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Publication numberUS20090165668 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/341,647
Publication dateJul 2, 2009
Filing dateDec 22, 2008
Priority dateDec 28, 2007
Also published asEP2075172A1
Publication number12341647, 341647, US 2009/0165668 A1, US 2009/165668 A1, US 20090165668 A1, US 20090165668A1, US 2009165668 A1, US 2009165668A1, US-A1-20090165668, US-A1-2009165668, US2009/0165668A1, US2009/165668A1, US20090165668 A1, US20090165668A1, US2009165668 A1, US2009165668A1
InventorsAlessandro Andreetto
Original AssigneeRolic Invest S.Ar.L.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cableway system with supporting and haul cables
US 20090165668 A1
Abstract
In a cableway system with supporting and haul cables, a trolley, supporting a passenger car, is moved along two taut supporting cables by a haul-cable drive having two drive pulleys, two return pulleys, and a haul cable wound about the two drive pulleys and return pulleys; the haul-cable drive also having two idle pulleys fitted to the trolley and about which is wound an intermediate portion of the haul cable extending between the drive pulleys, and a retaining device for fixing firmly to the trolley the portions of the haul cable extending from the return pulleys towards the trolley.
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Claims(13)
1. A cableway system with supporting and haul cables comprising:
at least one pair of supporting cables located a given distance apart and secured at opposite ends;
a trolley fitted to said supporting cables; and
a haul-cable drive interposed between an actuating unit and said trolley to move the trolley in opposite directions along said supporting cables, the haul-cable drive including:
two drive pulleys connected to said actuating unit and located at a drive station,
two return pulleys located at a return station,
a haul cable wound about the two drive pulleys and the two return pulleys,
relative-mobility means interposed between said trolley and an intermediate portion of said haul cable extending between said drive pulleys to permit relative movement of said intermediate portion with respect to said trolley, and
retaining means carried by said trolley to fix firmly to the trolley a plurality of portions of said haul cable extending from said return pulleys towards said trolley.
2. The system of claim 1, wherein said haul cable is an open cable terminating at opposite ends with said portions extending from said return pulleys towards said trolley, and said retaining means includes first and second retaining means, each for connecting a respective end portion of said open haul cable firmly to said trolley.
3. The system of claim 2, wherein said first and second retaining means are located on opposite lateral sides of said trolley.
4. The system of claim 1, wherein said retaining means includes first and second retaining means including, respectively, a first and second drum fitted to the trolley, and about which is wound an intermediate portion of a relative portion extending from the relative said return pulley towards said trolley.
5. The system of claim 4, wherein said first and second retaining means includes, for each said drum, a respective retaining clamp for firmly connecting an end of the respective portion extending from said return pulley and projecting from the relative said drum.
6. The system of claim 2, wherein said first and second retaining means includes respective guide members fixed to said trolley, and a single common clamp interposed between said guide members to secure firmly to said trolley said end portions of said haul cable.
7. The system of claim 1, wherein said haul cable is an endless cable, and said retaining means includes, for each return pulley, a respective curved guide fixed to the trolley, and a retaining member interposed between the curved guides to connect firmly to said trolley a continuous portion of said haul cable extending between said curved guides.
8. The system of claim 7, wherein said retaining member includes a clamp through which said continuous portion extends.
9. The system of claim 7, wherein said retaining member includes a drum, about which is wound and secured an intermediate portion of said continuous portion.
10. The system of claim 9, wherein said intermediate portion of said continuous portion is secured to said drum by at least one dead turn of said intermediate portion.
11. The system of claim 1, wherein said haul-cable drive includes at least one sense pulley fitted to said trolley and located between said idle pulleys to detect any variation in the tension of the haul cable.
12. The system of claim 1, wherein said relative-mobility means includes a number of parallel, side by side rollers, on which is located the portion of the haul cable extending between said drive pulleys.
13. The system of claim 1, wherein said relative-mobility means includes two curved slide and guide surfaces, on which part of said haul cable slides.
Description
PRIORITY CLAIM

This application claims the benefit of and priority to European Patent Application No. 07425837.7, filed Dec. 28, 2007, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein.

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates to a cableway system with supporting and haul cables. More specifically, the present invention relates to a cableway system of the type described in HOELZL COSTRUZIONE FUNIVIE S.R.L. Patent EP 0 692 418 B1 granted on Nov. 24, 1999, and comprising two supporting cables spaced a given distance apart and secured at opposite ends, a trolley fitted to the supporting cables, and a haul-cable drive interposed between an actuating unit and the trolley to move the trolley in opposite directions along the supporting cables.

The haul-cable drive comprises two drive pulleys powered by the actuating unit and located at a drive station, two return pulleys located at a return station, an endless haul cable looped about the two drive pulleys and two return pulleys, a first pair of idle pulleys fitted to the trolley and about which is looped the intermediate portion of the haul cable extending between the drive pulleys, and a second pair of idle pulleys, also fitted to the trolley, and about which is looped the intermediate portion of the haul cable extending between the return pulleys.

