Momentum e-Newsletter Featured Article
Parametricoder™ Time and Displacement Encoding System
It began with a single idea:
to create a measuring tool
to monitor a third-party contract.
The Parametricoder system started with a need expressed by the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) to measure and record step/pallet tread deflection data under load on escalators and moving walks at the Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) Airport. VTX® found that there was no commercially available tool that would meet the testing requirements. Fortunately, we have staff with the design experience and inventive spirit to develop the required instrumentation and step/pallet loading and were able to address MAA's needs.
True Diagnostic Measurements
Basic recording of the step/pallet deflections under load could have been handled through a variety of means. We applied additional criteria to the development to make sure that the information and services we provided not only met the basic needs but provided additional capabilities that would permit the measurements to be true diagnostic measurements that could monitor changes within the escalators and moving walks over time. We focused on digital measurement and recording from the beginning to allow the data to be reviewed in a variety of ways.
Time and Displacement Encoding System
Invention and creativity occasionally requires a small stroke of fortune. This was the case in the Parametricoder system. The core electronics selected to measure and record the basic data required for BWI opened new opportunities for measurements and data collection well beyond the basic step/ pallet tread deflections. Our team quickly identified other capabilities that could be applied to the vertical transportation field and beyond.
Using these capabilities and developing applications around them resulted in the Parametricoder time and displacement encoding system. The Parametricoder has been successfully used at BWI and other locations to measure the following performance characteristics on escalators and moving walks:
- Measurement of step/pallet tread deflections under an applied load while the escalator or moving walk is operating at full speed.
- Speed measurements of handrails and step/pallet bands for escalators and moving walks to assess performance characteristics and changes within the system.
- Starting and stopping acceleration and deceleration performance for escalators and moving walks.
The Parametricoder system also provides an instrumentation system capable of recording a variety of other time and displacement based measurements that are applicable to the vertical transportation industry.
While the Parametricoder system may not be a major technological invention, we fully believe that it opens new avenues for performance testing and recording in the field. The data and procedures developed behind the system will provide our staff with information that will benefit our Clients both in short-term assessments and long-term evaluations of equipment performance and the effectiveness of preventive maintenance programs.
However, VTX's innovative ideas don't stop there. Currently, our firm has a patent-pending design process for remote monitoring and maintenance management - Oculus Network®.
Oculus Network® – Enhancing Maintenance Effort
Elevators and escalators are key elements; and liability, access, and system availability are key issues for any facility manager. However, some agencies have difficulty determining if their equipment is even running. Some agencies rely solely on complaints from the public to identify a problem within the system.
Our firm designed the Oculus Network, a design process for generic, open-source code remote monitoring and maintenance management for elevators, escalators, pumps, fans, and other equipment (new and existing).
The Oculus Network connects various makes and models of mechanical equipment to a unique alarm and work order management system. This two-way remote monitoring system ties into a sophisticated and smart work order management database permitting access in the field of technical support and documentation.
Corrective work orders are automatically generated for the owner, and a mechanic can be simultaneously dispatched. The information provided to the facility manager and the mechanic is reliable, accurate, specific, and easy to use.
Combining the use of remote monitoring systems with database software, provides managers with information regarding the current condition and operating status of mechanical equipment and results in accurate record keeping of maintenance efforts.
The Oculus Network can be configured to connect various buildingequipment, such as elevators, escalators, blowers, compressors, HVAC equipment, pump stations, or any other electronic-controlleddevice. Fiber, copper, or wireless connections are possibleand can be customized for any location. The Oculus Network is designedto be both scalable and expandable.
Managing equipment in geographically diverse facilities is difficultand often frustrating. It is now possible to connect many differentpieces of equipment and get real time information in alarmsand in the computerized maintenance management system. You canadd more and more equipment to the Oculus Network without purchasingnew software and hardware since there are no additional licensefees to implement the Oculus Network.
We at VTX are more than just consultants; we have an inventive spirit that helps us stand out from our competition. We encourage each of you to pause during the month and reflect on those from our industry whose inventive nature have formed our past and are shaping our future. Celebrate the efforts of the likes of Otis, Seeberger, Reno, and the countless others who's innovation brought us to our present. Thank those among you, as we thank our own staff, whose creative efforts are carrying us all into the future.