How do Passenger Platform Lifts work?
Passenger platform lifts are contained within a shaft. The lift shaft has guide rails along 2 corners to guide the carrier, which is generally an L shaped platform attached to a mast. When using an open platform lift, the walls remain in the same place as the platform raises or lowers.
There are other types of passenger platform lift, including enclosed cabin lifts. Cabin platform lifts work in the same way but rather than having an L shaped carrier, the platform is contained within a box to give the feel of a conventional lift. Operation inside an open platform lift is by continuous pressure, and outside using a single touch button to call the lift to the floor. For enclosed cabin lifts, operation inside the cabin is single touch.
Passenger Platform Lift machinery and technology
Vertical platform lift running machinery is very quiet, and tucked behind the platform. Our vertical platform lifts run using patented ‘nut & screw’ technology – a simple, strong and energy efficient method. A mast runs up the length of the shaft behind the control panel with a screw thread (threaded bar), and a small motor drive is usually placed at the base. The motor drives the screw in opposite directions along the thread to move the platform up and down. Each time the lift lowers to the ground floor, a wheel adds a little oil to the thread. As the platform is taken up again, the oil lubricates the running gear of the lift without needing a large pit. This means that the more the lift is used, the happier it will be. All our passenger platform lifts can run off a single phase power supply, and have a battery backup for simple emergency lowering.
Key Passenger Platform Lift features
- Floor level fixing points only
- No structural support or head fixing required
- Small footprint – not much larger than shaft
- Contained in shaft – no pump box housing or machine room
- Modular design – no building works
- No large pit – lubrication through use
- Accessibility for disabled, prams etc
- Compliance with Equality Act (formerly DDA)
- Better building functionality
Passenger Platform Lift safety features
- Auto-diallers & intercoms
- Link to fire or alarm systems
- Safety bar edge (stops when pressure applied so no trapped fingers)
- School locking
- Fire doors
- Emergency lowering & battery backup
- Reduce risks (accidents on the stairs happen every 90 seconds!)
Passenger Platform Lift speed
Passenger platform lifts are governed by the Machinery Directive (not the Lift Directive) which means we are restricted to a speed of 0.15m/s. This may sound slow, but actually for a short rise this is similar to a conventional lift. By the time a conventional lift has closed the doors, sped up, got to the floor and slowed down again, the total time is around 18 seconds. In comparison, a passenger platform lift will take around 22 seconds – so for up to around 6 stops the speed difference is negligible.
We do not recommend passenger platform lifts for more than 6 stops (13m) due to this restriction.
Passenger Platform Lift installation process
Gartec install passenger platform lifts very quickly, with an average installation time of around 2-3 days for both retrofits and new builds. Once a free site visit and checks are complete, all we need are holes in the floors to build through. We then build the lift shaft using a modular structure, adding the machinery and mechanics along the way. We generally don’t need any scaffolding as we use the platform to move up and down as it is built.
The load bearing footprint is important with our passenger platform lifts, but we can and have installed platform lifts on mezzanine floors – the most we may need is steel joists under the mezzanine. Gartec passenger platform lifts need floor level fixing points, but we can attach the lift shaft to fixing points at each floor meaning flexible options and a huge range of places to position your lift.
Passenger Platform Lift maintenance and servicing
We recommend passenger platform lifts need servicing around twice a year (dependent on use). Gartec offer a range of servicing packages to suit every budget and requirement.
With regards to maintenance, Gartec Lifts include a ‘cheat box’ in the electrical cabinet which can be used to work out issues – this means we may be able to talk you through the solution and save you the cost of a call out or engineer visit (and the wait!).