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To help improve knowledge and understanding about KLINGSPOR, we have compiled a searchable glossary. KLINGSPOR's list of definitions includes both common and uncommon industry standard terms.

Elevator Manufacturing Glossary

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“American With Disabilities Act” was signed into law by President Bush on July 26, 1990. The ADA is designed to give civil rights protection to people with disabilities, similar to those granted by the Civil Rights Act.
Alarm Bell
An electric bell located either in or outside the hoistway that should be auto building operating personnel; it is connected to a pushbutton in the car operating panel, and is available to elevator passengers for summoning aid in emergencies. A second, battery operated bell is recommended located on the car itself as a back up or for use during a possible power failure.


An integral part of an elevator or dumbwaiter driving machine which operates to stop the unit and/or to hold the weight of the load at a fixed position.
Brake Shoe
Moving member(s) of a brake, lined with friction material which, when in contact with the brake drum, hold the elevator at floor level. On some types of control, it will stop the elevator when power is removed from the hoist motor.
A device, usually of carbon or graphite composition, used to connect a circuit with the rotating or moving portion of a DC motor, generator, or other electrical device. It carries current to and from the non-moving parts of connections.
A device located in the pit designed to stop a descending car or counterweight beyond its normal limit of travel. This is done by absorbing and dissipating the kinetic energy of the descending car or counterweight.
  • Oil buffer - A buffer using oil as a medium which absorbs and dissipates the kinetic energy of the descending car or counterweight.
  • Spring buffer - A buffer utilizing a spring to dissipate the kinetic energy of the descending car or counterweight.


In contract service, this is a customer request which required a check of an elevator other than the regularly scheduled maintenance.
Car (Elevator)
The load-carrying unit, including its platform, framer, enclosure and car door or gate.
Car Counterweight
A set of weights roped directly to the elevator car of a winding-drum type installation. In practice, this weight is equal to approximately 70% of the car weight.
Car Door or Gate Electric Contact
An electrical device. The function is to prevent operation of the driving machine by the normal operating device, unless the car door or gate is in the closed position.
Car Enclosure
The top and the walls of the car resting on, and attached, to the car platform.
Car Frame (Sling)
The supporting frame to which the car platform, upper and lower set of guide shoes, car safety and the hoist ropes or hoist rope sheaves, or the plunger of a direct plunger elevator are attached.
Car Operating Station
A panel mounted in the car containing the car operating controls, such as call register buttons, door open and close, alarm emergency stop and whatever other buttons or key switches are required for operation.
Car Platform
Is the assembly of buttons, lights, switches, etc. placed in the elevator car for use of passengers and/or attendant, for entering passenger destinations and for operation of safety features.
Car, Retiring
A motor-operated or electromagnetic-operated device on the car. It is used to unlock the hoistway door locking system or interlock.
Car Top Inspection Station
A control panel on top of an elevator car. When activated, it removes the car from normal service and allows the car to run at inspection speed from the car top station only.
Clearance, Bottom Car
The clear vertical distance from the pit floor to the lowest structural or mechanical part, equipment, or device installed beneath the car platform (except guide shoes or roller guides, safety jaw assemblies and platform aprons or guards) when the car rests on its fully compressed buffers.
Clearance, Top Car
The shortest vertical distance between the top of the car crosshead, or between the top of the car where not crosshead is provided, and the nearest part of the overhead structure or any other obstruction when the car floor is level with the top terminal landing.
Code is a system of regulations pertaining to the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of elevators, dumbwaiters, escalators and moving walks. The most widely recognized and used is ANSI A-17-1, sponsored by the National Bureau of Standards, the American Institute of Architects, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and published by ASME. It has been adopted by many states. Some state and cities have written their own codes, most of which are based on the ANSI A-17-1.
Control, Elevator
The electrical system that directs the mover. It starts and accelerates the elevator, maintains contract speed, initiates and controls the slow down, leveling and stopping. Usual control systems are generator field control utilizing a motor generator to convert the line ac to dc (dc being the main power for larger hoisting machines), and various types of direct drives wherein the line ac is converted to dc by means of solid state devices such as SCR’s. Variable frequency ac utilizing and ac hoisting machine is another form of direct drive.
Control, Generator-Field
A system of speed control which is accomplished by the use of an individual motor driven generator for each elevator or dumbwaiter. The voltage, applied to the hoisting-machine motor, is adjusted and speed varied by varying the strength and direction of the generator field.
A device or group of devices which serves to control, in a predetermined manner, the apparatus to which it is connected.
A structural steel frame containing weights either cast iron or steel plates, which runs vertically in the hoistway within its own guide rails, and counterbalances the weight of the car and percentage of the capacity load.
The horizontal upper member of a car frame, consisting of structural steel channels, the selector, or floor controller member. It travels up and down in direct relationship to the car and is equipped with electrical devices involved in operating the elevator. Used in some elevator manufacturers' systems.
The outermost lining of a hydraulic jack.


