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By: Greg Carter | G+

People Movers: When You Rise, They Shine

Photo by Tiia Monto, WikiCommons

Escalators, Elevators, Moving Walkways In Motion Again

The ups and downs of air travel begin before you board the plane.  In 2020, escalators, elevators and moving walkways, along with aircraft, were motionless.  In the first quarter 2021, companies like Otis Elevator reported 10% organic growth.  Production and sales are up.  This is also good for companies that service, repair, and perform escalator, elevator and moving walkway repairs.  In bustling airports passengers are ready to get moving again.

electrical contact kitsSafety and reliability are top of mind when shuttling people to their flights.  Manual and automatic emergency shut-off switches reduce the risk of injury and downtime.  More good news for electric motor and control replacement parts suppliers because demand for these parts is ticking upward.  So is the need for elevator, escalator and moving walkway service and repair companies.

Relatively simple mechanical devices

Airport escalators, elevators and moving walkways are relatively simple mechanical devices complicated only by their limited space and long periods of operation.  A standard motor pulls a “chain” connected to the machinery.  Electro-magnetic overload devices and switches put people movers in motion as well as cut off power.  Electric motor and control parts do break down and eventually need to be replaced.
An obvious supply source is the original equipment manufacturer.  There are other supply choices that also perform well at a lower price and have immediately available.  Reliability is critical to uninterrupted service.
Replacement parts are reengineered and manufactured to match the original manufacturer design and performance.  They are guaranteed in fit, form and function at a lower cost.  Sometimes, after-market replacement parts are the only alternative if the manufacturer has discontinued the series or line.

Moving People Safely Without Missing a Step

When the supply of needed parts is delayed, the airport machines don’t move. This can mean the difference between making or missing your flight.  Escalators, elevators and moving walkways may move in different directions, but they share many of the same replacement parts.
Take for example electrical contacts and motor brushes.  You won’t see these relatively small electric motor parts during your journey.  However they are near the top of the elevator, escalator and moving walkway maintenance checklist when crews perform preventive maintenance to avoid unexpected interruptions in getting you to your flight gate.

Lift Technology Disrupts an Established Industry

"We’re continuing to innovate, to find new business models", says Judy Marks, President & CEO, of Otis Elevator company.  Otis recently announced Otis eCall™, an app that allows passengers to use their phones to place elevator calls from anywhere in the building.
Passengers don't need to touch buttons.  Otis eCall minimizes the spread of germs and viruses and wait times. “It's elevator control in your pocket”.  You can also call your elevator when you’re ready it’s waiting for you.
Whether you’re going up, down or sideways in a moving walkway, airports and passengers are on the move again.

Avoiding Delays in the Electrical Supply Chain

OEM delivery of electric motor and control parts can be weeks away.  Repco is the industry-leading source for wholesale replacement electrical contact kits, control coils, miscellaneous contactor parts, and carbon brushes.  The company stocks replacement contacts for 27 major brands helping airport and maintenance crews avoid delays to keep the economy moving.
About the Author: Greg Carter is V.P. of Digital Technology for Electrical Marketing.
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