Elevator Control Panels

DateJuly-August, 2017 Süleyman Özcan - Turkey Liftinstituut B.V., Area Manager

Elevator control panels must comply with elevator regulations and the requirements of EN 81-1+A3, while the control panels to be supplied to the market after August 31, 2017, must comply with EN 81-20/-50 standards.

In our country, companies producing control panels and cards prove the compliance of their products by the tests and certifications carried out by certification bodies. In particular, TOKI (the Housing Development Administration) and other public institutions play an important role in making things right, since they are sensitive about this issue.

There are some points to note about the control panels. For example, the testing and certification body must be competent in this area, and authorized by the European Commission, so that the documentation is valid. If this is not the case, our country will be filled up with a lot of domestic and foreign non-compliant production, unsafe cards and panels. Sadly, these boards and cards sell like hotcakes because they are very cheap. The assembly company buys the product; they have their own certificate, so they use it. The inspection body also carries out the tests in the checklist, or not, but is the design of the card correct? Are the components right? Are the cable diameters appropriate? Does the control panel work properly with the standard scenario? When we search for answers to these questions, unfortunately the answer is “No!”

Having a valid document for the control panel does not necessarily solve everything. It is still a requirement that the panel be eligible for the certificate and the report. Why do we say that? Because we face following situations: The panel is certified, but the cable thickness or colors do not match the standards; the components do not overlap with the documented panel; a connector is plugged in with more than one cable; labels are not appropriate; and many other similar problems. Many times, the panel manufacturer and the certificate holder are not the same institution. In such a case, how would we answer the question, “If there is a problem with the panel, who is the respondent, the assembly firm, elevator owner or the maintenance company?” To be able to answer this question, the panel manufacturer and certificate holder must be the same company. If there is a problem in the future, or if an accident occurs, the respondent will be apparent only in that case.

When you purchase the control panel, you should check for the presence of the product’s certificate, declaration of conformity, correct circuit diagrams, and appropriate labeling. We also recommend you obtain a certificate report along with the certificate, and compare the report with the product. In fact, we recommend you make a comparison of the product you purchased with the certificate report regarding fire resistance of all safety components and floor doors. I will handle this issue in detail in another letter.

I can hear you say, “I’ve read so many negative things, there’s nothing positive in the control panel and card industry.” Of course there is. A significant number of our producers are competing with producers in European countries for regulatory compliance. They are following the technology. We have convenient and safe control panels marketed abroad, especially in Europe. And we are proud. Of course, panels produced in the Far East also show up in our country. As far as I know, when the elevator guide is imported on its own, it is necessary to pay new taxes. This is a practice that should be supported in promoting domestic guide production. However, as far as I know, this issue only applies to guide imports. The control panel is a more of technological product. So are the elevator floor doors! In my opinion, the federation of our industry and many of the associations are very strong, and they must work and put more effort in this respect; they should ensure that the necessary steps are taken to protect domestic control panel production just as is guide production. Let us not wait for our state to do everything.

I would like to conclude with a few questions that I would like to ask our control panel producers: When will we see domestic control panels and speed control units in group-controlled elevators with 8-10 elevators, elevators operating at 4 mps and higher speeds, and elevators with floor-guided panels? We are looking forward to those days.

Wishing you safe and beautiful days,