Oleo Test FacilityAfter two years of research and development, and an investment in excess of £1.5 million (US $2.4M), UK energy absorption technology firm Oleo International has had its new HSL 115 and HSL 72 high speed elevator buffers certified to recognized industry standards. This means that these buffers, an enabling technology for the installation of high speed elevators into ultra high-rise buildings which are now moving towards heights of 1km, are readily available worldwide. Oleo has already received orders in excess of £1 million (US $1.6M) for these products.

Oleo’s HSL range is available in multi-stage heights and is compatible with elevator speeds of up to 20 metres per second (65 feet) and higher. The project has been years in the making with Oleo specialist engineers carrying out extensive R&D at its plant in the UK.

The buffers, which are positioned at the bottom of elevator shafts, are designed to provide a vital safety mechanism for elevator systems. While the company already designs, manufactures and installs buffers that support elevator speeds of 11.62m/s (41.6km/h – 25.8mph), until now, technology and equipment has not been available to cope with speeds in excess of 20m/s (72 km/h – 44.6mph).

This new buffer range is an important development for the elevator industry, helping to make it possible to build even taller buildings and faster elevators. This certification comes at a time when other companies in the industry have also pushed the boundaries, notably Kone with the introduction of their UltraRope and Hitachi who have released plans for installation of the world’s fastest elevator.

Jamie Pratt, Managing Director of the Elevator Division at Oleo said ins a statement: “This certification is an important process in the development of the HSL range and it ensures that our buffers are approved to the highest safety standards recognized and required by our working partners across the globe”.

Oleo’s HSL buffer range has been designed in response to the increase in the construction of skyscrapers and the need to enable efficient and faster movement of larger numbers of people. In order to ensure the buffers meet worldwide safety regulations, the company also designed and constructed its own test tower at its Coventry site. This dedicated test tower is the tallest such facility in the world, measuring 33 meters tall and it is set to be unveiled in an official ceremony later this year. Oleo already supplies its existing range of elevator buffers to all major elevator manufacturers such as Hitachi, Kone, Mitsubishi, Otis, Schindler, ThyssenKrupp and Toshiba and its high speed range is set to fill a gap in the global market to enable the construction of even taller buildings and faster elevators.

Key to the unique technical advancements in Oleo’s design is the shift from a single phase construction to two and four stage telescopic buffers. The multi-stage feature minimizes the stroke and overall height of the buffer allowing for an easier and more cost effective installation process by saving critical space in the elevator shaft.