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Integral/The integral whole models, no need WELDING the Side Plate

Escalator Guard Cover 100cm(R)*50cm(W)


Escalator Safety & Design the Future

Here at Lerch Bates weve noted how escalator products have not particularly improved over the years and simply reflect the requirements of the current BSEN115 Escalator Standards. Sadly, in our view, that Standard has been revised again but not re-written. We believe there is scope for innovative design in areas of both safety and maintenance. Particularly with long standing safety issues such as handrail surfing, falls from escalators, falls in atriums, trapping in steps and comb plates. We also need to address the need for innovative design solutions on long standing issues such as replacing old escalators in existing buildings; better and safer techniques for maintaining, cleaning and lubricating escalators; accurate monitoring of escalator performance and ride quality; and the vandal resistant escalator. Innovative escalator design should challenge our pre-conceptions of what is possible and still deliver improvement for both the user and owner. For example, we believe that the reversibility of escalators is a pre-conception that should be challenged and rejected. In fact, very few escalators are actually reversed on a daily basis, and to reverse escalators in most public areas can introduce further risks. Challenging that particular design feature could be a benefit and present designers with new possibilities. Why not buy an up escalator that may be a slightly different product from a down escalator or a reversible escalator? It could mean that escalators of the future would be safer and perhaps have :

1. Different handrail guarding at the top and bottom, to prevent the very young from riding the handrail in the up direction 2. Narrow handrails that are designed to be more easily hand held especially by the elderly and infirm and that discourage riding 3. Allow for additional high level guarding where there is a fall hazard, particularly over atriums 4. Provide for a flush design without internal or external ledges as climbing surfaces 5. Design step cleats that are not so deep, more ridged, and designed to release trapped materials 6. Allow comb plates with high intensity LED for demarcation, but designed to serve different functions a) The comb plates receiving the step would be monitored for safety

clearance b) The comb plate releasing the step would be for ease of transition, and have a cleaning function 7. Running clearances on steps, skirts and comb plates kept to a minimum, and are electronically monitored and measured 8. Electronic detection and monitoring of ride quality, step overloading, vibration levels, bearing temperatures as well as lubrication and wear 9. Eye level LED signage to advise those who cannot use escalators safely of the location of alternative vertical transportation not simply warning pictograms 10. Fire detection and fire fighting by use of safe high pressure stored gases that will starve the fire of oxygen when activated 11. Electronic scanning of areas outside the handrails raising an alarm and slowing the escalators down 12. Potential application of linear motor drive adjacent to the step band eliminating need for machinery compartments and drive chains etc. Similarly, some escalator manufacturers could use innovative design to look at the existing escalators in service and provide new products with: 1. Light weight trusses designed for installation and assembly on site as replacement of existing installed equipment 2. Trusses that are 100% sealed and leak proof 3. Automatic and safe cleaning of the product in situ, for example, plug in the vacuum cleaner and suck out the debris daily? 4. Truly weather proof escalators and moving walkways. Listed out above are just some of the many opportunities that exist for product improvement. It is obvious to us that this product needs a revised standard that takes account of the progress of technology in the last 100 years! What is actually needed is, if you will, the reinvention of the escalator and moving walkway for the 21st century and that would require a new and much improved standard. Perhaps with the assistance of our clients we can do for escalators what we have done for lifts and that is to force the pace of technology adoption such as we have done for the worlds first Destination Double Deck 3-D lift services that we have designed into Londons latest array of tall towers now appearing on its skyline such as the Shard, the Heron Bishopsgate and Broadgate Tower developments.


Since the very first escalators were built and installed, engineers have been trying to figure out how to get them to work in configurations other than the standard straight-up-anddown. The configuration of choice is the spiral, which would take up far less space than straight escalators and could be installed in a wider variety of locations. Curved escalators like the ones pictured above are as close as we have been able to get, and even these still have the same problems as standard escalators: they take up enormous amounts of space and they arent the true spirals that engineers want to create.

But why do spiral escalators matter? Arent they just staircases for lazy people? Actually, the importance of escalators in maintaining manageable urban traffic is often underestimated. These moving staircases can transport large numbers of people in roughly the same amount of floorspace taken up by a comparable flight of conventional stairs. They help people with mobility issues get around in areas where an elevator just wouldnt fit. Curved escalators are, themselves, a feat of engineering but the overall escalator design has long been due for an overhaul.

(image via: Dornob)

Finally, an engineer has come up with a viable solution to the spiral escalator dilemma. London professor Jack Levy has created a system that he calls the Levytator, a surprisingly flexible escalator system that takes up very little space, can be installed in already-existing buildings and can take on just about any configuration. Unlike traditional escalators, the ingenious new design does not require a large mechanical room beneath the system to keep it moving.

The stairs are on a continuous loop above the floor, which sets this design apart from traditional escalators where half of the steps are unused at any given time. Thus, the cost per step is much lower than traditional escalator designs and no excavations are required to

install this system in an existing building. There is virtually no limit to the size and shape of the loop, and because the stairs turn into a moving sidewalk when flat the system can be installed to move people around all kinds of indoor and outdoor displays.