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Poma, also known as Pomagalski S.A. is a French company which builds cable-driven lift systems, including fixed and detachable chairlifts, gondola lifts, funiculars, aerial tramways, people movers, and surface lifts. Poma has installed more than 7,700 systems in 73 countries which can transport up to 6.25 million passengers per hour. Poma's only major competitor is the Doppelmayr Garaventa Group which is based in Austria and Switzerland. Italy's Leitner was historically another competitor until 2000 when Leitner's parent company became the majority owner of Poma. The two remain independent but formed a strategic partnership which includes the combined purchase of raw materials and the formation of Leitner-Poma as a joint venture in North America.

The majority of Poma lifts are constructed in ski areas in Europe, North-America, South America and Asia. They are also used in amusement parks, scenic locations, and industrial transportation applications. The term Poma lift technically refers to any Poma installation, but it is mostly commonly used as a generic term for a platter lift, as it was the company's first and most popular system.

History

A 1960's Poma double chairlift in Vermont, USA
In 1936, Jean Pomagalski founded Pomagalski S.A. in Fontainemarker, France and installed their first ski lift on the Eclose Trail in l'Alpe d'Huezmarker in France. In 1956, the company built the Aguille du Midi Aerial Tramway on Mont Blancmarker. The first Poma chairlifts were built in 1958 in France and the United States. 1966 brought the first detachable gondolas built by Poma. The corporate headquarters and the production shops are still in Fontaine, but since 1988 most of their management, design engineering, sales and service offices are in Voreppe, France. Poma currently employs approximately 750 people worldwide.

Early Poma chairlifts were installed at Squaw Valley, California for the 1960 Winter Olympics. Poma also supplied lifts for the Olympic Winter Games at Sarajevo, Yugoslavia in 1984, at Albertville, France in 1992, at Lillehammer, Norway in 1994 and is now working on lifts for the 2014 Games at Sochi, Russia.

Products

Circulating Ropeways

Fixed Grip Chairlifts
A Poma fixed grip Alpha model chairlift at Snoqualmie, Washington, USA
Poma's fixed grip chairlifts have proven popular all over the world. The first double chairlifts were built in 1958, followed by triple chairlifts in 1973 followed by quads, sixes, and eights. The Alpha model fixed terminal was introduced in 1982 and continues to be popular today. The previous model Delta was such a great success that even nowadays they can be seen operating worldwide. Both Delta and Alpha chairlifts are also capable of being converted into detachable lifts later on, which increases the lift's capacity without constructing an entirely new installation.

Detachable Chairlifts
An Omega model Poma detachable chairlift at Whistler, Canada
Poma introduced detachable chairlifts in 1982, shortly after its competitor, Doppelmayr. The first Poma detachable chairlifts ran at 5 m/s, at the time the fastest in the world. In 1991, Poma unveiled their Omega detachable terminal which was more compact than previous versions. The company built its first six passenger detachable chairlift in 1993 and its first eight passenger lift in 2000. Also in 2000, the company replaced the Omega line of detachable terminals with the Phoenix model. Poma also have now introduced the Multix terminals in their detachable chairlifts. New North American lifts continue to feature the Omega terminal.

Gondolas
A 10 passenger Poma gondola at Whistler, Canada
Poma built its first detachable gondolas in Val d'Isere, France and Queenstown, New Zealand in 1966. It built the world's first six passenger gondola in 1973, also in France. The world's first ten passenger gondola was built by the company in 1984, followed by the world's first 16 passenger version in 1988.
Funitels
The company has built three funitels to date: the Funitel du Grand Fond, a detachable funitel built in 2001, the Funitel du Bouquetin, a fixed grip jig-back funitel built in 2003 (both located at Val Thorens in France) and the more recent Funitel de la Perdrix in Super-Besse, France, which was built in 2008 and is the first Funitel to feature the shared mechanics of Leitner and Poma.

Telemix
Telemix is Poma's brand name for a detachable lift that is equipped with both gondola cabins and chairs. The terminal stations are the same as the company's detachable gondolas and chairlifts.

Surface Lifts
Poma's first model was the Pomalift, a surface lift with a disk that skiers sit on. It has the ability to travel at high speeds because the platters are detachable from the haul rope, and because the perch is telescopic and has a pneumatic system which allows for a smooth and progressive departure. They are still sold today along with T-Bars and fixed grip platters.

Reversible Aerial Tramways

Poma has built a number of large aerial tramways, the first being the Aguille du Midi Cable Car on Mont Blanc in 1956. In 2003, Poma built the world's largest reversible ropeway to connect the French resorts of Les Arcs and La Plagne, the Vanoise Express. The double decker tramway can hold up to 200 people at a time in each cabin. Currently, Poma works on the replacement of the Roosevelt Island Tramway in New York, which will use a design based mechanically on the Vanoise Express.

Funiculars and People Movers

Poma has built numerous funiculars which are cable driven railways that can climb steep pitches. Poma also has a partnership with Otis Elevator to build Automated People Movers.

Subsidiaries

Leitner-Poma of America

Leitner-Poma of America, Inc. is a partnership between Poma and Leitner of Italy that builds Poma lifts in North America, New Zealand, and Australia. Leitner-Poma offers the full line of Poma products and manufactures most of the components at its headquarters in Grand Junction, Coloradomarker.

Poma came to North America in the early 1950's under the name of Pomalift, Inc., installing its first lift in Canada in 1952 and in the US in 1953. Pomalift Inc. changed its name to Poma of America in 1981 with the establishment of its office and factory at Grand Junction, Colorado. Since 1989, all detachable chairs for North America, New Zealand, and Australia have been designed and built in Colorado. In September 2001, the merger of Poma and Leitner's North American operations was announced forming Leitner-Poma of America.

Agudio

Agudio S.P.A, Poma's Italian operations, also known as Poma Italia, specializes in funiculars, cablecars and other specific rope transportation systems. It was founded before Poma in 1860.

Sigma Composite

Sigma is based in Veyrins, Isère, France and specializes in the production of cabins for gondola lifts, funiculars, ferris wheels and people movers. Its two competitors are Doppelmayr subsidiary CWA and an independent Swiss company Gangloff.

SEMER S.A.

Semer is based in le Fayet, Haute-Savoie, France, it is responsible for the automation and electronics used in Poma Group's products.

COMAG

Comag is based in Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Savoie, France, and operates as Poma's civil engineering and mountain installations company.

Also part of the group are Sacmi and SKIrail, and a network of overseas subsidiaries such as Leitner Poma Japan, Poma Beijing Ropeways, etc.

See also



References

  1. http://www.poma.net/english/index.html
  2. http://www.leitner-poma.com/merger1.htm
  3. Leither Poma History http://www.leitner-poma.com/frame1-news.htm
  4. http://www.leitner-poma.com/frame1-news.htm
  5. http://www.leitner-poma.com/frame1-news.htm
  6. http://www.agudio.com/
  7. http://www.sigmacabins.com/
  8. http://www.semer.fr/
  9. http://comag.fr/
  10. The Poma Group in France http://www.poma.net/english/poma/monde/main.htm


External links




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