Delivering the thrills without the spills

Published:  30 January, 2019

Zip World turned to Turck Banner for its system requirements. The company’s range of products, designed to last in harsh environments, matched its client’s needs where safety is paramount.

The nature of the applications encountered at Zip World went far beyond the routine manufacturing scenario, although it does highlight the range of potential applications for industry. Consequently, while many systems providers who were initially approached were unable or unwilling to offer the required amount of support, the systems support team at Turck Banner had the expertise, flexibility and design ability to provide the correct solution.

Zip World based in Bethesda in Wales won international acclaim when it opened Zip World Velocity at Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda back in March 2013. This attraction offers riders the closest experience a human being can get to flying like a bird. The experience involves flying head-first for just under a mile, at speeds of up to 125mph down a mountain, then straight over a cliff, 500ft above the quarry lake.

The challenge for companies that offer adventurous activities is to pre-empt and eliminate the danger while delivering the thrill demanded by their clients. In short, the perception of danger without being dangerous.

Velocity is based in a disused slate quarry in a remote part of Wales where the conditions are particularly challenging, with the installations being carried out during the winter period in temperatures of typically -5 to -15 degrees. System hardware such as sensors, push buttons etc. must be able to withstand constant exposure to running water, laden with abrasive slate and stone particles.

Velocity originally had two wires, allowing two riders at a time. This was subsequently increased to four, reducing the waiting time for participants. Further time-saving has been achieved by the introduction of a unique dismounting system that safely controls the disengagement of each participant at the end of the ride. When all four riders have come to a halt and the lead instructor and control system are satisfied that all riders have arrived, a master control button is pressed to allow the dis-engagement procedure. This button then arms four individual push buttons, each activated by an instructor, and the disengagement process can commence. In addition to the increased efficiency of the operation, the new system requires far less physical assistance from operators and instructors in positioning riders prior to disengagement.

The role of Turck Banner in the systems market is to offer design and integration expertise and solutions based upon a wide range of products including HMI’s, Bus Systems, RFID, Ex Interface, Lighting & Indication, Cables & Connectors and Sensors.

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