25 Jul 2024


UK-developed elevator drive ‘will change the industry’

Invertek’s new drives have been designed in collaboration with the elevator industry

The Welsh drives-maker, Invertek has developed a product that, it believes, will redefine elevator motor controls. It describes its new Optidrive Elevator Core variable-speed drive – unveiled at the recent Interlift 2023 trade show in Germany – as “a breakthrough in elevator motor control technology, providing unprecedented size, functionality, and power”.

Invertek created a dedicated design, innovation, and technical team to work on the new “industry-changing” VSD for both geared and gearless elevator applications.

The drive offers easy installation, configuration, and commissioning, for example including USB-C connectors that will allow users to configure and power up the drive from a mobile phone or tablet, eliminating the need for mains power. The USB-C ports will also allow rapid sharing of data and analytics.

A built-in data (flight) recorder can be accessed without needing mains power, offering convenience and flexibility in awkward elevator shaft environments.

A universal encoder module, suitable for all encoders, eliminates the need for additional components. It is future-proofed for forthcoming encoder releases, and its digital operation reduces motor noise and torque ripple.

The drives offers 10KHz full-current operation at 50°C, resulting in silent motor operation, especially during installation. The compact drives have smaller frames size for high outputs. No de-rating is required, eliminating the need to purchase higher power ratings than necessary. Internal EMC filters eliminate the need for external filters.

Justin Walker, Invertek’s elevator product manager, says that the new drive is the result of close collaboration with the elevator industry. “From size to layout, every aspect of this drive, physically and from a user interface perspective, has been meticulously crafted for the elevator sector. The ability to power up the drive with just a mobile phone and an off-the-shelf USB-C cable provides a reliable connection for easy access to the drives settings and on-board diagnostic tools.

“The USB-C also gives access to a user-definable flight recorder which allows sharing of drive and motor operating conditions, travel information and other key data points for analysis and to help troubleshoot,” he adds. “The data can also be directly shared from a mobile device to product support teams globally.

A QR code on the front of the drive provides access to support tools to help users from installers to maintenance engineers. The Core Assist tools include documentation, application guidance documents, videos, and a trip code troubleshooter wizard.

The exterior design was also carefully considered to ensure ease of installation, with features such as a large keypad for use when wearing gloves and compact, in-shaft mounting, colour-coded terminal connectors to minimise mis-wiring, as well as segregated cable positioning for simpler wiring.

“We looked at every element of the process and designed a product that fits the unique challenges faced by engineers in real-world elevator installations,” says Michael Thomas, Invertek’s head of product design.


According to Rhydian Welson, the company’s director of sales and marketing, the new drive will act as the foundation for a new generation of VSDs from Invertek.

“The European elevator industry is expected to expand by 4.75% until 2029, with significant investments in public and private infrastructure, including the renovation and refurbishment of existing buildings that use vertical transportation,” he adds. “This will result in the installation of around 7.25 million new elevator units by 2029.

“There is also a push to include elevators in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive to meet the EU’s targets,” Welson continues. “As a result, modern motor control technology capable of providing safe, smooth, reliable, and energy-efficient transportation is needed.

“The Invertek Drives team has created a class-leading drive for both new and retrofitted projects. It is future-proofed and comes with unparalleled features. This is the future of elevator motor control technology.”

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