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Title:
CABLE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM FOR TRANSPORTING PEOPLE AND METHOD FOR OPERATING THE SAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/042379
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A cable transportation system extends along a track (2) and has two haul cables (3, 4) driven respectively by respective motors (17, 18) and having respective mutually aligned end portions; a vehicle (7) with two clamping devices (9, 10) configured to attach the vehicle (7) to the haul cables (3, 4); a passenger station (16) at the end sections of the haul cables (3, 4); two control cams (11, 12) arranged respectively at the end sections of the haul cables (3, 4); and two actuators (13, 14) for bringing the control cams (11, 12) into an operating position to open the clamping devices (9, 10) and into a resting position in which they do not interfere with the clamping devices (9, 10), the control cams (11, 12) being spaced apart by a distance equal to the distance between the clamping devices (9, 10) in such a way that when the clamping device (9) is at the control cam (12), the clamping device (10) is at the control cam (11).

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Inventors:
CONTE, Giuseppe (Via Roma 21, Bolzano, 39100, IT)
Application Number:
IB2017/055264
Publication Date:
March 08, 2018
Filing Date:
September 01, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LEITNER S.P.A. (Via Brennero 34, Vipiteno, 2451, IT)
International Classes:
B61B9/00; B61B12/12
Foreign References:
EP2455267A12012-05-23
US3871303A1975-03-18
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ECCETTO, Mauro et al. (Studio Torta S.p.A, Via Viotti 9, Torino, 10121, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A cable transportation system for transporting people, the system (1) extending along a given track (2) and comprising at least one first and at least one second haul cable (3, 4), which are respectively actuated by a first and a second motor (17, 18), extending at least partly along the track (2) and having respective mutually aligned end sections; at least one vehicle (7) comprising at least one first and at least one second clamping device (9, 10), which are configured for selectively attaching the vehicle (7) to the first or the second haul cable (3, 4) ; a passenger embarking and disembarking station (16) at the end sections of the first and the second haul cable (3, 4) ; a first and a second control cam (11, 12) , which are respectively arranged at the end sections of the first and the second haul cable (3, 4) ; and a first and second actuator (13, 14) for selectively moving the first and the second control cam (11, 12) between an operating position for opening and closing the first and the second clamping device (9, 10) and a resting position, in which the first and the second control cam (11, 12) do not interfere with the first and the second clamping device (9, 10), wherein the first and the second control cam (11, 12) are mutually spaced apart by a distance equal to the distance between the first and the second clamping device (9, 10) so that when the first clamping device (9) is arranged at the second control cam (12), the second clamping device (10) is arranged at the first control cam (11) .

2. The cable transportation system as claimed in Claim 1, and comprising a locking device (15) for holding the vehicle stationary when the vehicle (7) is released from the first haul cable (3) and the second haul cable (4) .

3. The cable transportation system as claimed in Claim 2, wherein the locking device (15) comprises a first locking member (20) bound to the vehicle (7) and a second locking member (21) bound to the track (2), the first and the second locking member (20, 21) being configured for coupling one another .

4. The cable transportation system as claimed in Claim 3, wherein the first locking member (20) comprises a clamping device preferably aligned with the first and the second clamping device (9, 10) and the second locking member includes a cable section (22) or a bar with a diameter equal to that of the cable section (22) .

5. The cable transportation system as claimed in Claim

4, wherein the locking device (15) comprises a third control cam (24) moveable between an operating position wherein it interferes with the first locking member (20) for opening and closing the locking device (15) and for keeping the locking device (15) released from / attached to the second locking member (21) and a resting position wherein it does not interfere with the first locking member (20) .

6. The cable transportation system as claimed in any one of the foregoing Claims, and comprising a control device (25), which comprises a control unit (26) configured for acquiring the position of the vehicle (7) along the track (2) and controlling the first and the second motor (17, 18) and the first and the second actuator (13, 14) as a function of the position of the vehicle (7) ; and a plurality of sensors (27) for retrieving the position of the vehicle (7) along the track (2) .

7. The cable transportation system as claimed in Claim 6, wherein the control unit (26) is configured for controlling the first and the second motor (17, 18) and the first and second actuator (13, 14) as a function of a predetermined cycle, which comprises a deceleration phase of the vehicle (7), a vehicle stop phase, and an acceleration phase of the vehicle (7) .

