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Vertical Platform Lift Glossary of Terms


Vertical Platform Lifts Glossary of Terms

ACME Screw & Nut
A rotating, threaded device that runs the full height of the tower to suspend and drive the platform assembly. Used on RPL units. ACME threads are a special shape that allows them to lift more than regular pointed threads.
A device that emits an 80db noise to alert people nearby lift user needs assistance. This activates when the Emergency Stop button on the control panel is pushed in on CPL units. It has a battery backup so it works even in power outages.
American National Standards Institute – comprised of government agencies, organizations, companies, etc., it represents the interests of over 125,000 companies and their products throughout the US.
ASME A18.1
American Society of Mechanical Engineers – The group responsible for creating and maintaining the ANSI standards. Specifically, A18.1 is the standard for VPL design and installation.
Ball Screw & Nut
A rotating, threaded device that runs the full height of the tower to suspend and drive the platform assembly. Used on CPL units because of its ability to handle greater capacities than ACME drives. These use ball-bearings to transfer the lift load.
Controls used to operate the VPL that are mounted on the upper and lower landing.
Constant Pressure Controls
This describes the need to hold the upper or lower control button for the entire duration of travel. This code requirement assures the operator has total control of the equipment at all times.
Data Plate
A tag on the unit indicating the standards used for testing, the capacity, and other required detailed information.
DC Power
Operation of a lift with batteries as the source of power. This option still requires a 120V AC outlet near the unit in order to charge the batteries, but allows the lift to operate 10-15 trips in the event of a power outage.
Emergency Stop
A button on the platform that allows the user to stop the lift from operating when pressed.
A hoistway constructed around a VPL to prevent anything from getting underneath the platform. Required by code on all commercial platform lift units extending above 60” in lift height.
An independent group that tests to prove the lift is designed safely, meets ANSI standards.
Fascia Panel
A smooth panel that fastens to a wall from the upper landing to the ground eliminating any potential shear points that could occur when the the platform travels up.
Fire Door
A full size, flush mount steel door with a minimum fire rating of 1.5 hours. These include an interlock and are often used in enclosure construction to meet local fire codes.
The total space the tower and platform take up on the concrete pad when installed.
Guard Panels
Protective panels that form the sides of the platform. 36” high on residential platform lifts, 42” high on commercial platform lifts.
Electro-mechanical devices used to lock and monitor the position of doors or gates to make sure a lift cannot operate if the door/gate is open or unlocked.
The Company who provides quarterly inspections and initial testing for ETL Listings.
Key Switch
A small keyed device to provide protection from unapproved use of the VPL. Optional on residential platform lifts and commercial platform lifts.
Limit Switches
Switches inside the lift to automatically stop the unit when you reach the upper/lower landing.
Manual Lowering Device
A device to manually raise or lower the lift in the event of a total power failure.
National Electrical Code. The criteria by which VPL manufacturers must design all electrical circuits to ensure there is no risk of electrical shock or fire.
The horizontal load carrying part of the lift that travels up and down.
Platform Configurations
Multiple entry and exit options including 90º, enter-exit same side, and straight through options.
Platform Gate
A 42” high door attached to the lower landing side of the platform.
Powder Coat
An alternative to paint that is more durable and more environmentally acceptable. Powder coat is applied using electricity to cause the parts to attract the powder, then the finish is baked on.
Ramps (folding/stationary)
An inclined steel plate allowing access onto the platform.
Safety Nut
A device that locks the platform in place in the event of any type of drive system failure.
Safety Pan
A part underneath the platform that stops the unit from running in the down direction should an obstruction be encountered.
Top Landing Gate
A 42” high door attached to the upper landing to preclude anyone from falling through the opening in the handrail or barrier when the VPL platform is not at the upper landing.
The main cabinet machine section of a VPL.

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