Reducing Vibration Through Precision

Reducing Vibration Through Precision

What useful life can you expect from a motor if it is installed and maintained with an eye toward precision?

While I have no data on the failure rate of lift motors, electric, the issue of vibration has to be one that many of you have had to deal with over time.  The elimination or near elimination of vibration with anything mechanical is a important part of extending the life cycle of any piece of equipment.

I am sharing a link to an article on vibration.  It is not specific to the ski industry but if one reads, and imagines when the article mentions a machine motor that the article is talking about a lift motor, or a snowmaking pump, the article has value for us in the ski industry.
I know from my own experience where a coupling alignment was moved out of alignment due to vibration, went undetected for some time and even with the lift manufacturer initially repairing the alignment was not corrected, and the failure repeated itself.  Finally a vibration analysis was done and the issue was solved with realignment and a remounting,
Now vibration is more easily detected with sensors that are not very expensive. In fact there are smartphone  apps available to record vibration frequencies.  I’ll be the first to admit that this is a nice to have process in place and I am sure that some of you are way ahead of me. But, this is an area where our creativity can yield pay back with life extensions of certain pieces of equipment with bottom line impact.

Data and Information

Database of record: Centralized and organized data assists in recognizing and evaluating patterns, resulting in more thoughtful planning and informed predictions.

Rapid, intuitive retrieval of current and historical data (accessible on or offsite) improves decision making at all levels of management.

Simple report generation.

Reduces risk and potential lawsuits.

Supports visualization of current and future mountain infrastructure (e.g. Gazex explosives locations, forest thinning, designing new runs, parking, etc.).


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Ski Patrol

  • Ease of real-time data entry (no more logbooks or spreadsheets!).
  • Use of common language allows for consistent communication and information sharing.
  • Increases safety by minimizing accidents through pattern analysis of incidents.
  • Accident Investigation and Risk Management.
  • Snow Safety (Ski Patrol) Training.

The web and mobile application suite will provide editing and data collection tools for mapping incidents (wrecks, accidents) of any kind.

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Avalanche Module


Ability to document, track and analyze slope conditions with one tool.

Ease of real-time data entry (no more logbooks or spreadsheets!).

 Centralized and organized data assists in recognizing and evaluating patterns, resulting in more thoughtful planning and informed predictions.

Provides detailed current and historical weather patterns for visualizing/predicting.

Saves money through more precise use of explosives. 

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The dispatch and risk module leverage Esri’s Survey 123 for ArcGIS, providing an intuitive survey-form, data-driven workflow for point feature collection and reporting. Data collected with SmartMountain Survey apps, which are available for both web browsers and native desktop and mobile apps for standard operating systems, are integrated with one or more SmartMountain modules, providing real-time or disconnected and later synchronized workflows for data collection and integration.

Each ski resort decided what they wish to display on the Dispatch Dashboard including on-hill incidents, walk-in incidents, on-hill refusals,  missing persons, work details for different departments, ski patrol rosters for the day, clearances, and sweeps.

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  • Logs for Lift Maintenance, Lift Operations, and Groomer inspections, as well as building inspections.
  • Logs can record data and signatures, can record stops, station assignments.
  • Logs are tracked by calendar.


  • Management review made easy through the use of Excel – reviewing a major grouping of assets or a single component of an asset such as a drive or a gearbox.
  • All information related to a system(asset) is in one place whether it be a lift inspection report, a manual, oil analysis, a service bulletin, or a letter from a vendor.


  • Every user has a unique dashboard.
  • Dashboards can be customized to reflect a user’s specific needs.
  • Quick access to the status of work and cost .


  • The schedule function in MountainOffice provides for detailed instructions by task, recording of data such as the temperature of a gearbox, and service bulletins.
  • All schedules can have a time or counter trigger.