Hydraulics for Entertainment

York Precision Machining & Hydraulics Solutions for the Entertainment Industry

Entertainment might not be the first thing people think of when they imagine hydraulics, but behind what the audience sees and experiences is a network of powerful machinery. These machines bring imagination to life, and to do that safely, designers and engineers rely on precision hydraulics and related equipment to perform as expected.

If a system failure occurs, it could be catastrophic for many people — audiences watching a show, performers on stage, amusement park visitors enjoying rides or guests interacting directly with an exhibit — could all be at risk. 

Hydraulics Specifications and Standards for the Entertainment Industry

The entertainment industry calls for imagination, but behind the staggering effects is still a need for reliability, durability and low maintenance. Every hydraulic system must be suitable for demanding and complex entertainment applications. Using equipment built to industry specifications and regulations, with hydraulic safeguards in place, is one way to keep your systems up and running smoothly so guests and audiences can focus on the magic before them.

Safety is paramount for entertainment applications — one of the many reasons York Precision Machining & Hydraulics LLC manufactures Bear-Loc®. With the right hydraulic equipment, you can bring entertainment designers' innovations to life. Give audiences unforgettable experiences, and put your entertainment brand ahead of the rest.

Industries within the entertainment sector often have specific regulations to follow, and regulations can vary from state to state. For example, in the U.S., amusement parks are regulated in most states. Checking and abiding by requirements like these is essential for compliance. A few standards and specifications relevant to the entertainment industry include: 

  • ASTM F2291-23: This standard practice for the design of amusement rides and devices provides designers and manufacturers with criteria and references when designing or modifying amusement rides. It addresses issues such as hydraulic equipment, loads and safety-related control systems. 
  • ASTM F3158-16: Due to the additional challenges you face with water attractions, ASTM F3158-16 covers hydraulic systems in water attractions, including the correct selection of components, designing the system and performing analyses in the process of system design. 
  • The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA): This international organization establishes standards for the design, manufacturing, testing, operation and maintenance of amusement park attractions via thorough safety inspections and quality analysis. 
  • ISO 07842-1:2023: This ISO standard covers the safe design, calculation, manufacturing and installation of temporary and permanent amusement ride machinery, including hydraulic fluid power and the assembly of hydraulic components to monitor and control a device to reduce risks to guests. 

When specific hydraulic compliance guideline needs must be met so that your mechanical systems can bring creativity to the stage, we pride ourselves on working with you and demonstrating how Bear-Loc® can meet or exceed those standards.

The Uses of Hydraulics and Related Equipment in the Entertainment Industry

Hydraulic systems have been the backbone of the entertainment industry for decades. Bear-Loc® and other York Precision Machining & Hydraulics equipment can be your solution of choice for many applications in the entertainment industry, including:

Amusement Parks

Hydraulics are all around you the moment you step into an amusement park. Hydraulic cylinders and actuators power much of the equipment, from adrenaline-pumping roller coasters to Ferris wheels and water rides. These attractions are a thrill for visitors, but each requires immense power.

Want to bring park guests nose-to-nose with a prowling monster? Bear-Loc® can provide those up-close thrills because of its fail-safe design. With a locking mechanism you can trust, you can immerse your guests in a face-to-face experience and be confident your monsters are always in the operators' control. Bear-Loc® prevents accidental movement of hydraulic cylinders, providing a critical layer of protection for visitors to your amusement park and for workers when they service the machines.

Props and Set Pieces

In live performances, hydraulic cylinders control armature movements and create illusions. They also streamline the creation of scaffolding structures. Hydraulics make moving set pieces and props possible throughout the audience experience. Because performers and audiences are exposed to heavy loads that are moving or airborne, your system must have the failsafe protection offered by Bear-Loc®.

Special Effects

Powering special effects is one of the main applications of entertainment industry-hydraulic systems. From simulating earthquakes to powering detailed action scenes, Bear-Loc’s® safety and performance help make possible even the most demanding special effects.

Water Rides

Water rides are a favorite with guests, and managing the risks keeps them safe and operating so that as many people as possible can enjoy them. Common favorites like log rides, chutes and water coasters use hydraulic actuators to move vehicles in different directions.