Known solutions of the type described above have several drawbacks, foremost of which is that of requiring not only an endless but also a “constant-strength” or “seamless” haul cable, in which the splice is practically invisible and poses no problems when winding on and off the pulleys, because the break load of the haul cable is practically the same at any point along it. Obtaining splices with the above characteristics is not easy, and involves painstaking work that can only be carried out on site by highly skilled personnel, thus resulting in high cost in terms of time and labour.

To this must be added additional comparable time and labour costs, on account of the haul cable, during operation of the system, settling and stretching, so that the first splice must inevitably be followed by cutting and further splicing.

SUMMARY

It is an object of the present invention to provide a cableway system with supporting and haul cables, differing from existing systems, and designed to provide a straightforward, low-cost solution to the above problems.

According to the present invention, there is provided a cableway system with supporting and haul cables, comprising at least one pair of supporting cables located a given distance apart and secured at opposite ends, a trolley fitted to said supporting cables, and a haul-cable drive interposed between an actuating unit and said trolley to move the trolley in opposite directions along said supporting cables, the haul-cable drive comprising two drive pulleys connected to said actuating unit and located at a drive station, two return pulleys located at a return station, and a haul cable wound about the two drive pulleys and the two return pulleys, the haul-cable drive also comprising relative-mobility means interposed between said trolley and an intermediate portion of said haul cable extending between said drive pulleys, to permit relative movement of said intermediate portion with respect to said trolley; and the system being characterized in that said haul-cable drive also comprises retaining means carried by said trolley to fix firmly to the trolley the portions of said haul cable extending from said return pulleys towards said trolley.

Additional features and advantages are described herein, and will be apparent from the following Detailed Description and the figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

A non-limiting embodiment of the invention will be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a schematic view of a preferred embodiment of the cableway system according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows schematically, with parts removed for clarity, a first variation of a detail in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows a side view, with parts sectioned for clarity, of a detail in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is similar to FIG. 2, and shows schematically, with parts removed for clarity, a second variation of a detail in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is similar to FIG. 4, and shows schematically, with parts removed for clarity, a variation of a detail in FIG. 4; and

FIG. 6 shows a larger-scale detail of FIGS. 4 and 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference numeral 1 of FIG. 1 indicates, as a whole, one embodiment of a cableway system with supporting and haul cables.

System 1 may be used on its own to form a single cable track 2, or, conveniently, alongside an identical cableway system 1 to form a two-cable tracks, i.e. to and from cableway system 3, only shown partly in FIG. 1.

In one embodiment, system 1 comprises a drive station 5, a return station 6, two parallel supporting cables 7 spaced a given distance apart and secured at one end at drive station 5, and at the other end at return station 6, a known trolley 8 fitted to supporting cables 7 (FIGS. 1 and 3), a passenger car 8 a suspended from trolley 8, and a haul-cable actuating unit 9 for moving trolley 8 in opposite directions along supporting cables 7.

In one embodiment, actuating unit 9 comprises a known motor reducer 10 at drive station 5, and a haul-cable drive 12 interposed between trolley 8 and motor reducer 10.

With reference to FIG. 1, in one embodiment, haul-cable drive 12 comprises two drive pulleys 14 located at drive station 5 and connected in known manner to motor reducer 10, two return pulleys 15 located at return station 6, and each connected to a respective counterweight 16 for moving the respective return pulley 15 away from the corresponding drive pulley 14, an open haul cable 18 wound about the two drive pulleys 14 and the two return pulleys 15 (as shown in FIG. 1), and two connecting devices 19 and 20 fitted to trolley 8 to connect haul cable 18 to trolley 8.

In one embodiment, device 19 is located on the side of trolley 8 facing drive pulleys 14, and comprises two idle pulleys 21 fitted in fixed positions and in rotary manner to trolley 8, and about which winds a continuous intermediate portion 22 of haul cable 18 extending between drive pulleys 14. In actual use, idle pulleys 21 permit relative movement of intermediate portion 22 with respect to trolley 8.

With reference to FIG. 1, in one embodiment, device 19 also comprises a known sense-pulley unit 24 located between idle pulleys 21 and comprising an idle pulley 25, which rotates about an axis parallel to those of idle pulleys 21, and is forced against portion 22 extending between pulleys 21, so as to curve part of portion 22 towards drive station 5. Unit 24 determines any variation in the tension of portion 22, and transmits a control signal to a known brake unit (not shown) for locking trolley 8 on haul cables 7.

Alternatively, in a variation not shown, each idle pulley 21 is replaced by a respective number of side by side rollers with axes parallel to one another and to the axis of pulley 25, or by a slide member defining a curved slide and guide track, on which part of intermediate portion 22 slides.

