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The side of the step band of an escalator or pallet band of a moving walk. Can consist of glass or metal. The handrail runs on the top of the balustrade.


Consists of a sling (frame) with guide shoes, cable fasteners and safety as well as the cab fitted in the frame. To avoid vibrations during car travel, the cab is insulated in the frame.


With chairlifts, a guide track is mounted on the stair. Users are carried up or down in a seated position by means of an electric drive.

Control system

Converts user commands into corresponding elevator actions. Modern control systems are based on microprocessors.


A weight connected by ropes to the car via the drive sheave. Used to counterbalance the weight of the car and reduce the power requirements of traction elevators.

Destination Selection Control (DSC)

Intelligent control system in which users select their destination on a central operating terminal before entering the cab. The system directs users to the elevator that will get them to their destination fastest. The TWIN® system depends on destination selection control.

Drive (escalator/moving walk)

Combination of electric motor and gear unit forming the drive mechanism for all moving parts of an escalator or moving walk.

Drive machine

Power unit that supplies the energy needed to raise and lower an elevator or drive an escalator or moving walk.

Escalator that can be monitored through the internet. This enhances efficiency and the ease of service.

Elevator shaft

Space in which the cab moves up and down. Secured by shaft doors.


Resembles a staircase with handrails at either side. The individual steps and the handrails move continuously up or down. Escalators are built with different angles of inclination, e.g. 30° with heights of up to 50 meters.

Gearless machine
A type of hoisting machine that allows particularly comfortable, low-noise elevator operation. Gearless machines are mainly used for high-speed and machine room-less elevators.


Safety mechanism for detecting overspeed.
In the case of elevator overspeed the governor triggers the safety, stopping the car immediately.
In the case of escalators, the governor cuts off power to the drive motor, causing the brake to automatically activate.

Guide rails

Rails mounted vertically in the elevator shaft to guide the car and counterweight.


Moving handhold provided for passenger support which moves over the top of the balustrade. Usually made of black rubber or colored plastic.

Handrail guard

Double flap guard installed at the point where the handrail enters or leaves the balustrade. It is designed to prevent injury even in case of improper use.

Home elevator

Small, compact elevators installed in private homes.

Hydraulic elevator

A type of elevator that is driven by means of a hydraulic cylinder. For low rises, the initial costs of a hydraulic elevator are low, but running costs are much higher than with a traction elevator.

New machine room-less elevator for medium- and low-rise buildings, equipped with innovative materials.


Machine room
The space in which the driving machines for elevators or escalators are located. Due to the growing use of machine room-less elevators (e.g. ISIS) machine rooms are increasingly no longer required.

Moving walk

People moving system resembling a conveyor belt that transports users without forming steps. Moving walks are either horizontal in lengths of up to 200 meters or 12° inclined with rises of up to 9 meters

Operating panel
A panel mounted in the cab of conventional elevators containing buttons and indicators for operating the elevator. With the new Destination Selection Control system, a cab operating panel is not needed.


One of a set of moving platforms forming an endless belt for transporting passengers on moving walks. Like steps, pallets are made of die-cast aluminum.

Passenger boarding bridge

Link between terminal building and aircraft allowing easy and safe boarding and deboarding.


Personal Data Assistants.
Minicomputers, also called palmtops, used for system diagnosis and ordering spare parts.

Platform lifts

A platform lift consists of a rear wall and a folding platform floor which allows a wheelchair user and an accompanying person to negotiate a stairway.

Position indicator

A device in the cab that indicates which floor the elevator is currently at.

Preventive maintenance (scheduled maintenance)

Inspections, tests, cleaning and similar activities carried out on elevator and escalator equipment with the intention of preventing malfunctions from occurring during operation. Designed to keep equipment in proper operating order and done on a scheduled basis. Also referred to as scheduled maintenance.


Distance between the bottom and top stops of an elevator.

Rise (escalator/moving walk)

Vertical height difference between the bottom and top landings of an escalator or moving walk.


Device that prevents the elevator car and possibly also the counterweight from falling. The safety is triggered by a governor when the elevator overspeeds.


Vertical panel fitted below the balustrades bordering the steps or pallets.


One of a set of moving platforms forming an endless step belt for transporting passengers on escalators. The steps are usually made of die-cast aluminum. Glass-fiber steps in different colors are available exclusively from ThyssenKrupp.

Traction elevator

Elevator system consisting of an elevator car and counterweight connected by ropes and driven by the drive sheave. The system is suitable for medium to very high rises and offers low running costs.

Traveling cable

Cable made up of power and signal conductors that connects the elevator car and the control system.

TWIN® system

Two elevators in a single shaft traveling independently to different floors. Advantages: higher capacity and lower space requirements.


Waiting time
Time that an elevator user has to wait after pressing the call button before the elevator arrives. Waiting time is an important assessment criterion for elevators. In the planning phase of a building, elevator waiting time is calculated on the basis of simulations. The design of the elevators (e.g. size of cabs, number of elevators, use of DSC, planning with the TWIN® system) is based on these calculations.



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