Taking people to the summit requires reliable technology – without compromising and without sacrificing comfort. That’s why LEITNER ropeways opted for reliable control technology and state-of-the-art commanding and signaling devices for the installation of the new gondola lift.
Thanks to advanced technology, ropeways are a safe means of travel. Nevertheless, many people still feel a bit of a thrill as they hover 100 meters in the air in a TD32 Eisgratbahn gondola with its panoramic view of Austria’s Stubai Glacier. In each gondola, up to 32 excited and fascinated passengers strive to get the best possible view of the snow-covered mountains and deep valleys.
After just 16 months of construction, the 3S gondola lift was ready for operation in 2016. Nearly 4.7 kilometers long, it’s the longest gondola lift in the Alps and the world’s first tricable gondola lift in two sections featuring non-stop operation. A total of 49 cabins travel up and down transporting up to 3,000 passengers per hour, suspended and propelled on two carrying ropes and one hauling rope. The gondola lift was implemented with the help of LEITNER ropeways, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of ropeway systems.
Because passenger safety has top priority, the ropeway manufacturer depends on control technology from Siemens. Günther Tschinkel, head of electrical engineering at LEITNER ropeways, explains: “We’ve already been relying on Siemens safety technology for 12 years. At the moment, we’re still mainly using the SIMATIC S7-300F, but now we’re gradually migrating to the SIMATIC S7-1500F. The smaller-sized, modular SINAMICS G120 and S120 frequency converters with their integrated safety functions serve as the drive technology. By the 2019 winter season, we plan to equip all new projects with this control technology.”
With Siemens, we have a capable, reliable partner in safety technology and a control solution that’s tailored to our systems and works perfectly with them.Günter Tschinkel, head of electrical engineering, LEITNER ropeways
To clearly illustrate the importance of the control technology, consider what happens when the cabins stop at a station. In the station, the ropeway’s cabins are decoupled from the cable, moved forward by conveyors, and their doors are opened. The safety technology monitors the movement of the cabins through the station and promptly halts the entire system if one of them becomes stuck. It’s also responsible for ensuring that the cabins are securely coupled to the cable when leaving the station.
In addition to safety, the system’s operating concept also ensures that everything runs smoothly. Because the ropeway system’s signaling devices are also used outdoors in snow and ice and at altitudes of up to 4,000 meters, they need to be suited to this environment and function reliably. That’s why the SIRIUS ACT series of switches was selected. These switches are IP69K-rated as standard, so they are especially rugged. Tschinkel also mentions another aspect that played a major role in the selection the system’s user interfaces: the design. “When we prepared the preliminary user interface designs for the external and internal operator panels, we looked for a series of commanding and signaling devices that would match it – and SIRIUS ACT was perfect.” Their flat, matte appearance blends in harmoniously, and not just in a visual sense. And although it wasn’t a main factor in the decision, their simple installation with twist prevention subsequently proved to be an advantage that confirmed the initial impression of high quality.
Improved operability that intuitively guides users through the different system processes and the ergonomic design of the operating elements both contribute to making the work of the operators at control panels, in control rooms, and at outdoor operating terminals more convenient. The modern design of the matte SIRIUS ACT switches fits seamlessly into the overall visual concept of the TD32 Eisgratbahn.
This unique combination of technology and design also ensures that the ride to the glacier is a perfect experience for passengers.
Picture credits: Siemens AG
As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of ropeway systems, LEITNER ropeways offers high-tech solutions, innovative design, top quality, and functionality for convenient passenger transport. Its product range includes detachable gondolas and chairlifts as well as aerial tramways, funicular ropeways, material ropeways, inclined elevators, and fixed-grip ski lifts. Areas of application include winter sports, urban transportation, and tourism.
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