8. The cable transportation system as claimed in Claim 7, wherein the control unit (26) is configured for bringing the first and the second control cam (11, 12) into the operating or resting position when the vehicle (7) is stationary in the passenger embarking and disembarking station (16) .

9. A method for operating a cable transportation system for transporting people, the method comprising the steps of:

- advancing at least one vehicle (7) comprising at least one first and at least one second clamping device (9, 10) along a given track (2) by means of a first or a second haul cable (3, 4), which extend at least partly along the track (2) and have respective mutually aligned end sections;

- controlling the opening and closing of the first and second clamping device (9, 10) at the end sections of the first and second haul cable (3, 4) by means of a first and second control cam (11, 12) moveable between an operating position wherein they interfere with the first and the second clamping device (9, 10) for opening and closing in sequence the first and the second clamping device (9, 10) and a resting position wherein they do not non interfere with the first and the second clamping device (9, 10) ;

- holding the vehicle (7) stationary by means of a locking device (15) or by clamping the vehicle (7) to the first or the second haul cable (3, 4) ; and

- releasing the vehicle (7) from the first and the second haul cable (3, 4) or at least from the first or the second haul cable (3, 4) .

10. The method as claimed in Claim 9, and comprising the steps of acquiring the position of the vehicle (7) along the track (2) ; and actuating the first and the second control cam (11, 12) and the locking device (15) as a function of the position of the vehicle (7) along the track (2) .

11. The method as claimed in Claim 10, and comprising the step of decelerating the first haul cable (3) until the vehicle is stopped (7) in a given position; holding the vehicle (7) in said given position; and releasing the vehicle (7) from the first haul cable (3) .

12. The method as claimed in Claim 11, and comprising the step of clamping the vehicle (7) to the second haul cable (4) when it is in the said given position; unlocking the locking device (15) ; and accelerating the second haul cable (4) together with the vehicle (7) .

Description:
"CABLE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM FOR TRANSPORTING PEOPLE AND METHOD FOR OPERATING THE SAME"

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a cable transportation system for transporting people.

In particular, the present invention relates to a cable transportation system which extends along a route whose overall length requires the use of at least two haul cables.

BACKGROUND ART

A cable transportation system of the type identified above is described in the document EP 2, 455, 267 Al . This document describes transferring a vehicle from a first to a second haul cable and stopping the vehicle when the vehicle is simultaneously gripping the first and the second haul cable. The cable transportation system of the type described in the document EP 2,455,267 Al, on the one hand, makes it possible to stop the vehicle in the transfer phase but, on the other hand, imposes the condition of keeping the first haul cable and the second haul cable simultaneously stationary during the stop phase, to the detriment of the operation of the cable transportation system.

DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a cable transportation system which is free of the drawbacks of the prior art .

In accordance with the present invention a cable transportation system for transporting people is provided, the system extending along a given track and comprising at least one first and one second haul cable, which are respectively actuated by a first and a second motor, extending at least partly along the track and have respective mutually aligned end sections; at least one vehicle comprising at least one first and one second clamping device, which are configured for selectively attaching the vehicle to the first or the second haul cable; a passenger embarking and disembarking station at the end sections of the first and the second haul cable; a first and a second control cam, which are respectively arranged at the end sections of the first and the second haul cable; and a first and second actuator for selectively moving the first and the second control cam between an operating position for opening and closing the first and the second clamping device and a resting position, in which the first and the second control cam do not non interfere with the first and the second clamping device, wherein the first and the second control cam are mutually spaced apart at a distance equal to the distance between the first and the second clamping device so that when the first clamping device is arranged at the second control cam, the second clamping device is arranged at the first control cam.

Thanks to the configuration described above, when the vehicle is arranged in the stop position the first and second clamping device can be easily controlled by means of actuating the respective first and second control cam. It is also possible to keep the vehicle stationary at the passenger embarking and disembarking station, while one or both of the first or the second haul cables may be freely operated. In particular, the first haul cable is stopped at the end of a deceleration phase of the first haul cable so as to stop the vehicle and is kept stationary while the vehicle is clamped in the stop phase, while the second haul cable is freely operable until it is stopped to be clamped by the vehicle and immediately accelerated as soon as the vehicle has been coupled.

