Hydraulic systems

Doppelmayr – Number 1 in the global cableway market

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On a par with elevators, cableways are at the top of the list worldwide in matter of safe transportation! A worldwide quality and technology leader in the cableway sector, the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group is decisively involved in this.

Doppelmayr began its story of success as an innovative mechanical engineering company in 1892. The company‘s first cableway was at the same time a highlight for one of the most famous ski areas of the world: The first Doppelmayr chairlift was built in 1937, in Zürs am Arlberg. Since then, Doppelmayr has supplied more than 14,400 cableway systems to clients in more than 88 nations. The most recent milestones include the longest detachable gondola lift in the world - 5,801 m. It was put into operation at the beginning of April 2013, in DaNang, Vietnam. The spectacular open-top CabriO cableway leads to the Stanserhorn in Switzerland. It is the first open-top cableway in the world. Of the up to 60 persons that can be accommodated in the cabin, 30 can enjoy the ride on the upper deck, with an unobstructed view of the alpine world. A system with integrated solar collector represents an important step in the direction of a sustainable future. The new photovoltaic chairlift, which generates a third of its own power consumption from solar energy, is operating in the Austrian ski resort of Golm. 

Headquartered in Wolfurt, in the Austrian federal state of Vorarlberg, the group of companies has production facilities, as well as sales and service locations, in more than 33 countries worldwide. These transport systems are setting new standards. Whether in summer and winter tourism­areas, or in urban transport, people are moved with extremely comfortable and, most importantly, safe systems. Systems for the transport of materials and cableways for the preventive triggering of avalanches are convincing in their efficiency and performance. Multi-seasonal utilisation concepts complete the comprehensive range. However, wherever a new cableway system is installed, each one is carefully adapted according to its tasks and the environment. 

Cableways originated in high mountain areas. They withstand extreme temperature fluctuations, extreme winds and heavy snowfall, in other words: They have to perform under the most difficult conditions. Outside of the alpine environment, operating conditions are usually significantly milder, resulting in a high degree of operational safety and maximum availability.

Safety first – This is Doppelmayr‘s motto in regard to lubricating systems. In order to exclude right from the start all risks incurred through the possible use of inadequate lubricants, all new systems are filled at the factory, using only selected and internally approved products. Doppelmayr uses only special oils and greases that have been extensively tested and found to deliver optimum results during long-term operation under all possible environmental conditions. Lubricants are also delivered in the original Doppelmayr containers. Clients will recognise the original product by its blue colouring. The operating instructions for each cableway include a list of lubricants that have been approved by Doppelmayr for filling or refilling. In case of using other products, Doppelmayr does not assume any liability in regard to functional safety, and warranty claims will be excluded. Oils used for the brake hydraulics and the cable hydraulic clamping systems are especially thoroughly inspected. The reliability of the hydraulic oils is of paramount importance in this. Brake hydraulics and the emergency drive hydrostat contain up to 200 l of hydraulic fluid. In the past, the system‘s cables were kept under tension using huge weights, nowadays, hydraulic cable tensioning systems that contain up to 450 l of hydraulic oil are used for this purpose. Depending on the system, the tension force can be between 300 and 1,200kN. To prevent too much slip on the cables, a constant base tension is required. However, the cable cannot be overly tight either, since this could potentially cause damage to other system components. The approved long-term synthetic hydraulic oils are especially suited to utilisation across a wide range of temperatures. Selected ingredients improve the ageing properties and increase the corrosion-protection capacity. At the same time, the glide properties and wear protection of the hydraulic components are optimised. In extremely low and/or high temperatures, Doppelmayr uses a partially synthetic fluid with multigrade characteristics.

Shear stable VI (viscosity index) improvers guarantee highly consistent viscosity even during extreme use, such as operation at below freezing temperatures. Condensation and possibly percolated water are precipitated very rapidly and completely, and can thus be drained in the course of a brief standstill without having to replace the entire fill.

Doppelmayr provides a well connected customer service network around the world. Prior to each season, i.e. once or twice a year, a major inspection is performed on each cableway. If this is not possible during the day, the inspections are carried out at night, step by step. The operator can also choose to have their own customer service perform maintenance on the system. For monitoring the greases, gear- and hydraulic oils, as well as to check wear on the components which they lubricate, service technicians recommend the proven lubricant analyses of OELCHECK. The analyses kits are a fixed component in the range of spare parts. In the course of examining the gear- and hydraulic oils, among other things, contamination, e.g. by water or tramp oil, and purity classes are thoroughly checked. Water and an inadequate purity of fluids present the greatest threats to gears and hydraulics. Operators that receive a green symbol on their OELCHECK lab report are given the go-ahead by Doppelmayr to change the oils as needed, no longer on a fixed schedule, but depending on their condition. This reduces the cableway operators‘ cost for lubricants and maintenance.

And Doppelmayr knows: With the OELCHECK lubricant analyses, everyone is on the safe side.

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