Siemens: Automation for the Statue of Liberty

When it retrofitted the Statue of Liberty with a new emergency rescue elevator, Tower Elevator Systems Inc. (Tesi) opted to use an automation solution from the Siemens Industry Automation Division. By using control technology based on the Engineering Framework TIA Portal, rack and pinion elevator specialist Tesi succeeded in reducing the time required for development and commissioning by over 50 percent, saving significant costs.

The special passenger lift constructed for New York’s Statue of Liberty is used by firefighting and emergency service personnel for rescue operations or to provide emergency assistance. Talking about the project, Tesi President Todd Grovatt explained how the “TIA Portal as an integrated work platform for safety-related Siemens control technology used together with the Comfort Panels boosted the efficiency and reliability of the project.” Forming the nerve center of the elevator control system is the Simatic ET200S in a safety-relevant configuration featuring digital input and output modules. All the devices are connected to the Comfort Panels via Profinet or Profibus, allowing diagnostic operations to be simply executed and faults remedied.

To ensure operating safety, aspects such as travel speed and height, emergency stop circuits and the opening and closing of landing and car doors all have to be taken into account. To achieve this, Tesi relies on redundant systems such as safety-relevant controls from Siemens which come with a redundant design as standard. One control system alone is responsible for the emergency stop switches, which it monitors constantly for wire breakage or short circuits, irrespective of whether they are switched on or off. An ingenious laser positioning system continuously monitors the position of the elevator in the shaft and transmits precise position signals to the elevator control system. The hydraulic lowering system is also integrated into the control technology. This ensures that the elevator can be lowered manually to the next landing in case of a power cut and that emergency service personnel can exit safely.

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[info] www.siemens.com/tia-portal [/info]