Two-minute elevator design

April 01, 2002 |

Engineers can now design the entire elevator system for a modern skyscraper in less time than it will take to ride the finished product from street level to roof deck. Impossible? Not with Cymex Lift, a new software design program developed by alpha getriebebau GmbH, says the manufacturer. Taking into account user input, the program calculates all possible motor, gearbox and controller combinations. In addition, Cymex Lift determines cable type, wire traction sheave, and all other critical data necessary for system design. It even provides component supplier information.

Once set in motion, the program checks a huge number of combinations without any user interaction. Only the possible solutions are presented; there are no warnings or error messages to confuse the user. 'The program's behavior is like an engaged colleague,' says developer Peter Gschwendner. 'The colleague listens to the wishes of his boss, does a quick but good job, and suggests all possible solutions for selection.'

Anticipating the engineer's thought process, Cymex Lift first presents users with a comprehensive list of parameters, such as: nominal load, cabin mass, travel distance, sheave diameter, nominal speed and acceleration, motor position, number of pulleys, and rope compensation. Clicking on any one of these parameters calls up a list of usual values from which the user can choose. If unsure, the user can perform the calculation with assumptions.

Once the user has selected the parameters and corresponding values, he or she 'submits' them to the program. In the same way a chess program finds the strategy to win, Cymex Lift runs through a nearly infinite number of combinations and picks out all suitable solutions. The resulting list can be presented with multiple criteria using the features of Microsoft Excel. The final solution(s) can be documented in everybody's layout.

The total procedure, Gschwendner claims, takes no longer than two minutes, adding that, because every parameter is preinstalled, interfacing with the program is intuitive and easy.

Cymex Lift can be tested in four demo modes at without registration. Registered users, however, can use the program's full calculation power, as well as customized data access.

Overlay Init