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The Performance-Based Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators ASME A17.7/CSA B44.7

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Dirk Schroeter, Carsten Schumann

A chance for Manufacturers to implement new Elevator Technology in North America

O Attracts attention from your potential customers O Product is backed by the reputation of certification body such as TÜV SÜD America Inc. O Uses a defined process for increased acceptance of your products by the various AHJs tured application of the Global Essential Safety Requirements (GESRs) for Elevators, derived from ISO/TS 22 559-1. The manufacturer of elevators or elevator components must show with his Code Compliance Documents, which are reviewed and examined through a Certification Process with an Accredited Elevator/Escalator Certification Organization (AECO) that applicable GESRs are met and an equivalent or higher level of safety as required in ASME A17.1/CSA B44 is reached. Figure 1 shows the ASME A17.7/ CSA B44.7 Certification Process and clarifies the tasks of involved parties.

Background to ASME A17.7/CSA B44.7

The prescriptive safety code for elevators and escalators, ASME A17.1/CSA B44, covers the design, construction, installation, operation, testing, inspection, maintenance, alteration, and repair of elevators, dumbwaiters, escalators, moving walks, and material lifts for North America and other parts of the world using this code. If a manufacturer wants to place an elevator on the market, he needs the acceptance of an Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). To get the acceptance for an elevator which deviates from the prescriptive safety code for elevators and escalators, the manufacturer must go through the variance process with the respective AHJ. This process would need to be repeated with every AHJ where the elevator would be installed. Which AHJ needs to be involved depends on the state/province, country, or city of North America. Furthermore, the various AHJs adopt different versions of ASME A17.1/CSA B44. Because the code only addressed technology that already existed, manufacturers needed a process to introduce new technology that was universally acceptable to the AHJs. To alleviate this problem and make it easier to introduce alternate technology, the National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII) identified the need for a new safety code for elevators to provide a uniform structural approach to effectively evaluate the safety of new products. In 2007, ASME A17.7/CSA B44.7, the new performancebased safety code (PBC) for elevators and escalators, was published. The PBC describes an objective and structured method for establishing an equivalent level of safety for elevator systems, subsystems, components, or functions which deviates from ASME A17.1/CSA B44, the prescriptive safety code for elevators and escalators, to implement new technology quicker, but with an equivalent or higher level of safety.

Certification Process according to ASME A17.7/CSA B44.7

The approach of ASME A17.7/CSA B44.7 for establishing safety is based on a struc-


Options for establishing safety

Fulfills entirely


Fulfills parts of (list of deviations)


Fulfills entirely


Description of the Safety Assessment Subject Identification and Implementation GESRs Perform a Risk Assessment and mitigate risks Create a Code Compliance Document (CCD) Request for Quote / Application of Certification


TÜV SÜD America

TÜV SÜD America (AECO)

Certification Process Certificate

Conformity Assessment Process Certificate of Conformance


Benefits for a manufacturer include:

Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)


O Easier product placement into the North American market O Application of new, innovative, safe, and efficient technology in North America 8

Figure 1

... Manufacturer tasks ... TÜV SÜD America tasks ... AHJ tasks


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Generally there are three options for establishing safety: Option 1 to fulfill entirely ASME A17.1/CSA B44 (the conventional process used by satisfying all applicable requirements of ASME A17.1/ CSA B44), Option 2 to fulfill parts of ASME A17.1/CSA B44 and conform to applicable requirements of ASME A17.7/CSA B44.7 for the deviation(s), and Option 3 to fulfill entirely the PBC ASME A17.7/CSA B44.7.

After an Applicability Check of the manufacturer's application, TÜV SÜD America reviews the Code Compliance Documents (CCD) created by the manufacturer, which shall include an overall description of the elevator system, sub-system, component, or function, a list of deviation(s) to the requirements of ASME A17.1/CSA B44 (Option 2), a list of considered GESRs, the risk assessment report, and the technical documentation needed to demonstrate that all identified risks were estimated, evaluated, and eliminated or mitigated. The CCD is needed to conform to ASME A17.7/CSA B44.7 and enable the verification of conformance. Furthermore, the AECO could accept previously performed tests (if applicable) and/or develop a test plan of additional tests deemed to be necessary with witnessing the testing, and evaluate the test results to verify conformance. After reviewing and careful evaluation of the final CCD by a TÜV SÜD expert and the verification of the product or function at the place of the manufacturer, TÜV SÜD America Inc. will issue a Certificate of Conformance. TÜV SÜD America will then audit the process in ongoing annual surveillances to verify that the certified equipment is being manufactured and installed to the requirements defined in the CCD and Certificate. To identify the parts being subjected to the ASME A17.7/CSA B44.7 certification process, these parts need to bear the AECO certification mark.

The Conformity Assessment Process of TÜV SÜD America as an AECO

About TÜV SÜD America as an AECO

TÜV SÜD America is an Accredited Elevator Certification Organization (AECO) to ASME A17.7/CSA B44.7, holding accreditation through both the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) since 2009.

About the authors Dirk Schroeter is the Product Manager for TÜV SÜD America's Industry Service Division. He is an AECO Technical Certifier and a member of the ASMEA17 New Technology Committee.

Carsten Schumann is an Engineer, an AECO Project Engineer, and a Notified Body Expert for the European Lift Directive for Industry Service at TÜV SÜD America.



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