The Inner Workings of an Elevator System

You most likely ride elevators in your apartment building, at your office, and of course in a shopping mall, but perhaps you haven’t considered how these devices actually work. From the moment you push that button, you activate elevator mechanics that do a lot of pushing and pulling for you. The elevator may be on another floor letting people out while it is getting the message that it needs to retrieve you. Elevator routing has become a complex science and is a far cry from the old days when elevators were powered by human attendants driving it up and down.


different man on 3d elevator

The Elevator’s “Decisions”

An elevator doesn’t make actual decisions but has an algorithm that determines where it is going to go. Many of these elevators are programmed to make wait time shorter even if the travel time may be longer, because time spent waiting can be aggravating and awkward for passengers. An algorithm determines the elevator mechanics and direction at a given time. Certain principles are applied, such as following all of the direct requests in one direction before going the opposite direction, even if some of the requests in the opposite direction are closer. This approach is energy-efficient because it requires a significant amount of energy to change directions, and the tendency to continue on upward or downward is usually quicker.


This algorithm process is also the same reason that pushing a call button multiple times does nothing for bringing the elevator sooner. Pushing the button once is the same as pushing it over and over while you wait. But, you can rest assured knowing the elevator is programmed to come in the fastest way possible.


Communicating Elevators

With more than one elevator, it is possible for one to communicate with the other. There could be a crowd of impatient passengers waiting on a specific floor and the car could take care of this while signaling to another car to pick up people in the lobby. In addition, elevators can handle certain groups of floors which can make the process of transporting people, particularly during rush periods, quicker. New developments have made elevator mechanics more advanced, such as control over estimated time of arrival. A computer will send a car it calculates will get to an area the fastest.


As technology improves, elevators become more efficient and easier to use. If you manage a property and feel it’s time to make sure your elevators are state-of-the-art, discuss your options with a professional from Sun Coast Elevator at (305) 690-0955.


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