Bushing system speeds ride

Ilkeston-based bespoke engineer Garmendale Engineering has used a novel type of bushing to reduce costs on a mineshaft-style railway ride for a new European theme park.

The Dodge Grip Tight Bushing system from Baldor allows the drive wheels to be attached directly onto the shafts without the cost of machining keyways, providing a completely concentric grip. The bushing’s fit and easy disassembly mechanism will also simplify routine maintenance of the ride, as it can be removed in seconds, eliminating damage and corrosion that can be caused in vibration-prone standard couplings.

Garmendale Engineering has previous experience in creating trains and rides for the leisure industry, with installations at almost all of the UK’s best-known theme parks. This latest project is an underground railway system with mineshaft-style wooden wagons. Three trains of four wagons each have been built for the park.

Typically, Garmendale Engineering would couple this kind of wheel to the shaft by machining a keyway and securing with set screws. The machine and assembly time required for each of the wheels would probably take one to two hours, adding in excess of 50 skilled labour man hours onto the total project costs. This new bushing system resulted in significant savings.

A wide range of Garmendale’s engineering disciplines have been involved in this project, including mechanical, electrical and electronic design, and metalwork and wood construction.