Before 1975, hundreds of relays were assembled on panels to provide logic processing. These “relay logic” systems represented the state-of-the-art at the time. With development of the first “solid state” silicon devices, transistors began to replace electro-mechanical relay systems. Without moving parts, these devices improved reliability while eliminating the need for relay replacement. Old technology allowed a qualified elevator mechanic to trace the source of a problem by following wires from relay to relay. With the advent of software, lines of computer software coding replaced wires and relays. Dispatching logic and other operations were now hidden inside microchips.
As the elevator industry adopted this technology, an increasing amount of new equipment required the use of a special electronic service tool. These tools were needed to adjust, troubleshoot and maintain equipment, or reconfigure system operation. This in turn limited the building owner’s choice for all future maintenance and repair to the original manufacturer.
In response to changing customer demand, Javad and Majid Rahimian, along with Don Alley, founded Motion Control Engineering in 1983. They are among the third-party “Universally Maintainable” control system pioneers that include the founders of CEC’s Swift and O. Thompson.
Building owners began to embrace this new generation of Non-Proprietary equipment with onboard diagnostics (no service tool required). Elevator consultants tailored Non-Proprietary project specifications in response to the clients’ growing preference. It became increasingly common to see specifications for equipment that would be, “Serviceable and Maintainable by any qualified elevator maintenance provider capable of maintaining apparatus of similar design and complexity.”
In today’s market, high quality, reliable state-of-the-art Proprietary elevator control equipment is available from highly respected companies like Fujitec, KONE, Mitsubishi, Otis, Schindler, and ThyssenKrupp.
Branch offices, operated by OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturers), install this equipment. “Factory/IUEC trained” technicians ensure that every project meets the manufacturer’s demanding standards for quality and performance. Long-term maintenance agreements further extend the manufacturer’s reliability commitment to the building owner.
These OEM systems require the use of a Proprietary electronic service tool. Restricted access prevents unauthorized or untrained personnel from servicing, maintaining or adjusting this equipment.
With MCE Non-Proprietary elevator controls, diagnostics are built in, so no external tool is required. As a result, the building owner is assured of the right to select and retain maintenance providers based on customer satisfaction, not access to a service tool.
MCE offers high-quality factory technical training to all. As a result, the pool of qualified, experienced factory trained installation and maintenance technicians is quite large. In most cities, it includes many independent contractor and OEM branch employees, who routinely install and maintain MCE Non-Proprietary equipment. As defined, Non-Proprietary equipment includes the availability of replacement and spare parts, not on an “exchange-only” basis, but for inventory as desired by the maintaining Contractor and Building Owner.
Extensive customer care and support is a differentiating characteristic of MCE Non-Proprietary equipment. A team of over 35 people includes telephone hotline support technicians. Availability of field technicians provides a seamless line of support up to and including the customer’s site, as needed. Particularly difficult problems can quickly be escalated to members of the original product design/engineering team.
Since Non-Proprietary equipment is characterized by the notable absence of constraints, spare and replacement manuals and job drawings are always available.
It is the Commitment, Not the Equipment that differentiates Non-Proprietary from Proprietary. Contractors, manufacturers and elevator professionals suggest that all elevator control systems are basically Proprietary in nature, by virtue of their design.
The degree of Proprietary Restraint can be measured by the ability of service companies other than the original control manufacturer to maintain the equipment – and the degree of Proprietary restraint within distribution and support channels.
Freedom of choice is the reason most often mentioned by building owners when specifying Non-Proprietary elevator control equipment. The ability to select from among competitive maintenance providers, if necessary, ensures the sound financial future increasingly in demand by decision makers. The MCE Bill of Rights for Building Owners establishes performance standards against which all equipment can be measured for freedom from Proprietary restraint.
A variety of approaches have been used when writing specifications in order to ensure that the equipment provided is Non-Proprietary. Some of these include: