Motion System Design

ISO standards strive to improve elevator and escalator comfort

Are you involved with elevator or escalator design? Do you get nervous when the elevator shakes, rattles, and rolls? If so, a new ISO standard aims to improve passenger experience when using lifts, escalators, or the moving walkways commonly found in airports. The new standard aims to determine ride quality by specifying the definition, measurement, processing, and expression of vibration and noise signals that affect user experience. It consists of two parts:

“Different lifts, escalators or moving walks might strike us as more jerky or noisy, affecting our comfort. By harmonizing methods for acquiring and quantifying the signals that define ride quality, ISO 18738 will ensure that measurement results are comparable everywhere. In this way, the standard will help the industry to provide an ideal ride every time,” says Christian de Mas Latrie, Chair of the ISO technical committee that developed the standard.

Those working in the industry can now use ISO 18738 to understand passenger experience because it provides measurements that correspond to what users perceive, for example, by taking into account factors such as the acoustic characteristics of the immediate environment.

“It’s interesting to note that the previous edition of the standard (2003), which only looked at lift ride quality, was applied by NASA in 2010. They consulted it when calculating the optimal rate of acceleration of the Phoenix capsule used to rescue the 33 Chilean miners, in order to ensure its smooth ascent and avoid discomfort,” adds de Mas Latrie.

Implementation of ISO 18738 will result in measurements that are:
  • Simple to understand without specialized knowledge
  • Well correlated with human response
  • Accountable via calibration procedures traceable to national standards
The standard can be used by those interested in:
  • Developing manufacturing specifications and calibration methods
  • Defining specifications for ride quality in contracts
  • Measuring ride quality of lifts, escalators, and moving walks
ISO 18738-1:2012, Measurement of ride quality - Part 1: Lifts (elevators), and ISO 18738-2:2012, Measurement of ride quality - Part 2: Escalators and moving walks, were developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 178, Lifts, escalators, and moving walks. They are available from ISO national member institutes and from ISO Central Secretariat through the ISO Store. For more information, visit ISO.

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