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Understanding 2024's Maintenance Control Plan (MCP) by BCA Singapore: A Simplified Guide for Lift Owners

Adrian ChiewApr 12, 2024
Understanding 2024's Maintenance Control Plan (MCP) by BCA Singapore: A Simplified Guide for Lift Owners

The Maintenance Control Plan (MCP) by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) of Singapore is a crucial document you need to have as a lift owner. Consider it as a comprehensive playbook to guide you through the life cycle of your lifts.

The MCP outlines specific criteria for replacement of critical parts,while including a plan for lift modernisation. It also highlights condition assessment for ageing lifts. Having such vital information helps you confidently manage the entire lifespan of your lifts.

The development and ownership of the MCP lies with you, the lift owner. More importantly,  the MCP serves as a guide for both the owner and the lift service contractor to have a common understanding and agreement on the criteria for parts replacement and modernisation. It’s to also allow lift owners to budget in advance for mandatory safety-critical parts that may be costly to replace. You can think of this as a team effort where each member brings their unique expertise to the table to ensure your lift runs smoothly and safely.

The Impact of 2024 MCP Guidelines on Your Lift Maintenance Routine

You may be wondering, how will these 2024 MCP guidelines impact your lift maintenance routine? Let's break it down.

At the core of the MCP is a shift towards a life cycle approach to lift maintenance. This approach includes not only regular lift maintenance, but the criteria and recommended schedule for replacement of parts. The MCP also includes a plan for the rejuvenation of ageing lifts with obsolete components. As the lift owner, these changes mean that you'll be working even more closely with your lift service contractor to keep the lift in optimum condition.

It's important to understand that maintenance will go beyond reactive measures. You'll need to factor in preventive and predictive maintenance strategies. This forward-planning approach aims to increase the reliability and longevity of your lift, while reducing the likelihood of sudden breakdowns and costly repairs.

In simple terms, the 2024 MCP guidelines are your roadmap to improved efficiency, safety, and better financial planning. They are about pre-empting issues, planning ahead for replacement of critical components and budgeting well in advance for future lift modernisation and rejuvenation programmes.

The Importance of MCP for Lift Owners in Singapore

If you own a lift in Singapore, it's crucial and your duty to keep it running smoothly and safely. But why is the MCP so important?

  1. Comprehensive Management: The MCP guides lift owners in managing the various aspects of their lifts, from regular maintenance, criteria for parts replacement to early budgeting for lift modernisation programmes. This ensures a smooth and efficient operation for the entire lifespan of the lift

  2. Safety Assurance: Safety is critical in lift operations, and the MCP outlines the various safety elements and criteria for replacing major critical components for mechanical and electrical/electronic Parts. This helps owners uphold the highest safety standards and take pre-emptive measures to prevent major lift incidents from happening.

  3. Well-coordinated Collaboration: Preparing the MCP involves collaboration between lift owners and their lift service contractors. This fosters understanding and teamwork, avoids disagreement and ambiguity, leading to improved performance and reliability of lifts.

Decoding the 2024 MCP Guidelines for Lift Owners

Let's delve deeper into the benefits of the 2024 MCP guidelines for lift safety. With a focus on modernising older lifts and managing maintenance challenges, the updated guidelines contribute toward reducing the disparity between existing and latest lift technologies.

At the heart of the 2024 MCP guidelines is a detailed elaboration on safety-critical components of a lift and their respective replacement criteria. These components are categorised into two main groups: Major Mechanical Parts and Major Electrical Electronic Parts.

Major Mechanical Parts

  • Brake: Essential for stopping the lift car at the precise floor level

  • Sheave: Helps in directing and moving the lift ropes

  • Ropes, Car Door, and Landing Door: Integral components ensuring passenger safety during transit

  • Ascending Car Overspeed Protection (ACOP): Critical for preventing overspeeding in the upwards direction

  • Uncontrolled Car Movement Protection (UCMP):  Critical for preventing unintended car movement

  • Buffer, Governor, and Safety Gear: Key role in controlling the car's speed and ensuring a halt during emergencies

Major Electrical Electronic Parts

  • Safety Switches: To stop the lift operation during the detection of abnormal lift behavior.

  • Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS): A battery-powered backup system that will be activated during a power failure emergency.

  • Light Curtain: An important feature to ensure the safe entry and exit of passengers

  • Controller: The lift’s control center, managing its operations

  • Printed Circuit Board (PCB): Vital components in the lift’s electronic system.

Adhering to the 2024 MCP guidelines will result in improved lift performance, efficiency and enhance the lift safety. The guidelines not only educate lift owners on the best practices but also promote uniformity in maintenance standards across the industry.

