Von Roll Holding
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|Headquarters||Gerlafingen, Canton of Solothurn, Switzerland|
|Thomas P. Limberger
(CEO) and (Vice President)
Number of employees
Von Roll Holding AG is a Swiss industrial group that operates worldwide, specializing in energy production.
Von Roll has its roots in the Eisenwerke der Handelsgesellschaft der Gebrüder Dürholz & Co. (Ironworks of the commercial firm of the Brothers Durholz & Co.) which was established in 1803. This firm was then taken over in 1810 by Von Roll & Cie, newly formed by Ludwig Freiherr von Roll (1771–1839) and Jakob von Glutz. In May 1823, Ludwig von Roll founded the Gesellschaft der Ludwig von Roll'schen Eisenwerke which benefited from industrialization and railroad construction that demanded much iron.
Following this, the business developed into one of the most important industrial groups in Switzerland and reached its high point in the 1970s with more than 10,000 employees. But, like other Swiss companies, Von Roll suffered during the oil crisis of 1973 and the economic crisis it triggered. The company underwent financial restructuring after financial restructuring, seemingly without end. As recently as 2003, Von Roll had to fight for its survival. At the end of 2002, following the accumulated losses of previous years, Von Roll’s equity capital had shrunk to 10.3 million. But in 2004 the company initiated a new strategy to focus on the insulation business, beginning its turnaround.
Business divisions/company structure
Von Roll Holding AG is a Swiss industrial company that is active worldwide and today focuses on products and systems for power generation, transmission and distribution. The company’s operating activities are split into the segments Von Roll Insulation, Von Roll Composites and Von Roll Transformers. The company has been listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange since 1987, under the symbol ROL. Historically, Von Roll was principally known for its ironworks and foundries. Von Roll Holding AG is represented by approximately 3,100 employees at 30 locations in 19 countries, and achieved sales of CHF 710 million in 2008.
Von Roll is a global market leader in the areas of insulation products and systems for the electrical machinery industry as well as in the production of composite materials and components for industrial applications. In addition, Von Roll provides thermal and fire-resistant insulation products, which are used in cable manufacturing and in the electronics industry. Von Roll therefore covers the entire value creation chain, from engineering and production to application.
The operating activities of Von Roll Holding AG are split into three segments: Von Roll Insulation (formerly Electrical), Von Roll Composites (formerly Industrial) and Von Roll Elco Transformers, which was created in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Von Roll Insulation produces and markets electrical insulation materials for large-scale generators, high-voltage rotating machines, wind turbines, traction and machine motors for low-voltage rotating machines, and transformers. Products in this segment include enamelled wires and coils, resins and varnishes, mica tapes, and rigid and flexible laminates. Von Roll supplies both individual products and complete insulation systems.
Von Roll Composites provides products and services that focus on the mechanical, thermal and chemical properties of insulating materials. The segment is divided into the product lines composite materials, moulded parts and cables (mainly fire-resistant).
The latest segment Von Roll Transformers creates and supplies solutions for power transmission and distribution. This includes the installation, maintenance and repair of high-voltage transformers (up to 850 MVA) in particular, and of mid-size and small transformers. The product range also includes distribution transformers, mobile substations for temporary use (for example in disaster situations) and special transformers developed for the specific requirements of the electrochemical industry for instance. Furthermore, Von Roll offers various services in the areas of consulting and testing. These include consulting on the special design of workplaces, the optimisation of manufacturing processes, the reorganisation of production flows, the layout of plants, turnkey projects, the reengineering of electrical insulation systems, the introduction of complete electrical insulation systems, and the training of operators and engineers.
Von Roll has laboratories where it tests systems and materials in the field of electrical insulating materials and electrical insulation systems. The high-voltage laboratory in Breitenbach, Switzerland, is specialised in the mechanical and electrical testing of high-voltage materials and systems. The UL laboratory in Schenectady, USA, focuses on all types of UL testing for low and medium voltages, mostly UL 1446 testing.
Von Roll Seilbahnen AG
Perhaps Von Roll's best-known product was the type 101 sky ride that operated in many amusement parks. A total of over 100 were installed; as of 2008 only ten remained operational. On December 30, 1954, Felseneggbahn was opened. It was built by Von Roll in seven months for one million Swiss francs. It still runs, and on March 31, 2010, it carried its 10 millionth passenger. The Disneyland Skyway was Von Roll's first aerial ropeway in the United States. It opened on June 23, 1956, and closed on November 9, 1994.
