20 Years with one objective - Happy Winter Sports Enthusiasts!
TechnoAlpin was established 20 years ago by Georg Eisath, Walter Rieder and Erich Gummerer. Their vision was clear from the outset: they wanted to build snow-making systems that produce the best quality snow and to sell them all over the world. These three founding members can now look back over 20 successful years of the TechnoAlpin company. - Part 2!
Link to part 1
TechnoAlpin goes for yellow
When they started out, the snow experts' snow guns were still blue-gray in color. The transformation to yellow was thanks to the ski resort operations manager Wolfgang Schneider from Seefeld, who by then was a business partner of the WI.TE company. In his opinion, the machines worked really well but they weren't visually appealing. "Wolfgang Schneider asked us to supply yellow machines. It made no sense to us to have snow guns in different colors in each ski resort and since yellow works well for visibility, we decided to use it as the color for all future snow guns," Walter Rieder explains. "Looking back of course, this was a real stroke of luck. At the beginning we tried to make the machines as inconspicuous as possible. They were almost mouse gray in color. We're now delighted that we opted for yellow. It caught on much better. Some customers even believed that the yellow machines would work better than the gray ones even though they were built identically," says Gummerer, smiling at the memory.
From manual to fully automatic snow-making.
"When we started out, we worried that we were too late in setting up our company. When we were setting TechnoAlpin up, there were already a number of suppliers in the market. It soon became clear, however, that development was just in its infancy and that the market still had huge potential," according to Gummerer.
Up to now, development can be summarized in three phases. At first, snow was made as and where it was needed, later on, the need for a surface covering of snow was established. "In the past, people didn't seem to mind too much if there was too little snow for skiing. They went on holiday and were happy to go on hikes as well. Nowadays it's different. If guests can't ski, they just don't come at all," is how Erich Gummerer describes his experience of winter sports tourism. Technical snow-making has therefore become essential for winter tourism. And technical snow-making has also created more demanding skiers. The slope must be constantly perfect, regardless of whether or not there is enough natural snow. This has contributed greatly to more advanced developments in snow guns.
In the mid 90s, this led to another significant milestone in product development: Automation found its way into technical snow-making. Baby, the tower mounted model, was launched as a standard low pressure machine and ATASS was developed as the visualization software.
In 1996, TechnoAlpin set up its first subsidiaries in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
A leader in environmental protection issues
In 1999, the next innovation to hit the market, something still in use today: the oil free compressor was introduced. "We wanted to ensure that not one single drop of oil escaped into the environment in the snow-making process. With this in mind, we put everything into developing a reliable and energy-efficient oil-free compressor," explains Gummerer. They have achieved this goal. Every snow gun produced by TechnoAlpin since 1999 has been fitted with an oil-free piston compressor.
Shortly after the millennium yet another successful model, the M18, was ready to go into production. The number of snow guns sold annually passed the 1,000 unit mark for the first time.
Progress in focus
TechnoAlpin's main focus of attention continues to be on Research and Development. In 2005, investment in this area rose to over 1 million Euro for the first time. This is bearing fruit – TechnoAlpin continues to bring out new products on the market. Recently the T40, the MTS and the V3 snow lance went into production. "In the future, the focus will definitely move to an even more efficient use of resources. We want to generate snow using as little energy as possible and with optimum water usage. This is not only better for the environment, it also reduces costs in the long-term," Gummerer says, revealing TechnoAlpin's future plans. "And of course, the future is all about keeping one group of people happy: the skiers. That has been our recipe for success up to now and it is one we intend to maintain. The skier should enjoy skiing on our snow."