Digital Technology

Cable car system monitoring – key to a new market

Most major cities in the world have an amusement park: Paris has a Disneyland, Stockholm has Gröna Lund, Los Angeles has Magic Mountain and Hong Kong has Ocean Park.

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Most major cities in the world have an amusement park: Paris has a Disneyland, Stockholm has Gröna Lund, Los Angeles has Magic Mountain and Hong Kong has Ocean Park.

Ocean Park Hong Kong is, as the name suggests, a marine theme park. In addition to 19 rides, two of which are roller coasters, the park has a dolphin breeding ground, a water adventure park and aquariums for shark,
jellyfish and Chinese sturgeon. The park is also home to two pandas.

Situated on a 69-hectare plot of land on the southern end of Hong Kong Island, Ocean Park extends over two major park areas. The larger of the two sections is on the headlands of Mount Nalang. The smaller section is in the Huang Zhu Keng Valley lowlands.

The entrances to each park area are connected by a 1.5-kilometre-long cable car system offering spectacular panoramic views of the southern side of Hong Kong and the South China Sea.

Ocean Park attracts more than 5 million visitors per year (in comparison, Hong Kong Disneyland gets 4.5 million visitors) making it the world’s seventh most popular amusement park.

Thus, it is of the utmost importance to park management that the gearboxes in the drive arrangement of the cable car system are reliable and operating 100 percent of the time.

To ensure that this is the case, SKF Hong Kong installed an online condition monitoring system on one of the gearboxes in the drive arrangement of the cable car system as a pilot project back in 2007. In October 2008 the project was approved, and in 2009 a second gearbox in the drive arrangement of the cable car system was hooked up online.

“Together with SKF, maintenance engineers at the park can now accurately monitor the running condition of the cable car system and effectively avoid any unplanned shutdown of the system,” says David Dong, reliability systems delivery manager at SKF Hong Kong. “This implementation has helped Ocean Park to reduce maintenance costs of the cable car system by changing from preventive to predictive maintenance. We expect other leisure facilities at the park to do the same.”

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