#Rides Maintenance
28675 dated 15.07.2017
Published by
Enrico Fabbri
Enrico Fabbri
How to make modifications to your ride: Enrico Fabbri explains what to do with pragmatism
by Enrico Fabbri

Making modifications to your ride is one of the most delicate tasks and needs to be undertaken with the utmost care. How does one proceed in these cases? But even before asking this question, what does ‘make a modification’ actually mean?

Standard EN-13814 and common sense state that ‘modification’ means any work performed on a ride’s component that alters the design originally conceived by the manufacturer. Modification therefore should not be confused with repair, which on other hand means replacing a component with another equally identical one. Let’s look at an example that explains a subtle difference: if you replace a sensor with another identical sensor, this is a repair, but if you replace a mechanical sensor with a magnetic sensor then that’s a modification.

When you make a modification yourself, you are responsible for the entire process, including having carried it out correctly. Contrary to what you might think, you are not generally obliged to have modifications made by the manufacturer, but rather you can also work independently, while always complying with applicable local standards and adopting the procedures outlined by your technical consultants. Here’s another example: what do you do when a manufacturer is no longer in business? Or when they do not respond to your requests for possible improvements? In these cases it is clear that you cannot leave the ride inactive and you have the opportunity, sometimes even the obligation, to proceed on your own.

To make a modification you absolutely need to contact professional techncians, such as mechanical engineers or specialist electricians. Based on your ideas and suggestions, these technicians will analyse the best solutions to achieve the purpose. They will then have to analyse the risks of the modification, perform calculations, and draft a design and a full report.

I must underline the term ‘report’. It is not correct to settle for a simple declaration; their report should include an explanation of the initial problem, an analysis of the solution, and the way the solution solves the initial problem. It will also need to be accompanied by working designs, instructions and warnings for making the modification. It is therefore a report that looks more like a booklet than a single sheet of paper: only in this way are these professionals solely responsible for the modification.

With this report in your hands, you can then contact a professionally trained tradesperson to carry out the work you need, who will be required to read the instructions provided and apply them to perfection. At the end of the work, the technicians will have to verify and test that the modification has been made properly, issuing a further declaration. All this documents must be kept with your log book and must be made available to potential buyers. Only in this way will everything be in order and you can have a peaceful night’s sleep. I should remind you that the report must be provided even if the modification is made by the manufacturer.

I also need to remind you that rides are very complex machines, so the choice of the technicians needed to check the modifications needs to be made with the utmost care. You will need to point out that there is a European standard and they will always have to try and contact the manufacturer before proceeding on their own. Operators need to supervise as much as possible that the technicians are dutifully carrying out their tasks.

Updating a ride to the latest standards is always the operator’s responsibility, while the manufacturer (if still in business) needs to issue technical bulletins to alert operators of any modifications that are necessary.

Written by Mr. Enrico Fabbri enrico@fabbrirides.com
Article originally published in Games Industry (Italy) magazine
Original date: August 2017

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