mayr power transmission, the leading manufacturer of elevator brakes, also offers a comprehensive range of electrical accessories. The company has developed a control module, the ROBA-multiswitch fast acting rectifier, specifically for the retrofitting of existing elevator systems. Using this device, it is possible to adjust the output voltage via a DIP switch, meaning that different consumers can be controlled. This means that through simple and uncomplicated electrical modernisation with this module weight and space requirements can be reduced within a control cabinet, and also different components can be controlled. 

According to the European Elevator Association (EEA), there are currently approximately six million elevators in use in the European market. And even though new elevators – like buildings themselves – have a long lifetime, modernisations, retrofits and improvements will be repeatedly carried out over the course of this lifetime. The estimated average sum which is spent on an elevator modernisation, for example, totals over EUR 10,000. Frequently, this also necessitates an electrical upgrade.

The leading elevator brakes manufacturer mayr power transmission offers, in addition to safety brakes, also electronic modules, and therefore represents harmonised overall systems on an international basis. These modules include, among others, the ROBA-switch fast acting rectifier and the ROBA-multiswitch. The consumers, e.g. the electromagnetic safety brakes, are controlled using these rectifiers: They permit the connection of the brakes as DC consumers to the AC voltage network and allow the implementation of short overexcitation operation and/or voltage reduction.

Smaller and lighter than market-standard transformers

Rectifiers are used for elevator technology, but also for other consumers, such as for example when controlling locking magnets for door drives or when retrofitting classic drum brakes. The control cabinets into which these circuit modules are integrated are often limited in terms of both space and weight. For this reason, leading manufacturers of control cabinets for elevator technology rely on the compact rectifiers from the ROBA-switch series by mayr power transmission. They are significantly smaller and lighter than the large market-standard transformers frequently used, which are deployed for the same tasks. A transformer is an electrical engineering component which generally consists of two or more coils (windings). It transforms an input AC voltage into an output AC voltage, and is used in particular in power supply units for the supply of small voltages to electrical or electronic consumers/devices. However, the weight of these transformers means that they can, amongst other things, be ripped off the control cabinet mounting plates during transport, thus causing damage.

Save costs and energy through retrofitting 

mayr power transmission’s in-house Electronic Development has created a ROBA-multiswitch fast switching module design with a uniform input voltage of 230 VAC and simultaneously-variable output voltage specifically for retrofit solutions and renewals in control and switch cabinet construction. The output voltage of 42 to 180 VDC can be adjusted via a DIP switch. This means that this module not only saves weight and reduces space requirements, but also permits the control of different components. Due to the compact design of the ROBA-multiswitch, users can make use of a smaller control cabinet, in particular when modernising a system, and thus save substantially on costs. Furthermore, the switchgears can be equipped identically, which minimises the component variety required. The amount of wiring effort is also reduced. Another important aspect is the lower energy consumption of the fast acting rectifier by mayr power transmission: In contrast to transformers, which are continuously energised, the ROBA-multiswitch is only energised when required. In addition to the electrical retrofitting solutions in traction elevators, the fast switching module is also used for example on hydraulic elevators which feature electrical magnetic valves with special voltages such as 60 VDC. Here, the savings potentials described also apply; this means that a transformer as well as a further rectifier can be replaced by the ROBA®-multiswitch. When existing systems are updated in line with technological developments during the course of modernisations, however, please observe that the original type approvals may not be violated.

The author: Alexander Hutler

Alexander Hutler works at Mayr power transmission, a Germany-based international manufacturer of safety brakes. In 1992 he joined Mayr and worked in different responsibilities. Since 2006 he is part of the task force Key Account Management Elevator Brakes and has served as Programme Manager for leading international OEM projects. Mayr power transmission has a reputation as the leading manufacturer of elevator brakes and holds many patents in this field.