Title:
Cableway System with a Carrying and Conveying Cable
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cableway system has a carrying and conveying cable on which transportation devices, such as chairs or gondolas, are carried on load-bearing bars. The latter can be fastened with clamps and they are guided, in the stations, over reversing pulleys. Between the stations, the cable is guided over supporting rollers and beneath hold-down rollers. A first strand of the cable is guided over a group of deflecting rollers or the like and a second strand is guided over at least one deflecting drum along a angled portion of the travel path. The deflecting drum is rotated continuously by the carrying and conveying cable and it is formed with a plurality of circumferentially distributed recesses which accommodate the load-bearing bars for the transportation devices as they are moved past the deflecting drum.



Inventors:
Dur, Herbert (Schwarzach, AT)
Turk, Umit (Horbranz, AT)
Application Number:
12/207844
Publication Date:
06/18/2009
Filing Date:
09/10/2008
Assignee:
Innova Patent GmbH (Wolfurt, AT)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B61B7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KUHFUSS, ZACHARY L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LERNER GREENBERG STEMER LLP (HOLLYWOOD, FL, US)
Claims:
1. A cableway system, comprising: a carrying and conveying cable extending between stations, and transportation devices supported thereon by way of load-bearing bars that are selectively fastened to said cable by means of clamps; reversing pulleys, including at least one driven pulley, for guiding said carrying and conveying cable in the stations; at least one deflecting drum and a plurality of supporting rollers and holding-down rollers disposed to guide said carrying and conveying cable between the stations; said carrying and conveying cable extending along a first strand guided over a group of deflecting rollers and along a second strand guided over said deflecting drum, to commonly move along a path having at least one angled portion; said deflecting drum being rotated continuously by said carrying and conveying cable, and having a plurality of circumferentially distributed recesses formed therein for accommodating respective said load-bearing bars of said transportation devices as said transportation devices are moved past said deflecting drum.

2. The cableway system according to claim 1, wherein said deflecting drum is formed with a conical lateral surface, and an actuator is disposed to selectively adjust a height position of said deflecting drum.

3. The cableway system according to claim 2, which comprises groups of supporting and holding-down rollers disposed along the course of said second strand upstream and/or downstream of said deflecting drum and configured to retain said second strand in a predetermined height position.

4. The cableway system according to claim 1, wherein said deflecting drum is rotatably mounted and substantially stationary in a vertical direction, and wherein at least one guide roller is assigned to said deflecting drum and an actuator is configured to adjust a height position of said guide roller to thereby adjust the carrying and conveying cable in a vertical direction relative to said deflecting drum.

5. The cableway system according to claim 4, which comprises at least one measuring device assigned to said deflecting drum and configured to sense when a respective said transportation device approaches said deflecting drum, and control means disposed to control said actuator for said at least one guide roller.

6. The cableway system according to claim 5, wherein said deflecting drum is formed with a measuring device configured to determine a rotary position of said deflecting drum and to output starting signals to said control means.

7. The cableway system according to claim 5, wherein said actuator for said at least one supporting roller is assigned a measuring device configured to determine the height position of said at least one guide roller and to output starting signals to said control means.

8. The cableway system according to claim 2, which comprises at least one measuring device assigned to said deflecting drum and configured to sense when a respective said transportation device approaches said deflecting drum, and control means for controlling said actuator of said deflecting drum.

9. The cableway system according to claim 8, wherein said deflecting drum is formed with a measuring device configured to determine a rotary position of said deflecting drum and to output starting signals to said control means.

10. The cableway system according to claim 8, wherein said actuator for said deflecting drum is assigned a measuring device configured to determine the height position of said deflecting drum and to output starting signals to said control means.

