Youth Camp Hoist - MJ Engineering

MJ Engineering is part of a team with Hubbard Merrell Engineering and Vertical Solutions working together to improve a swing ride that operates at various youth camps across the country. The attraction lifts up to 3 passengers to the release point and holds them until they actuate the mechanical release themselves. Once released, the riders swing down through the station and up the other side; continuing the back and forth swinging motion until coming to rest at the load/unload station. The biggest problem the camps are having is that the current electric winches are failing prematurely. The current winches are no longer available and the replacement unit is significantly slower than the original system, reducing patron throughput. Additionally, the camp wanted to improve the safety of the overall system while implementing the new hoist system.   

Goals
  1. The camp wanted to maintain or improve throughput (i.e. rides per day).
  2. They wanted to find a hoist mechanism that was readily available and could be easily maintained. 
  3. They wanted the upgraded design of the ride to comply with ASTM amusement standards as much as possible.
What did we do?
  1. MJ designed, fabricated & installed a new hoist system to raise the riders to the drop location.  We used a hydraulic power pack to drive a hydraulic hoist that has the speed of the original system with easy to maintain characteristics desired by the camp.
  2. One of our partners designed an update to the rollaway platform, which brings the railing system of the platform into compliance with ASTM ride standards.  Our control system includes a sensor that detects when the platform is stowed out of the swing path.  This fail-safe system would only allow the hoist (and therefore the ride) to operate if the platform was stowed properly.
  3. To prevent the hoist from being raised too far, the MJ control system includes a sensor that detects when the hoist has reached a pre-set maximum lift point.  The hoist is not permitted to raise further when this sensor is activated.