4 Myths You Probably Believe About Modular Systems

SnapCab elevator looking into an additional elevator door opening across a lobby hallway

Why should designers and elevator maintenance companies opt for modular systems? Simply because they make remodeling elevators faster, simpler, and more cost effective. However, many misconceptions exist about modular systems – and many designers and maintenance companies assume they won’t find the unique, quality products to match their design aesthetics. Here’s four myths you may have heard about modular systems – ones you definitely shouldn’t believe.

Myth #1: Modular Options Are Cookie Cutter, Dull, And Limited.

A quality manufacturer will design its systems with aesthetic flexibility in mind. From the total creativity of a blank slate to matching specific elements of the building, practically anything is possible. In some circumstances, you’ll be trying to match a specific look from other areas of the building – say, a wood finish matching that of the reception desk. In other instances, you may want the elevator to have a standalone design that complements the rest of the building, but has its own distinct features. In both cases, a modular system can present the optimal solution.

You need not replace the entire cab to get the design results you want; you don’t even need to pick up the phone to call (if you don’t want to). The best interior manufacturers today have comprehensive online showrooms to demonstrate the wide range of available options, as well as qualified personnel at the ready to help maintenance companies match specified designs, or to help architects and designers articulate their creative visions.

Truth: modular systems have options galore and the flexibility to achieve your vision.

Myth #2: You’re Stuck With Exactly What’s In The Catalog Designs.

The models in catalogs have been developed with your aesthetic and functional needs top of mind. But what if you need something a bit different? Some manufacturers can actually modify their catalog designs to meet the unique needs of your design, building, or specification. You can alter or “customize” existing models to include different material options, finishes and even custom images or company logos.
Is this “custom”? Yes and no. Yes because you should be able to work with the manufacturer’s design team to achieve your unique look and feel. No because with experienced modular manufacturers, modifying a catalog option shouldn’t equate to the higher additional costs typically associated with fully-customized products.

But will customizing the catalog derail your deadline? Panels and other “customized” elements are made-to-order, but, if the manufacturer uses a Lean manufacturing methodology, they should have reliably quick lead times to deliver your system on schedule.

Truth: Not only can you customize catalog designs, you can do so while staying on budget and on schedule.

Myth #3: Modular Systems Are Always Code Compliant

Before you select your modular system, check that your modular manufacturer takes safety and elevator code seriously. If they do, they’ll have rigorous testing in place that can actually save you time and headaches. The key is to know if the panel system (whether straight from the catalog or customized) is tested in its end-use configuration.

If your modular system is end-use configuration tested, breathe a sigh of relief: you won’t have to worry about compliance requirements, inspectors shutting down your elevator, or testing the materials yourself. Just enjoy a more streamlined – and less expensive – project.

Truth: When the modular systems are end-use configuration tested by the manufacturer, it actually saves customers time and money, while providing top-notch safety assurance.

Myth #4: Modular Systems Won’t Last.

This is not even close to correct. In fact, modular systems have a dual advantage over custom interiors. First, modular systems can outlast custom ones. When made with high quality materials, they have drastically fewer needs for replacements or repairs. The modular system can handle heavy use and abuse, and maintenance and care is easy. Plain and simple, modular systems are highly durable: they’ll look as great on Day 1,000 as it did on Day One.

Second, modular systems make repairs and updates far easier. With a modular interior, you simply re-order the damaged panel, pop out the old panel, and reinstall the new one. The size and fit is identical. This provides a remarkable cost and time savings and preserves the integrity of your design.

Truth: Modular systems are made of durable materials, meaning fewer repairs. When updates or replacements are necessary, modular systems make the process faster and easier.

Myths about modular interiors have circulated for years – most of them patently untrue. In fact, modular interiors present a host of advantages for both elevator maintenance companies and designers, including durability, ease of installation, and exceptional flexibility when it comes to ordering, designing, and budgeting.

To learn more about the author, Glenn Bostock, please read his full bio here.