In accordance with a particular embodiment of the present invention, the cable transportation system comprises a locking device to hold the vehicle stationary at the passenger embarking and disembarking station when the vehicle is released from the first haul cable and from the second haul cable.

Thanks to the locking device it is possible to freely operate the first and second haul cable when the vehicle is stationary at the passenger embarking and disembarking station. In particular, the locking device comprises a first locking member bound to the vehicle and a second locking member bound to the track, the first and the second locking member being couplable to each other.

It is thus possible to lock the vehicle in a given position .

In accordance with the present invention, the first locking member comprises a third clamping device preferably aligned with the first and the second clamping devices and the second locking member includes a cable section or a bar with a diameter equal to that of the cable section.

It may be advantageous in terms of economy of scale to make the first locking member in the form of a clamping device and the second locking member in the form of a cable section or a bar.

In particular, the locking device comprises a third control cam moveable between an operating position wherein it interferes with the first locking member for opening and closing the locking device and for keeping the locking device released from / attached to the second locking member and a resting position wherein it does not interfere with the first locking member.

In other words, the control of the locking device is similar to the control of the clamping of the first and second clamping devices. In accordance with the present invention, the cable transportation system comprises a control device, which comprises a control unit configured for acquiring the position of the vehicle along the track and controlling the first and the second motor, and the first and the second actuator, and possibly the locking device depending on the position of the vehicle; and a plurality of sensors for retrieving the position of the vehicle along the track.

The control unit is further configured for controlling the first and the second motor, the first and the second actuator, and the locking device as a function of a predetermined cycle which comprises a vehicle deceleration phase, a vehicle stop phase, and a vehicle acceleration phase .

In practice, the vehicle makes a stop at the transfer from the first to the second cable according to a predefined cycle which however requires that the position of the vehicle is acquired by means of sensors.

In particular, the control unit is configured to arrange the first and the second control cam in the operating position or the resting position when the locking device locks the vehicle.

The first and second haul cables can thus be operated independently from one another in the vehicle's stop phase.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a method for operating a cable transportation system for transporting people which is free of the drawbacks of the prior art .

In accordance with the present invention, a method is provided for operating a cable transportation system for transporting people, the method comprising the steps of:

- advancing at least one vehicle comprising at least one first and one second clamping device along a given track by means of a first or a second haul cable, which extend at least partly along the track and have respective mutually aligned end sections;

- controlling the opening and closing of the first and second clamping devices at the end sections of the first and second haul cable by means of a first and second control cam moveable between an operating position wherein they interfere with the first and the second clamping devices for opening and closing in sequence the first and the second clamping devices and a resting position wherein they do not interfere with the first and the second clamping devices;

- holding the vehicle stationary by means of a locking device or by clamping the vehicle to the first or the second haul cable; and

- releasing the vehicle from the first and the second haul cable or at least from either the first or the second haul cable. In practice, locking the vehicle by means of the locking device allows the first and second haul cables to be freely operated during the vehicle stop, while locking the vehicle by means of clamping to the first or the second haul cable allows the second or first haul cable to be freely operated during the stop phase.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further characteristics and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of non-limiting examples of embodiment, with reference to the figures of the accompanying drawings, wherein :

- Figures 1 to 7 are schematic views in side elevation, with parts removed for clarity, of the cable transportation system of the present invention in a series of operating phases ;

- Figure 8 is a schematic view, with parts removed for clarity, of a control device of the cable transportation system which is the object of the present invention;

- Figures 9 to 14 are schematic views in side elevation, with parts removed for clarity, of an alternative embodiment of the cable transportation system which is the object of the present invention in a series of operating phases.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

With reference to Figures 1 to 7, the number 1 denotes in its entirety a cable transportation system, which extends along a track 2 and comprises two haul cables 3 and 4, which are wound around respective pulleys 5 and 6, extending at least partly along the track 2, and have respective mutually aligned end portions; and a vehicle 7 configured to be attached to the first haul cable 3 or the second haul cable 4. In the example shown, the track 2 defines a path P along which the vehicle 7 advances in a direction of travel D. The track 2 is defined by a pair of rails 8, only one of which is shown in the accompanying figures.

