Panel Builder System Integrator

January 2, 2020

Tscharner Technik (Tscharner) equips cable cars and ski lifts with control systems, combining their own software developed in-house with failsafe controllers from Siemens. As part of the software advancement, the visualization has been updated. The first project that uses the new solution includes two single ski lifts and one double ski lift in the Rosswald near Brig ski resort. The new control system impresses with its intuitive handling and clear display. The controller also calculates all the data relevant to the cable car such as speed and acceleration and communicates it to the drive. In the event of an error, remote maintenance via a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection is possible at all times.

The operation of ski lifts is subject to strict standards and safety regulations. Even for a simple cable car, about 20 safety aspects must be monitored permanently. One particularly critical aspect is the braking systems - the subject of three of these checks. These braking systems monitor one another and trigger an emergency stop in the event of a malfunction. This requires a control system that is reliable and easy to operate. Tscharner therefore uses products from the Simatic S7-1500 family from Siemens for its control systems. Specifically, the company uses a compact CPU (Central Processing Unit) 1510-SP-F based on the ET 200SP distributed I/O system.

Intuitive and everything at a glance

To make operation as simple as possible for the changing seasonal staff, Tscharner relies on a simple clear visualization, which is intuitive and easy to understand. The company has opted for a two-button philosophy: first one button acknowledges the plant and then a second button starts it. The user can view the status of the entire plant at a glance on a clear display. The panel used is a large seven- inch Simatic HMI (Human Machine Interface) touch panel. Data is sent to and from the drive via the open Industrial Ethernet standard Profinet.

Global support

For optimal maintenance in the event of an error, the plant does not necessarily require an Internet connection. A GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) modem, which the control system can use to communicate with the AVM Engineering AG (AVM) server via VPN tunnel, is enough to enable remote access. AVM is an industrial automation specialist and can support the ski lift operating personnel via remote maintenance at any time and anywhere in the world.

Popular solution

The collaboration of Tscharner and AVM in combination with Siemens components is now proving popular worldwide. At the end of 2018, a dual cable car was commissioned in Nepal, which can transport up to 20 people to a height of over 3200 meters. After just two weeks of project time, the tramway could be handed over to the operator.


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