Diagram, Wiring
A drawing showing the electrical operating, speed control and signal circuits of an elevator, dumbwaiter, etc. A “straight” diagram shows all the circuitry and components for the equipment to operate, whereas a “field” diagram indicated to the wireman on the job how to connect the wiring of various components provided during installation.
Direct Current (DC)
An electric current flowing in one direction only and substantially constant in value.
Direction Indicator, Car
A signal fixture located in the elevator car that indicates the direction in which the car is traveling. The fixture may signal for car arrival as the doors are opening.
Door Lock
Any type of mechanical lock designed to prevent the opening of a hoistway door from the landing side.
Door or Gate, Car or Hoistway
the movable portion of the car hoistway entrance which closes the opening providing access to the car or to the landing.
Door, Bi-Parting
A vertically sliding or horizontally sliding (center opening) consisting of two or more sections. The sections or groups of sections are arranged to open away from each other, and are so interconnected that all sections operate simultaneously.
Door Operator
A motor-driven device mounted on the car which opens and closes the car doors.
Door or Gate Closer
A mechanical device which closes a hoistway door or a car door or gate by means of a spring or gravity.
Door or Gate Hanger (and Track)
Devices mounted on car and hoistway door panels, supporting the doors and guiding their movement. Each hanger consists of a steel track affixed to the car of hoistway entrance and of suitable rollers fastened to the door.
Doors, Center-Opening
Also known as center-parting, these doors utilize two panels and half the width of the opening, with one side sliding to the right and the other half to the left, to open.
Doors, Single Slide
A one-panel door which slides to either the right or left to open.
Doors – Two Speed
A two-panel door wherein both panels slide either right or left to open. The inner panel moves at one-half the speed as the outer panel. Variations include a three-speed door utilizing three panels. Two sets of two panels each in combination can make a two-speed center-opening door. These types of doors are used where the hoistway width is limited and only when a wider opening than that possible with a center-opening door is desired.
Drive Machine
The power unit which applies the energy necessary to raise and lower an elevator, material lift, or dumbwaiter car. The drive machine can alternatively be used to drive an escalator, inclined lift or moving walkway.
Drive Sheave
The grooved wheel of a traction-type hoisting machine over the hoist ropes pass. Motion is imparted to the car and counterweight by the hoist ropes.
A hoisting and lowering mechanism equipped with a car which moves vertically in guides, the floor of which does not exceed nine square feet, whose total inside height, whether or not provided with shelves, does not exceed four feet. The capacity must not exceed five hundred pounds, nor should be used exclusively for carrying materials.
The load carrying capacity, operating speed, and other technical data defining the operational capability of an elevator, dumbwaiter, etc.


Emergency Lighting
A unit that provides emergency power for elevator lighting, usually from a battery pack on the car, in the event that normal power is lost. Emergency power is immediately connected whereas standby power depends upon the starting of a standby generator.
Emergency Stop Switch
A device located in the car which, when manually operated, causes the elevator to stop by removing power from the driving-machine motor and applying the brake of an electric elevator; or by acting on the electrically operated valves and/or pump motor of a hydraulic elevator.


