ATA has worked with the amusement park and show business industry since the 1980’s. ATA brings multiple skill sets to the table to tackle a wide variety of challenges within these areas. ATA applies those skills and experience in diverse programs in which structural and mechanical issues are critical to the safe and trouble-free operation of attractions.
ATA has experience in the design of rides and robotic figures for the amusement industry. Our skill in addressing fatigue concerns is a cornerstone of our ability to design safe rides, while our sensitivity to material selection and manufacturing issues leads to hardware that is both economical to build and reliable to operate.
In addition to design services we also provided independent third party review of designs for our customers. The review of a new design can be done on several levels. The simplest consists of an overview in which we make a recommendation as to what analysis and testing should be performed by the designer. This is sometimes complemented by participation in design review meetings. The most comprehensive design review includes participation in all aspects of the design effort from assisting in the development of a design specification to the execution of an acceptance test of the finished hardware.
While the entertainment industry increasingly demands that ride structures be analyzed as early in the design process as possible, the manufacturer may not always have the required experience to perform the analyses needed to achieve a high level of confidence in the design. ATA is able to team with the manufacturer and operator to achieve a reliable evaluation of the structural safety of the new attraction through various computer analysis techniques. These include structural analysis, structural optimization, dynamic analysis, and kinematic analysis.
Many troubleshooting projects for the theme park industry start with a test to understand the nature of the structural or mechanical problem. If fatigue cracking is involved, strain gages are usually used to quantify the stress ranges at critical locations. This information is used to identify the critical loading events that induce fatigue damage. Accelerometers, displacement probes, load cells, and other instrumentation are often used in a troubleshooting test.
The test is usually followed up with an analysis to help complete the picture of how the structure is behaving. The computer model used for the analysis is correlated to the test data in order to ensure its accuracy. The correlated model can then be used as a basis for exploring design modifications that will solve the structural problem.
We are often brought into a ride program solely for our testing expertise. Acceptance testing is one area where we have provided ride operators a final check before putting a new attraction into fee-generating service. The scope of these tests is as broad as the tests used during troubleshooting applications and generally includes operational and modal tests.
Special services that ATA provides to this industry includes: