Drives provide movement in applications that in daily life hardly catch eyes anymore. People simply take a smoothly moving bridge, lock, harbour crane or baggage claim belt for granted. However, a Ferris wheel still fills people with awe, especially so, when the wheel has a diameter of 60 meter and was proclaimed “Project of the Year” by one of the leading branches’ magazines in the USA.
Safety record and commitment to excellence
We are talking about the Navy Pier’s Centennial that was built by our customer Vekoma Rides / Dutch Wheels in Chicago last year. The award means great honour to the Dutch company that also reflects on SEW-EURODRIVE, as we by order of Vekoma made various selections and calculations for the Ferris wheel.
In the USA, Navy Pier, Inc. conducted a thorough 6-month worldwide search for a wheel that would best meet the unique structural and operational requirements of the Chicago Navy Pier. Working alongside engineers from Thornton Tomasetti, a new model was selected and purchased – the DW60 – from Dutch Wheels, the Netherlands-based company that built the Pier’s first wheel. Considered the world’s top designer and manufacturer of Ferris wheels, Pier leadership was impressed with the company’s exemplary safety record and commitment to excellence.
Global leader in stand-alone giant wheels
Dutch Wheels, based in Vlodrop the Netherlands is a global leader in stand-alone giant wheels. Their giant wheels are operational in well-known tourist locations in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific. Dutch Wheels is part of the Vekoma Rides group of companies and through Vekoma, it has a history with giant wheels that goes back to the early sixties.
The state-of-the-art DW60 will be the first and only one of its kind in the USA with similar wheels currently in operation in Hong Kong and Baku, Azerbaijan. Significant features include two-sided cars that allow for easy loading and unloading, a fortified structure to withstand winds of 115 miles per hour, and safety glass capable of weathering intense storms. The giant wheels continue to be a popular attraction, offering joy and excitement to its passengers while at the same time being a very good business opportunity for its owners.
On the authority of Vekoma Rides/Dutch Wheels, the drive engineers at SEW-EURODRIVE in Rotterdam performed the selections and calculations and finally supplied eight gearboxes, type R147DRE180L4BE32HF/V/KY/DUB.