Implementing EN81 Elevator Standards for Door Edges

In Europe as of September 2017 all new elevators must comply with EN81-20 and EN81-50 Elevator Standards. These standards were approved in 2014 to replace EN81-1 and EN81-2, and after a grace period for the elevator maintenance and installation industry to prepare, these elevator standards are now mandatory for all new elevators.

How do EN81-20 and EN81-50 change elevator safety standards for elevator door mechanisms?

Section 5.3.6.2.1.1 of EN81-20 covers the elevator door standards specific to elevator door detectors. The key changes to the elevator door mechanisms are:

  1. The door detector must provide protection between 25 mm and 1600 mm above the car door sill. The area is reduced from the 1800 mm required by EN81-1 and EN81-2.
  2. The door detector must detect obstacles as small as 50 mm in diameter. This was not required by EN81-1 and EN81-2: this is a significant elevator safety change for the manufacturers of door detectors. To provide this protection from 25 mm to 1600 mm, the door edge needs a minimum of 36 diodes arranged vertically.
  3. When a diode is blocked by a persistent obstruction to the door detector, e.g. a piece of chewing gum, door edges can be deactivated after a pre-determined amount of time
  4. If a failure occurs, or the door detector is deactivated, EN81-20 requires that the kinetic energy of the doors is limited to 4J and an acoustic signal operates as the elevator doors are closing. The fault condition of the door edge needs to be communicated to the door controller to limit the closing force of the doors. This elevator safety system failure can be communicated using a simple diagnostic output built into the door’s detector unit.

Do the new EN81 elevator standards require the modernisation of elevators built before September of 2017?

The elevator safety standards in EN81-20 do not apply to older elevators. However, the industry has adopted these elevator standards to increase elevator safety for all passengers. Property owners who do upgrade their elevator safety systems to meet the new requirements will increase the value of their properties, and be able to advertise these safety improvements to prospective tenants.

Changes in technical elevator safety standards can be confusing. Since Avire’s  group of companies were founded in 1926 we’ve seen countless changes to elevator safety standards. In fact, our mechanics and engineers have contributed over a century of innovations to elevator safety. Count on Avire to help you with your new property, or to transition the elevators in your existing property to be compliant with EN81-20 and/or US elevator regulations.

Contact one of our Avire local sales offices today.

Faye Bartlett is the Marketing Manager for Avire, a leading provider of safety and communication equipment for the elevator industry, and including the leading brands of Memco, E-Motive, Janus, Microkey and TL Jones. Faye can be contacted via LinkedIn or please fill out a contact form.

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