MND : MND: the new range of detachable lifts is entering the final trial phase
Market launch as from 2016
The MND Group (FR0011584549, MND), an innovative developer of mountain and urban mobility solutions, is listed on the Paris Euronext regulated market, compartment C.
The MND Group today announces the finalisation of the development work undertaken by its subsidiary LST, for the design of a new range of detachable lifts suited to mountain facilities and urban transport infrastructure. To achieve this, LST is building a life-sized bench test at its Alpespace facility in Sainte-Hélène-du-Lac in the Savoie department, and is performing the final trials before market launch.
The ongoing tests confirm the intrinsic qualities of these new innovative lifts, including improved safety, reduced energy consumption, extended useful life of the equipment, and a considerable reduction in construction and maintenance costs.
Over €2.5 million has been invested in this new range, with the launch of the detachable 6-seater chairlift scheduled for 2016 and the detachable gondola chairlift planned for 2017. Several patents have been filed. In particlar, LST has developed and patented an innovative technology for the detachable grip that attaches the vehicle (gondola or chairlift) to the cable. The grip is actually the key component in a detachable facility, as it enables the uncoupling of the vehicle from the traction cable at the stations. This system enables the vehicle to travel at a lower speed in the stations without slowing down the entire line, and significantly improves the facility's performance (increased throughput, reduction in transportation time, and ease of boarding and disembarking).
The highly innovative machines designed by LST have four major advantages: 1/ the effort required to open and close the grips at the station is reduced, which minimises the risk of blocking and interrupting the service, and reduces energy consumption; 2/ the number of grip movements during transit through the station is cut in half, which guarantees maximum safety and less wear and tear; 3/ the size of the departure and arrival stations is reduced, which lowers their construction cost and their impact on the environment; 4/ the system for conveying the vehicles in the station has been totally redesigned, resulting in a 75% decrease in maintenance costs, and energy savings of around 15% for the operator.
Xavier Gallot-Lavallée, MND's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, made the following comments: “We are particularly proud to unveil the features of this range of highly innovative detachable lifts, which demonstrates a very clear technological advance that puts us way ahead of our competitors. The equipment that we have designed combines optimal safety and comfort for users, on the one hand, and greater performance and lower maintenance costs for the operator, on the other. This new range of ski lifts provides us with undeniable advantages in a market seeking to optimise operating costs, and opens up a potential additional market worth €800 million, in which we have a legitimate role to play. Thanks to this cutting-edge equipment, the Group is positioning itself as a standard-setting player on the detachable lift market for both winter sports resorts and the urban environment, as we have also anticipated the exacting requirements of urban public transport network operators in our approach. The design, assembly, and logistics for these machines were all carried out in the Savoie department in France. The machines are also primarily manufactured at the Group's French plants.”
An innovative grip that offers improved safety and long-term performance.
- The kinematics of the grip have been reviewed, in order to avoid the risk of it suddenly releasing while in motion;
- The grip has been designed so as to minimise the effort required to open and close it at the station, and therefore the drag effect, which lowers the risk of blocking during the coupling in and coupling out stages, and reduces energy consumption.
- The number of movements when travelling through the station, which is usually four, has been cut to two.
Extending the useful life of the lifts is key to their use in urban environments, as detachable lifts can operate at a rate three times higher than that seen in mountain resorts (over 7,000 hours per year compared with 1,500 hours on average in mountain resorts).
Vehicles designed to offer a remarkable level of comfort and safety
The vehicles will be able to travel at a rate of up to 6 metres per second.
New seating for six has been developed, in order to increase the lift's useful life while providing users with a high level of comfort and safety.
A new cabin design will be presented in the near future.
Stations that are designed to make traffic run more smoothly, and reduce construction and maintenance costs
- The length of the accelerator-decelerator has been considerably shortened, thanks to a 50% reduction in the movements for opening and shutting the grip.
- The station now measures less than 22 metres in length, i.e. around 4 metres less than the standard stations on the market;
- The system for conveying the vehicles in the station has been completely reviewed, in order to simplify and streamline the movement of the vehicles.
- The number of tyres, the wear of which causes pollution and which are very expensive to maintain, has been divided by four. Friction has been reduced, and the energy savings for the operator during the conveying process are therefore considerable, at around 15%.
- The systems for gaining access to the station for operation and maintenance purposes have been simplified and made safer.
Find all the information you need on www.mnd-bourse.com
About MND Group: The MND Group has been based at Sainte Hélène du Lac (Savoie), in the very heart of the French Alps, since 2004. MND is one of the few market players to have a global range of products and services dedicated to the development, equipping and protection of ski resorts, leisure areas and other mountain infrastructure. Buoyed by its industrial expertise in the mountain cable transport market and by innovative technology protected by worldwide patents, the MND Group has strong growth potential in the urban cable public transport field, where it offers an unobtrusive alternative mode of urban transport. With five manufacturing plants in Europe (France, Germany and Sweden), eight distribution subsidiaries and 30 distributors worldwide, the MND Group has 320 employees and almost 3,000 customers in 49 countries.
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