Locked-and-Monitored Seatbelt Systems

The KumbaK Locked-and-Monitored Seatbelt (L&MS) systems have been developed to provide a controlled back-up for the existing restraint systems of older roller coasters, and can also be used as a primary restraint system for gentler attractions.  The L&MS system comprises of two basic elements:

  • The locking unit, and
  • The retractor system with the seatbelt and tongue.

By monitoring the locking of the tongue in the locking unit, it will be possible to ensure that all guests are properly secured before the ride is started.

Back-up System

Older attractions that were designed and built prior to current safety Standards, may have restraint systems that do not meet the requirements.  This may be especially relevant for roller coasters that have a lot of uplift and/or fierce braking. The addition of a KumbaK L&MS system effectively provides a secondary restraint system together with the possibility of monitoring the proper locking, and hence ensures that the attraction meets the most stringent Class-5 passenger restraint requirements.  In addition, the monitoring signals from the locking unit can be interlocked with the ride control system and prevent dispatch in the case of improperly locked restraints. 

Locking Units

KumbaK has developed two types of locking unit:

  • The Single Latch Monitored Lock (SLML), having only one latch, and
  • The Double Latch Monitored Lock (DLML), having two latches.

When the tongue is inserted into the locking unit, it is locked with one or both latches.  Each latch is forced into its locking position with a spring.  Once the tongue is inserted and locked, the seatbelt can only be removed by powering a solenoid to retract the latch from its locking position, allowing the tongue to be removed from the unit by the guest. 

Retractor System

When a seat belt is used as a back-up system, the length of the seatbelt can be adjusted manually, or provided with a fixed length.  However, in many other applications, having an automatically retracting seatbelt is preferred, for which we have developed our own retractor system.  In the automotive industry, two types of retractor systems are being used: the Emergency Locking Reel (ELR), and the Automatic Locking Reel (ALR). The ELR is the system used in modern-day cars where the retractor will lock only when the belt is pulled sharply, and can be extracted only when the belt is pulled gently.  Obviously, for applications in the amusement industry, the functionality provided by the ELR is not ideal.  The ALR, on the other hand, will allow extraction of the belt until the pulling motion is stopped.  At that moment the retractor will be locked, preventing further extraction, but still allowing the belt to be retracted when released.  As guests may not be familiar with this system and may stop pulling the webbing out of the retractor too early, this system can cause quite some challenges during the loading of the guests, with a negative impact on the ride capacity.  As both existing systems have significant drawbacks for application in the amusement industry, KumbaK developed a retractor system with controlled locking, the Controlled Locking Retractor (CLR).

Service Life

Standard seatbelt systems are available, but these are normally designed and built for the automotive industry.  In a car, the seatbelts are applied only a few times per day, with maybe less than a thousand uses per year.  More importantly, in normal situations, the system will not be subjected to high loads.  However, in applications within the amusement industry, the seatbelt system may experience significant loading every time it is used, and the duty cycle may be closer to a thousand uses per week.  Because of the higher loading and the more frequent use, KumbaK has developed dedicated components for the L&MS systems, keeping the service life of the system and the safety of the guests in mind.  The systems have been rigorously tested and are successfully being used in many applications.   

KumbaK has the required knowledge and experience to assist in deciding how our products can be best integrated into your attraction.  In addition, KumbaK can design and supply new interfaces, design and supply electrical interfaces, and assist with advice on any control system modifications that may be required for the project.

If you are interested in the Locked-and-Monitored Seatbelt systems or require more information, then please do not hesitate to contact us.