How to plan for an elevator modernization

Why is an elevator modernization important?

Elevators are similar to the car you drive in that parts wear out over time based on usage and the environment and technology advances to provide for a better ride for passengers. While preventative maintenance and repairs keep the equipment running safely during the elevator life span, it will eventually require replacement.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the best ways to plan an elevator modernization in order to protect your investment and maintain the satisfaction of those relying on it in your building.


What is an elevator modernization?

Elevators have a typical lifespan of approximately 15-20 years. Certain parts may be deemed obsolete at different intervals depending on the manufacturer. The length of time an elevator can function optimally is determined by several conditions including the maintenance process, environmental conditions under which the elevator operates, the type and amount of usage the elevator receives, and the technology installed in the elevator. 

Modernization is a highly efficient way of updating certain components of the equipment, while using the existing elevator infrastructure. A well-executed modernization can ensure that the latest technology is installed in any elevator, no matter how old the original installation is.


Planned Modernization Process

Any procedure carried out on an elevator can affect the day-to-day lives of passengers, owners and tenants. Of course, the main goal of elevator maintenance and modernization is to improve the way in which the elevator works without affecting the traffic of the building for long, and unnecessary, periods of time.

An elevator plan can improve the operation of the equipment and minimally impact the mobility of its users. A planned modernization process follows a highly effective and efficient, proactive approach that can save you time and money, and improve the experience of users and owners.

Planned modernization is carried out on a previously agreed scheduled time between the service provider and the owners of the elevator. This ensures that the lives of tenants and users is not disrupted by an extended and unforeseen shutdown. With a clear schedule of the time in which the modernization will take place, building managers can inform those who will be affected before the downtime occurs, allowing them to make other arrangements or create solutions.

Planned modernization processes take into account the finances of the building’s management. Spare parts needed for the upgrade are planned in advance so that they will be available in time for the modernization, ensuring the fastest and most efficient process possible.


What if you don’t plan a modernization?

It is not recommended to wait until a modernization is imminent. Recall that elevators have a lifespan that generally ranges between 15 and 20 years. After this time, the equipment will most certainly require modernization. If an upgrade is not planned and carried out on time, the elevator is at greater risk of shutting down, leading to extended downtime of the equipment. 

An unplanned modernization process can be long and expensive, since it includes troubleshooting the equipment, acquiring the needed spare parts needed for the modernization, and the time it takes for installation. The downtime created by this process can be highly inconvenient for residents and tenants, especially those with reduced mobility. 

Unplanned modernization can also be more expensive due to the circumstances under which they apply. Usually, these upgrades are out of budget and can include a series of long and extenuating processes.

For these reasons, we highly recommend planning for elevator modernization in advance, in order to avoid excessive costs and the discomfort of users.


Where can I find an elevator provider with a highly effective modernization process?

Most elevator companies provide some level of modernization option, but we highly recommend doing your research since experience and quality are fundamental to project success. You’ll want to hire a provider that can give you a clear overview of the equipment that will be replaced, the schedule, the associated costs and recommendations of other jobs they’ve completed in your area with the proposed equipment type.

Otis is a company known for commitment to Safety, Quality and Ethics- our three absolutes. The modernization plan you’ll receive will be customized to your building needs and budget. Our service teams have the best training in the industry, experience on every type of elevator or escalator and have the knowledge and technology tools that can get the job done, on budget and within your timeframe.

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