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Why Automate?

There are many reasons for your resort to consider automated snowmaking. Here are some of the benefits:

  1. Improved snow quality due to constant machine adjustments to changing conditions
  2. Increased snowmaking hours to take advantage of short weather windows
  3. Increased snow production due to quick acting performance
  4. Decreased costs on labor
  5. Decreased energy cost due to improved production and less hours running time
  6. Improved safety for personnel on steep slopes, in remote areas and due to less operator interface at machine
  7. Improved profitability due to more snow in less time with less effort = increased revenue and decreased costs
  8. Increased efficiency due to no set up and take down time by using fixed position guns
More snow in less time with less effort results in improved profitability, increased revenue and decreased costs.

SMI systems include:

Flexible and customizable software

SMI SmartSnow™, our automation software and control system, makes it easy to use one platform to operate not only your snowmaking system but also other parts of your ski area.

High performance snow machines designed for automation

While some of our competitors claim to have fully automatic machines, SMI designs our automatic machines to be truly automatic. What is the difference? Water drainage and hands-off operation.

SMI offers the Wizzard, PoleCat, Viking and Axis product families, with various automation levels to fit your needs. In addition, the Puma snowmaker was designed for automation and delivers optimum performance in any snowmaking weather.

Communications options

Choosing the right communication options for how to send and receive data between a central computer and equipment within the automation system is critical. SMI offers a multitude of communications options including:

Main Protocols: Ethernet or DF1
  • Ethernet via Fiber, Hardwire
  • DF1 – Allen Bradley Protocol – Wire Signal RS485 Standard Network
Transmission Types:
  • Radio – SMI offers various frequency options that are allowed in different countries around the world (such as 900 Mhz, 869 Mhz, 400 Mhz, etc.)
  • Fiber Optics
  • Hard-wired

A guide to choosing the right transmission type:

Radio Fiber Optics Hard-wired
No digging Fast response time Fastest response time
Ability to cover large areas Long distance Lightning protection
Mesh network Lightning proof RS485 global standard for wiring
Many repeaters auto configuring Ethernet network usable for other devices Use resort Ethernet backbone with terminal servers
Spread spectrum - immune to interference Long life / no degradation
Wide bandwidth

Accurate weather measurement

SMI’s SmartWeather package is offered as a component of SmartSnow or as a complete stand alone option for weather data collection and monitoring. SmartWeather options include:

  • Weather data collection and graphing software and reports
  • Proven and accurate weather sensors (for temperature, humidity, wind direction and speed, etc.)
  • Weather station mounts and stands
  • Various energy supply options such as solar powered, battery backup and direct power

Supporting equipment and instrumentation

Our automatic valves, water hydrant control actuators, and instrumentation are field-proven for reliability.

Integrated auxiliary equipment

SMI can provide pump stations, cooling towers, air compressors and other equipment that are optimally integrated fully with our automation systems.