What is a high-speed elevator?

While high-speed elevators do not have a specific classification of their own, there are certain criteria that a lift must meet to be considered high speed. As specified by the EN 81-20 standard, if a lift exceeds the speed limit of 4 m/s and requires extra ropes at the compensation system, it can be deemed a high-speed lift.

Passenger Lift

What is the difference between high-speed elevators and regular lifts?

While in principle there is no major difference between a regular lift and a high-speed lift (both transport users between floors), there are technical differences in the components and hardware used for high-speed elevators. There are also different safety issues to consider when a high-speed lift is being installed.

At Sheridan Lifts, we are experienced in installing a range of lifts from passenger lifts and service lifts to high-speed lifts. As such, we are accredited by Acclaim Accreditation in health and safety, so you can be rest assured a lift installed by us is of the highest quality possible.

One of the main differences you find in a high-speed cabin is the air mass when the cabin moves up and down. The air mass is what produces high vibrations in the car. These vibrations impact the steadiness of the lift, which is why you often find the below is required:

  • Additional weights at the bottom of the cart to make sure it remains in the centre.
  • Creating more complicated components to replace guide rails.
  • Using roller guide rails to help reduce the vibration.

Other features of high-speed elevators include:

The speed components of the lift

This will come as no surprise from their name, but high-speed lifts travel between floors much faster than regular lifts. For lifts that go as fast as 8 m/s, the dimensions that the engineers go by will need to account for load and speed, and the springs will need to be created using rubber-based dampeners.

For the ultra-high-speed lifts (those travelling around 11 m/s), you may find the speed works smoothly and efficiently using electric skates, complete with damping electronic components.

The aerodynamics of the lift

The car of a lift is moved using air. With a high-speed lift, this can cause some issues. This is where the technicians and engineers at Sheridan Lifts can help and is something you can discuss with your project manager and team.

Most high-speed elevators use an aerodynamic casing. This casing is created out of metal plating, which is placed in the cabin so the air mass can work its way through the lift shaft.

There is also the issue of high vibrations, which can impact the doors and lock function of the lift. In order to reduce the likelihood of this becoming an issue, you can look to install single-direction air escape openings at key areas of the lift shaft to ensure the air is travelling correctly through the lift.

The safety aspects of the high-speed lift – Is it safe?

One of the biggest safety aspects to consider with a high-speed lift is the overspeed regulator. The speed these lifts are reaching is advanced. As a result, the components such as the motor need to be bigger and more robust.

Naturally, more is demanded of the brakes in a high-speed lift, as they need to provide a smooth stop to a faster-moving cabin. Using a combined mechanism with springs at the bottom of the lift, you are guaranteed a safe landing when the lift arrives at any floor.

Noise within the car

Lifts can be noisy, which impacts the user experience. With high-speed lifts, the impact of noise may be increased. For instance, due to the narrow hoistways, you may hear a swirling current that adds to the noise of a lift.

There is also the matter of wind pressure, which can cause intermittent noise when against components such as separating beams. In order to combat this, our engineers are able to locate the smoothest surface possible, which will help reduce the impact of the noise and ensure a user-friendly experience for everyone who uses the lift.

All the above is the result of high-quality installation but needs to be monitored and maintained throughout the lift’s life. This is why we have a range of maintenance packages, catering to all budgets based on your needs. To get started with your lift installation, contact a member of our team today.

Who uses high-speed elevators?

You usually find high-speed elevators in high-rise buildings. In the UK, they are very common in major cities such as London and Birmingham where you have big corporate buildings and marvellous shopping centres.

While high-speed lifts are found in landmark buildings across the world, such as the Shanghai Tower; in the UK, high-speed lifts can also be found in luxury hotels such as the Crowne Plaza and city cinemas.

If you are interested in installing a high-speed lift for your building, our expert engineers are on hand and are able to deliver you a first-class lift you can rely on.

Birmingham UK - 2019: City Centre At Dawn

How fast can high-speed elevators be?

Depending on their designs, some high-speed elevators are capable of reaching around 64km per hour. These lifts are installed in some of the world’s tallest buildings, with seven of the top eight fastest lifts being in Asia.

