Our client, a UK based multi-brand online retailer, required one of their most important lifts to be modernised. This business-critical lift was over 30 years old and works were needing to be completed before their Christmas peak period. The lift in question was a 7 floor, 5-tonne heavy passenger/goods lift.

The lift was designed in the late 70s with a Ward Leonard DC motor & and AC generator. The control panel was a relay-based VVF drive system manufactured by Thames Valley Control (TVCL).

As we recently reported here on our blog, lift modernisation and maintenance is crucial to business and should never be ignored.

After a full detailed survey including load tests, we decided to replace the lift control panel including the shaft equipment, utilising a complete electrical rewire. We replaced the existing DC Motor with a HI spec AC motor. This removed the need for a generator as the new control panel was now controlling the AC motor direct.

existing motor generator set
old lift control panel

Removing the old motor by splitting the coupling from the gearbox required us to fully fabricate the steel bedplate to accommodate the new motor. Heavy engineering with precise detail is critical to this end. Our engineering team are very experienced in this type of work.

The traction sheaves on the lift were worn and required replacement as well as a gearbox overhaul. The type of gearbox was a Reynolds Gear unit with twin output shafts. The sheaves measured 900mm in diameter. Using heavy pulley draws, we removed the sheaves. Due to their age, the old sheaves were obsolete. That was no problem for us. We took the old sheaves to a foundry and had new ones manufactured using the old sheaves as a template.

New main hoisting ropes were fitted whilst the sheaves were being manufactured.


From a maintenance point of view, with the generator and old motor replaced, the carbon brushes and commutators that required replacing in the old system on a regular basis were rendered redundant, saving on costly repairs and downtime.

The project was completed 3 weeks ahead of schedule and the client was delighted. Here is the fully refurbished lift shaft, too.

The lift will provide our client with another 30 years of service with the benefits of energy efficiency and better floor levelling control irrespective of payloads.

If you are looking for a reliable, experienced and quality lift company, give us a shout!