The front cover of a signal or operating fixture such as a push-button, position indicator, etc. usually having an architectural finish (bronze, stainless steel, etc.).
Firefighter’s Service
A device or group of devices which provide:
  • A signal for immediate recall to a designated landing in order to remove cars from normal use.
  • To permit operation for firefighters or other authorized emergency personnel.


A type of hoistway or car closure of a number of wood, metal, or mesh strips, articulated or fixed, usually used on freight elevators.
Geared Traction Machine
A traction machine in which the power from the motor is transmitted to the drive sheave through reduction gears.
Gearless Traction Machine
A type of elevator hoisting machine on which the hoist ropes pass over a traction drive sheave which is an integral part of the armature. It is called gearless because no geared reduction unit is utilized.
An electromagnetical device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy (usually direct current).
Governor, Elevator

An over-speed safety device, located in the machine room or upper part of the hoistway and driven by a sheave. It passes a rope, which in turn is fastened to and propelled by the car or counterweight. Can also be located in the pit.

Should an abnormal condition cause the car or counterweight to descend at a predetermined over-speed, the interaction between the governor and the governor rope causes the safety to engage the guide rails. This will bring the car or counterweight to a controlled stop.

Governor Rope
A wire rope attached to an elevator car frame that drives the governor and, when stopped by the governor, initiates setting of the car safety.
Guide Rails
Steel T-section with machined guiding surfaces installed vertically in a hoistway to guide and direct the course of travel of an elevator car and elevator counterweights.
Guides, Car or Counterweight

Devices attached to the car frame and counterweight frame at top and bottom, which keep them properly located with relation the guide rails. Sliding guides simply slide along the faces of the rails; the sliding insert or gib may be metal, requiring the guide rails to be lubricated, or may be plastic material which is self-lubricating.

Roller guides consist of rubber or plastic tired spring-mounted rollers which run on the front and both sides of the guide rail faces. Roller guides do not require rail lubrication.


Hall Lantern
A corridor mounted signal light indication that an elevator car is approaching that landing and the direction in which the car is to travel.
A railing serving as a support.
Handrail Guard
A guard, usually made of rubber that fits over the outside of the handrail at a point where the handrail enters or leaves the balustrade; it is to keep a person’s fingers out of the handrail opening.
A shaftway for the travel of one or more elevators, dumbwaiters or material lifts. It includes the pit and terminates at the underside of the overhead machinery space floor or grating, or at the underside of the roof where the hoistway does not penetrate the roof.
Hoistway Enclosure
This Is the fixed structure, consisting of vertical wall or partitions, which isolates the hoistway from all other parts of the building or from an adjacent hoistway and in which the door assemblies and the elevator are installed.
Hoistway Door Interlock
A locking mechanism applied to elevator landing doors and designed so that the door is locked prior to an electrical contact made. It is used to:
  • Electrically prevent the normal operation of the hoisting machine unless the hoistway door is locked in the closed position.
  • Prevent the opening of the hoistway door from the landing side unless the car is within the landing zone and is either stopped or being stopped.
Hospital Emergency Service
  • In Car – See “Independent Service”
  • Landing – A switch, either key, card-key or other restricted operation, which calls an elevator to that landing. It is usually on a priority basis and holds it there to allow operation of the in-car emergency service switch.
Hydraulic Elevator
A power elevator where the energy is applied by means of a liquid under pressure in a cylinder equipped with a plunger or piston.


Independent Service
A special operation wherein a car is removed from automatic operation and no longer automatically answers car or landing calls. It responds only to the calls registered on the car operating panel. Usually activated by a switch (key or enclosed) in the car panel.


