Let’s examine the key elements of a well-built Maintenance Control Program. It is important to note that the MCP is not intended to be a one-size-fits-all approach to elevator maintenance. Each unique installation will have particular aspects that will affect its individual MCP. Providing a systematic framework to indicate the frequency of routine services such as cleaning, lubrication, adjustments, parts replacement, and periodic testing, an MCP prudently ensures that the equipment will function at peak performance.
An excellent Maintenance Control Program will ensure that the routine duties of cleaning the elevator equipment are performed with regularity. Naturally, an elevator in a factory will have different cleaning requirements than one in a hospital or a church. Not only can dust and debris cause problems and accelerate wear on electrical and mechanical components, but the technician who attentively cleans will have the opportunity to find potential problems before a shut down of equipment occurs.
While lubrication is vital to the life span of all elevator equipment, some installations will require more vigilance than others. For example, newer equipment generally requires lubrication with less frequency than older equipment. The MCP should indicate the interval for draining, flushing, and refilling oil reservoirs, and will stipulate the proper procedure and lubricants to be used relative to the equipment in use. When proper oil levels are maintained in machines, and bearings are well greased, the equipment will last longer, and require fewer problem calls.
Periodic adjustment of fine-tuned components is an indispensable criteria for the MCP. In order to continue operating within safe parameters, and to be consistent with the requirements of the code, moving parts and systems will need adjustment from time to time. The technician must systematically tighten fasteners and electrical connections and adjust clearances, thus sustaining safe operating tolerances.
Over the course of time, it will assuredly become necessary to replace parts that have become worn. It is to be expected that certain parts will have a shorter anticipated life span than that of the overall installation. Many components, such as electro-mechanical devices, rollers, belts and other items are exposed to wear and tear with ordinary use. In some circumstances, lack of maintenance, maladjusted equipment, a faulty original installation, or vandalism and abuse of equipment can detrimentally accelerate the depreciation of components. The ASME A17.1 Code clearly stipulates that environmental factors, rate of use, age, condition, and quality of the equipment must be taken into account along with the manufacturer’s recommendations when preparing an MCP unique to each individual installation.
As required by code for more than one hundred years, testing is a fundamental element of the successful MCP. Punctual performance of tests provides assurance that all safety systems are in good working order. Scheduling of annual, 3-year, and 5-year tests in advance ensures that elevator equipment will function properly in the event of an emergency, and that local jurisdictions are satisfied with the safety and reliability of the equipment.
By regulating the interval at which these crucial tasks are performed, the MCP supports the long-term serviceability of an elevator investment, and is a great tool in meeting the needs of unique installations.