Basic Elevator Components - Part One

In the previous topics which are :

I explained the different types of elevators and today, I will explain the Basic elevator components as follows.


The electrical elevator: is a permanent lifting equipment serving two or more landing levels, including a car for transportation of passengers and/or goods, running al least partially between rigid guide rails, either vertical or inclined to the vertical by less than 15°.

And to list the different components of the elevators, we must note the following:
  • all elevators are not built the same. 
  • Elevator features and operation may vary from one elevator to another. 

So, I will show the basic components for a standard type of elevators which included in all types of traction elevators.

Standard Elevator Types: 

The standard elevator is classified according to the rated load to the following types:

Type (I): starting from 320 Kg up to 800 Kg rated load.

Type (II): more than 800 Kg up to 1600 Kg rated load.

The Standard Elevators Layouts:

Standard elevators can be arranged in the following four layouts:

Arrangement (A): Car with side opening door and the counterweight is located at the back wall.


Arrangement (B): Car with central opening door and the counterweight is located at the back wall. 

Arrangement (C): Car with side opening door and the counterweight is located at one side. 

Arrangement (D): Car with central opening door and the counterweight is located at one side.


Basic Elevator Components:
Basic Elevator Components
The standard elevators will include the following basic components:
  1. Car.
  2. Hoistway.
  3. Machine/drive system.
  4. Control system.
  5. Safety system.

First : Elevator Car 

Elevator Car is the vehicle that travels between the different elevator stops carrying passengers and/or goods, it is usually A heavy steel frame surrounding a cage of metal and wood panels.

Elevator Car Types:

Standard elevator car/cabin can be classified according to the number of entrances and their locations as follows:
  1. Normal Cabin 
  2. Open Through Cabin 
  3. Diagonal Cabin 
Elevator Car Types

Standard car size:

To prevent overloading of the car by persons, the available area of the car shall be limited and related to the nominal/rated load of the elevator.

The following image shows the standard car sizes related to the elevator nominal loads.

Standard car size

The number of passengers shall be obtained from the formula:

Number of passengers = rated load /75 

Where 75 represent the average weight of a person in Kg.

The value obtained for the number of passengers shall be rounded to the nearest whole number.

The following definitions for the car dimenstion are very important:

Car Width (CW): The horizontal dimensions between the inner surfaces of the car walls measured parallel to the front entrance and at 1m above the car floor.

Car Height (CH): The inside vertical distance between the entrance threshold and the constructional roof of the car. Light fittings and false ceilings are accommodated within this dimension.

Car Depth (CD): The horizontal dimensions between the inner surfaces of the car walls measured at right angles to the car width and at 1m above the car floor.

Elevator Car Components:

Elevator Car is composed of the following components:

  1. Car Sling, a metal framework connected to the means of suspension, 
  2. The elevator cabin, 
  3. Mechanical accessories which are: 
  • Car door and door operator. 
  • Guide shoes. 
  • Door Protective Device. 

1- Car Sling:
Car Sling
Car Sling is load carrier element in the elevator car as well as its function of isolating vibrations due to running.

Car Sling Types: 

Car slings have two main types as follows:
  • (1-1) Suspension.
  • (2-1) suspension.
They may come with braking or without braking system.

Car Sling Main Components: 

A- Upper Transom:
 Upper Transom

The upper transom is the suspension element of the car it can be (1-1) type or (2-1) using a couple of polyamide pulleys 360 mm diameter, it is designed also to mount sliding or roller guide shoes. Braking system catch clamps are mounted also in the upper transom.

B- Lower Transom: 

Lower Transom

Lower transom is the carrier of car flooring through an exactly arranged pressure springs mounted in the lower isolation subassembly. Safety gear catch clamps are also mounted in the lower transom and their actuation action is done by a shearing linkage system.

C- Side Frame: 

The adjustable height side frame is two pieces bolted together and fastened to both upper and lower transom.

2- The elevator cabinet:
Elevator Car Components

Elevator cabinets shall be completely enclosed by walls, floors and ceiling, the only permissible opening being are the car door, emergency trap door and ventilation apertures.

A- Car Floor: 

Car Floor

Car floor shall have sufficient mechanical strength to sustain forces which will be applied during normal operation, safety gear operation and impact of the car to its buffers.

Floor size is the same size of the car (width & depth) and Floor extension defines door opening, location and side portal depth.

Floor will be recessed and covered by PVC covering or marble stone or granite and it can be also customized according to client requirements.

B- Car Ceiling:
Car Ceiling
Car ceiling is designed to be able to support two persons during maintenance operation without permanent deformation.

Car ceiling is prepared also to mount emergency trap door, blower fan and balustrade.

C-Car Walls:
Car Walls 

Folded steel panels are used to enclose elevator car with different types, sizes and finshing

There are three main types of car panels as follows:
  • Side panels, which are the most common used panels, they can be used in side walls and in the intermediate back wall. 
  • Back panels, which are used only in right hand and left hand back corners. 
  • COP panels, which is used to mount COP unit. 
Car walls can be lined with stainless steel with different styles or painted in selected color upon client requirements.

D- Front Panels:
Front Panels
The front panel assembly defines door opening height and location. There are two types of front panels, side and upper panels.