Lantern, Hall or Landing
A signal device mounted at elevator landings over or adjacent to the elevator entrance. An illuminated indication and an audible signal will alert the waiting passenger that the elevator is arriving, as well as its direction of travel as it leaves the floor.
A scaled mechanical drawing showing dimensioned plan views, elevations of an elevator hoistway & machine room to indicate space conditions, pertinent dimensions, sizes, and location of components of the installation.
The movement of an elevator toward the landing sill when it is within the leveling zone. When the word leveling is used, the inference is that the process of attaining a level or stop position (the platform level with the landing sill) is performed completely automatically.


Machine Room
The portion of the building dedicated exclusively to housing the driving and control parts of an elevator or dumbwaiter. Parts include the machine, controller, selector, motor generator, etc.
Main (Car) Guide Rails
Steel T-sections with machined guarding surfaces installed vertically in a hoistway to guide and direct the course of travel of an elevator car.


Non-Selective Collective Automatic Operation

Automatic operation by means of one button in the car for each landing served and one button at each landing. All calls are registered by the momentary actuation of landing or car buttons. Also, the corresponding stops are made irrespective of the number of buttons actuated or of the sequence in which the buttons are actuated.

With this type of operation, the car stops at all landings for which buttons have been actuated, making the stops in the order in which the landings are reached after the buttons have been actuated, but irrespective of its direction of travel. This operation is seldom provided.


Operation, Collective

An elevator operating system wherein landing and car calls are retained. The elevator will respond to UP landing call only in the UP direction, and to DOWN landing call in the DOWN direction, as well as any car calls registered as that floor is reached.

Collective is the basis of most automatic elevator operating systems. Collective is also referred to as “on call” system, i.e. cars will not move unless a car or landing call is in registration. Variations of “Collective Operation” are as follows:

  • Elevator Operation
  • Group Automatic Operation
  • Single Automatic Operation
Operation, Elevator
The logic system that directs the elevator to perform specific functions. The operating system tells the elevator when to start or stop, open or close the doors, go up or down or to park. Inputs to the operating system are the landing calls, the car calls, the loading of the elevator, delays during passenger transfer, malfunctions and interference.
Operation, Group Automatic

The automatic operation of two or more elevators which are associated. The operation of the cars is coordinated by a supervisory control system including automatic dispatching means. selected cars at designated dispatching points automatically close their doors and proceed on their trips in a regulated manner.

To operate two or more elevators as a team, a group operating system is employed. The system directs the action of each elevator to attempt to keep them separated and so that no more than one elevator generally responds to a landing call in a given direction.

Various strategies are used and can consist of the timed dispatching of elevators to space them away from a main landing, the deployment of elevators to park them at various locations throughout the elevator rise, and to calculate which elevator is in the best position to answer landing calls to optimize or equalize response.

Some versions of a group automatic operating system automatically start cars to “cruise” in search of landing calls at times when no calls are in registration whereas other systems will not move elevators until a call registers a “demand”.

Operation, Single Automatic
Automatic operation by means of one button in the car for each landing served and one button at each landing. If any car of landing button has been actuated, the actuation of any other car or landing operating button will have no effect on the operation of the car until the response to the first button has been completed. Usually response to the first button has been completed. Often used with an “In Use” light located in the landing buttons.
Overspeed Governor Switch
A part of an escalator machine. It is actuated by centrifugal force and trips a switch when the motor speed has increased 20% over its rated name plate speed.


Pit, Elevator
The portion of a hoistway extending from the threshold level of the lowest landing to the floor at the bottom of the hoistway.
In a hydraulic elevator, the part that pushes the car up or restrains its descent; it moves within the cylinder by means of hydraulic pressure.
Position Indicator
A device that indicates by illuminated numbers in a digital readout, the position of the elevator in the hoistway. It is called a hall position indicator when placed at a landing or a car position indicator when placed in a car. Also, it can be found in a lobby Indicator Panel or may be part of a CCTV display in a central location or machine room.
Preventative Maintenance
Inspections, tests, cleaning and similar activities carried out on elevator equipment with the intention of preventing malfunctions from occurring during operation. It is designed to keep equipment in proper operating order and is done on a scheduled basis. It is also referred as scheduled maintenance.
Proximity Edge
A protection system for entering or exiting passengers against sliding doors. It is a device, usually mounted on the car door and consisting of light ray devices which will stop and reverse a closing door.