11. The cableway system according to claim 1, which comprises measuring devices for monitoring and/or for supporting additional control purposes.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the priority, under 35 U.S.C. §119, of Austrian patent application A 2048/2007, filed Dec. 17, 2007; the prior application is herewith incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a cableway system having a carrying and conveying cable on which transportation devices, such as lift chairs or gondolas that are supported on load-bearing bars can be fastened by means of clamps. The cable is guided, in the stations, over reversing pulleys. At least one of the pulleys is driven. Furthermore, the cable is guided, between the stations, over supporting rollers and beneath holding-down rollers, it being the case that a first strand of the carrying and conveying cable is guided in each case over at least one deflecting pulley or over a group of deflecting rollers and a second strand is guided over at least one deflecting drum, which is formed with at least one recess for accommodating the load-bearing bar of one of the transportation devices, whereby the two strands can be moved along a path having at least one angled portion.

Conventional cableway systems have a carrying and conveying cable to which transportation devices, such as chairs and gondolas, are clamped. The transportation devices here either are firmly clamped to the carrying and conveying cable or are clamped in a releasable manner, it being the case that the transportation devices, in the stations, are uncoupled from the carrying and conveying cable and moved through these stations at a speed which is substantially reduced in relation to the speed of the carrying and conveying cable, as a result of which passengers can board the transportation devices or disembark therefrom. The transportation devices are fastened on the carrying and conveying cable by clamping means which, at one of the two ends, are formed with clamping jaws and have the top region of a load-bearing bar fastened at their other end, a transportation device being located at the bottom end of the load-bearing bar.

The carrying and conveying cable is guided, in the stations, over deflecting pulleys, of which at least one is a driven pulley. Furthermore, over the course taken by the cableway system, the carrying and conveying cable is retained by means of supporting rollers and guided through beneath holding-down rollers. The clamping means and the load-bearing bars, in respect of the cable-deflecting pulleys, are each located laterally outside the carrying and conveying cable, this making it possible for the carrying and conveying cable, with transportation devices firmly clamped thereto, to be guided over the deflecting pulleys located in the stations.

The topography of the terrain in which a cableway system is erected would often make it expedient for the path of this cableway system to be formed with at least one angled portion. As far as a first strand of the carrying and conveying cable is concerned, it is possible for the strand to be guided around at least one deflecting pulley, or over a group of deflecting pulleys, against which the inside of this strand of the carrying and conveying cable ends up in abutment, as a result of which the path may be provided with an angled portion. However, it is only possible to have one such angled portion, in the case of which the inside of the carrying and conveying cable butts against the deflecting pulley, since the load-bearing bars for the transportation devices, which cannot be moved over the prior-art deflecting pulleys, are located on the outside of the carrying and conveying cable.

Even if to be precise one of the two strands of the carrying and conveying cable is guided along a path formed with at least one angled portion, the fact remains that, on account of the load-bearing bars located on the outside of the carrying and conveying cable, it is not possible for the second strand to be guided along a path running more or less parallel to the first strand. Rather, it is then necessary for the second strand to be guided along a path which deviates from that of the first strand. Such a cableway system, however, is very disadvantageous insofar as, on the one hand, it requires more or less double the number of supports and, on the other hand, the amount of surface area required is substantially increased. For both these reasons, cableway systems which run over a rectilinear path are usually erected.

European patent EP 556 139 B1 discloses an aerial cableway system of chairs which is formed with a deflecting arrangement which is intended to solve this problem. This deflecting arrangement comprises a deflecting pulley which is formed, on the one hand, with a recess for accommodating a load-bearing bar and, on the other hand, with a plurality of deflecting rollers. As long as there is no load-bearing bar for a chair located on the carrying and conveying cable, this deflecting pulley is located in a predetermined rotary position and the carrying and conveying cable is guided over the deflecting rollers. As soon as a load-bearing bar approaches, the deflecting pulley is made to rotate, the carrying and conveying cable coming into direct abutment with this deflecting pulley and the load-bearing bar for the relevant chair being accommodated by the recess located therein. The deflecting pulley is then rotated into its starting position, in which it is retained until the next load-bearing bar arrives.