E- Car Operating Panel COP
Car Operating Panel COP 
Car operating panel COP is A panel mounted in the car containing the car operating controls, such as call register buttons, door open and close, alarm emergency stop and whatever other buttons or key switches are required for operation.

F- Hand Rail 

 Hand Rail
  • Hand Rail is a rail within the elevator car which passengers can use for support. 
  • Elevator car in most cases is provided by a handrail at one side, two sides or on all sides of the cabin. 
  • At least one side of the car has a hand rail installed in case of using the elevator for passengers including persons with disabilities. 
  • Hand Rails come with different finishes like stainless steel styles or painted in selected color upon client requirements. 
  • There are two types of hand rail, cylindrical handrail and flat type hand rail. 

G- False Ceiling
False Ceiling

  • False ceiling is the main source of lighting in the elevator car, there are many different designs for elevator lighting. 
  • Fluorescent lighting and spot lights are the most common lighting elements used for elevator lighting and a combination of the two types can be used also. 

H- Emergency Trap Door Assembly 

Emergency Trap Door Assembly
  • Emergency trap door can be easily opened from inside the car by using triangular key (1) and from outside the car without a key by turning the link (2) to pull locking arms (3). 
  • Electrical safety switches (4) that is fixed to the side frame of trap door causes the lift to stop if the locking ceases to be effective; restoring the lift to service shall only be possible after deliberate relocking. 
  • Emergency trap door size is 600x400 mm to permit the rescue and evacuation of passengers. 

I- Balustrade
  • Car roof shall be provided with a balustrade where the free distance between the car ceiling and the shaft wall exceeds 0.3 m. 

J- Car Apron/Toe Guard
Car Apron/Toe Guard

A Car Apron/toe guard is present at the bottom of some cars. This guard protects the passengers from being exposed to the open hoistway under the car if the doors are opened when it is not at the landing. The guard is between 21” and 48” long.

3- Mechanical accessories: which are as follows:

A- Car door and door operator

Car Door types:
There are (4) common types of car doors as follows:

Car Door types
  • Single slide door: consists of one power operated single panel sliding doors. 
  • Single speed center opening: consist of two power operated panels that part simultaneously with a brisk, noiseless motion. faster passenger loading than side opening 
  • Two speed side opening: consist of two power operated panels that are geared together. One door moves twice as fast as the other door so that both doors will meet concurrently in the open position. 
  • Two speed center opening doors: same as one speed center opening doors but it consist of four power operated panels. 

Door operation method:
Elevator doors are normally opened by a power unit that is located on top of the elevator car. When an elevator car is level with a floor landing, the power unit moves the car door open or closed. A pick-up arm (clutch, vane, bayonet, or cam) contacts rollers on the hoistway door which releases the door latch on the hoistway door. The power unit opens the car door which in turn opens the hoistway door. The door rollers and pick-up arm may be different on various elevators but they all work on the same principle.

Door Operator: A motor-driven device mounted on the elevator car that opens and closes the car doors.

B- Guide shoes:

Guide shoes are Devices used mainly to guide the car and counterweight along the path of the guide rails. They also assure that the lateral motion of the car and counterweight is kept at a minimum as they travel along the guide rails.

There are two types of guiding shoes as follows:

1- Roller Guides: Guide shoes which use rollers that rotate on guide rails (A set of three wheels that roll against the guide rails) rather than sliding on the rails. 

Roller Guides

2- Sliding Guides: guide shoes which simply slide along the faces of the rails; the sliding insert or gib may be metal, requiring the guide rails to be lubricated, or may be plastic material which is self-lubricating.

Sliding Guides

C- Door Protective Device

any type of device used with automatic power operated doors that detect obstructions to the normal closing of the elevator doors (though contact may occur) and either causes the doors to change the door motion by either stopping it, or causing it to reverse (reopen) or go into some other mode of operation, such as nudging. A safe edge, a safety astragal, a photoelectric device (safe ray), and electrostatic field device are examples of door protective devices.

In the next Topic, I will continue explaining the Basic Elevator Components. So, please keep following. 

Note: these topics about elevators in this course EE-1: Beginner's electrical design course is an introduction only for beginners to know general basic information about elevators as a type of Power loads. But in other levels of our electrical design courses, we will show and explain in detail the Elevator Loads Estimation calculations. 


  1. New directive by DOSH require the installation of car door locking device and emergency battery operating power supply for all passenger lifts. Home Elevator

  2. i like the breakdown, am doing a project on elevators so i need more hints thank you.

  3. Excellent !!! lot of basic information. . . thanks Bro

  4. Excellent !!! lot of basic information. . . thanks so much Bro

  5. Thank you for the information. Great help for a layman like me.

  6. Informative! Good enough for any beginners.
    Perhaps can consider to do update to the new EN81-20/50.

  7. thank for the good information. it help me a lot for a fresher like me

  8. Very informative and useful. Can you please give idea of cost estimation and incremental increase in cost if number of floors increase, say from 3 to 4 or 4 to 5. In other way, how should the cost sharing be done in 3-4 storey flats. Shall be greatful.

  9. Nice post! explaining the basic components of elevators! It's important to understand the different parts that make up these essential vertical transportation systems.
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