For decades, the Gillespie Corporation has manufactured both Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors (VRC’s) and freight elevators. VRC’s are excellent for moving material when riders are not required. The traditional solution for applications where riders are required is a freight elevator requiring a fully enclosed cab and an enclosed hoistway.
Mobility Elevator contacted Gillespie looking for a material lift with limited pit depth that could be ridden by authorized personnel. Their customer, Spectrum Chemical, wanted a low-cost lift to move material that could also be ridden by factory personnel. Typically, this would be accomplished with a freight elevator which, due to elevator code requirements, would result in a substantive increase in equipment and hoistway construction costs.
Furthermore, because a standard pit could not be provided due to structural issues, a variance would have to be obtained. Gillespie has designed and manufactured numerous shallow pit freight and passenger elevators around the country, but Spectrum did not want to go to the expense of a full-blown freight elevator.
Gillespie reviewed the constraints and determined that a lift could be designed which would meet the requirements of a Type B Material Lift per A17.1, Section 7.4. These requirements include a maximum speed of 30 feet per minute, access and usage restricted to authorized personnel and penetration of only one floor. Once it was confirmed that this lift would meet the proper prerequisites, the shallow pit (5 ¼”) became the next issue to be addressed.
As the A17.1 code permits the Type B Material Lift to accommodate shallow pits through the use of a non-removable safety device to satisfy the bottom car clearance requirement, a solution was readily available.
In addition, a Gillespie A17.1, Type B material lift, on the other hand, allowed costs to be reduced considerably on this project.