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SERVICES – Installation – Traction

Traction elevators are what most people think of when they think of an elevator. The elevator cab and a counterweight are typically suspended by specially designed steel hoist ropes that run over a sheave with grooves designed to grab the ropes. Their name is derived from the traction developed  between the hoist ropes and the traction sheave.

There are only two configurations for traction elevators; overhead and basement. Each of these configurations rely upon a motor that turns the traction sheave and thus transmits the motion to the elevator. Both alternating current and direct current motors are used in traction elevators although the vast majority of new elevators and elevators being modernized are converted to alternating current motors due to their reduced maintenance requirements. The speed, acceleration, deceleration and floor stops of the elevator are regulated by the control system.

Currently, typical speed control of a traction elevator is accomplished by either variable voltage in direct current applications and variable voltage variable frequency in alternating current applications. Earlier alternating current control systems were single and two-speed control systems. Due to inaccurate floor stop performance and the associated liability, these types of control systems are no longer installed and are typically upgraded to the variable voltage variable frequency type of control have fallen in popularity.

Elevators that use a large drum to wind cable up to go up and pay cable out to go down are not permitted to be installed for commercial passenger use any more. Existing installations are permitted to continue in use.