How often have we seen a sign or rode a Freight Elevator that was a mislabeled Passenger (Service) elevator? What this creates is the perception to the riding public as well as within our own industry that elevators with horizontal sliding doors are appropriate for freight loading and transport. While that may be true for some “freight” it’s not true for all freight.
Vertical sliding doors have proven advantages:
- They require less value hoistway space, only 13” (330 mm) on either side; the hoistway space saved can be used for retail, living space, parking, manufacturing, etc.
- Absorb more abuse from freight handlers; consider the risk associated with loading pallets by hand truck and forklift
- Don’t require special/expensive finishes and can be repainted in the field; a durable scratch resistant Powder Coat finish is factory standard
- Could last the life of the building with no major modernization
- Sequence Operation, Auto stay-open and Auto stay-closed features
- High UL temperature rating
- They are designed for incidental impact = utilize heavier gauge materials and robust operating equipment to withstand the rigors of commercial/industrial applications
- No sills to bind door panels when bowed or when they contain debris
- Interlocks are located on the side of the hoistway vs. the panel top or center
Horizontally sliding door systems are subject to impact by pallets and oversized goods during the loading process. Statistics show that up to 80% of elevator shutdowns are related to door call-backs. When a passenger elevator is used for freight, shutdowns are inevitable. Specifications for parking garages, museums, airports, retail chains etc. include vertical sliding doors; because there is no better solution for commercial/industrial applications.
A recent trend indicates that building owner/managers are replacing their passenger elevators for freight elevators.
The Pirelli plant in Silao, Mexico, originally furnished with Peelle heavy duty Horizontal Sliding Door system, has specified Peelle Vertical Sliding Doors for their upcoming expansion. The Peelle HSD is very robust but not necessarily the best door solution for this high volume industrial tire manufacturer. Forklift truck operators are constantly impacting the leading panel (fast panel) as they enter and leave the elevator. The 11,000 lbs (5000kgs) capacity of the forklift and lateral impact on the solid sill bars are damaging the HSD assembly, the solution: change the door type to Peelle Vertical Sliding.
Farmer’s Pride, Fredericksburg, Pa, workers use pallet jacks for loading which strike the horizontal sliding passenger and car doors. These strikes push the door guides out of the sill grooves and shutdown the elevator. The solution was to replace the horizontal passenger doors with 2 Peelle Vertical Sliding doors with 2 car gates and 2 entrance frame assemblies.
Philip Morris USA, Richmond, VA has a 20,000 lbs capacity elevator with horizontal sliding passenger doors that transport forklift trucks. The forklift trucks ride on the elevator from floor to floor. The forklift trucks cause damage to the hatch sills and sill supports causing numerous shutdowns due to door binding. The problem was solved when the doors were replaced with 5 Peelle Vertical Sliding doors, 1 car gate, 1 cab enclosure and 5 entrance frame assemblies.
What lessons did these building owners learn?
Horizontal Passenger Door Peelle Vertical Sliding Doors
Damage Leading Edge of Door during Open Permit Entry once Fully Open = Sequence Operation
Debris gathers in Sill Grooves, Panels binds Eliminate Sill Grooves = Flat and Solid Sill is standard on Peelle biparting doors
Damaged Doors Bind in Sill Grooves Move Door Guides to Shaft Wall
Damaged Doors cause Skate Malfunction Eliminate Skate = Peelle Interlocks are located on either side of the door panel
Damaged Doors cause Door Lock Failure Door Lock is Independent of Panel
Doors are Light Duty and Easily Damaged Designed to Withstand Incidental Impact
Opening Width = Less Depth, Large Returns Uses only 13” (330 mm) on either side for VSD
Vertical sliding doors are certified to meet the fire protections requirements of fire authorities on an international level, UL10B, CAN S104, EN81-58. The door design and critical door safety devices such as door interlocks are also certified to international standards AMSE A17.1 /B44- 2013 and EN81 the European Elevator Safety Standard.
Vertical sliding doors are known to be a positive investment considering the longevity of the Peelle door system and low maintenance attributes in comparison with horizontal passenger door alternatives; for commercial/industrial applications where passenger use is not required there is no better solution.