The prior art configuration is disadvantageous for a number of reasons: Since the carrying and conveying cable is guided over a multiplicity of deflecting rollers of a very small diameter, the carrying and conveying cable experiences very high levels of compressive loading, as a result of which it is subjected to pronounced wear. In addition, these deflecting rollers give rise to high maintenance outlay, they are very susceptible to malfunctioning and they cause pronounced levels of noise. Furthermore, the design of this deflecting arrangement necessitates a minimum spacing between the successive load-bearing bars. In addition, this deflecting pulley has to be assigned a drive motor to rotate it out of the rest position. Finally, it is not possible, in the case of this deflecting arrangement for the carrying and conveying cable to be moved counter to the normal conveying direction.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is accordingly an object of the invention to provide an aerial cableway system with a carrying ad/or conveying cable which overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages of the heretofore-known devices and methods of this general type and which provides for a cableway system that follows a path of at least one angled portion, but avoids the disadvantages that are inherent in prior art cableway systems of this type.

With the foregoing and other objects in view there is provided, in accordance with the invention, a cableway system, comprising:

a carrying and conveying cable extending between stations, and transportation devices (e.g., chairs, gondolas) supported thereon by way of load-bearing bars that are selectively fastened to said cable by means of clamps;

reversing pulleys, including at least one driven pulley, for guiding said carrying and conveying cable in the stations;

at least one deflecting drum and a plurality of supporting rollers and holding-down rollers disposed to guide said carrying and conveying cable between the stations;

said carrying and conveying cable extending along a first strand guided over a group of deflecting rollers and along a second strand guided over said deflecting drum, to commonly move along a path having at least one angled portion;

said deflecting drum being rotated continuously by said carrying and conveying cable, and having a plurality of circumferentially distributed recesses formed therein for accommodating respective said load-bearing bars of said transportation devices as said transportation devices are moved past said deflecting drum.

In other words, the objects of the invention are achieved in that the deflecting drum, which is assigned to the second strand and is rotated continuously by the carrying and conveying cable, is provided with a plurality of circumferentially distributed recesses which accommodate the load-bearing bars for the transportation devices as they are moved via this deflecting drum. The deflecting drum, which is provided with circumferentially distributed recesses, is preferably formed with a conical lateral surface, and an actuator, by means of which it is possible to adjust the height position of the deflecting drum, is provided. Furthermore, groups of supporting and holding-down rollers are preferably provided, over the course of the second strand of the carrying and conveying cable, upstream and/or downstream of the deflecting drum and retain the second strand in a predetermined height position. As an alternative to this, it may not be possible to adjust the height position of the deflecting drum, and the carrying and conveying cable may be assigned at least one guide roller which can be adjusted in height by means of an actuator and by way of which the carrying and conveying cable can be adjusted in height in relation to the deflecting drum.

According to further-preferred embodiments, the deflecting drum is assigned at least one measuring device which can sense a transportation device approaching the deflecting drum, and further provided is a control means, which can control the actuator for the deflecting drum and/or for the at least one guide roller. Furthermore, the deflecting drum may also be formed with a measuring device which can establish the rotary position of the deflecting drum and of which the starting signals are likewise passed on to the control means. Finally, it is also possible for the actuator to be assigned a measuring device which can establish the height position of the deflecting drum and/or of the at least one guide roller for the carrying and conveying cable and of which the starting signals are likewise passed onto the control means.

Further measuring devices for monitoring and/or additional control purposes are also provided.

Other features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in the appended claims.

Although the invention is illustrated and described herein as embodied in cableway system having a carrying and conveying cable, it is nevertheless not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention and within the scope and range of equivalents of the claims.

