Lerch Bates Inc. Building Insight

Global Leaders in Technical Consulting for the Building Industry

(GOBS) Going Out of Business Soon

“Non-Proprietary” is a misnomer. “Proprietary” or “Non-Proprietary” is a term that is used improperly in the elevator industry.  Webster defines proprietary as:

  • Ownership of a right to something
  • Protected by copyright
  • Made by a person having special rights

By definition all elevator controls are “proprietary.”  Each manufacturer has ownership of the software code in the controller, their design is protected by patent, and only their company has right to make the product.  This applies to the international elevator companies as well as the local independent control suppliers.  Regardless of the OEM, any changes to the control logic must be done by the original equipment manufacturer.  Honestly this is needed to protect the riding public from an unqualified person making wrong changes to the software code.

So, since all controls are proprietary, the question should really be “Are the controls maintainable by someone other than the manufacturer?”  A “maintainable” controller is one that has:

  • Diagnostic interface
  • Parts Availability
  • Service Support

All available to the Purchaser and/or their selected maintenance company.  When these are denied then the product is non-maintainable and the owner feels hostage to the manufacturer.  But this feeling does not equate to “proprietary” and it should not be projected on all companies making these products.  The captor is simply engaging in bad business practices, and for that our industry needs a new term…I suggest we coin something catchy like “GOBS” (Going Out of Business Soon).

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