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12.03.2024

Perfectly groomed

Throughout the world PRINOTH snow groomers ensure ideal winter sport conditions

  • Machinery and plant engineering

Winter sports enthusiasts expect perfectly groomed pistes, whether it’s for a fast downhill run, stylish carving, cross-country skiing in the classical or skating style, or breathtaking tricks with the snowboard in the fun park or off-piste. When it comes to the grooming of their pistes and snow parks, ski regions worldwide rely on vehicles made by PRINOTH. HANSA‑FLEX is a partner to the world market-leading southern Tyrolean company in the after-sales field.

 

For the PRINOTH snow groomers work begins in the late afternoon, when the winter sports enthusiasts are getting ready to enjoy their après-ski refreshments and discuss their achievements on the piste. With their over 500 horse-power engines these vehicles literally transform night into day: their headlamps banish the darkness while the snow groomers effortlessly climb the steepest slopes, manoeuvring with breathtaking versatility while moving and levelling the snow and ice with the greatest precision. They have only one objective: creating the perfect piste.

The snow groomers and their hydraulic system are subject to extreme temperature fluctuations.

The flexibly adjustable snowblower to the rear is used to create fine-grained snow conditions with good grip.

All their attachments are operated hydraulically, including for example the 12-way snowplough with hydraulic side blades, which distribute the snow evenly on the piste.

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Traction and work hydraulics

The snow groomers fulfill a wide range of demanding operations, with hydraulics playing a key role in all of them. All their attachments are operated hydraulically, including for example the 12-way snowplough with hydraulic side blades, which distribute the snow evenly on the piste. Snow parks and fun parks with jumps and half pipes can be modelled with precision, thanks to integrated measuring devices with 3-D data support. The flexibly adjustable snowblower to the rear is used to create fine-grained snow conditions with good grip. Even steep slopes and difficult terrain are unable to slow down the snow groomers, because a hydraulic cable winch keeps them securely and precisely on track. However, the areas of operation for the hydraulic system are not restricted to the attachments: the vehicles themselves are equipped with a diesel-hydraulic drive, which transmits power from the engines to the caterpillar tracks in exactly the right doses. “The entire hydraulics are controlled via a CAN-Bus system. The data from the pressure and temperature sensors is constantly evaluated in order to control the valve blocks and accordingly the front plough with the highest level of precision”, explains Martin Kirchmair, Head of R&D at PRINOTH.

Extreme conditions

More than 30 °C below at night, and more than 25 °C above zero on the glacier in summer: the snow groomers and their hydraulic system are subject to extreme temperature fluctuations. “Because the vehicles are always in operation outdoors, UV resistance is also an important factor when it comes to the useful life of the hose lines”, adds Kirchmair. The extensive manoeuvrability of the attachments also requires equally flexible and abrasion-resistant materials, which are in addition unaffected by constant contact with ice and snow. Selecting the right components is therefore essential. For this purpose PRINOTH chose HANSA‑FLEX as the supplier for its after-sales operations: “The hose lines meet our stringent quality requirements, and have been tried and tested in practice”, reports Martin Kirchmair.

Fast after-sales service

Speed, quality and service: when it comes to after sales PRINOTH accepts no compromises. With its excellent transport links, the company’s Service and Logistics HQ in Telfs, Austria, is the hub for providing fast supplies of spare parts. “We make deliveries to Telfs twice a day”, reports Erwin Auer, who is in charge of the Tyrol/Vorarlberg region at HANSA‑FLEX. The hose lines are produced at the Innsbruck branch, which has access to all PRINOTH parts lists. In this respect HANSA‑FLEX offers its customers an all-round service: the hose lines feature not only the PRINOTH article number, but also the customer’s logo. “With this measure we indicate that these are original spare parts”, confirms Kirchmair. A further benefit: before delivery the hose lines are cleaned and sealed at the branch, so that there is no risk of contamination by dirt.

24 hours, 365 days

PRINOTH offers its customers a 24-hour service. And if a part which is not in stock is required at the weekend or on a public holiday, the HANSA‑FLEX standby service goes into action: “We then immediately deliver the hose line by courier, or we send a service vehicle directly to the ski region, where the hose line is then prepared on the spot”, reports Auer. A service which is appreciated: “What we like about HANSA‑FLEX is the combination it offers of high quality, fast delivery and a highly cooperative relationship”, is Martin Kirchmair’s opinion.

“What we like about HANSA‑FLEX is the combination it offers of high quality, fast delivery and a highly cooperative relationship!”

Martin Kirchmair

Head of R&D at PRINOTH

Continuous optimisation

Of course the cooperation goes beyond the simple supply of components. “We always aim to support our customers in their technical development operations”, states Erwin Auer, who benefits in this from his extensive experience in the piste-grooming vehicle business. Potential optimisations are discussed together and tested both at the PRINOTH test facility and on the piste itself. For example, as part of the continuous improvement process older snow groomers are fitted with even more efficient and durable hose lines. There is also close cooperation in the filtration field, with examples such as a pilot project in which additional moisture was extracted from the hydraulic oil by means of special absorber filters – an important innovation in an operating environment dominated by snow and ice.

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