There are a variety of factors that can impact the lift’s speed, such as the height of the building and location too.


Benefits of a high-speed elevator

There are many reasons why you might opt to install a high-speed lift in your building, from the speed to the technology. Here are just a handful of reasons why:

When we install a high-speed lift, you can be assured it is safe and reliable for users. We use the best-quality components to ensure your lift will stand the test of time.

We design lifts to suit the style of the building, but also to accommodate the comforts of the passengers using them. By this, our high-speed lifts are spacious enough to carry the regulated amount of passengers while also fitted out with tasteful interiors to put the user at ease from the moment they enter the lift.

The speed of the lift in comparison to traditional lifts makes for a better building experience. If the building has a large footfall with people coming and going, a high-speed lift reduces the time people have to wait for the lift to appear and take them to their desired floor.

This reduced travel time makes high-speed elevators perfect for buildings such as large hotels, high-rise offices or cinemas where people are often in a rush.

Lift technology is constantly evolving to enhance their speed. In installing a high-speed lift, you are guaranteed to have the latest components and mechanisms in place that can put you ahead of the curve. It means you don’t have to worry about your lift being outdated or having to be refurbished with new components for years to come.

At Sheridan Lifts, keeping on top of the latest industry developments is vital for us. This is why we make sure our team of engineers and technicians are constantly learning and training – to make sure our service is as good as it can be.

Just like traditional lifts, high-speed lifts can be easily repaired and restored if a breakdown occurs. At Sheridan Lifts, our 24/7 emergency maintenance helpline means you are guaranteed someone will be on the other end of the phone to assist you with any breakdown or issues that may occur.

Our team is also strategically placed around the UK so we can get a qualified technician on site quickly in the event of an emergency, such as an entrapment.

At Sheridan Lifts, we design energy-saving lifts that include features such as low-energy LED lights (instead of fluorescent tubes), as well as a standby function.

We can incorporate some of these environment-friendly elements into your high-speed lift during the lift installation process. Doing this will not only help reduce the carbon footprint of your building, but it will also help to save money on your energy bill – a selling point if you are looking to rent out the building.

How do high-speed elevators work?

High-speed elevators often work in the same way you would expect a traditional lift to. They move using a pulley and the lift car is attached to high-intensity cables, which then use a motor to help the lift move up and down.

Central control computer

Most lifts will have a central control computer that will determine where the lift needs to stop in order to pick up passengers. This allows high-speed lifts to be used in buildings such as luxury hotels where efficiency is rewarded and there are multiple lifts working in tandem. The electronic components make the lift safe to use as they ensure that, if there are two lifts side by side, they work together and do not add to the wind noise or add additional pressure to the lift shaft.

Pressure management

Pressure management is vital when dealing with a high-speed lift. The shift in speed adds increased atmospheric pressure during the ride, which can cause the user’s ears to become blocked. In the same way, this happens when you go hiking or lift off in a plane. Installing a fan in a high-speed lift enables us to reduce the risk of this happening.

Air resistance and speed monitors

High-speed elevators are designed to operate smoothly without impacting user experience, giving users a first-class lift every time they use it. This is why the lift’s air resistance and wind speed are monitored and tested during installation and maintenance checks.

These monitors will help keep the noise at bay and ensure a smooth ride. It is worth remembering that, while users appreciate a high-speed lift, they also want the familiarity and ease of a traditional lift. Using the latest technology to keep air circulating and wind speeds at bay makes the lift more appealing to the user by giving them the same comfortable experience they would in a traditional lift.

Emergency brakes

All lifts, traditional or high-speed lifts, require some form of emergency brakes in case of emergencies. In traditional lifts, this could be done by placing a disc brake on the end of the main pulley system. However, due to the velocity of a high-speed lift, in order to combat the heat caused by the speed, the emergency brakes can be coated in a heat-resistant ceramic to reduce the risk of fires.

Repairs and refurbishments for high-speed elevators

At Sheridan Lifts, we do more than install high-speed elevators. We can work with you to ensure it remains working throughout its life cycle. In addition to lift installations, we also provide customers with the following:

Lift Maintenance

In accordance with the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations, lifts need to be inspected on a regular basis. The inspections cannot be carried out by just anyone but instead by a qualified lift professional. This goes for all lifts, from passenger lifts (which should be checked every six months) and service lifts (to be checked annually).

