Bearings

“Fuel” for the rope taxi

“Fuel” for the rope taxi

“Fuel” for the rope taxi

“Fuel” for the rope taxi

With the FlemXpress, the Weisse Arena Group is currently implementing a new cable car concept in the Laax ski area in Graubünden, Switzerland. The innovative approach: The user requests “his” gondola and sets his individual goal. In this way, the operators want to reduce the energy required for the way up by 50 percent. Important fuel for the construction and operation of the gondolas are various types of rolling bearings from the Karlsruhe provider Findling Wälzlager. These enable the smooth movement of the automatic gondola doors.

Sustainable holidays and especially winter sports are currently much discussed topics. In addition to the snow cannons, which are playing an increasingly important role - also due to climate change - it is above all the means of transport on the mountains that must have a neutral impact on the environment and climate in the future. An innovative concept from the Swiss gondola builder Bartholet now promises progress and significantly lower energy requirements than conventional mountain railways. The so-called rope taxi only sets off if it is occupied by at least one person. They choose their desired destination directly at the entrance, which is then driven to individually.

The first two sections of the route were completed and put into operation at the end of 2023. Klaus Findling, Managing Director of Findling Wälzlager, immediately took a test drive. His comment: "It's a great feeling when you go up the mountain in your favorite ski area and know that the gondola has its own rolling bearings installed." The destinations Foppa and Startgels will now be served from Flims. At the end of 2024 Segnes, Nagens Sura, and Cassons three other stations will be integrated into the Y-shaped route network.

Every time the gondola doors open quietly in front of the passengers, deep groove ball bearings from Findling Wälzlager are also in play. More than a dozen of these invisible helpers ensure smooth and efficient movements in every sliding door. Specifically, the designers at Bartholet use the deep groove ball bearings in two versions for the door machines and the door bearings. In addition to a standard variant, a bearing type with specially adapted greasing is used. Since the project began in 2021, several thousand pieces have already been installed, which Findling is delivering as needed and promptly.

“Our collaboration with Bartholet started more than a decade ago,” remembers Christian Seitz, Senior Account Manager at Findling Wälzlager. “At that time it was a special request for an unusually large spherical roller bearing with an inside diameter of 380 mm.” Further orders followed, in which Findling was able to demonstrate its expertise in the area of high-quality roller bearing seals, among other things.

Steffen Bormann, head of cabin construction at Bartholet, draws a positive conclusion about the collaboration in the Ropetaxi project so far: “We have been working with the Findling Wälzlager company for around 13 years now and are once again very satisfied with the cooperation on this project.”

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