When talking about elevators, escalators, and automatic building doors it’s sometimes necessary to use technical terms and acronyms, so we’ve created a handy glossary to help you make sense of them. Click on a word or phrase to see the definition.


  • An arrangement of suspension ropes in which the car speed and rope speed are equal.

  • An arrangement of suspension ropes in which the car speed is one half the rope speed.

  • Electrical power supply that provides 3-phase alternating voltage.

  • A device or system that controls access to an elevator or building.

  • The door on the main entrance side. See also C-door.

  • A system that allows car doors to start opening before the car is fully stopped on the landing. Doors start opening when the elevator car is in the door zone and the speed has decreased below the limit allowed by the safety code.

  • A series of automatic doors for elevators, based on interchangeable components. Suitable for use in most elevator applications.

  • Noise transmitted through the air. In elevators usually generated by the machine, ropes, control panel, doors, guide shoes and other vibrating components.

  • A bell used to call attention and assistance. Operated by a pushbutton inside the car. May be located in the elevator shaft, on a suitable landing, or on the car roof.

  • A button for activating the alarm bell. Also activates voice connection if remote monitoring is used. Located in the car, with additional buttons on the car roof and underneath the car.

  • The time the alarm button must be pressed until the signal is registered.

  • A signal generated by pushing the alarm button.

  • A floor where the elevator announcer operates.

  • A dampening element for reducing noise. Used for instance in car enclosures, door panels or control cabinets.

  • A safety system for stopping the uncontrolled movement of the ascending car.

  • An electric motor where the rotating speed is not exactly fixed to the frequency of the supplied current. The difference between the frequency and rotor speed is called slip. The slip generates the motor torque.

  • Automatically opening and closing car door.

  • Automatically opening and closing door.

  • Area of the car measured at a height of 1 m above floor level, disregarding handrails, which is available for passengers or goods during operation of the lift. Any available area in the entrance, when the doors are closed, shall also be taken into account.

  • A situation when there is a weight of 30-50 % of the rated load (depending on the dimensioning principle) in the elevator car and the counterweight and car weights are equal.

  • The share (in per cent) of the elevator's rated load with which the elevator car and the counterweight are in balance.

  • Mass in counterweight which saves energy by balancing all or part of the mass of the car, car sling and the rated load.

  • A safety barrier on the car roof that prevents from falling to the elevator shaft.

  • A specific range of doors intended for up to 200 000 cycles/year. See also mid duty door and high duty door.

  • Optional device which allows to drive the car with balanced load to the nearest floor.

  • A steel or cast-iron platform on which a machine is placed.

  • A device that is capable of assuming either one or two stable states. It remains in one of the states until a trigger is applied. It then flips to the other stable state and remains there until another trigger is applied. See also mono-stable switch.

  • A mechanical safety device to block the car during installation and maintenance.

  • A steel rod in e.g. the blocking device which, when slid into the hole in the blocking plate, blocks the car.

  • A steel plate with holes in the blocking device. The blocking pin is slid into the holes.

  • The clear vertical distance from the pit floor to the lowest structural or mechanical part, equipment or device installed beneath the elevator car platform, except guide shoes or rollers, safety gear assemblies and platform aprons or guards, when the car rests on its fully compressed buffers. See also safety space.

  • The lowest floor in a building.

  • The lowest landing in a building that elevator serves.

  • An electro-mechanical device used to prevent the elevator from moving when the car is at rest and no power is applied to the hoist machine. On some types of control it also brings the car to a stop when power is removed from the hoist machine.

  • The vertical force which stops the car as a result of safety gear operation. See also gripping force.

  • A plate under the car sling where the buffer hits.

  • Lowering of the building as a result of sinking to the ground or shrinkage of the concrete.

  • Personnel and equipment for supervising technical systems in a building (climatisation, heating, elevators, access control etc.).

  • Defines the tolerances for the nominal dimensions of the elevator shaft, pit, machine room, raw openings etc.

  • Features that are included in the basic product.

  • A feature that makes the elevator car to bypass the registered landing calls when the car is recognised to be loaded over a certain limit. Usually the limit is 60...80 % of the rated load.

