The London Eye Entry Gate System

About this project

The London Eye is the UK’s most popular paid for visitor attraction, visited by over 3.5 million people a year. Garmendale has already provided some unique engineering solutions for the Eye in the past. Merlin Entertainments the company that runs the London eye called for Garmendale’s assistance again during the January 2012 shutdown period. Garmendale were asked to completely replace the gating components to bring the systems up to the latest health and safety standards to improve footfall and load times through the ride.

About the London Eye

The London Eye is a giant 135-metre (443 ft) tall Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames, in London, England.The Iconic Coca Cola London Eye has dominated the London skyline now since March 2000.

The Business Challenge

Garmendale designed; manufactured and installed an entry gating system in stainless steel, replaced the failing gating control systems which didn’t meet the latest health and safety requirements. Garmendale also added a crush sensor and provided a choice between automatic mode and a manual mode.

The Solution

The operation of the gates is now intelligent; the gates are now locked into the gondolas movements. This speeds up entry and exit and cuts down on the manpower needed to operate the systems. Not only did Garmendale have to interface with the existing mechanical systems with the associated engineering challenges. They also had to interface twelve of the existing electro-mechanical components and the interface with the Eyes computer system.

This project demonstrates Garmendale’s unique capability and ability to project manage and integrate mechanical engineering, electromechanical engineering, pneumatic and computer technology all wrapped up with the first class understanding of the importance of compliance with current laws, rules and regulations. Garmendale have an established reputation for working seamlessly with their client’s technical teams and other interested third parties.

The project was delivered on time and was completed well inside the client’s maintenance window.

Kevin Dyer MBIFM Head of Technical Development for the London Eye said:

Garmendale is a company who deliver. Within our industry projects are normally not given enough time to design, plan, cost and install so a company who can be trusted to deliver at a realistic price are a rare thing, Garmendale being one of them. The gating system was completed successfully during our annual shutdown period in January.

The gating system chosen by Coca Cola London Eye was based on a standard system Garmendale install on rides throughout Merlin Entertainments Ltd. The differences with our system were that we needed to trigger the gate opening with the capsule door, which had to ensure that the gate system not only knew when the capsule was in position but also whether the capsule was in operation.

This required some interfacing with the ride controls which was completed successfully and in very quick time. The quality was very good and the back up support to tweak the system was excellent. The system has run for 9 months with no issues and performs today as it did when first installed. From a project point of view Garmendale take my issues away and deliver with the minimum of input a very good job, on time and budget.

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