SOE Events

Lester Control Systems Ltd: Lift control

30th Nov 2014
BES South Eastern

The November meeting of BES South Eastern Region welcomed speakers from Lester Control Systems Ltd, manufacturers and suppliers of lift control equipment and the UK's largest independent lift control panel manufacture.

Attendees learnt about the company’s improved devices, necessary to meet the more stringent requirements of the most recent Lift British Standard update, known as A3. Facilities at its Croydon headquarters include a mini test rig and x-ray equipment, and the 50 staff based here design, manufacture and sell devices that ensure the safety and performance of a wide range of lifting products.

The relevant amended standard (BS EN81-1 & 2) will remain current until 2017, after which the fully re-written standard BS EN81-20 will become the build standard for all lifts. The A3 amendment addresses the need to protect against uncontrolled car movement when the lift is at landing with doors open (UCM).

The audience learnt how the company has designed and marketed control panel detection for UMDs (Uncontrolled Movement Devices) for two devices - a lift brake monitoring switch (traction) or additional electronically controlled monitored valve (hydraulic), and a solenoid for the overspeed governor to more positively engage the safety gear (both traction and hydraulic).

Control panels are designed in such a way to solve any problems of instantaneous stopping and nuisance tripping, and the company has incorporated this detection in its Almega control panels, and can be found in the processor as an 'anti-slide device'.

Because UMDs are classified as safety devices under the Lift Regulations, these sophisticated devices/mechanisms, which include those that are 'self-monitoring', are subject to type examination by notified bodies. Any associated control equipment is also subject to this. Therefore, the company has had both detection systems type approved by the Lift Institute in the Netherlands.

The speakers explained that, after activation of such devices, a 'competent person' is required to reset and reintroduce lifts back to service. Fortunately, on the Lester Almega control system, no password is required to undertake a general reset the processor, with a password only needed if further adjustment is required.

One advantage that this system offers is that, with regards to other control panel manufacturers, interference with the UDMs may be password controlled and therefore generally outside the range of an engineer surveyor’s responsibilities.

This frank and thoughtful presentation provoked a range of questions from a well attended meeting.

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