Unlike conventional locking systems, Bear-Loc® can serve as the primary failsafe hydraulic locking and load-holding solution, locking instantly when power is lost.

Applications of Hydraulic Solutions for the Entertainment Industry

Like industrial applications, hydraulic solutions in the entertainment industry must be safe and reliable to bring the exhibits to life. York Precision Machining & Hydraulics can assist in the following areas:

Fail-Safe Rod Locking Device

Bear-Loc® innovative rod-locking devices are trusted worldwide, providing a safe, reliable locking feature for all your hydraulic components. Bear-Loc® is built to last, with the patented design and ease of use positioning it at the forefront of hydraulic safety.

Hydraulic Cylinders and Actuators

At York Precision Machining & Hydraulics, we know that each industry is different regarding hydraulic design strategies. The entertainment industry, in particular, requires a unique approach as engineers push the boundaries of creativity. Quality cylinders and actuators change the fluid pressure intro mechanical energy.

We specialize in full-service, built-to-order hydraulic cylinders and actuators designed with our Bear-Loc® positive locking system. Our design features infinite position locking, high system stiffness, zero backlash, long-term positioning without drift, and lasts for decades. Bear-Loc® is available as a full system including a cylinder or as a locking unit only.


Why Consider Bear-Loc® for Your Entertainment Venue or New Feature Design?

Some of the many advantages to using our hydraulic and safety solutions include:

Exceptional Safety

Traditional emergency-stopping functions often rely on circuits and load-holding valves to provide safety support. Bear-Loc® uses a positive locking interference fit design to engage instantly when the system loses hydraulic pressure. These fail-safe properties have afforded Bear-Loc® the reputation of being the safest hydraulic locking unit on the market. Whether the pressure is removed deliberately or accidentally, Bear-Loc® automatically locks in place, maintaining worker and visitor safety.

Unparalleled Performance

Without the limitations of traditional locking systems, our patented Bear-Loc® design can bring unprecedented excitement to your entertainment experience, safely bringing the action up close to your audience. Bear-Loc®’s unique array of features makes it possible: instant locking when hydraulic pressure is removed (movement is impossible in any direction), with zero backlash (no delay or “shudder”); moves freely when pressure is applied, allowing infinite positioning anywhere along the stroke; bi-directional locking; high system stiffness; and long- term positioning without drift. Bear-Loc®’s elegantly simple design does not depend on moving parts, valves or other components to obtain its positive mechanical lock.

Enhanced Durability and Versatility

With fewer contact points and components, Bear-Loc® can last for years when you follow manufacturer instructions. Even in underwater and salty marine environments. It is easy to use and reliable for long periods, allowing you to focus on entertaining your audience.

Accident Prevention

Designing and maintaining amusement parks and special effects in entertainment means considering the worst-case scenarios. Are your hydraulics fail-safe? Consider the costs of hydraulic fluid leaking onto guests, bringing the show to an end. Worse, imagine the ramifications of hydraulics dropping moving sets onto performers, or dropping the performers themselves.

Bear-Loc® safe and reliable locking features have an innovative design and unparalleled safety. We have the expertise and capabilities to produce a locking device that ensures the show always goes on.

Precision Machining Capabilities

No matter how ambitious your products are, our custom machining capabilities, computer-assisted design (CAD) and computer-assisted manufacturing (CAM) bring your design to life.

As an ISO 9001:2015 certified company, you can trust in the quality of our hydraulic actuators and related equipment. Whether you need a complete custom design or want to install Bear-Loc® on your existing systems, we can provide the solution precisely tailored to the needs of your application.


Contact York Precision Machining & Hydraulics for Your Entertainment Industry Solutions

Hydraulics provide the power, safety and durability you need to entertain your audience confidently. Expertise, custom machining and hydraulics systems from York Precision Machining & Hydraulics can keep guests and workers safer.

Our Bear-Loc® locking features for hydraulic components combine an easy-to-use system with fail-safe reliability to prevent movement without power. You can keep people safe and entertained with durable and reliable hydraulic systems. Contact us to learn more and power your imagination today.


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