Replacement Criteria for Safety-Critical Components

When considering the replacement criteria for safety-critical components, it's important to distinguish between measurable and non-measurable components. Keeping this distinction in mind is crucial for maintaining the integrity of your lift and the safety of its passengers.

Measurable Components

Measurable components are those whose condition can be physically quantified or gauged. This category primarily includes components like the diameter of the wire rope and the thickness of the brake pad.

Non-Measurable Components

Non-measurable components refer to parts whose performance can't be gauged physically. For instance, electrical and electronic components fall into this category. Although it is challenging to determine their condition by physical inspection, neglecting their regular check-up may lead to unexpected, total breakdowns of the system. Therefore, adopting a pre-emptive approach by following the manufacturers' guidelines for time-based replacement is good practice.

A Two-Stage Replacement Approach

The two-stage replacement approach starts with 'Triggering of Indentation'. At this initial stage, once there is an indication of part wear and tear or potential failure, an order should be placed for the part in question.

Given the ongoing challenge of parts obsolescence and shipment delays, particularly with older lifts, it is crucial to source and secure the necessary parts ahead of time. Technological advancements often see the cessation of the production of older parts, making early procurement very important.

The second stage is the 'Procurement of Parts'. It is not merely about securing the part but also includes coordinating for its timely replacement. For example, in the case of brake pads, the first stage would set in motion the ordering and delivery of brake pads. The second stage, then, would be their installation, ensuring continuity in safe lift operations.

So, the objective of this two-stage process is twofold: It addresses the potential challenge of finding replacement parts for older lifts and minimises downtime by preparing ahead for part replacement.

For more specific details, check out suggested replacement criteria in Annexes A and B in the MCP Guide.

Choose only to work with registered lift service contractors

While as a lift owner, you hold primary responsibility for the lift's upkeep, it is important to remember that lift safety becomes a shared responsibility when you collaborate with a registered lift maintenance company.

Always ensure that your contractor is registered with the BCA, as it ensures a high level of professional competence and adherence to industry regulations. They will be able to provide you with the requisite expertise and practical insights for a comprehensive MCP.

Ensure that your lift service contractor maintains a logbook

The newly introduced MCP guidelines require every lift to possess a unique logbook (electronic versions preferred by MCP) - a critical tool for ensuring regulatory compliance. These logbooks record all maintenance related information which aids in accurate condition assessment of the lift.

Logging detailed maintenance records such as routine component checks, breakdown records, and parts replacements in the logbook helps in effective planning for future maintenance. Recognition of patterns or recurring issues can facilitate proactive maintenance and prevent future similar occurrences of the lift breakdowns.

Timely Preparation: When Should Lift Owners Prepare an MCP?

As a lift owner, it is crucial for you to initiate the preparation of an MCP as early as possible – ideally before the operation of a newly installed lift. If you have an existing operational lift but do not have an MCP, you should start preparing for one now.

This proactive approach is beneficial as it gives you time to assess the condition of your lift, plan your budget for life cycle maintenance and future modernisation efforts. It will also help identify and estimate when critical parts will likely start requiring replacement.

What implications do the 2024 MCP guidelines have for lift maintenance costs?

One key aspect of the MCP guidelines is a focus on life cycle budgeting. This means that the cost of lift maintenance will now need to account for not only immediate repair expenses, but also earlier payments for advanced ordering of obsolete parts, and even budgeting well ahead for future lift modernisation programmes.

It is important to note that this pre-emptive management can save you a sizable  amount of money in the long run, and avoid disruption to the performance and reliability of your lifts.

Do I still follow the MCP guidelines if my lift is more than 15 years old?

The MCP guidelines contain key recommendations catered precisely for older lifts.

The first step is to collaborate with your lift service contractor to identify components of the lift that require modernisation. If there is a big disparity between older design standards and the current requirements, a complete lift replacement may be warranted

The primary goal of any modernisation programme is to rejuvenate the older lifts with modern and technologically-advanced features to enhance the performance and safety of the lifts so as to achieve greater efficiency and reliability. This also significantly prolongs the lifespan of the lift and makes it easier to maintain and lower the overall cost in the long run.

Bearing in mind constant technological advancements, one of the main challenges with older lifts is parts obsolescence. Original parts for these lifts become harder to find as they are gradually phased out of production.

It's thus essential for lift owners to start planning early to address parts obsolescence. This includes budgeting for lift modernisation or even complete lift replacement.

Learn more about how lift modernisation can help you save on lift maintenance costs in the long run.

MCP Guidelines for the Safety of All Lift Users

By keeping abreast with the latest MCP guidelines and aligning your lift maintenance routine accordingly, you can ensure a smooth, safe, and reliable vertical journey for all lift users.

Need more details on the maintenance requirements for lifts? Refer to BCA’s Lift Maintenance Outcome Guidebook and the Good Practices Guide for Lift Owners.

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