Rated Load
The load which the elevator, dumbwaiter or escalator is designed and installed to lift at the rated speed.
An electric device that is designed to interrupt input conditions in a prescribed manner and after specified conditions are met, to respond and cause contact operation or create change in associated electric control circuits.
Relay Panel
A quantity of electro magnetic switches, relays or panels, constituting a panel, mounted in the machine room usually for receiving and registering all calls made by passengers by means of the landing or car buttons. Also may be solid-state devices.
Residential Elevator
A power passenger electric elevator installed in a private residence, and which has a rated load not in excess of 750 lbs., a rated speed not in excess of 40 feet per minute, a net inside platform area not in excess of 12 square feet, and a rise not in excess of 50 feet per the A17.1
Residential Stairway Lift
A power passenger lift, installed on a stairway in a private residence, for raising and lowering persons from one floor to another.
Roller Guides
Guide shoes which use rollers that rotate on guide rails, rather than sliding on the rails.
Roped-Hydraulic Driving Machine
One in which the energy is applied by a piston or plunger, connected to the car with wire ropes, which operates under hydraulic pressure. It includes the cylinder, the piston or plunger and sheaves, if any, and their guides.
Wire rope made of steel or iron strands with non-metallic cores. Types include:
  • Hoist – used to support and move the car & counterweight
  • Governor – see “Governor-Elevator”.
  • Compensating – suspended from below the care to below the counterweight, and used on high-rise elevators to offset the weight unbalance occurring when a large amount of hoist rope is on the car side or on the counterweight side due to car position. The compensation keeps the overbalance, or empty and full cars, within the traction capability of the machine drive sheave.


Service Cabinet
A cabinet located in the elevator car containing special controls necessary for operating automatic elevators during service and testing periods. May also include fan switches, light switches, and an Independent Service switch.
A wheel mounted in bearings. It also has one or more grooves over which a rope or ropes may pass.
Solid State - Logic
The utilization of static electrical components, micro-processors, programmable controllers or integrated circuits to control the operating system of an elevator or group of elevators.
Solid State – Motor Drive
The utilization of static electrical components such as SCR’s and programmable controllers in the motion control system of an elevator.
Special Emergency Services (Firefighter’s Aid)
  • Phase I: Recall - A key switch in the lobby that, when actuated, return the car(s) to the main floor where they park with their doors open. Phase I is also activated by signal from a smoke detector located in upper floor elevator lobbies. In some jurisdictions, a main lobby smoke detector may send elevators to an alternate floor during Phase I.
  • Phase II: In-Car Fire Service - A key switch in the car that allows the elevator to be operated by emergency personnel from car buttons only during an emergency such as fire.
A detailed itemized description of the plans, materials, dimensions and all other requirements proposed for the installation of the equipment.


The reservoir for the operating fluid on a hydraulic elevator.
Top-of-Car Inspection Station
Controls on the top of the car used by an elevator constructor to operate the car at inspection speed. It provides a means of operating an elevator from on top of the car at slow speed during adjustment, inspection, maintenance and repair.
Traction Machine
An electric machine in which the friction between the hoist ropes, and the machine sheave is used to move the elevator car.
The vertical distance between the bottom terminal landing and the top terminal landing of an elevator, dumbwaiter, or escalator.
Traveling Cable
A sheathed bundle of flexible traveling wires hanging from under the elevator car at on end; anchored to the hoistway and leading to the machine room at the other end; connecting equipment in or on the car (buttons, lights, switches, door operator, etc.) to the control equipment in the machine room. Traveling cables may contain shielded wiring, coaxial cable and possibly fiber optics.