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Looking Beyond: GateKeeper™ 3-D Makes Getting to Elevator In Time Easier

It’s already been one of those mornings, and your 8 o’clock started three minutes ago.

You spot an open elevator right away—at the other end of the hall. You hustle to get in, just in time to get your travel mug slammed in the door.

This was not the morning you wanted. It’s not the morning RS Elevator wants you to have, either. That’s why the company began offering the Adams GateKeeper™ 3D infrared light curtain accessory almost since the product first hit the market in January 2007.


Keeping the Door Open


The GateKeeper™ 3D uses a separate sensor that can be retrofit to any door protection system, even electromechanical safety edge units.

What distinguishes the GateKeeper™ 3D from other popular elevator safety devices is not its look, but its vision—a three-dimensional infrared sensing zone that projects down and out from the elevator car and remains stable regardless of door position. That field of vision allows the GateKeeper™ 3D to detect motion in the hallway and allow that much more time for passengers to make it into the elevator—a feature notably absent in older safety devices.

That kind of convenience to people has made the GateKeeper™ 3D an increasingly popular product for RS Elevator Co., an elevator installation, repair and modernization firm based in Los Alamitos, Calif.

“We put this in the County of Orange Courthouse, which has a notorious bank of elevators that go five across,” says Matt Smith, who started RS Elevator 10 years ago with fellow owners Mike Serra and Walt Riess. “By the time somebody got there, inevitably they’d stick their hand in and get it hurt. They wouldn’t get it crushed, but they’d hurt themselves.

“The 3D looks out into the hall, and it’ll see the passenger coming. Therefore, it’ll hold the door open a little bit longer.”

The GateKeeper™ 3D also is able to learn the lay of the land quickly.

After initial installation, the GateKeeper™ 3D will sense a stationary object—say, a trash can, or even 2 people having an impromptu meeting—in its detection zone and keep the elevator door open for a few moments. However, when the GateKeeper™ 3D recognizes that object as static, it ignores it and focuses only on the moving objects nearby.  Additionally, the electronic controls include appropriate logic to minimize nuisance re-opening caused by cross-traffic.  Because the GateKeeper™ 3D is a separate device – yet interfaces with existing 2-D systems – after an initial sequence of door re-openings, if the 2-D light curtain doesn’t sense patrons entering the elevator, the GateKeeper™ 3D concludes the signals are coming from cross-traffic and allows the doors to close.

“The 3D is really the wave of the future if things keep up the way that they’re going, because it’s been safer for the passengers,” Smith says.


Making Installation Easy


RS Elevator generally offers the GateKeeper™ 3D as an add-on to existing GateKeeper™ infrared light curtain systems, which RS has offered for the past five or six years. The GateKeeper™ and GateKeeper™ MAX systems represent a significant upgrade to retractable-gate systems and offer virtually universal voltage compatibility—from 17 to 240V or even 265V VAC/VDC, depending on the product.

However, Smith says that it is the faster installation time for his mechanics that truly sets the GateKeeper™ systems apart from their competitors.

“Installation of the GateKeeper™ is going to take somewhere between six and eight hours, and because you don’t have to run a separate voltage line, it makes it a little bit quicker—an hour or two,” Smith says. “But when you’re talking about an hour or two over 100 of them or so, you’re talking about a lot of time.”

Smith says that the GateKeeper™ 3D takes about an hour for an experienced mechanic to install. Learning time for mechanics installing the standard GateKeeper™ systems has been short, and it’s been no different with the GateKeeper™ 3D, Smith says.

“The learning curve to install [the 3D] was just as quick as it was with the standard GateKeeper™,” Smith notes. “The learning curve to install, after you install the first couple, is just as quick.

“It’s been a terrific product. We’ve had no problems with it at all.”

One other important feature to Smith is the independence of the 3D from the regular door system: If the 3D somehow fails, the GateKeeper™ light curtain itself still works.

“So it works in conjunction with the GateKeeper™—it’s a pretty good product,” Smith says.

Other features of the 3D system include the ability to define and adjust the 3D protection area, which remains constant and active until 50 mm before the door closes. It also comes with all the hardware necessary for surface mounting or flush mounting on the cab transom.

Smith says that Orange County has installed 11 GateKeeper™ 3Ds so far, and that he looks forward to more installations in the near future as people hear about the advantages it has over older technology.

“We are getting calls for them,” Smith says. “We don’t have any more on order right now, but there is definitely a call for them. And the more the public becomes educated about the difference, they’ll definitely go with the 3D.”





3d rendering

The 3D sensor projects the invisible 'cone' of infrared light out onto the landing to detect people and objects approaching the elevator.


door safety kit

Complete with all mounting hardware necessary for either surface-mount or flush-mount installation on cab transom