  • A place where alarms and emergency calls are received. People and computers handle the information.

  • Controller Area Network. Bus systems which interconnect intelligent automation equipment in a peer-to-peer network. Notable application are the bus systems used in motor vehicles and in synchronising electrical drives.

  • The car floor area inclusive door sill area depending on rated load / number of passengers as specified by the safety code.

  • A device designed to stop a descending car beyond its normal limit of travel by storing or by absorbing and dissipating the kinetic energy of the car.

  • A device having two related and interdependent functions: (1) to prevent (electrically) the operation of the hoist machine unless the car door is locked in the closed position, (2) to prevent (mechanically) the opening of a car door from the car side unless the elevator car is in the door zone and is either stopped or being stopped.

  • A battery powered light in the elevator car to serve as emergency light during power failure.

  • Guide rails used to direct the travel of an elevator car in an elevator shaft.

  • All visible elements inside the elevator car.

  • The car interior lighting.

  • A function which prevents the use of an elevator when the car light voltage supply fails.

  • The actual load inside the elevator car (passengers and goods). See also rated load.

  • The user interface for passengers inside the elevator car. Includes car call buttons, alarm button, door open button etc.

  • A set of devices to detect and inform passengers of an overload in the elevator car. Triggers the car overload indicator.

  • A mechanical device usually attached to the car sling, and designed to stop the elevator car in the event the car exceeds the allowed speed.

  • The car structure excluding the separate (non-integrated) interior elements.

  • The internal front-to-back dimension of the car shell without decorative elements.

  • The height measured from the unfinished floor to the lowest edge of the roof.

  • The internal side-to-side dimension of the car shell without decorative elements.

  • The lower horizontal member of an elevator car entrance.

  • The supporting frame of the elevator car, to which the guide shoes, safety gear and hoisting ropes or hydraulic cylinder is attached.

  • A device, or group of devices, which serves to control, in a predetermined manner, the apparatus to which it is connected. An elevator controller consists of drive and control functions.

  • The core elevator contains the pre-engineered basic components of the elevator: hoisting system, control function, drive system, car superstructure, core door system and passenger safety equipment. Accessories and decorative elements (including signalisation) are not specified.

  • A range of pre-engineered core elevators that make up the product family.

  • A component which ensures traction between the traction sheave and the suspension ropes and which comprises a set of weights to balance the weight of the car and a proportion of the load in the car often taken as 50 % of the rated load.

  • The travelling area of the counterweight in the elevator pit, isolated by a counterweight screen.

  • A predefined way of operation in which the elevator runs in a certain situation. Modes include for example normal drive, inspection drive and setup drive.

  • In rope elevators, the technical solution to provide energy to the hoisting motor and regulate its speed. In hydraulic elevators it controls the pump and the valves.

  • An elevator car with two entrances.

  • Optional structural and functional properties to protect the passengers and the elevator against damages caused by an earthquake.

  • A part of the elevator which carries the passengers and/or other loads.

  • The devices and functional principles for executing the calls and commands given by the passengers.

  • An elevator group consists of two or more elevators which are sharing the same landing call buttons (and running under the same group controller). See also elevator bank.

  • The space in which the car and the counterweight, if there is one, travels; this space is usually bounded by the bottom of the pit, the walls and the ceiling of the shaft.

  • The momentary speed of the elevator car in the elevator shaft. Not the same as rated speed.

  • An emergency system installed on all cars, which comprises of a bell, a pushbutton in the car and an uninterruptible source of power, usually a battery.

  • An option where one nominated elevator is allowed to be removed from normal group service for firemen's use.

  • A landing door assembly that does not cover the whole width of the elevator shaft. See also narrow frame type door and front type door.

  • A landing door assembly that covers the whole width of the elevator shaft raw opening.

  • An elevator equipped to carry goods, forklift trucks etc.

  • An elevator mainly intended for the transport of goods, which are generally accompanied by persons.

