Motion Control and More: Siemens “Almost Everywhere”in Walt Disney World

June 30, 2011
An extensive concentration of automation technology can be found in Orlando, Fla., home of Mickey Mouse.When hundreds of users met at in Orlando, Fla. this week for the 2011 Siemens Automation Summit user conference, it wasn't the first time the German-based automation vendor set foot in “the Land of the Mouse,” as the president of Siemens Industry Automation Division, Raj Batra, called it.

Other user conferences have been held in Walt Disney World area resorts of course, but the real news was the geographic concentration of Siemens technology. “Whether we automate attractions for tourists at Hollywood Studios or help Disney save on energy costs, Siemens is almost everywhere,” said the official conference program.

Check out the following list and decide for yourself. And the next time you're on one of the rides or touring behind the scenes, you just might spot these controls in action.

The Toy Story Mania attraction is “almost completely run by Siemens technology”; namely, S7 PLCs, contactors and breakers, a Simatic HMI and  Scalance wireless and wired networking.

Siemens supplies Disney's Animal Kingdom theme part with S7 PLCs, contactors, pushbuttons and lamps, and drives. The company helped Disney upgrade from commercial-grade to industrial-grade chillers, “ultimately increasing reliability, efficiency and extending the life of their equipment,” the program said.

Siemens supports Epcot Center's Spaceship Earth attraction with Scalance networking and Simatic HMIs, delivering improved diagnostics and longer uptime.

At Hollywood Studios, Siemens master drives help force a linear induction motor to facilitate a faster acceleration of the Rock-N-Rollercoaster.

The Magic Kingdom's Space Mountain saves on energy using Sinamic G120 safety regenerative drives. These help take energy used by the coaster and put it back into the electrical infrastructure.

Siemens safety regenerative drives and modular safety system also automate the chair lift to get to the top of the mountain at Blizzard Beach resort.

In Disney World, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Blue Line train is monitored by S7 PLCs and Scalance fiber-optic networking.    

Siemens electrical infrastructure switchgear help control the electricity at the Art of Animation resort.

You can even thank Siemens for climate control. At the Reddy Creek Improvement District, the company's drives and motor control centers help produce millions of gallons of cool water at night that is used for air conditioning the next day.

Renee Robbins Bassett, [email protected], is Managing Editor of Automation World magazine.

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