King of the wave

At Turncable Wakepark, visitors and staff can have even more fun, both on land and on the water, thanks to a new lift controller
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The challenge

Professional wakeboarding facilities with the highest possible fun factor

But wakeboarding – a mixture of water skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing – isn’t just fun for pros. Facilities made by Sesitec, like the one at Turncable Park in Thannhausen, Germany, make the sport accessible for everyone. A state-of-the-art automation solution ensures that it isn’t just visitors but also the staff at the wakepark who really enjoy themselves.    

Attractive design for tough outdoor use

Sesitec aims to ensure that it isn’t just visitors but also the staff at the park who enjoy themselves. This includes ensuring that the facility runs reliably, that it’s easy to operate whatever the weather – especially in bright sunlight and even with wet, slippery, or greasy hands covered in sunscreen – and that it provides all the necessary information on each visitor right at the launch platform. The controller unit plays a key role here: It needs to have sufficient contrast and be illuminated brightly enough, automatically and effectively adjust to different lighting conditions, have a sufficiently large screen, and of course be waterproof and robust. The weather also makes high demands both on the control system and the control units: High temperatures in the summer, lightning strikes during thunderstorms, and vibration due to the floating launch platform mean that the equipment needs to withstand a tough environment.

Integration with checkout systems

In addition to controlling the lifts, the new control unit was also required to be seamlessly integrated with the checkout system at Turncable, so that the staff at the launch platform knows which customer currently wants to get on the water, what kind of ticket they have, and how often they’ve been out on the boards already. This gives the staff at the lift all the crucial data like name, ticket information, and a photo of the driver on display as soon as the customers identifies themselves with their bar-coded ticket wristband.


Wakeboard lifts made by pros for pros

Sesitec has been a well-established part of the water sports scene ever since Christian von Lerchenfeld founded the company in 1992. Following over 20 years of innovation and experience in planning and implementation, and after constructing more than 320 installations worldwide, Sesitec has made its name as a leader in the field of two-tower cable wakeboarding.

Due to its passion for wakeboarding, Sesitec has developed a wealth of innovative products and solutions: for example, a new patent-pending drive for the full-size cable, LakeControl, the internally developed System 2.0®, and the Recon remote control.    


Sesitec wakeboarding installations are extremely efficient and sustainable, which is why they don’t just offer visitors and professional wakeboarders lots of fun and a unique wakeboarding experience – they’re also very worthwhile for operators. Sesitec stands for top quality and innovation down to the last detail as well as outstanding service for all of its installations. Wakeboarding is the latest trend, and thanks to the outstanding quality of its solutions, Sesitec is building its new wakeboarding facilities all over the world.

Our facilities offer visitors a unique experience while ensuring our customers, or rather, the operators, also enjoy themselves. The facilities must be reliable and most importantly, easy to operate.
Jörg Koziol, Project Manager at Sesitec

A real eye-catcher, whatever the weather: the new control system

Sesitec wanted to make the lifts at Turncable in Thannhausen even more robust and simple to operate with a new control system. Now the lift system, which was built and commissioned by Sesitec in 2008, is a genuine standout when it comes to reliability, outdoor suitability, and ease of use.

It soon became clear to the Frey team – which was selected as a solution partner by Sesitec to develop a new control solution for the system – that the solution would be found in the industrial automation sector, according to the project manager at Frey, Daniel Waidhas: “We hunted around the market and and could only find a few control units capable of meeting Sesitec’s requirements: a large screen, suitable for outdoor use, tough and yet easy to operate, with an appropriate, robust control solution. On the basis of these requirements, we opted for a 15-inch Simatic HMI Comfort Outdoor Panel and the Simatic ET 200SP controller. Both the team and Sesitec were especially impressed by the panel right away: the 15-inch screen and the slim-line format of the device are really impressive.” For Jörg Koziol, the great appearance was an important criterion: “The panel is installed right at the launch platform, where visitors go out onto the water. This makes the control unit important because it represents the entire installation – so it needs to look good.”

Seamless integration

In addition to controlling the lifts, the new control unit also needed to be seamlessly integrated with the checkout system at Turncable so that the staff at the lift could know which customer currently wants to get on the water, what kind of ticket they have, and how often they’ve been out on the boards already. “We developed this integration from scratch, along with Sesitec. The fact that we’d already conducted numerous projects with the Simatic controller and Simatic control units – meaning that we already had the necessary software modules – was a great advantage for us. Nevertheless, we still faced several new challenges in the course of this project, in particular when it came to visualization. Not only do the wakeboarders give their name when they check in, they also have their photo taken. They identify themselves with their ticket at the launch platform – a waterproof wristband with a bar code, which is scanned at the launch platform – and staff at the lift can then use the photo on the control panel to check that the ticket and customer match up. This information also goes along with each visitor during their ride, so that the operators can see exactly who and who is out on the water and where they are.

Customer benefit

More time for each individual wakeboarder

The visualization meets all of the requirements: colors, pop-up windows with additional information, slide-in windows – it all works and looks great.
Jörg Koziol, Project Manager at Sesitec

Providing the lift staff with optimal support

Lisa Tomasek explains how simply the system works on a day-to-day basis. Not only is she a pro on the board, she also operates the lifts at Turncable Wakepark – she takes care of the visitors at the launch platform, explains how the facility and equipment work to them, and controls the lift that pulls visitors over the course with all its obstacles. “Visitors come to us, scan their tickets in, we see their name and photo on the screen, and the name goes with them on their ride. That makes it much easier for me to concentrate on each individual, and I have more time for the customers.” Koziol is also very satisfied: “The visualization meets all of the requirements: colors, pop-up windows with additional information, slide-in windows… It all works and looks great.”

Tomasek is always especially busy when the weather is nice, and she has to take good care of everyone, from beginners to experts. So she’s very pleased with the new control solution, which the designers at Sesitec recently developed and put into operation alongside the engineers from the Siemens solution partner Frey: “The new panel really takes a lot of work off my shoulders, and no matter what the sun is doing, it’s always good to look at.” Koziol is particularly pleased to hear this feedback, because he knows just how important it is to have a good control unit: “I often used to work as a lift operator in the past, so I know how difficult the lighting conditions can be. The Siemens Outdoor Panel, which is bright and has high contrast, has a dazzle-free display with no reflections. It can even be viewed in direct sunlight, so it’s a really good solution for our facilities.“

Further References

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