USBN October 2017

6 US BUSINESS NEWS / OCTOBER 2017 , In this special feature, both Frank P Fletcher &Michael Fagan of JSG Elevator Consultants provide an industry forecast about oil testing technology and the benefits of hydraulic elevators today. Oil Testing Technology & Hydraulic Elevator Benefits Frank Fletcher holds a degree in Finance and Economics from CA State University. He serves as an elevator consultant & litigation expert in the elevator industry. Frank presently works with the JSG Elevator Consultants managing consulting projects, for clients located in the San Francisco Bay Area and serving the domestic US market. His education and experience combined with his former career position with S.D. Meyers as director of western operations. SD Meyers is a nationwide oil testing and reclamation firm, providing testing services to major industrial and utility customers in the US. This experience makes him uniquely qualified to promulgate this proven testing technology and maintenance concepts expressed to the elevator industry. The demise of the hydraulic elevator was forecast with the introduction of the MRL traction elevator. Despite this new design conveyance, the hydraulic elevator is again beginning to thrive in the US market. The threat of replacement by the MRL traction elevator is waning. Hydraulic elevators are still viewed by many within the industry as the best selection for many buildings, in most applications for travel of 50 feet and less, the it will perform as well as a traction elevator. However, speed and travel is a limiting factor With new cylinder and well hole designs, the hydraulic elevator is expected to last longer than ever. The environmental risks and concerns are lessened with the encapsulation of the cylinder and the use of the cylinder liner and bulkhead. The initial construction cost is less than an MRL alternative. The operating costs are less than anticipated. Points of view Construction - The conventional hydraulic elevator installation sells for about 35% less than the competing MRL traction elevator. Energy - The pump motor in a hydraulic elevator is only energised when the car is running in the up direction. When the car is in the down direction, only the low voltage solenoid valve is energised, resulting in a virtual zero cost to operate. Preventive maintenance - Hydraulic elevators are usually less costly to maintain. A typical four stop hydraulic elevator costs about 25% to 30% less per year for a ‘full maintenance’ service, when compared to a traction elevator. Now let’s look at a maintenance service programme for a hydraulic elevator from the service contractor’s point of view. What starts off as a good deal for everyone, begins to sour. Even when the contractor receives an increase in the service price each year, the ageing equipment, deterioration of the oil and need for frequent parts replacement causes increased call back and repair time. This cycle begins to erode the profit margin of the contractor, along with the customer level of trust and satisfaction. Call back maintenance (hydraulic and traction) In fact, this service area has become an additional revenue stream for the contractor, when call backs are not covered by the service contract, or overtime is billed to the customer. To some contractors, increased unscheduled call back time is not an additional labour cost because the route mechanic is expected to complete the route service, along with call backs responded to during the month. To meet the demand of service calls on the route, the contractor must allow sufficient time for servicing the elevator. This flawed concept, results in frustrated mechanics and added revenue for the company. The company still receives the payment from the customer. However, the many negatives of methodology are hidden in the form of opportunity costs to both the owner and contractor. What is this doing to the contractor’s overall reputation? What about the degradation of the equipment? These are real costs, so consider why the rental car industry services their vehicles every time they are returned? Litigation cost Under the ‘call back’ service programme noted above; how many liability claims is the contractor forced to defend against claims for improper operation of the elevator? This methodology has resulted in increased litigation and liability insurance costs, for the contractor and industry. Maintenance Control Plan (MCP) A programme modelled after the automobile and aviation service standards. There are many new service technology ideas for keeping an elevator in top operating condition, so how do we deliver this to the customer? The issue is delivering adequate service time to perform the good maintenance protocols. The ASME A.17.1 2013 Code for the Maintenance Control Plan (MCP) is emerging as the new standard for prescribed elevator maintenance. The programme 1709NA01