Operating Von Roll Type 101s
|Ride name||Opened||Park name||Location||Notes||Ref(s)|
|Krupka-Komáří Sky Ride||
||Lanová Dráha Krupka||Krupka, Czech Republic|
||Berchtesgaden National Park||Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, Germany|
||Lake Zürich||Canton of Zürich, Switzerland||
|Lake Louise Gondola||
||Lake Louise||Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada|
||Cedar Point||Sandusky, Ohio||Uses former Frontier Lift cabins||
||Superland||Rishon LeZion, Israel|
||Minnesota State Fair||Falcon Heights, Minnesota|
||Tulsa State Fairgrounds||Tulsa, Oklahoma|
||SeaWorld San Diego||San Diego, California||Round-trip ride||
||Six Flags Over Georgia||Austell, Georgia||
||San Diego Zoo||San Diego, California|
||Busch Gardens Tampa||Tampa, Florida||
||Six Flags Great Adventure||Jackson Township, New Jersey||Originally built for the 1964 World's Fair in Queens|
||Taman Safari||Bogor, Indonesia|
||Busch Gardens Williamsburg||Williamsburg, Virginia||3 stations, all one-way|
|Delta Flyer / Eagle's Flight||
||California's Great America||Santa Clara, California|
||Washington State Fair||Puyallup, Washington||Originally built for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair|
||National Coffee Park||Quindío Department, Columbia||Combination ride of Bronx Zoo and Knoxville World's Fair rides|
Former Von Roll Type 101's
|Ride Name||Opened||Closed||Park Name||Location||Notes||Ref(s)|
|Alpine Swiss Skyride||1963||1994||Aquarena Springs||San Marcos, Texas||Closed in 1994, removed in 2013|
|Astrolift||1967||1981||Six Flags Over Georgia||Austell, Georgia||
|Astrolift||1961||1981||Six Flags Over Texas||Arlington, Texas||Removed over safety concerns|
|Astroway||1967||2005||Six Flags AstroWorld||Houston, Texas||Demolished along with the park|
|Brussels World's Fair Skyride||1960||1976||Lakeland||Memphis, Tennessee|
|Delta Flyer / Eagle's Flight||1976||1984||Six Flags Great America||Gurnee, Illinois|
|Frontier Lift||1968||1985||Cedar Point||Sandusky, Ohio||Cabins used on Skyride, removed for Iron Dragon|
|Gondola Skyride||1982||????||World's Fair 1982||Knoxville, Tennessee||Relocated to Parque Nacional del Café|
|New England Sky Way||1973||2014||Six Flags New England||Agawam, Massachusetts||Built in 1963 at Coney Island (Brooklyn, NY) -- Removed to build Wicked Cyclone|
|Ocean Skyway||1958||1967||Pacific Ocean Park||Santa Monica, California||Relocated to Legend City (Phoenix, AZ) as Sky Ride||
|Ore Buckets||1960||1994||Freedomland USA||Bronx, New York||Towers are used at Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ|
|Satellite||1968||1983||Legend City||Phoenix, Arizona|
|Skyfari||1972||2009||Bronx Zoo||Bronx, New York||Relocated to Parque Nacional del Café|
|Skyride||1964||1999||Brackenridge Park||San Antonio, Texas||Closed in 1999, removed in 2002 due to maintenance costs|
|Skyride||1965||1971||Coney Island||Cincinnati, Ohio||Relocated to Kings Island|
|Skyride||1968||????||Hemisfair '68||San Antonio, Texas||Continued operation after fair closure|
|Skyride||1972||1979||Kings Island||Kings Mill, Ohio||Relocated from Coney Island (Cincinnati, OH)|
|Skyride||1967||2004||La Ronde||Montreal, Quebec, Canada||Built for 1967 World's Fair, stations still exist|
|Skyride||1966||1975||Pirates World||Dania, Florida|
|Skyway||1956||1994||Disneyland||Anaheim, California||Removed due to stress cracks in Matterhorn battery|
|Skyway||1971||1999||Magic Kingdom||Lake Buena Vista, Florida|
|Skyway||1983||1998||Tokyo Disneyland||Urayasu, Chiba, Japan|
|Sky-Way||1971||1981||Six Flags St. Louis||Eureka, Missouri||Removed after accident on July 26, 1978. 3 killed and 1 seriously injured after a car fell from the ride.|
|Southern Cross||1977||1983||Six Flags Great America||Gurnee, Illinois|
|Space Ride||1963||1967||Riverview Park||Chicago, Illinois|
|Swiss Skyride||1964||1979||Fair Park/State Fair of Texas||Dallas, Texas||Removed after accident, 1 killed|
|Union 76 Skyride||1962||1980||Century 21 Exposition||Seattle, Washington||Ran at Seattle Center, relocated to Washington State Fair|
The Mk II and Mk III monorail automated people mover (APM) systems were installed in a variety of locations before the technology was sold to Adtranz (later Bombardier), which continues to supply the parts for the monorail systems.
