Russ Ward

Non-Proprietary Elevator Parts Matter

Non-proprietary parts matter. However, often times non-proprietary parts are over looked, not considered or just not understood. So, let’s start from the beginning. What’s the definition of non-proprietary elevator parts and how can they solve problems regarding your elevator choice.

Non-proprietary elevator parts matter more than you think.

Generally, proprietary elevator parts are components produced, marketed and controlled under exclusive legal rights of the manufacturer. The manufacturer has no obligation to share any information about the part or component, how it functions, how it operates, how it can be repaired or used to adjust or improve the overall functioning of an elevator unless it is contractually obligated to do so.

Non-proprietary on the other hand, means there are no restrictions to the use or what company can repair or improve the functionality of the elevator. 

Well that was a mouthful. The definition can be reduced to a more simple, proprietary elevator parts are ones that only the manufacturer can repair or use in a repair or maintenance of an elevator. Non-proprietary opens the door to any qualified and licensed elevator professional. 

An even more concise characterization is, proprietary bad; non-proprietary good.

But why? Why are proprietary parts to be avoided when looking at elevator purchases.

Here’s a good list of Non-proprietary benefits:

  • Better access to parts overall. Depending on the part they can be sourced from several manufacturers based on availability. When you get locked in to a specific elevator company you lose that ability. 
  • Faster repairs. Non-proprietary elevator parts allows you shop fixes, installers, maintenance programs and even who repairs your elevator in times of emergencies. 
  • Lower maintenance costs. Because you can shop your maintenance to other companies, you can lower what you pay. If you go with a company that has proprietary parts, even if you try a different maintenance company, you are still forever linked with the producer of the elevator. Costs are higher.  
  • Freedom to choose repair companies based on trust. You choose a local elevator company for repairs and maintenance based off customer satisfaction and reputation not because you are required to. You are never just stuck.
  • Often times elevator diagnostics is the reason given for choosing proprietary. However, non-proprietary elevator equipment has diagnostics built into the system, which removes the requirement of needing a special access.
  • Non-proprietary elevator equipment is relatively open, spare parts, replacement manuals, and technical drawing are always available as well as 24 hour support. 

There is No Reason Not To

There are limited arguments against choosing an elevator that has non-proprietary parts over proprietary. When non-proprietary options were first available, there was a short time that they were considered inferior due to their recent emergence.

That thinking is no longer a concern. There is a decades long track record now that shows reliability and durability for non-proprietary components. Keep in mind that all elevator components and elevator operations are subject to elevator codes, inspections, and parts must pass rigorous testing before they would ever be allowed in an elevator. 

Also, much of the functionality that proprietary elevators could boast of is now available with non-proprietary units.

Too many times we receive calls from individuals that are dissatisfied with their current maintenance supplier. They are sometimes unresponsive, operate at their own pace with little concern for the end user or the building owner and often lack availability of parts or tools with many on back order. With proprietary parts you lose the ability to find solutions to the problems you are facing. 

This was illustrated in a recent article regarding elevator repair delays. A lack of parts was the cause for denying people mobility and access. You can help shorten that time of repair if you chose for your next project an elevator without proprietary parts. If you want to know more about us, just click one of the buttons below. We would love to talk to you about your next elevator project.

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