  • Steel sections with smooth guiding surfaces. The section profile is usually "T" shaped (machined, cold drawn or roll molded). Guide rails are installed in an elevator shaft to guide and direct the travel of an elevator car and its counterweight.

  • A hand hold support in an elevator car.

  • Part of the elevator shaft between the topmost finished floor level and the ceiling of the shaft.

  • The equipment required to move the elevator car and counterweight. A defined combination of equipment required for a range of loads, rated speeds, acceleration and travel heights.

  • A temporary elevator system incorporating a movable machine room. Developed to provide a fully operational elevator service during the construction period of a building. The machine room fits on to the same guide rails as the elevator car and is pinned to the building fabric by retractable needles. As the building grows in height, so the guide rail system is lengthened and the movable machine room elevatored upwards to serve the additional new floors.

  • A KONE axial synchronous motor design with permanent magnets in rotor.

  • The floor area in front of the elevator entrance.

  • A door in the opening of an elevator shaft. Provides safe access to the elevator car.

  • An assembly that includes the landing doors and any architectural finishes associated with the entrance to the elevator shaft.

  • A room where the elevator machine and some electrification and control system components are located. Usually located above the elevator shaft.

  • A contactor which switches the power to the hoisting motor if 1) there is a need to run the elevator car and 2) the electric safety chain is complete (closed).

  • The floor providing the main access to a building.

  • The devices that provide power to the elevator. Also known as mains.

  • A part of the elevator control system, including the user-interface intended for serviceman and switches, fuses and brake release lever.

  • A specified range of use, refers to the intermediate performance category. See also low duty, high duty.

  • A system used with automatic door operation which will give a warning signal and close the doors at a reduced speed and torque. Nudging is activated if the door remains open longer than a predetermined time.

  • A key operated switch which is used to take the elevator out of normal use.

  • A device which, when the elevator attains a predeterminated speed, causes the elevator to stop, and if necessary causes the safety gear to be applied.

  • A feature for a single elevator or an elevator group. With this feature, an elevator receives a signal to always return to a pre-selected landing after all the car or landing calls have been completed.

  • A wide set of features and usability issues that have an influence on the passengers' convenience or inconvenience when using the elevator. For example: decoration, signalisation, entering or exiting, waiting times, ride comfort and so on.

  • An elevator primarily used to carry passengers.

  • A portion of the elevator shaft extending from the sill level of the lowest landing to the elevator shaft floor.

  • A method for: a) checking the elevator shaft to ensure that it is constructed according to the requirements and b) determining the correct position of the components.

  • Power factor defines the ratio between true power and apparent power. The power factor of a circuit is calculated based on a formula: pf = P / S, (kW / kVA).

  • The load for which the equipment has been built. See also car load.

  • An emergency alarm system working over a distance.

  • Ride comfort of an elevator is defined in terms of noise level, vertical vibration, lateral quaking, acceleration / deceleration rate, and jerk.

  • A mechanical safety device attached to the car frame, and in some circumstances to the counterweight frame also. The device acts to stop and hold an overspeeding car or counterweight through the use of clamping jaws closing around the guide rails. The device is activated by the speed governor.

  • A steel plate fixed on the shaft wall below the landing door sill and above the landing door to reduce the distance between the car door sill and shaft wall.

  • Decorative and protective element at the bottom of the car wall.

  • The load that includes the weights of raw car, car interior, car door(s), rated load and car sling with all accessories. The weight does not include suspension ropes, compensation ropes or chains, rope compensation device, travelling cable or counterweight.

  • The ropes suspending the elevator car and counterweight. Not the same as hoisting rope.

  • An elevator drive mode in which the elevator drives downwards until it reaches a deceleration or synchronisation switch.

  • List of data that defines elevator platforms in DL-documents.

  • A predefined set of core components that forms the core elevator.

  • The top or bottom landing served by an elevator car.

  • An elevator car with two or more entrances.

  • An elevator with entrances on two opposite sides of the elevator shaft.

  • A safety test to ensure that there is correct amount of friction between the suspension ropes and the traction sheave.

  • Three elevators in a group.

  • A system that provides two-way voice communication between the elevator and KONE service center.


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