WET'N'WILD Water World on Queensland's Gold Coast may be more concerned with H2O than any of the other vital elements, but it was air that recently became the focus when a piece of test equipment was required for the park's Mammoth Falls attractions.
Wet'n'Wild Water World, part of the Warner Village Theme Park Group, has entertained more than six million visitors with water slides, shows, rides and games, since opening in 1984.
Continual investment in new attractions and facilities saw the park become a world-class attraction at the end of the 1990s and was reinforced in September 2000 with the opening of Mammoth Falls, claimed to be Australia's most spectacular water slides.
The slides involve sitting multiple riders in a large inflatable tube and sending them down a simulated river over 300 metres in length.
To ensure the safety of guests and maximum enjoyment, the tubes must be inflated to a specified level and tested every morning, and periodically throughout the day.
An optimum inflation level is important to guarantee that comfort and safety is maintained for the best experience on the attraction.
Until August 2002, the level of inflation was tested and corrected manually which took time and held the possibility of human error. The time being expended prompted maintenance personnel to seek alternative methods for testing and inflating the tubes.
Scott Parnell, technical services manager, approached SMC Pneumatics' Queensland office, which had been involved in supplying and upgrading the park's pneumatics since day one.
"With automation so advanced yet so simple and accessible these days, we weighed up the time we were spending inflating and testing the tubes and thought that there had to be an easier and more cost-effective way of doing it,” he said.
“Our SMC sales engineer advised that a relatively simple machine could do the job and a few weeks later he had built us a control system to test and maintain a constant pressure in the tubes.
"The new system is working well. It is not only saving us time so we can do work elsewhere, but is also delivering the increased inflation accuracy we needed," Scott said.
"Having so many families visit the park annually, fun and safety are paramount considerations in any maintenance work performed. This new system gives us added peace of mind that accuracy is consistently maintained."
Mammoth Falls is firmly ensconced as one of the park's main attractions and has been joined by more as Wet'n'Wild continues to expand and evolve as part of the Warner Village Theme Park Group.