From 20 September to 20 December I had the luck to complete a three-month-long secondment in LEITNER company. LEITNER, a top manufacturer of ropeway systems, was the ideal environment for me to get an industrial experience in a field directly linked to my research topic. Investigating highly flexible axially moving beams with co-moving discrete masses, which is the focus of my PhD thesis, can find a real-world application on ropeway systems.
During my industrial secondment I used EXUDYN, a multibody dynamics software produced in the University of Innsbruck, to model a realistic monocable ropeway system and monitor its behaviour in the static and dynamic case. The experienced staff of LEITNER were ready to give to me any technical details needed as well as to explain to me the procedure they follow for the design of a ropeway and the basic theory they rely on. I also had interesting conversations with them about the construction and validation procedure and several extreme challenges that had appeared through time during the construction and operation of ropeway systems. In addition, I had the opportunity to work in the department of control systems of LEITNER which showed particular interest in the dynamic modelling of a ropeway system. Small examples for observing the behaviour of segments of a ropeway under specific load cases as well as a total simplified ropeway system were demonstrated through simulations and discussed during a series of meetings with engineers of the control systems department. I am grateful for their useful remarks on improving the system to match better to the real case.
Particularly insightful were both my visit to a ropeway installation in Mutters and to the company headquarters and production site in Sterzing where I had a very detailed guided tour.
All in all, my work in the company surrounded by engineers with expertise on the design and construction of ropeway systems helped me acquire the technical knowledge needed and get a clearer image of the ropeway manufactory. I think that my experience in the industry of ropeway systems was as motivating as illuminating for me as an early stage researcher.
Contributed by Konstantina Ntarladima (ESR 8)