The company Reichmann und Sohn celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2018. "This is quite a good age, but we are not resting on our laurels," says Managing Director Stefan Reichmann, who runs the family business in the 4th generation. His company turns these words into deeds by presenting three spectacular new developments. Always with the aim to simplify the work of ski preparation for customers such as large sporting goods shops and ski rental companies.
The best example is the new automatic loader for the Reichmann SF-4 service robot. It prepares up to 60 pairs of skis per hour, but up to now, the employees had to feed it in pairs or even piece by piece. "Despite the fast machine, there was still a lot of work for the employees. We have optimized this for our customers with the new automatic loader," reports Reichmann. The rental skis can now be placed directly in the transport trolley at the counter, which fits eight pairs of skis. When it is full, it is simply docked onto the machine and the respective program is pressed on the touch panel - that's all a person still has to do.
The rest of the work is done automatically - including picking up the skis in pairs in the vending machines and placing them back in pairs into the transport trolley. It is available in a version for eight pairs or two-sided even for 16 pairs of skis, which even accelerates the workflow. "There are customers who, for example, have to sharpen a few thousand skis over the weekend. The automatic loader gives employees much more time for more qualified work," says Reichmann. A customer from a well-known Austrian ski resort has already recognized the efficiency advantages of this innovation - he bought the machine, which will be presented as a world premiere at ISPO Munich 2019.
The LS-1 Race laser structuring machine is likely to be at least as popular at the world's largest trade fair for the sports industry. With this innovation, the boundaries of traditional stone cutting are overcome. The LS-1 Race allows not only straight-line cuts, but all types of structures on the ski surface with variable depths. Even 3-D effects can be produced or, for example, the company logo of the shop/ski rental can be placed on the running surface. "This is really a new dimension in ski structuring. There are very different solutions without any limitations," Stefan Reichmann explains. The laser structures all surfaces of alpine and cross-country skis, and in the future snowboards, too.
The secretly tested technical revolution is certainly exciting for top-class sports, where the right structure below skis has often decided on Olympic victories and world championship titles. "Especially at warmer temperatures, it could bring advantages," says Reichmann. In addition to the speed area, classic rental shops that want to offer something very special to their customers, are a further target group. The laser structuring machine could also be used to brand loaned products with a company logo and at the same time protect them from theft.
Operating the laser structuring machine is very simple: Unlike stone grinding machines, the laser machine works in dry processing. This eliminates undesirable side effects such as splashing water, wet skis, corrosion and a sticky and slippery workshop floor. In addition, the laser operates more quietly than conventional grinding machines, but is operated in the same way as previous products. The user can select the appropriate structure program from the stored structure library on the intuitive touch panel. It is also possible to transfer additional structures via a PC interface. There are no limits to the imagination.
Reichmann also offers an innovation in side edge grinding with the DTS II Race, to be seen first at ISPO Munich 2019. It enables service workshops to significantly reduce their process times, as up to 60 pairs of skis can be processed per hour. "The machine offers two functions: side edge pre-sanding and finishing. We specifically developed new grinding wheels for this innovation," explains Stefan Reichmann. For the first time, the Edge Sanding Plate simultaneously removes the sidewall and grid when pre-sanding the side edges. In addition, skis with different starting angles - for example from different customers - can be efficiently brought to the same target angle in one grinding process. This saves time-consuming manual preparatory work and facilitates the first steps in ski service. The second function of the side edge finish is also excellent as an additive for all workshops that currently only use a bottom edge tuning. The correct angle can be individually adjusted for each type of ski and each type of handling.
With these three innovations Reichmann und Sohn start optimistically into the second century of their existence. The company's innovative machines are more important than ever. Stefan Reichmann: "On the one hand, there is the trend towards rental skis, which are much more frequently ground. On the other hand, the slopes are groomed with artificial snow more often today, which is much more aggressive than natural snow. This also requires more material maintenance. After all, it takes clever edges to ride properly."