Lifts, Nips & Tucks: Why Your Lift Is Crying Out For An Upgrade

Nobody turns down an upgrade

It is a truth universally acknowledged that we humans seize each and every opportunity to enhance or ‘step up’ an experience. VIP concert tickets, first class seats on the 12:10 Pendolino service to London Euston, and using the credit card to buy an upgrade into Business Class just to avoid the queues.

We’ll let you into a little secret, your customers’ lift experience is no different.

Now, an old lift does not necessarily need replacing in its entirety. In fact, doing so may be extremely difficult due to the design or layout of your existing installation. Instead, you can choose to have your lift upgraded or ‘modernised’ and we explain a little more about what that entails here.

A lift that is well looked after, properly serviced and regularly maintained can and will work for you for years and it isn’t uncommon for us here at Sheridan Lifts to be servicing passenger lifts that are well over 30 years old. However, like any electrical and mechanical equipment, a lift eventually needs to be either replaced or thoroughly updated.
After many years of use, regular lift maintenance may no longer be enough. As parts wear out, you may find yourself paying more and more for repairs. Additionally, we know from experience that it is becoming evermore difficult to find spare parts for an old lift – much like replacement parts for a vintage car – so it may be out of order for a longer time meaning major inconvenience for yourself, your staff, and your customers. You may also face problems with your dear old lift not meeting the latest safety and accessibility regulations.

How lift modernisation works

The lift upgrading process involves the replacement of obsolete parts and components with their more modern counterparts. Additionally, new features are added that were not available when the lift was originally installed. This results in a newer, safer lift that not only complies with the latest legislation but also offers improved reliability and enhanced traffic flow within your building whilst showing off superior new finishes worthy of any 21st century lift.


Why you should modernise your lifts

Performance and traffic flow: Upgrading might involve replacing the drive unit, gearbox and control system of your lift which will result in a faster lift with a smoother ride, and could incorporate an ‘intelligent’ control system offering improved traffic flow within the building.

Reliability and lower maintenance costs: Older, unreliable components might cause a lift to make breaking down a regular habit resulting in costs from long periods of downtime and repairs. The replacement of these components, along with regular maintenance, will reduce lift downtime, offering improved reliability and lower running costs.
Increased value to your building: While the reasons above would add value to the lift itself, naturally the aesthetic improvements will similarly add value to the building in which it is situated. These might involve the re-skinning of landing doors, replacing lighting, or fitting mirrors within the car.

Standards and regulations

The introduction of revised legislations over the last few years regarding disabled access and health and safety affects those responsible for lifts. A modernisation or upgrade might allow you to comply with the new legislation without the need/cost of replacing the lift altogether.

Countless features can be added to a lift in order to meet the needs of disabled users and help both you and the lift comply with the latest lift standards. Such legislation changes mean there are now features such as voice enunciators to tell passengers the direction of travel and the approaching floor level. Travel direction and current position of the lift car should be shown by in-car and landing digital position indicators, and large, tactile and/or braille push buttons and infra-red door detectors should also be offered.

More crucially, many new lifts now have emergency communication systems that enable passengers to communicate and notify of an entrapment and Sheridan Lifts would always recommend installing an emergency communication system into an existing lift.

Am I ready for an upgrade? What to look out for

Symptoms of imminent lift failure can include:

  • Long wait times
  • High energy use
  • Power quality
  • Frequent breakdowns

Long wait times and slow performance may be caused by a defective component, or problems may be caused by the age and overall condition of the lift.
Nowadays, buildings contain computer equipment [such as PCs, laptops, photocopiers] that are sensitive to power fluctuations; any form of alternating current can interfere with the equipment, or cause damage. This is also common with older lifts and is caused by the way the lift drive system utilises power.

But not all common issues are as obvious as slow response times or frequent breakdowns. Lifts contribute towards a high proportion of the energy used within a building, and without a meter to monitor the amount of energy being used, few realise exactly how much energy lifts require – especially in high traffic environments.
The most common symptoms of a lift in need of a major overhaul is an increase in service calls. As components wear with age they require regular adjustments, often interfering with the operation of the lift, or rendering it unusable until tended to.

How Sheridan Lifts can help:

Sheridan Lifts offer a comprehensive range of modernisation and refurbishment packages for all makes and types of lifts. Our engineers can perform detailed surveys of your lifts.

Older lifts do not often require complete replacement, instead we offer modernisation packages whereby obsolete components are replaced with their modern equivalent.

Typical work carried out includes:

  • Lift car and landing doors
  • Improvements to lift control/drive systems
  • Aesthetic enhancements


Contact us today for more information on Lift Modernisation, Lift Upgrades and Lift Refurbishments.