Many factors have contributed to the fact that in the past five years, home elevator sales have doubled. These include the aging of the affluent baby-boom generation. In the next five years, an estimated 70 million people will be of retirement age; many of them will be looking at retaining their independence by staying in their own homes and adding features such as elevators to make living more accessible, or moving to customized homes that already include such advantages. According to a Florida State University study, a home elevator can add 10% to the selling price of a home.
Founded in 1946, Elevator Equipment Corporation (EECO) of Los Angeles, CA (www.advantage-homeelevator.com) designs, manufactures, and sells components and systems to all major elevator companies. The company’s ADVANTAGE home elevators are designed to travel up to 50 feet and a maximum of four stops. The standard load rating is 950 pounds, with a load rating of 750 pounds as an available option where required by jurisdiction. Because these products are especially designed for space efficiency, the ADVANTAGE drive system is located in the elevator shaft, so there is no valuable home space lost to a machine room.
EECO chose Lenze/AC Tech of Uxbridge, MA, as their resource for motion control products, from sub-micro drives to gear motors. The EPM — an electronic programming option to the Lenze/AC Tech sub-micro AC inverters — allowed EECO to provide more ease of installation and performance reliability. The EPM is an electronic programming module that resides on the front of the drive. It is the drive’s removable memory chip. This electronic option also includes the EPM Programmer, a handheld programmer with a storing device. The EPM programmer lets the user select the source of the program to be installed; one can choose from a previously programmed EPM chip, from a file in the programmer, or from a file in a personal computer. The unit can be used to store up to 30 program files.
The inverter’s configuration is saved in two memory locations on the EPM: one that can be changed by the user from the front of the inverter, and a second one that serves as ADVANTAGE’s default setting. From the manufacturing point of view, the EPM provides efficiency and increased reliability, as the inverters for all the elevators can be programmed in a matter of minutes without human error. If the values are stored as OEM defaults, once an elevator is installed, the EPM also provides added reliability. Even if an unnecessary, incorrect re-programming of a SCM inverter caused the elevator to malfunction, the installer can very quickly and easily reset it back to the original settings.
At the core of the elevator’s lifting and lowering system is Lenze/AC Tech’s GKR bevel gear motor, which was chosen by the ADVANTAGE engineers because of its smooth and quiet operation. A right-angle motor with water-resistant bevel toothing, the GKR has cool-running gears, which are especially appropriate for lower-torque applications.
The elevator’s end use is important in this case, and a reason why the bundled option — featuring a small gear box and motor in one unit, plus integral brake, hand release, and hand wheel, all in one package — was chosen by the ADVANTAGE team.
For more information on Lenze/AC Tech motion control systems, visit http://info.hotims.com/10978-326.