lift technician working on lift

A lift inspector’s perspective on RM&D solutions

Erik Lim, Lift and Escalator Consultant, TÜV SÜD

Erik Lim, Lift and Escalator Consultant, TÜV SÜD

lift technician using predictive maintenance solution

I’ve worked in the elevator industry for 15 years and have been part of the TÜV SÜD team since 2019. TÜV SÜD undertakes more than 500,000 lift inspections annually and is one of the top global elevator inspection companies.


As an inspector, I am responsible for ensuring the safety of elevators and other lifting devices, such as escalators and moving walkways. This involves me carrying out annual inspections to ensure systems meet safety standards and regulatory requirements. This means that we play a critical role in ensuring the safety of public users, helping to prevent accidents and injuries by ensuring that lifts function properly and meet code requirements.




Safety focus


Much of my work involves manual inspections on-site, such as checking the condition of equipment and ensuring that all components are functioning as intended. This includes ensuring that the lift's electrical, hydraulic and mechanical systems are operating as intended. I also test safety features, such as emergency brakes and over-speed governors.

A large part of my work includes the appraisal of paperwork, such as reviewing lift maintenance and repair records to ensure that any issues have been addressed, alongside investigating complaints and accidents related to lift operations. Part of my inspection role also involves performing a Conditional Assessment, which provides recommendations on any necessary repairs or upgrades to the equipment.



Technology innovation drives maintenance automation


In addition to our annual inspections, the Building Maintenance and Strata Management (Lift, Escalator, and Building Maintenance) Regulations require building owners to employ the services of a registered lift service contractor for monthly maintenance and upkeep.

However, advances in technology mean that Remote Monitoring and Diagnostics (RM&D) solutions are enabling a certain level of maintenance automation. The good news for owners of a lift equipped with a compliant RM&D solution is that they may now apply to the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) to reduce their routine monthly maintenance visit to once every three months.



Predictive benefits


RM&D allows maintenance teams to monitor lift performance without being physically there, and quickly identify any issues or anomalies. This creates a predictive regime where early detection enables maintenance teams to take preventive measures to address issues before they cause any disruption. For example, they can anticipate the failure point of components so they can be replaced before they fail. This helps to minimise lift downtime and maximise the lifetime of the lift components.

RM&D therefore greatly reduces the need for routine lift maintenance, as it improves lift reliability, safety and operational efficiency, which minimises lift maintenance and repair costs.



Increased efficiency


While RM&D solutions enable predictive maintenance to ensure improved safety and availability of lifts, they cannot replace physical inspection and maintenance regimes. However, it can reduce the time needed for on-site work, as maintenance teams can monitor equipment remotely and prepare their approach and plans in advance, thus reducing the time and resources required for physical on-site maintenance time. RM&D also helps with our annual lift inspections as we have access to real-time data that immediately gives us an accurate and up-to-date view of the lift's performance. This can help us to identify potential problems, confirm that the issue highlighted is accurate, and ensure that any problems are quickly and effectively rectified.


Elevating lift safety

The BCA Code of Practice (CoP) for Design and Performance of RM&D sets out minimum standards for lifts using RM&D solutions in the Republic of Singapore. For lift owners to reduce their routine monthly maintenance visit to once every three months, they must obtain BCA’s approval, and the RM&D solution provider must demonstrate that their system meets the requirements under the CoP.

TÜV SÜD Lift Manager is a brand-independent and BCA-compliant RM&D solution that can be used with lifts of any age, brand and model. The Lift Manager solution is particularly beneficial for lift fleets that consist of different brands and installation locations, and our predictive model uses data collected over 80 years to detect patterns and failure points with high accuracy. This enables technicians to proactively address potential issues before they cause unexpected downtime, resulting in increased lift availability and reduced maintenance costs.


the advantages of lift manager

The future is predictive


RM&D is a key technology for the lift industry as it remotely monitors systems 24/7, rather than only during maintenance contractor visits, thereby reducing costs and improving safety. If potential problems are identified early, lift technicians can schedule maintenance proactively, reducing downtime and disruption to lift users. By detecting potential issues before they become safety hazards, RM&D also helps maintenance teams and inspectors to increase the safety of lift equipment by preventing accidents and injuries.

However, RM&D cannot completely replace physical inspections and maintenance. This predictive technology is simply an enabler for lift inspectors and technicians, helping them to perform their jobs more efficiently and effectively. Inspections and proper maintenance will still need to be performed by human experts like me to ensure that lift safety is not compromised in any way.


Related service: Lift Manager 

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