21st Century Upgrade

The old traction machines

In this Project Spotlight, the Banco Central do Brasil tower gets a modernization of a VT system more than three decades old.

With their building’s elevators more than 30 years old, property managers at the Banco Central do Brasil (Central Bank of Brazil) regional o–ce in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, turned to Villarta Equipamentos del Elevação, Ltda, for advice on improving

service of the building’s vertical- transportation (VT) system. Upon inspection, it was determined that an immediate modernization of the building’s eight, 14-stop elevators was needed. The old units were installed in the early 1980s and used technology that had long since been surpassed.

We recommended moving to digital technology, which made it necessary to upgrade the electrical system, including control panels, machine rooms, hoistway equipment, cabling, door operators and panels. In addition, new hall signalization and buttons were included. Indicators were modernized with new components.

Scope of Services

Villarta administered and programmed the execution of the project, coordinating and acquiring building materials, parts, installation materials, consumables, tools, instruments, accessories, components, and the software and hardware for system monitoring and management. We also provided assembly, installation, testing and training.

The modernization would improve security, accuracy, reliability and comfort, while reducing energy consumption. New dispatch logic, control and monitoring of the computerized system allow scheduling programming, performance of maintenance, operation of equipment and enhanced accessibility.

Machine Room

In the machine room, all components not being reused were removed, and the floor was cleaned and painted gray. Machine-room walls were painted white, and new lighting and electrical outlets were installed. We raised all wiring overhead and passed it through the wiring board from the power cabinet to the cabling entrance. New gearless traction machines with electromechanical brakes and pulley guards were mounted, and new traction cables were installed. Bright-yellow safety bands were painted around the machines and speed limiters.


The counterweight frame was checked for corrosion and cracking, and all bolts were retightened. Guide rails were closely inspected, especially the brackets, screws and welds. Sections that showed damage or excessive wear were replaced. Hoistway lighting was replaced.

Retained hoistway components were thoroughly cleaned and repainted with enamel.


The cars were provided with new, stainless-steel doors with new operators containing motors, open-door contacts, machine assemblies, closed-door contacts and electromechanical lock drive assemblies. Cab interiors received aesthetic modernization, including granite flooring. Load-limiting devices were installed to prevent elevator operation in an overloaded state. New air- circulation fans were installed. On the car top, new sheave guards were installed. New traveling cables, with coaxial video wires, were included.


New stainless-steel landing operating panels were installed: two buttons on intermediate floors and single buttons on top and bottom landings. New, digital position indicators were mounted on every landing. Landing doors were replaced with center-opening, sanded stainless-steel doors.

All the hall stations have both visual (lighted) and audible (adjustable, 35-65 dB) signaling. We installed audible directional signals, with one chime for up and two for down. Voice synthesizers sounding from one side of each cabin were installed. Each car operating panel includes Firefighter’s Operation Phase I emergency recall, open and close push buttons, attendant service direction-change control, a stop button so the elevator will not accept external calls when in attendant service and an attendant service key switch.

Hall doors were replaced with new, center-opening sanded stainless-stell doors.

Monitoring System

The monitoring system allows users to cancel or enable internal calls. The system was installed with all necessary hardware, software and infrastructure for remote monitoring and operation. Also included are functions for printed and video reports that log the operation of the elevators. The monitoring application connects to the controllers though a local area network or remotely using the internet. The monitor system provides a graphical representation of the building-transportation groups, allowing their activity and status to be quickly and easily viewed.

Monitoring was required for eight elevators, and the contract called for three access points: one for monitoring only, and two that offered monitoring and operation modes. Monitor-system users can click on a connection set, which automatically establishes communication with all groups in the set and displays their associated hoistways and cars on the computer screen. The user can register car and hall calls, control many group security functions, and enable or disable certain operating modes, among other capabilities.

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Elevator World | May 2019 Cover