With further reference to FIG. 1, unlike device 19, device 20 is a retaining device, by which the two free end portions 18 a, 18 b of haul cable 18 from return pulleys 15 are connected firmly to trolley 8 to prevent any relative movement between portions 18 a, 18 b and trolley 8.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, device 20 comprises, for each free end portion 18 a, 18 b, a joint 27 interposed between relative portion 18 a, 18 b and a bracket 28 fitted integrally to trolley 8.

Alternatively, in the variation of FIGS. 2 and 3, device 20 comprises, for each end portion 18 a, 18 b, a respective drum 29, which is fitted integrally to trolley 8 with its axis conveniently parallel to those of pulleys 21 and 25, is located next to relative idle pulley 21, and is wound with an intermediate portion 29 a of relative end portion 18 a, 18 b, the end portion 30 of which is secured to trolley 8 by a respective known clamp 31 not described in detail. Intermediate portions 29 a are conveniently wound several times about respective drums 29 to form an “intermediate store” of standby cable for use during routine maintenance of system 1 (FIG. 3).

In the FIG. 4 variation, each drum 29 is replaced by a respective fixed guide member 34, which is secured to trolley 8 and has a circumferential outer groove 35 (FIG. 6) engaged by relative end portion 18 a, 18 b, an end portion of which is connected integrally to trolley 8 and to the end portion of the other portion 18 a, 18 b by a common clamp 36. Alternatively, the two free end portions of portions 18 a, 18 b are joined to form an endless cable, and clamp 36 secures the join or intermediate portions of portions 18 a, 18 b directly to trolley 8.

In the FIG. 5 variation, clamp 36 is replaced by a drum 38 fixed to trolley 8, between guide members 34, and about which the joined end portions 18 a, 18 b are wound and conveniently secured to drum 38 by one or more dead turns of the cable.

Devices 20 described, by connecting haul cable 18 firmly to trolley 8, regardless of whether haul cable 18 is open or endless, therefore provide, unlike the solution in Patent EP 0 692 418 B1, for totally transferring compensation or elimination of any difference in tension between the portions wound about return pulleys 15 from trolley 8 to the return pulleys and counterweights, thus greatly simplifying the design of the trolley.

Moreover, by enabling the use of open haul cables, system 1 described provides, unlike the known solution, for fast, easy takeup of any variation in the length of the haul cable caused by settling of the cable or normal operation of the system. In fact, in the case of the FIGS. 2 and 4 solutions, haul cable 18 is shortened by simply loosening and retightening clamps 31 and 36.

Alternatively, haul cable 18 is shorted, in the FIG. 1 solution, by simply remaking joints 27, and, in the FIGS. 2 and 5 solutions, by simply winding it about one or both of drums 29 and about drum 38 respectively.

When using endless cables, as in the FIGS. 4 and 5 solutions, clamp 36 and drum 38 provide, when performing routine maintenance and, therefore, when the system is shut down, for sliding the cable easily with respect to trolley 8 and pulleys 14 and 15.

Unlike known solutions, the characteristics described in particular, distancing from trolley 8 compensation of any difference in the tension of haul cable 18 on the return side—enable the use of both open cables, thus solving all the problems connected with splicing the haul cable, and endless cables, which may be joined using straightforward clamps and/or in such a manner that the join is located at the clamps or drums, with no need for special joints for forming constant-strength cables.

It should be understood that various changes and modifications to the presently preferred embodiments described herein will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present subject matter and without diminishing its intended advantages. It is therefore intended that such changes and modifications be covered by the appended claims.

Referenced by
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US7891300Sep 13, 2006Feb 22, 2011High Technology Investments B.V.Cable derailing prevention device for carrier/traction cables of cable car systems
US8082853Jan 15, 2004Dec 27, 2011High Technology Investments B.V.Hold-down device for the cable guide in cable-drawn transport systems
US8393276Aug 4, 2008Mar 12, 2013Rolic Invest S.Ar.L.Cable transportation system and relative operating method
US8408141Oct 24, 2008Apr 2, 2013Rolic Invest S.Ar.L.Cable transportation system and relative operating method
US8474743Aug 3, 2010Jul 2, 2013Rolic Invest S.Ar.L.Ski-lift seat return device
US8534196 *Jan 31, 2013Sep 17, 2013Rolic Invest S.Ar.LCable transportation system and relative operating method
US8573132Jul 14, 2011Nov 5, 2013Rolic International S.Ar.L.Cable transportation system switch and cable transportation system comprising such a switch
US8590458Apr 18, 2008Nov 26, 2013Rolic Invest S.Ar.L.Chair-lift
Classifications
U.S. Classification105/149.1
International ClassificationB61B3/00, B61B12/02
Cooperative ClassificationB66B9/06, B61B7/045, B61B12/02
European ClassificationB66B9/06, B61B7/04B, B61B12/02
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 27, 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: ROLIC INVEST S.AR.L., LUXEMBOURG
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ANDREETTO, ALESSANDRO;REEL/FRAME:022322/0781
Effective date: 20090210