Controlling the Rotation of the Space Needle with Maple Systems
Industrial PCs and Aveva Edge Scada Software
In September 2017, the Space Needle commenced construction on the
largest renovation project in its history, “The Century Project.”
Guests are now surrounded by two breathtaking, multi-level,
floor-to-ceiling glass viewing experiences including an outdoor
observation level with open-air glass walls and Skyriser glass
benches. The upper observation level is now connected by the Oculus
Stairs to The Loupe below, the world’s first, and only, rotating
Ken Roach, Senior Controls Engineer at Fives Lund, tells us about
their choice of a Maple Systems Industrial PC for controlling the
new, rotating glass floor in the Space Needle.
What functions does the Industrial PC perform at the Space Needle?
The function of the Maple Systems Industrial PC is pretty
straight-forward. It allows the operators to set the speed and
direction of the rotating glass floor, and gives us monitoring of
any faults or warnings and a view into the load-sharing by the
twelve AC motors that spin that turntable.
a Maple Systems Industrial PC
because it was sold bundled with Indusoft Web Studio (IWS) (now
) , so we were confident
that it would work with that embedded OS. We’re running an ordinary
Indusoft Web Studio 8.1 application with the softkey activation.
It’s been very reliable for us. At the very beginning we ran into a
bug during startup and there was a minimum of finger-pointing before
IWS figured out what was causing the runtime to crash in that
revision of their software, but only on Windows 7 Embedded Standard
platforms. We had a patch installed the next day and it’s been
running for months now without issue.
Because we focus on unusual applications, we aren’t a volume OEM.
I’ll always pay more for a quality product that gives me enough
extra power and flexibility to accommodate the inevitable increase
in scope or performance our customers tend to need. This could have
been done with a 4” Red Lion if all I wanted was a “Go” button and a
It’s a heck of a view, isn’t it? I spent two weeks freezing and
clinging to the central girders last February, but I’m very proud of
the designers and the riggers who assembled the turntable frame
perfectly round and level.
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