Platform lifts are an ideal access solution for wheelchair users, and provide a safe and familiar transport method. Platform lifts can be open platform (the walls don’t move as you go up) or enclosed cabin platforms, which look and feel exactly like a conventional lift.
Platform lifts use a screw and nut to move, with a small motor driving the screw up and down. All the machinery is behind the platform, which means each floor can have doors on any or all of 3 sides. They use less energy to complete a cycle than boiling a kettle, and operate using single phase – a normal socket. Platform Lifts are suitable for people and goods, and special additions can be added for goods like a bump curb.
Platform lifts are happier when used more often, so are ideal for high use environments like retail or offices. They are governed by the machinery directive, which means that an open platform lift has a constant pressure button to go up or down, and the speed is limited to 0.15m/s. Enclosed cabin platform lifts have single touch operation, exactly like a conventional lift.
Due to the speed restriction (and potential numb fingers!) we do not recommend using them over about 13m (6 floors), but for less than this the travel time is negligible in comparison to conventional lifts – this fits about 85-90% of all projects. A platform lift takes around 22 seconds between floors, compared to 18 seconds for a conventional lift.
Passenger platform lifts take around 3-4 days to install using a modular system. Platform lifts don’t require a pit or head fixing, making them ideal for use in tall buildings and stairwells. The footprint of the lift is the size of the shaft, and can be as small as a wardrobe or airing cupboard if required.
Use me when: a lift is required for up to 13m travel, a lower cost solution is required, a small footprint is required, building works on site are not possible, retrofitting, more than one exit direction required, energy efficiency is important, multiple sides required for entry/exit.
Don’t use me when: over 13m travel required or number of cycles is over 20 in one hour (very high use, e.g. hospitals, hotels), high speed is important.