Almost five years of rope tangles are enough...
Bowling Island in Andechs
It is important to us to spread concrete information and experiences about the current bowling technology. And who can do this better than a bowling alley operator who works with these products on a daily basis. Today Jürgen Waller (owner of Bowling Islands) has his say to explain to you why he chose NGT.
But we also want to describe the history.
For this reason we are starting from the beginning and let Jürgen Waller tell the story:
"How on earth did you come up with the idea of starting a bowling center with a Filipino ambience?"
I heard this sentence quite often at the beginning of 2011, when I, a total career changer with no experience in gastronomy or bowling, decided to build my own bowling center and then run it.
This thought has its origin in my many trips to the Philippines. I had never experienced such a warm welcome in any other place... and the wonderful food! Together with my wife, who is Filipina, I wanted to create a place where you can simply feel good, play bowling and also eat well.
And as is so often the case when a vision is to be turned into reality, reality catches up. In my case, I was left hanging by the bowling alley builder originally hired. Systemtechnik Kilian (predecessor of NGT-Bowling) jumped in practically at the last minute and literally got my project rolling again. It was a difference like day and night, suddenly there was honest, trusting cooperation, advice and binding schedules from a company that tackles instead of... (no comment!)
Bowling Islands was then opened in 2013, at that time already with state-of-the-art white LED and laser reflex lane surfaces, but still with the conventional cable-guided pinsetters, which were all based on technology from the 70s and 80s, independent of the manufacturer. Unfortunately, at that time there were no airO products from NGT, especially the airOsetter, but it was already clear to me back then that I didn't want a maintenance- and personnel-intensive "free fall" pinsetter.
When I first heard about the new airOsetter in 2015, I initially thought it was just another copy of the one-shaft elevator mechanical copy that had been around in the bowling market for decades.
But then I was allowed to experience the airO Pinsetter live and I immediately understood that the people from the NGT team had finally designed something contemporary. This became particularly clear to me when I had the first defect in my conventional rope pinsetter after about 4 years, a spring lever (rope pulley arm) broke. After rummaging through a huge spare parts catalogue, I ordered the spare part. After it arrived, I realized that there was no way I could do this repair myself. It couldn't be done in a few simple steps, this required sound mechanical engineering knowledge that I didn't have, so I needed sound outside help and ended up being four hours and a big bill further...
By the middle of 2018, there were more major repairs, so the decision was made and I received exactly 16 new airOsetters on September 18th, 2018. Almost five years of repairs, some of which I could not solve without outside help, as well as "rope entanglements" and rope tricks, which led to false results when pinfalling, came to an end. Instead of dashing back to the pinsetters at least 50 times over the weekend to untangle rope tangles and knots, this now happens a maximum of twice over the weekend. Guests noticed the difference immediately and were delighted with the new pinsetters, which feature a pin halyard that's damn close to the ropeless pinsetter. My team and I are also relieved that the system has run smoothly. My current stock of spare parts for the airOsetter consists of a handful of parts and fits into a single moving box, and if the worst comes to the worst I only need 4 tools (lighter, knife, screwdriver and Allen key) to repair the airOsetter. But I have to say that I have not needed any tools or spare parts since the installation in 2018. Switching to the airOsetter was one of my best decisions for my bowling center!
When switching to the new bowling technology, the light and sound installation in the NGT center was also updated, from the control computers to the light and laser effects. As an additional highlight, a huge disco mirror ball was installed, which disappears into the ceiling when not in use.
The importance of an excellent sound system and flexible light and laser control with attractive effects can be seen on the weekends, when "party bowling" is the order of the day at Bowling Islands.
It is NGT's overall package that impresses me: starting with honest personal advice, clean installation, reliable service, future-oriented technology and innovative ideas.
Now, just for the new season, I have received an update on the new IMPULSE scoring, which includes the connection to the 4bowl reservation system and the VECTRON POS system with merchandise management.
NGT is by far the first choice for me as a bowling island operator.