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  • Writer's pictureBrett Kina

Navigating the Future: The Dover DMC Dilemma

In the bustling world of elevators, the Dover DMC microprocessor-based elevator controller was one of the most popular controllers throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Elevators from coast to coast relied on this innovative technology, transforming the vertical transportation landscape.

Acting as the central "brain" of an elevator, the Dover DMC controller seamlessly managed all aspects of elevator operation and safety, ensuring smooth rides and secure journeys for passengers. Without a working controller, an elevator cannot function.

Fast forward to the present day, and the landscape has evolved. Despite the estimated 80,000 Dover DMC controllers still in service, a cloud of uncertainty looms as the manufacturer has discontinued the product due to challenges in sourcing critical parts.

The countdown has begun, signaling a dwindling supply of spare parts, and creating a problem for those with elevators dependent on the iconic Dover DMC controller.

Dover DMC Dilemma: Repair or Modernize?

Dover DMC Controller

Amid the uncertainty, a question emerges: Can one simply opt for repairs when the Dover DMC controller eventually fails? While the idea of sending existing boards to third-party, non-OEM vendors for solid-state elevator board repairs may seem appealing, it comes with its own set of challenges.

Some third-party vendors offer compatible blank solid-state boards, providing a canvas onto which OEM software can be installed. However, this path proves to be a challenging and unreliable journey, often resulting in a frustrating trial-and-error process.

Clients may find themselves cycling through multiple failed boards before discovering one that functions correctly, a process that not only consumes time but also resources.

The Call for Modernization

During this uncertainty and potential downtime, a clear and efficient solution appears – the need for elevator modernization. The urgency is not only driven by the future failure of Dover DMC controllers but also by the long-term benefits of new updating elevator technologies.

The immediate question arises: Why the urgency when your Dover DMC controller is still operational? Waiting for a critical failure might seem like a reasonable option, but it comes with its own set of risks and challenges.

Firstly, the DMC controller batteries require regular changes. In the event of a power outage without battery backup, there's a risk of losing all programming, requiring a time-consuming reinstallation of the software. Additionally, delaying modernization guarantees a prolonged downtime.

During the modernization planning, budget approval, and material ordering process, the elevator remains out of service. This period can stretch over many months or, in some cases, more than a year. Such extended downtime is not only inconvenient for employees and customers but becomes a critical issue if the down elevator is the only unit in the building.

ADA Compliance: A Critical Consideration

For organizations like nursing homes, medical facilities, and other public buildings, falling out of ADA compliance during extended downtime is particularly concerning. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance is not just a matter of convenience but a legal necessity.

Failure to meet ADA requirements can have severe consequences, leading to legal implications and reputational damage.

Which is why it is imperative to start an elevator modernization project sooner rather than later, especially if you have a Dover DMC controller.

The Path to Modernization: What Lies Ahead?

As we say goodbye to the era of the Dover DMC controller, the path to modernization becomes increasingly important. Navigating through the challenges of securing spare parts or relying on third-party repairs is not a practical solution.

Accepting the need for upgrading your elevator system, guarantees your elevator remains in working condition, is compliant with ADA standards, and provides a smoother, more efficient operation.

Modernization means updating key components, using new technologies, and making sure everything is up to date with the latest safety standards.

Solid-state elevator boards that meet modern safety rules are essential in this change. Elevator controller batteries with improved backup power are necessary to keep the elevator running during power outages.

What Can I Expect During the Modernization Process?

Elevator modernization is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Each building is unique, and each elevator system is unique, requiring a tailored approach to ensure peak performance, compliance, and longevity.

The journey towards elevator upgrades involves collaboration between building owners, facility managers, and elevator professionals. The modernization process involves a thorough evaluation of the existing elevator system, identifying areas that need improvement, and formulating a plan for the upgrade.

It is not merely a response to the looming failure of the Dover DMC controller but a strategic move to future-proof elevator systems and ensure any necessary code changes are also implemented.

During this process, the focus extends beyond just replacing outdated components. It includes the addition of cutting-edge technology, such as state-of-the-art Dover DMC modernization kits that easily transition elevators into the 21st century.

These kits not only address immediate concerns but also provide a foundation for future advancements, ensuring elevators remain at the forefront of innovation.

