Keep amusement park rides running safely with Asset Management

By | 4 minute read | July 26, 2017

It’s a hot, sunny summer day and you’re at the amusement park with your family. Your kids have been looking forward to it all week and you’re just praying nobody gets sick on the roller coaster rides – including yourself. You pay one week’s salary for 3 sodas and hotdogs and then head over to the best part – the rides!

As you approach the rides, you may start to wonder:

  • When was the last time this ride was checked for maintenance?
  • How do I know there isn’t a screw lose somewhere?
  • Is this ride really safe?
  • Will the crowd catch me if I fall?
  • Am I tall enough for this ride?

That last one may just be me.

As a park-goer, we don’t have the answer to these questions, though we certainly hope somebody does (and yes, the crowd will definitely, most likely, potentially, maybe catch you if you fall). But behind the scenes, these are critical questions for asset managers and operators.

Keeping rides safe is critical

Amusement park rides are critical assets, and like any organization that has a large number of assets, it is imperative to have an enterprise asset management (EAM) solution that can help track, monitor, manage, and derive insights from those assets to optimize their performance. It is even more important when those assets are potentially dangerous if not maintained properly. Somebody needs to understand:

  • If all preventative maintenance has been done. Consider a Ferris wheel’s bearings. If one requires replacement, it can shut the ride down for hours or a couple days as the wheel is disassembled and the bearings replaced. More serious mechanical failures can take way longer to repair. It’s critical to avoid this type of maintenance issue by taking preventive measures and predicting when this type of repair is likely to be needed.
  • If work is required, whether a work order is scheduled. Limiting downtime is extremely important because time equals money.
  • When the best time for maintenance to occur would be. It’s important to ensure work is completed when it will have the least impact on downtime (and thus revenue). For example, is it better to have someone perform maintenance on one bucket (which will cause the whole Ferris wheel to be shut down for the day) or delay maintenance until the park closes and leave that bucket empty for the day? Alternatively, if it’s maintenance that is required to have the ride run at all – it’s best to get someone in as quickly as possible.
  • How much energy that ride consumes and whether it is operating efficiently. Keeping costs down is important as operating margins rely on it.
  • The work history of the ride to determine when the cost to repair the ride exceeds the value.
  • How to optimize the lifespan of that asset to avoid needing to purchase new rides too frequently.
  • How to optimize maintenance based on the history of the ride, as well as external factors like weather data.

Using EAM & IoT to Optimize Maintenance

Preventive maintenance will likely prolong the life of your assets, and daily ride inspections and maintenance is fairly inexpensive. However, assets in any organization will still fail randomly. The big bucks are lost when the ride must be shut down unexpectedly. So how can an EAM solution infused with IoT insights help prevent downtime?

It can:

  • Collect, consolidate and analyze essential information on virtually all types of assets
  • Turn insights into action by analyzing historical data alongside environmental conditions
  • Improve operations through better asset availability, reliability and use
  • Extend asset value through condition-based maintenance (i.e. only do maintenance when it is needed, extending the life of the asset)
  • Extend the useful life of assets or equipment, improve return on investment and defer new purchases
  • Unify processes for wide-ranging asset management functions across multiple sites

Across almost every asset-intensive industry, organizations are challenged with how to maximize the value of assets throughout their lifecycle. In a recent survey of asset managers worldwide, more than 75 percent of respondents cited system reliability as the fundamental reason to invest in enterprise asset management.

Organizations are using IoT to boost operational performance, improve customer experience, lead industry transformation, and advance environmental sustainability. To learn more about how EAM & the IoT can provide value to your organization, read this brief: Understanding the Impact & Value of Enterprise Asset Management

If you’re planning your next adventure at the amusement park, don’t spend too much time thinking about ride maintenance. However, if you will be joining us next week at MaximoWorld in Orlando, FL, this topic may be on your mind!

 Why #IChooseMaximo

Stay tuned next week for a series of blogs on why #IChooseMaximo. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at @IBMIoT for live updates! We will hear from businesses spanning many asset-intensive industries, such as Oil & Gas, Energy & Utilities, Manufacturing, Transportation, & Life Sciences on what made them choose Maximo, the world’s leading enterprise asset management solution, to transform their businesses.