The construction and method of operation of the invention, however, together with additional objects and advantages thereof will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a part of a cableway system according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view onto the part of the cableway system shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows a constituent part of this cableway system as seen in the direction of the arrow A in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 shows a plan view of that constituent part of the cableway system which is shown in FIG. 3, on an enlarged scale in relation to FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a detail from FIG. 4; and

FIGS. 6, 6A, and 6B are schematic plan views illustrating the movement sequence of the transportation devices in respect of a height adjustment of the deflecting drum.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the figures of the drawing in detail, FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 illustrate part of the cableway system which is formed with an angled portion. This cableway system has a carrying and conveying cable 1 which, in the stations, is guided over reversing pulleys or return pulleys. Spaced-apart chairs 2 are coupled to the carrying and conveying cable 1 by way of load-bearing bars 21. The chairs 2 which are coupled to the strand 1a moving toward the mountain station here are occupied by passengers, whereas, the chairs 2 which are coupled to the strand 1b moving toward the valley station are unoccupied. In order for the route to be angled, a plurality of supports 3 are provided, and these have mounted on them a number of groups of deflecting rollers 4 against which the strand 1a moving toward the mountain station ends up in abutment, as a result of which this strand is deflected to the right as it moves toward the mountain station. This is possible since the load-bearing bars 21 for the chairs 2 are located on the outside of the strand 1a, whereas the inside of this strand ends up in abutment against the deflecting rollers 4.

In order for it also to be possible for the strand 1b moving toward the valley station to be deflected correspondingly, a deflecting drum 6, which has a plurality of equally spaced-apart recesses 61 over its circumference, is located on a load-bearing framework 5. These recesses 61 are necessary since the load-bearing bars 21 are allocated on that side of the carrying and conveying cable 1 which ends up in abutment against the deflecting drum 6. It must also be ensured here that, as a chair 2 arrives, the deflecting drum 6 is located in a position which allows the load-bearing bars 21 of the relevant chairs 2 to be accommodated by one of the recesses 61.

In order to achieve this, the outer surface of the deflecting drum 6 is conical, this conical surface tapering downward, and it is also possible for the deflecting drum 6 to be adjusted in height by means of an actuator. For this purpose, the deflecting drum 6 is mounted on a height-adjustable load-bearing beam 51 such that it can be rotated about a vertical axis. Furthermore, the deflecting drum 6 is assigned groups of supporting and holding-down rollers 7, which retain the strand 1b of the carrying and conveying cable 1 in a predetermined height position. The deflecting drum 6 is additionally assigned a first sensor 81, which detects the passage of a load-bearing bar 21. The output signal of this sensor 81 is supplied to a control unit which, taking account of the rotary position of the deflecting drum 6 at this point in time, calculates the height position in which the conical deflecting drum 6 has to be located in order to ensure that the next load-bearing bar 21 to arrive is accommodated by one of the recesses 61 of the deflecting drum 6. A second sensor 82, which is located at a small distance from the deflecting drum 6, is provided for monitoring purposes. In addition, a third sensor 83 is located downstream of the deflecting drum 6, and this sensor, following the passage of the relevant load-bearing bar 21, releases the actuator again for the height adjustment of the deflecting drum 6.

Since the lateral surface of the deflecting drum 6, on account of the conicity of the latter, has different diameters in different height positions, the height adjustment of the deflecting drum results in a change in the distance of the recesses 61 from a load-bearing bar 21 located on the carrying and conveying cable 1, and this distance can be adjusted such that the approaching load-bearing bar 21 passes into one of the recesses 61 of the deflecting drum 6.

The load-bearing beam 51, on which the deflecting drum 6 is mounted, is adjusted by means of two actuating cylinders 9, which can be seen from FIG. 3 in particular. Furthermore, four telescopic guides 9a are located between the load-bearing framework 5 and the load-bearing beam 51. Also located between the load-bearing arrangement 5 and the load-bearing beam 51 are four measuring devices 84, which can sense the height position of the deflecting drum 6 and of which the output signals are likewise passed onto the control unit.

