Lifts and elevators are important building systems, crucial for normal functioning of any building they are a part of. Consequently, elevator maintenance is an integral part of overall building maintenance and should never be overlooked.
What does it take to stay on top of the elevator and lift maintenance and how is that going to impact your operational budget? Keep reading to find out.
The importance of elevator maintenance
Before the invention of the modern elevator by Elisha Otis, buildings didn’t boast as many floors as they do today. If you think about it, elevators are the reason why skyscrapers can exist. They are integral to everyday life for millions of people worldwide.
Those who plan to neglect elevator maintenance should first consider the following factors:
- Safety: Performing routine maintenance on elevators is required to ensure safety for passengers and all building users. A breakdown of the elevator can be catastrophic, and it has to be avoided by all means.
- Operation: Elevators have a very important purpose. When they are out of service they will cause inconvenience and frustration at best. At worst, they can interrupt business operations and cause operational losses and reputational damage.
- Costs: Fixing and/or replacing broken elevators is costly, running into tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Regular maintenance can prevent such scenarios and increase the useful life of these building assets.
- Regulations: There are regional laws and regulations stipulating the frequency of maintenance inspections for elevators. Some regions even require buildings to display the date of their last maintenance inspection inside the elevator.
How much does elevator maintenance cost?
Elevators are complex systems with thousands of moving parts. You need specialized knowledge to maintain them and fix the most recurring issues like:
- Stuck or malfunctioning elevator doors
- Problems with elevator automation systems
- Replacement of worn out elevator cables
- Problems with the hydraulic system
As you can imagine, these problems can take hours/days to fix. The repairs have to be performed by certified technicians that can charge north of $300/hour. Replacement parts will also test your budget as they have to be sourced from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
In most cases, having certified technicians as full-time employees is not feasible from a cost perspective. This is why the maintenance of elevators is often outsourced to servicing companies that specialize in elevator maintenance.
Who can perform lift maintenance?
Lift maintenance activities have to be performed by certified professionals. There are many organizations that certify elevator maintenance technicians:
- National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) provides certification for elevator technicians. The certification is called Certified Elevator Technician (CET).
- SGS is a leading testing, inspection, and certification company. They also have certifications for elevators and elevator maintenance professionals. Certifications from SGS are widely recognized across the globe.
- TÜV SÜD is a similar company and they also have many certification programs related to elevators.
- American Public Transport Association (APTA) provides guidelines and standards for lift maintenance training. You have to make sure that any certification of maintenance technicians adheres to these standards.
How to perform lift maintenance?
Elevator maintenance has to be done according to the recommendations from the OEM and the vendor that installed the elevator in the building. You also have to make sure that the lift maintenance aligns with the local regulations concerning lift maintenance.
The elevator system consists of three distinct physical parts:
- The elevator machine room
- The hoistway
- The elevator car
There are various preventive maintenance tasks that should be performed for each part. These are discussed later in the article.
Let’s also mention that, with the development of IoT technology, predictive maintenance can now be leveraged for elevator maintenance.
Creating elevator maintenance schedules and checklists
Various factors have to be taken into account when determining elevator maintenance schedules such as:
- OEM recommendations
- Usage statistics of each elevator
- Data coming from condition monitoring sensors (if applicable)
- Inputs from elevator operators (if applicable)
- Applicable local regulations
Of course, your final elevator maintenance schedule will have to account for any extraneous circumstances (if any) that are specific for your location.
If you perform elevator and lift maintenance in-house, you have to make sure it is performed up to the required standards and regulations. One way to do that is by establishing standard operating procedures and preventive maintenance checklists.
If you are using a CMMS system like Limble, you can create those within our software and attach each of those procedures and checklists to its respective piece of equipment in the CMMS database. You can even attach them to Work Orders!
This way, every technician can access these documents in just a couple of clicks or taps on the screen, no matter where they are.
Automate elevator maintenance with Limble CMMS
The maintenance of such critical assets has to be prioritized and automated so that it does not fall through the cracks. Limble CMMS offers an easy way to stay on top of elevator maintenance by helping you:
- Organize all of your internal maintenance resources (parts, tools, labor)
- Make sure you have necessary spare parts on hand without holding excessive stock
- Keep relevant vendor information and contracts in one place
- Manage work performed by outside maintenance contractors
- Track maintenance costs associated with each elevator, with specific elevator parts, with each contractor you hired for elevator servicing, as well as just track the overall maintenance cost at your facility
And that is just regarding elevator maintenance. Organizations that use Limble, use it to lift their facility maintenance to the next level – pun intended.
If you want to see Limble in action, request a demo, start a free trial, or play around with Limble in a simulated environment.