To help our customers with this, we have a range of maintenance contracts in place to make sure the lifts are maintained and kept in line with the latest regulations. In keeping regular maintenance appointments, you reduce the chances of your lift breaking down and maintenance issues occurring.

Granda Studios

We have three lift packages here at Sheridan lifts:

Standard package

This includes up to 12 annual visits and access to our 24-hour helpline. As we have technicians and engineers located all across the UK, we are also able to guarantee a one-hour entrapment response time for incidents where someone is trapped in a lift and four hours for all other enquiries.

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Comprehensive package

This includes the Standard package, alongside 6 or 12 service visits from our lift engineers and additional services, with any event including parts covered up to £350. Minor adjustments when required are also included, as well as on-site reports and regular upkeep on equipment such as cleaning and oiling.

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Premium package

This includes all the features of the Standard package, with lift call outs available within working hours at no extra cost. We also provide further reports and bespoke services based on the needs of your business.

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Lift Refurbishments

At Sheridan Lifts, we provide high-quality lift refurbishment services. We would generally advise you to have your lift refurbished around the 15-20 year mark before it enters the end of its life span. In doing so, it will increase the longevity of the lift.

As part of the lift refurbishments, our projects can include checking the following: 

  • The electronics of the lift. This includes the control panels and display panels, as well as the lift drive control unit.
  • The cables, drivers and breaks of a lift. Refurbishing these mechanics allows your lift to function smoothly and reduces the risk of breakdowns.
  • The interior of the lift. This includes things such as updating the mirrors and lift buttons, which can be exposed due to the wear and tear of regular use.

If you believe your lift is in need of a refurbishment – perhaps you have noticed the speed of the lift is declining or an unusual noise – contact us today. Our technicians and engineers will be able to speak to you and determine the refurbishments required on your lifts.

Passenger lift

Lift Repairs

There are many reasons why you may have your lift repaired. If the high-speed lift is not installed or maintained correctly, you run the risk of it breaking down. With over four decades of experience within the industry, we have a proven track record of providing efficient and reliable lift repairs across the UK.

All lifts require breakdown cover. When a breakdown occurs, especially in an emergency situation – such as an entrapment – it helps to know you have a team of qualified technicians nearby to get you up and running again.

At Sheridan Lifts, we have engineers and technicians who are equipped to handle all lift repairs. We understand breakdowns and lift faults can cause a range of issues, which is why we work as efficiently as possible to ensure the lift is only out of service for a short amount of time and your normal schedule programming can resume swiftly.

As part of our lift repairs, we provide a 24-hour emergency service, which means we have engineers on standby, assigned to your location, around the clock. Our key areas for lift repairs include Manchester, Liverpool, and Leeds, as well as London. This allows us to make sure building developers within the area have quick access to our services in times of need.

Sheridan Lifts

Sheridan Lifts: The leading lift company in the UK

With Sheridan Lifts, you are guaranteed a high-speed lift installation that you can rely on.

We are a fully accredited lifts company, with certificates such as our Worksafe and Acclaim Accreditations, to give you peace of mind how integral it is to us that our work passes all required building regulations.

Our history

Sheridan Lifts was founded in 1979 by Stanley Sheridan. Years later, the business continues to be run by the Sheridan family. Three generations of Sheridans have benefited from Stanley’s passion and expertise in engineering, and each member of the team continues to put this same level of passion into the business today.

We are also trusted by some of the nation’s best-known businesses, including Kellogg’s and San Carlo, as well as local authorities like Rochdale Borough Council and the National Health Service.

We have offices throughout the UK – Manchester may be our hub, but we also have bases in London and Birmingham.

So, what are you waiting for? Get a quote from the leading UK lift company today.

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Case Studies

Case Study: An electrical lift refurbishment by Sheridan Lifts

We are commencing our second week of work on a 12-story building for one of our clients. This week we are continuing to carry out a full MRL electrical refurbishment (no motor room) after some severe historic water damage to the existing equipment was causing ongoing issues for the tenants of this residential block.