In the example shown, the vehicle 7 comprises two clamping devices 9 and 10, which are mutually aligned and configured to selectively attach the vehicle 7 to the haul cable 3 or the haul cable 4. The cable transportation system 1 comprises two cams 11 and 12, which are configured to cooperate with the clamping devices 9 and 10 so as to have the clamping devices 9 and 10 in an open position.

The cams 11 and 12 are selectively movable between an operating position in which the cams 11 and 12 intercept and open the clamping devices 9 and 10, and a resting position in which they do not interfere with the clamping devices 9 and 10 which are kept closed by respective springs, which are not shown. The cams 11 and 12 are linked to respective actuators 13 and 14 so as to arrange the cams 11 and 12 in respective operating and resting positions. The cable transportation system 1 further comprises a locking device 15 for holding the vehicle 7 stationary when the vehicle 7 is simultaneously released by both haul cables 3 and 4 and to allow passengers to safely board and disembark from the vehicle 7.

In other words, in the phase of transferring from the haul cable 3 to the haul cable 4, the vehicle 7 is held stationary at a passenger embarking and disembarking station 16 arranged at the end sections of the haul cables 3 and 4. The haul cables 3 and 4 are driven by respective motors 17 and 18 shown schematically in Figures 1 to 6.

In particular, the first and the second control cams 11 and 12 are spaced apart from one another by a distance equal to the distance between the clamping devices 9 and 10 in such a way that when the clamping device 9 is at the control cam 12, the clamping device 10 is at the control cam 11 as shown in Figures 3 and 4.

The locking device 15 comprises a first locking member 20 bound to the vehicle 7 and a second locking member 21 fixed with respect to the track 2 and configured to cooperate with the locking member 20. In practice, the locking members 20 and 21 are selectively and mutually coupled to each another. In particular, the locking member 20 is arranged between the two clamping devices 9 and 10, while the locking member 21 is arranged between the two cams 11 and 12. The locking member 20 is spaced apart from the clamping device 9 by a distance equal to the distance between the control cam 12 and the locking member 21 in such a way that when the clamping devices 9 and 10 are arranged at the respective cams 12 and 11, the locking member 20 is arranged at the locking member 21.

In particular, the locking member 20 is defined by a clamping device of the same type as the clamping devices 9 and 10 and aligned with the clamping devices 9 and 10 and then in use is also clamped to the haul cables 3 and 4 when located at them, while the locking member 21 comprises a cable section 22, which is stretched out between two supports 23 and is aligned with the end sections of the haul cables 3 and 4. In accordance with an embodiment not shown, the cable section 22 is replaced with a bar of diameter equal to that of the cable section 22. The locking device 15 also comprises a control cam 24 whose position is controlled by the actuator 19 so as to arrange the control cam 24 either in an operating position in which the control cam 24 intercepts the clamping devices 9 and 10 and the locking member 20, or in a resting position.

With reference to Figure 8, the cable transportation system 1 comprises a control device 25 comprising a control unit 26 configured to acquire the position of the vehicle 7 along the track 2; and sensors 27 for detecting the position of the vehicle 7.

In particular, the control unit 26 is configured for controlling the first motor 17 and the second motor 18 and the actuators 13, 14 and 19 as a function of a predetermined program which comprises a deceleration phase for the vehicle 7, a stop phase for the vehicle 7, and an acceleration phase for the vehicle 7.

The control unit 26 is configured to acquire the status of the condition of the motors 17 and 18 and the actuators 13, 14 and 19 and comprises a memory 28 for storing the signals acquired by the sensors 27, the motors 17 and 18 and the actuators 13, 14 and 19.

The control unit 26 is configured to arrange the cams 11 and 12 in the resting position when the locking device 15 locks the vehicle 7 at the passenger embarking and disembarking station 16 so as to allow the free and independent operation of each of the haul cables 3 and 4 in the stop phase of the vehicle 7.

In use, with reference to Figure 1, the clamping device 10 is clamped to the haul cable 3, the clamping device 9 is in the release phase from the haul cable 3, and the cams 11 and 12 and the locking member 20 are arranged in the operating position. In practice, the locking member 20 is aligned with the clamping devices 9 and 10 and grips the haul cable 3. The vehicle 7 decelerates until it stops as it nears the station 16. In the deceleration phase when the clamping device 9 and the locking member 20 have passed the control cam 11, the control cam 11 is arranged in the resting position, i.e. lowered, as shown in Figure 2.

