating the need for a machine room over the hoistway. This design has been utilized outside the USA for at least 15 years and is becoming the standard product for low to low-mid rise buildings. It was first introduced to the U.S. market by KONE. Product acceptance was initially slow in the U.S. market because of its initial, limited applications, its inability to meet U.S. code requirements, and the limited number of manufacturers offering an equivalent product.

In the past few years,  elevator manufacturers have overcome the obstacles to acceptance of the MRL product.  All of the other elevator manufacturers are now marketing their versions of the MRL, and the product offering has been expanded to include many of the more popular elevator sizes and speeds.  In addition, local code officials have become more receptive to the technology; most are now allowing the equipment to be installed in their respective jurisdictional areas, at least on a case by case basis.

Benefits of MRL elevators:

• The use of the MRL elevator will save a significant amount of energy (estimated at 70-80%) as compared to hydraulic elevators. The power feeders for the MRL are also significantly reduced due to the more efficient design and the counter-balancing provided with traction equipment.

•  The MRL elevator eliminates the cost and environmental concerns associated with a buried hydraulic cylinder filled with hydraulic oil.  Over the years hydraulic elevators have come under greater scrutiny relative to environmental concerns due to the buried hydraulic cylinder.  Because the MRL elevator is a traction elevator with all its components above ground, this is not a concern for this equipment.

• The MRL elevator utilizes a gearless traction type machine, which results in superior performance and ride quality compared with hydraulic elevators.  MRL’s can also operate at faster speeds thus increasing the perception of quality over a conventional hydraulic elevator.

For more information about Machine-Room Less ELevators, please give our office a call!

Are Your Elevator Doors Not Closing Properly?

Shaft

As the weather continues to get cold and windy, many building owners and managers experience issues with their elevator doors not closing properly. These issues are directly associated with an increase in wind this time of year. Elevator hoistways are very similar to wind tunnels, and constant airflow creates a large amount of pressure in these shafts. The only escape for this air pressure is when the hoistway doors open and close. As the doors open and close, air pressure rushes in and out. Many times, this prevents the doors from closing, which then prevents proper latching of the interlocks and keeps contacts from matching up. This results in a broken safety circuit and failure of the elevator system and operation.

How does this happen? The existing reel-closure system in hositway doors has a coiled up spring encased with a hub in the middle and a cable butt ended to the casing. When the door is open, the spring is wound up to it’s tightest point, and the tension is at it’s highest. When the door closes, the spring torque decreases, as so does the cable tension.  Clearly more tension is needed when the doors close.

These issues with hoistway doors not closing is one of the most common phone calls we receive at the office. Here at Pride and Service, our goal is to make sure that we solve all of our customers elevator issues, and provide a solution that will prevent these problems from happening in the future. With that in mind, we now have access to technology that will allow hoistway doors to close properly regardless of the wind pressure. This new product is a re-designed reel closure which will replace all of the closers on each floor on all of your elevators.

Have you experienced issues with your hoistway doors not closing properly? Are you interested in learning more about this product? We would be happy to answer all of your questions, and help you make sure that all of your elevators are functioning at 100%.

Are Your Elevators Ready for Winter?

ElevatorSnow

Preventative maintenance is always the cornerstone of continuous operation and long life span of your elevators. Natural causes such as weather can have many adverse effects on safe operation. As we head into the winter months, it’s increasingly important for building owners and managers to be aware of how cold weather can affect your elevators.

It’s important to keep your elevators running safely as the colder weather comes. Watch out for snow or water buildup in the lobby landing and car door sills. The wind in New York City can be very powerful and many times it can impede door operation. Wind in the winter months can cause elevator doors from closing as the elevator shaft is like a chimney and the wind sweeps from the lobby up the elevator shaft.

Keep machine rooms climate controlled to prevent issues with elevator controls and motors. The biggest cold-weather related issue for elevators is often the fluctuations of temperature. If the temperature drops too far below around 70 degrees, you could face functionality or efficiency issues. Elevator rails can dry out over time – especially in dry weather. This can increase the amount of friction between the elevators moving parts, causing a noise. If this happens, make sure to call Pride and Service right away so we can send one of our technicians to fix the problem.

Proper preventative maintenance is very important during the winter months. Give us a call and we can set up a maintenance package with your building to make sure that all of your elevators continue to be reliable and operate safely.