The Timeline of Modernization: Planning for Success

Starting the journey of improving your elevator requires careful planning and strategic execution. The timeline varies based on factors such as the size of the building, the complexity of the elevator system, regulatory considerations, and budget. However, a general framework can guide the modernization process:

Phase 1: Assessment and Planning

  • Conduct a full assessment of the existing elevator system.

  • Identify components that require immediate attention and those that can benefit from long-term upgrades.

  • Collaborate with elevator professionals to formulate a modernization plan tailored to the specific needs of the building.

Phase 2: Budget Approval and Material Ordering

  • Present the modernization plan to relevant stakeholders for budget approval.

  • Collaborate with reputable suppliers to source modernization kits, solid-state elevator boards, advanced controller batteries, and any appearance upgrades the building wants to include.

  • Ensure that the selected components align with industry standards and regulations.

Phase 3: Implementation

  • Schedule the modernization work to minimize disruption to building occupants.

  • Collaborate with experienced elevator professionals for the installation of modernization components.

  • Implement additional ADA-compliant features during the modernization process.

Phase 4: Testing and Certification

  • Conduct thorough testing of the modernized elevator system to ensure top performance and safety.

  • Obtain certification from relevant regulatory bodies to confirm compliance with industry standards and regulations.

  • Communicate the successful modernization to building occupants, emphasizing the enhanced safety and efficiency of the elevator system.

Phase 5: Ongoing Maintenance and Monitoring

  • Implement a proactive maintenance schedule to ensure the continued reliability of the modernized elevator system.

  • Stay informed about emerging technologies and industry advancements to prepare for future upgrades and enhancements.

Looking Ahead: The Role of Dover DMC Modernization

In the evolving landscape of elevator technology, the role of Dover DMC modernization becomes essential. It means not just an upgrade but a strategic shift towards future-ready elevator systems.

Elevator controllers that once served as the backbone of vertical transportation are now evolving to meet the demands of a technologically advanced era.

The integration of Dover DMC modernization kits ensures an easy transition, maintaining the legacy of existing elevators while equipping them with the capabilities needed to thrive in the modern age.

This evolution extends beyond functionality – it aligns elevators with improved appearance, enhanced efficiency, and reinforces safety standards.

Finding the Right Elevator Modernization Partner

For nearly four decades, Metro Elevator has emerged as a premier player in the elevator industry, specializing in the maintenance, repair, modernization, and installation of elevator systems. With a portfolio footprint spanning across the country, Metro Elevator caters to diverse sectors such as automotive, hospitality, healthcare, finance, government, education, energy, and tech.

Dover DMC controller replaced with new technology.

Our clients include major property management firms and esteemed elevator consultants, making us a trusted partner in vertical transportation solutions.

As an independent, American-owned company, each Metro Elevator location operates independently, guaranteeing a personalized and responsive approach to every project. Our locally owned and operated Divisions boast decades of experience, and our technicians are professionally trained and licensed by the National Elevator Industry Education Program (NEIEP) and are proud members of the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC).

With Metro Elevator locations strategically positioned from coast-to-coast, including New England, New York, Virginia, Raleigh, the Carolinas, Coastal Carolina, Utah, the Northwest, and NorCal, we are dedicated to delivering unparalleled elevator solutions tailored to the unique needs of each region.

If you’re unsure whether you have a Dover DMC Controller, or you’re weighing the decision to repair or modernize, contact Metro Elevator today for a free consultation. Metro Elevator provides customized plans for your specific needs.

Conclusion: If you Have a Dover DMC Controller, the Time is Right to Modernize

The journey towards upgrading your elevator is not just about addressing immediate concerns; it's about future-proofing buildings and elevators for the advancements yet to come.

As the industry embraces innovation, building owners, facility managers, and elevator professionals play a crucial role in shaping the future of vertical transportation.

Embrace changes, plan for modernization, and usher in a new era of elevators that are not only functional but intelligent, efficient, and compliant with the highest industry standards. The legacy of the Dover DMC controller may be fading, but the future of elevator technology is brighter than ever.


Brett Kina has over 25 years of elevator industry experience and is currently President of Metro Elevator Carolinas. Learn more about Brett and his team.


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