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Lift Modernisation versus Lift Replacement–Lift Duty and Lift Life Expectancy

Lift Modernisation versus Lift Replacement – Lift Duty and Lift Life Expectancy

Lift Modernisation or Replacement The question is often asked of our lift consultants, what is more cost effective a lift modernisation or a lift replacement?

This article considers two key factors to take into account when considering a lift modernisation versus a lift replacement.

The first factor is usually cost i.e. which less cost, a lift modernisation or a lift replacement. But really there a few question that need to be asked first. The main ones are:

What is the lift duty?

What is the lift life expectancy?


Lift Duty

By lift duty, we mean it’s use, what is it used for?

How much will it be used and for how many times a day?

A simply analogy is car mileage, with lifts this equates to motor starts as the motor starts every time the lift moves.

High mileage lifts have their motors specifically rated for a high number of starts. The maximum being 240 starts per hour (sph), which is a motor start every 15 seconds. This is theoretically possible, but in reality unlikely for all but the most intensively used lifts.

Intensive use lifts are often also rated at 180 sph, medium intensive lifts at 120 starts per hour and low duty lifts at 60 sph or less.

So the first question to find an answer for is how many lift journeys will the lift take?

The best way to do this is via a Lift Traffic Analysis, especially with groups of lifts but with simpler lower use single lifts an approximate number of starts can be calculated.

Duty also means the amount of time the lift is in use. For example in a small to medium size office building the lifts may only run throughout the day (approximately 9 to 5) whereas in an intensively used shopping centre, transport facility or large office the lifts may be intensively used for longer periods.

A high duty lift operating over 12 or more hours with long periods of several hours at a stretch at maximum intensity of use is a very different beast from a low duty lift operating maybe at medium intensity only occasionally.


Lift Life Expectancy

The intensity of use, as you would expect will impact directly on life expectancy.

Again the car analogy is useful. Consider taking a low to medium quality saloon car and giving it to a sales representative who does 30,000 plus miles on the road each year. How long would that car remain serviceable, perhaps no more than 5 to 7 years!

Not so good if you are looking for a 20 year life from your lift.

So if you are expecting a design life in the region of 20 years for a medium to intensive use situation then you are going to need a well built, robust, fairly heavily engineered lift rated at 180 to 240 starts per hour.

So when considering a lift modernisation or lift replacement, the first questions to ask are what is its intended duty and life expectancy. Once you have the answers to those two questions you can consider selecting the correct equipment to meet that duty and life expectancy.

And you can then evaluate based on the condition of the existing equipment, whether it is more economical to carry out a lift modernisation or lift replacement program.


If you would like to know more about any of the issues discussed in this article then our consultants are here to help. All calls on our website number are routed directly through to a lift consultant who will be pleased to discuss them with you.

We can be contacted via the Contact Form on our Contact Us page or the on 020 7118 8401 or enquries@theliftconsultancy.co.uk


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