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On the way up – lifts with Hengstler safety relays
If we are to believe what experts from the CTBUH (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat) are telling us, the future of building technology is going to rise to new heights. During the next ten years, the number of buildings over 200 meters tall is forecasted to double, and by the year 2020, the number of skyscrapers over 600 metres will surge from two to ten. The estimation made by the CTBUH is further supported by the clear megatrend to urbanisation throughout the world. At the same time, the market for high speed lifts is growing enormously. Meanwhile, safety standards for lift design and operation are continuously being raised. Starting on 1 September, the EN 81-1 and EN 81-2 norms for lifts will be replaced by EN 81-20 and EN 81-50.
What is the detailed impact of adapting to the new norms? The goal is even better protection for passengers and maintenance personnel. As well as flame-retardant cars and improved protection against pinching by lift doors, larger refuge spaces for maintenance personnel have to be created in the shaft pit and on the cabin roof. Here, Hengstler can use the H-480 safety relay to its full advantage, to give maximum support to lift manufacturers as they adapt to the future safety guidelines. The new product family of safety relays was developed with the customers’ needs foremost in mind and taking the requirements of each different market into account. The heat dissipation from the relays has been significantly reduced, thanks to the low coil power. Insulation between each of the relay's six contacts has also been reinforced. One major advantage, appreciated above all by designers, is its low height. This opens up a range of new choices when selecting suitable printed circuit boards. The different available pin arrangements enable a variety of options, including the use of already existing PCB layouts, which help satisfy the requirement for 2nd source supplier solutions. Higher and higher buildings are being built in a huge variety of places across the globe. Whether in the hot deserts of Saudi Arabia or the cold regions of Russia, lift technology has to function reliably everywhere. Hengstler safety relays easily satisfy this requirement. The ambient temperature can range from -25 to +75 °C.
In future, even more people will ride in faster and faster lifts. To ensure that passengers and maintenance personnel are transported safely depends on high quality and reliable components. For safe opening and closing of lift doors, they must only be enabled when the car is stopped. At the same time, fast entry and exit is becoming more and more important. This trend is referred to as comfort control. It allows the lift doors to open a few centimetres before the final stop position, to enable faster passenger changeover. This dynamic and yet safe type of control is naturally supported by Hengstler safety relays.
For maintenance personnel to inspect the lift shaft when performing maintenance, they must be able to operate the lift with the cabin door open. For this purpose, it has to be possible to disable the safety systems. During normal operation, this safety loophole is
blocked by a safety relay, but when operating the lift with doors open, maintenance personnel can still stop the lift at any time by pressing the emergency stop button.
Riding in a lift has never been faster, more efficient or more comfortable. And in future, new records in terms of speed and traffic numbers will be set. Safety relays have a special role to play in safely transporting passengers and maintenance personnel. With H-480, Hengstler's newest family of relays, lift manufacturers can avail of the latest components, capable of handling all today’s and future requirements.