Australia has had a total of four Von Roll Monorail systems, currently one is still in operation. A Von Roll MkII system is in operation at Sea World theme park on the Gold Coast (first monorail in Australia which opened in 1986). A MkIII Monorail system operates in nearby Broadbeach linking a shopping centre to a casino (opened 1989), but closed on January 29, 2017 due to life-expired equipment and declining patronage. Another MkIII Monorail system, the Metro Monorail, operated in Sydney, Australia linking the City Centre to Darling Harbour, however monorail services ceased on 30 June 2013 (it began operation on 21 July 1988). A MkII Monorail system was also in operation during World Expo 88 held in Brisbane, Australia, with a loop around the expo site at Southbank. There is no trace of the monorail system at the site.
Cedar Point's Space Spiral, AstroWorld's Astroneedle and Coney's Space Tower were built by Willy Bühler Space Towers Company of Berne, Switzerland with cabins by Von Roll. In 1971 Intamin started marketing these towers and contracted these same companies to build them. Willy Bühler Space Towers was eventually acquired by Von Roll.
- Von Roll Holding AG - This History of Von Roll
- Tages-Anzeiger online (April 1, 2010): Der 10-millionste Fahrgast kommt aus Schweden
- "Swiss Envoy Invited To Cedar Point". Sandusky Register. April 16, 1962. p. 5.
The Sky Ride was designed and built by the Von Roll Iron Works in Berne, Switzerland. Early next month Von Roll engineers will be at Cedar Point to supervise installation of the 1,300 foot long ride over the midway.
- "Mission Bay Adding Restaurant". The San Bernardino County Sun. March 12, 1967. p. B-18.
The Sea World sky ride is being built by Von Roll, Ltd., of Berne, Switzerland, and will extend over water 1,410 feet each way between the Atlantis and Sea World. When completed in early May, the sky ride will represent an investment of $350,000.
- "Sky Buckets". Six Flags. 2015.
- "Tampa's Busch Gardens now features 'sky ride'". The Daily Herald. Chicago, IL. May 7, 1974. p. Section 2-3.
- "6 Flags Over Georgia Opening Set in June". The Gaffney Ledger. Gaffney, SC. March 1, 1967. p. 6.
- "Ocean 'Ski Lift' to Open July 22 at Santa Monica". Valley News. Van Nuys, CA. June 12, 1958. p. C-15.
Known as the Sky Ride, the ocean "ski-lift" will be one of the 50 major "ocean wonderland" attractions at Pacific Ocean Park...The Sky Ride's plastic bubbles are being built by Skycraft Industries, of Santa Monica, and all other parts of the lift are being constructed by Von Roll Iron Works of Berne, Switzerland.
- Harris, Frederic R. (December 18, 2001). Monorail Technology Assessment (PDF) (Report). County of Montgomery Department of Public Works. p. 52. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
In 1994, Von Roll sold their technology to Adtranz, now a part of Bombardier.
- Saleh, Lillian (22 June 2012). "Sydney monorail to make its final stop on 30 June next year". The Daily Telegraph. Sydney, Australia. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- Churchman, Geoffrey B (1995). Railway Electrification in Australia and New Zealand. IPL Books. ISBN 0-646-06893-8.
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