It can also be seen from FIG. 4 that the deflecting drum 6 is formed with a fifth measuring unit 85, which establishes the rotary position of the deflecting drum 6 and of which the output signals are likewise supplied to the control unit.

FIG. 5 shows the design of the deflecting drum 6. As can be seen, the deflecting drum 6 is formed with a hub 62 which has radially running web plates 63 extending from it, a respective recess 61 for accommodating the load-bearing bars 21 of the chair 2 being located between two associated web plates 63. It can also be seen that the outer lateral surface 64 tapers conically downward. The conicity of the deflecting drum 6 is approximately 17°. Depending on the height position of the deflecting drum 6, the abutting strand of the carrying and conveying cable 1 is located in different regions of the lateral surface 64, top regions of the lateral surface 64 being at greater radial spacings from the axis of rotation than bottom regions of the lateral surface 64. The lateral surface 64 of the deflecting drum 6 is formed with a rubber support.

The function of this deflecting drum 6 will be described herein below with reference to FIGS. 6, 6A and 6B:

The strand 1b of the carrying and conveying cable 1, a load-bearing bar 21, the deflecting drum 6, which is formed with recesses 61, and the three sensors 81, 82 and 83 are illustrated schematically in FIGS. 6, 6A and 6B.

In FIG. 6, the load-bearing bar 21 is located in the region of the first sensor 81, as a result of which the distance of this load-bearing bar 21 from the axis of rotation of the deflecting drum 6 is determined. By way of the output signal emitted by the first sensor 81, and taking account of the rotary position of the deflecting drum 6 at this point in time, this rotary position being determined by the fifth sensor 85, the control unit calculates the height position at which the conical deflecting drum 6 has to be located in order for the load-bearing bar 21 moving in the direction of the deflecting drum 6 to pass into one of the recesses 61 of the deflecting drum 6.

In FIG. 6A, this load-bearing bar 21 is located in the region of the second sensor 82, which emits to the control means a signal which, by way of the control unit, results in the rotary position of the deflecting drum 6 being checked to the effect that this load-bearing bar 21 passes into one of the recesses 61 of the deflecting drum 6. If this is not ensured, the cableway system is switched off. As a result, there is no further height adjustment of the deflecting drum 6 at this moment in time.

Once the load-bearing bar 21 has been accommodated by one of the recesses 61 on the deflecting drum 6, has been advanced by this deflecting drum and has left the recesses 61 again, it passes into the region of the third sensor 83, by means of which an output signal is emitted to the control unit to the effect that a height adjustment of the deflecting drum 6 can then be effected again in order thus to allow the necessary height adjustment for the load-bearing bar 21 of a further chair 2.

As an alternative to this, it may not be possible to change the height position of the deflecting drum 6, the carrying and conveying cable being assigned at least one guide roller which can be adjusted in height by means of an actuator and by way of which the carrying and conveying cable can be adjusted in height in relation to the conical deflecting drum 6. This too achieves the necessary control to the effect that the load-bearing bar 21 moving in the direction of the deflecting drum 6 passes into one of the recesses 61 of the deflecting drum 6.

These control means ensure that the load-bearing bars 21 for chairs 2 moving in the direction of the deflecting drum 6 always pass into one of the recesses 61 of the deflecting drum 6. As a result, it is also possible for the second strand 1b of the carrying and conveying cable 1 to be deflected in a manner analogous to the first strand 1a of the carrying and conveying cable 1.

Such an arrangement thus makes it possible to erect cableway systems with any desired number of angled portions in any desired directions, as a result of which the course taken by the cableway systems can be adapted to any topographical conditions. In the case of such a cableway system, it is additionally possible to change the movement direction, i.e. reverse movements can also be carried out.

Such an arrangement may also be provided in a cableway system having a stationary carrying cable and a pulling cable, the pulling cable being guided over the deflecting drum, which is formed with recesses.