Subsequently, the deceleration of the vehicle 7 continues until the vehicle 7 is stopped precisely when the clamping devices 9 and 10 are respectively arranged at the respective cams 12 and 11 as shown in Figure 3. When the vehicle 7 is in this position, the locking member 20 is arranged at the locking member 21 and the vehicle 7 is clamped only to the cable 3, is released from the cable 4 and the locking device 15 is not in operation.

Once the vehicle 7 has stopped, the locking device 15 is operated by moving the locking member 21 so that it does not interfere with the locking member 20, which promptly clamps the cable section 22. The control cam 11 is arranged in the operating position and as a result the vehicle 7 is released from the haul cable 3, which can be operated without interfering with the vehicle 7 as shown in Figure 4.

The haul cable 4 is stopped so that it is stationary when the vehicle 7 has finished its stop. Once the haul cable 4 has stopped, the control cam 12 is brought into the resting position so as to allow the clamping device 9 to clamp the haul cable 4. The locking device 15 is then disengaged so as to release the locking members 20 and 21 from each another as shown in Figure 5.

The haul cable 4 is then started and the vehicle 7 is advanced together with the haul cable 4 as shown in Figure 6. In the configuration shown in Figure 6, the control cam 12 is in the resting position, i.e. lowered, the control cam 11 is in the operating position, i.e. raised, and the control cam 24 of the locking device 15 is in the raised position.

As soon as the clamping device 9 has passed the control cam 12, the control cam 12 is brought into the operating position, i.e. raised, to allow the clamping of the clamping device 10 and the locking member 20 to the cable 4 as shown in Figure 7.

In the alternative embodiment shown in Figures 9 to 14, the locking device 15 is omitted and the vehicle 7 is held stationary when it is clamped to the haul cable 3 in the resting position or to the haul cable 4.

In use, with reference to Figure 9, the clamping device 10 is clamped to the haul cable 3, the clamping device 9 is in the release phase from the haul cable 3, and both the cams 11 and 12 are arranged in the operating position. The vehicle 7 decelerates until it stops as it nears the station 16. In the deceleration phase when the clamping device 9 has passed the control cam 11, the control cam 11 is arranged in the resting position, i.e. lowered, as shown in Figure 10.

The deceleration of the vehicle 7 then continues until the vehicle 7 is stopped in a position wherein the clamping devices 9 and 10 are respectively arranged at the respective cams 12 and 11 as shown in Figure 11.

During the stop phase of the vehicle 7, the vehicle 7 remains clamped to the haul cable 3, which remains stationary for the entire stop phase, while the haul cable 4 is freely movable depending on the system's needs. The haul cable 4 is stopped so that it is stationary when the vehicle 7 has finished its stop. Once the haul cable 4 has stopped, the control cam 12 is arranged in the resting position so as to allow the clamping device 9 to clamp the cable 4 and simultaneously the control cam 11 is arranged in the operating position so as to release the vehicle 7 from the haul cable 3 as shown in Figure 12. From this time, the haul cable 3 can be moved independently in the subsequent movement stages of the vehicle 7.

The haul cable 4 is then started and the vehicle 7 is advanced together with the haul cable 4 as shown in Figure 13. In the configuration shown in Figure 13, the control cam 12 is in the resting position, i.e. lowered, and the control cam 11 is in the operating position, i.e. raised.

As soon as the clamping device 9 has passed the control cam 12, the control cam 12 is brought into the operating position, i.e. raised, to allow the clamping of the clamping device 10 to the cable 4 as shown in Figure 14. The embodiment described with reference to Figures 9 to 14 is simpler to construct but allows only one of the two haul cables 3 and 4 to be freely used during stop phases. In addition, the control device 25 shown in Figure 8 is simplified because the actuator 19 is omitted.

In the present invention, the term "control cam" shall be taken to mean a complete control cam that comprises an opening ramp and a closing ramp for the clamping devices. When the control cam is arranged in the operating position and the vehicle advances, the clamping device which interferes with the cam performs a cycle of opening and closing .

Finally, it is clear that the cable transportation system described and claimed may be subject to modifications and variations without thereby departing from the scope of protection defined by the appended claims.