City Scene Vancouver
Glossary

The following is a partial list of common terms used in the elevator industry. This is by no means an official document. All of the definitions are in our own words and are meant simply as a helpful reference.

AC-VVVF
Alternating Current Variable Voltage Variable Frequency - type of motor control used in most modern elevators.
Brake
An electrically operated safety device attached to the machine that acts to stop and hold the elevator.
Buffer
Oil or spring buffer used as a safety device in case of over travel of the car or counterweight.
Cab
Elevator interior cabin, sometimes also referred to as the car.
Car
The enclosure that is used by passengers to travel up or down.
Car Door
The door used inside the elevator car.
Car Operating Panel
The applied panel, usually stainless steel, containing the car push buttons inside the elevator cab.
Car or Hall Door Rollers
Rollers that suspend the door panel in the car and hall. Rollers run on door tracks above the door.
Closed Loop
The speed of a motor is regulated by using the feedback from an encoder or tachometer.
Clutch
The device that mechanically couples the car door to the hall door, making it possible for the hall door to open.
Controller
The main cabinet containing the electrical equipment necessary to control the elevator motion.
Counterweight
Acts to counter the weight of the elevator car in order to reduce the power requirements of the machine.
DC-MG
Direct Current Motor Generator - type of control used in older elevators where the main motor speed is controlled by a motor-generator set.
DC-SCR
Direct Current Silicon Controlled Rectifier - modern type of drive system used for DC motors in lieu of motor-generator sets.
Disconnect
A manually operated switch that opens or closes an electrical circuit.
Door Gib
Small guiding device used at the bottom of car and hoistway doors.
Door Operator
Device mounted on the car top that opens and closes the elevator car door.
Drive Sheave
A wheel with grooves cut into it to drive the cables (ropes) connecting the cab and counterweight.
Encoder
Optical digital device used in closed loop systems for speed feedback. Typical resolution is 1024 pulses per motor revolution.
Extended Surface Mount Hall Station
Hall push button fixture that is mounted on the surface of the wall. Used on modernizations to lower the buttons to handicap height.
Fixtures
General term referring to the push buttons, panels, and indicators used in the elevator car and hall.
Geared Machine
A machine that contains a reduction gear for transmitting the power of the motor to the drive sheave.
Gearless Machine
A machine where the motor is directly connected to the drive sheave with no gear reduction.
Governor
A mechanical safety device that independently activates the elevator safeties in case of an overspeed condition.
Guide Rails
Steel rails formed in the shape of a "T" that run the length of the elevator hoistway on each side of the car and counterweight.
Guide Shoes
Solid shoes used on slower elevators to guide the elevator car our counterweight along the guide rails.
Hands Free Telephone
A telephone without a hand set using a speaker and microphone integrated in the car operating panel or telephone cabinet.
Hoistway
Building structure inside of which the elevator car moves up and down.
Hoistway or Hall Door
The doors used in the hall entrance on every floor that the elevator serves.
Infrared Safety Edge
An electronic device mounted on the car doors that uses a multitude of invisible infrared light beams. If any of the beams are broken, the doors reopen.
Interlock
A mechanical device that incorporates an electrical contact. Prevents the elevator from moving unless all of the doors are closed and locked.
LED
Light Emitting Diode - solid state device used in digital position indicators and to illuminate push buttons.
Non-Proprietary
Support, documentation, and spare parts are readily available to any qualified elevator contractor.
Nudging
Reduced speed closing of the elevator doors when they are held open too long.
Position Indicator
Analog or digital floor position indicator inside the car and/or in the hallway.
Restrictor
Device that prevents manual opening of the car door when the car is not at a floor.
Roller Guides
Rollers that guide the elevator car our counterweight along the guide rails.
Rope Brake
A safety device that clamps the elevator cables in the event of a failure of the normal brake.
Ropes
Steel cables used to suspend the elevator car and counterweight.
Safeties
Safety device mounted under the elevator car that acts on the guide rails to slow down an stop the car in case of an overspeed.
Serial Link
Method of transmitting data using only a few conductors. This saves on wiring costs, especially on high rise buildings.
Spirator
Spring loaded closer used on hall doors.
Tachometer
Analog feedback device used for motor control, generates a voltage in proportion to the motor speed.
Vector Drive
Modern AC motor control system.
Wedge Clamp Shackles
Used for terminating the wire cables at each end. A wedge is used to secure the cable inside a housing.