FEATURE: Get Switched on
Turkish firm Switch Bowling is expanding internationally with its range of Pininfarina-designed bowling centre solutions which enable games to be incorporated in a wide range of venues and even outdoors on the beach…
Based on Italian design and bringing high-end production values to its range of bowling alley products which include lanes, scoring systems, pin-setters, front-end equipment plus accessories and supplies, Switch Bowling is changing the look and feel of alleys in a number of different territories.
After a three-year research and development effort, the Turkish bowling specialist is launching its new Switch Genie scoring system. Switch Genie uses the most up to date electronics, technology and design. Switch Genie has been adapted to perform perfectly within the requirements of today’s fast-paced consumer world.
2017 will be another big year for the firm in Turkey with so far five signed projects for new centres in the pipeline. It is also working on doubling the size of its factory in Izmir.
Switch’s R&D efforts for new state of the art products are ongoing. The firm has also recently announced the opening of a new joint venture in New Jersey to service the US market, Switch Bowling LLC, with the aim of bringing in European bowling products to the US market.
The firm has partnered with John Fatigati, a third generation proprietor with over 25 years experience in the bowling industry, who will be running the company as president of Switch Bowling. Fatigati is the proprietor of Jersey Lanes in Linden and Parkway Lanes in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, as well as being the current President of the North Jersey BPA.
The company was founded in order to introduce European-designed and engineered bowling products at affordable prices to the US proprietors. It will have a supply ranging from complete new centres to modernisation, spare parts and consumables.
“We will introduce new concepts suited to the North American investors,” said Fatigati.
The company has noticed that in these particularly difficult and tiresome economical times of crisis, bowling has remained a strong force in the leisure industry. It says the ease and accessibility of the game for customers is among the main reasons for its continued popularity during the downturn.
Bowling is a relatively low-cost outing for a family on a budget. Also, it is an event that all members of the family can enjoy together. For the owners, one of the reasons for bowling’s continued growth and success are the low maintenance costs associated with it, in particular when it comes to string machine pinsetters. Also the continuous revenue makes bowling a fruitful investment in any centre.
Switch is having particular success with its Pininfarina-designed original bowling material. It has sold several fully-equipped bowling centres worldwide in the last few months, many in Asia and several in the Middle East. It has also supplied more material for modernisations all around the world than ever before with clients realising that the aesthetics and modernity of the products help determine their continued success and appeal to the modern customers.
Marketing director, Cynthia Winterhalter, says: “Customers today enjoy bowling because it is an affordable and enjoyable activity for all the family that brings people together outside of the hectic day-to-day stress of modern life.
“What sets Switch apart from the competition is our resilience and strength in times of economic and political crises, we have pulled through all recent events and come out stronger on the other side with a growing team of young, experienced and innovative people leading the Switch helm. Also, Switch continues to deliver the best in terms of design and aesthetics as well as technology and innovation.
“Switch believes that bowling can continue to grow and evolve alongside modern technology. That is why Switch focuses so much of its energy on continued research and development to make all aspects of its products, but particularly the scoring software with integrated social media capabilities, stand up and compete with rival modern technologies. It’s not about competing, but integrating modern technologies into bowling, and that is Switch’s strength.”
Switch offers complete solutions for bowling centres from theming, lanes, scoring systems and a wide range of supplies and accessories. Here are some of its more popular lines….
The new Switch Mini Series is a 3D, children’s bowling environment with fully integrated themes.
The package compromises of everything required to install and operate directly at the retail point. Switch Mini Series can be operated with coins, tokens or cards, it is fully adaptable to the centre’s needs, and can also distribute redemption tickets. The first theme in the series if Circus with more themes to follow.
Switch Beach Series offers themed, outdoor bowling and is specifically targeted at hotels and resorts.
It allows for hotel guests to enjoy an additional fun activity on the hotel premises, thereby generating more revenue and entertainment possibilities.
It can be used for daytime individual or group bowling, kids’ birthday parties, cocktail parties, corporate team building events, disco bowling and more.
Optional water features are available, and fully safe for both the client and the customers.
The Chassis has been developed to give total control, both manually and automatically, of every facet of bowling on a pair of lanes. The composition of the four PC boards in the Chassis works seamlessly to provide many innovative features for both management and maintenance.
Every pinsetter command signal has been provided; Pinsetter On/Off, Ball status (1st/2nd ball instant changeover without cycling the pinsetter), cycle start, sweep reverse, short strike cycle, foul cycle, continuous cycle, integrated bumper and glow light control circuits, fully automatic pin sensing (APS) interface, internally/externally polarised inputs. It can be interfaced with most scoring systems in the market today. Pinsetters equipped with motor encoders as well as those with cam switch systems can also be managed by the Chassis.
Hard wired connections to other scoring systems are made possible by the input/output circuitry. Unlimited future software updates and customisation will be available thanks to the provision of dedicated connectors. Add-ons such as customised safety guards are also simplified due to the ease with which the Chassis can be re-programmed.
It is also equipped with a web server that provides for the connection of an Ethernet line. This gives total access to all functions including lane administration data, current and energy monitoring, as well as most other data useful to a bowling centre.
Hood and Rack
The Switch hood and rack is designed by Pininfarina, with its distinctive ’S’ shape. The tubular frame provides strength and durability. The lower rack is as easy to install as a clip-on component. Fan and reset buttons are located inside the solid high quality compact polyurethane. Access to the power lift and maintenance area is easy and requires no special tooling.
The Switch “S” ball return is mounted on a special approach panel fitted with a synthetic sleeve to permit branding and promotion of the approach area. This gives the bowling centre’s proprietor an easy way to generate additional revenue.
USBC approved Switch synthetic lanes and pin decks made by the world-leading laminate manufacturer. The lanes are made of a 10 mm thick laminate that complies with EN 438 and ISO 4586 norms. Thickness is achieved using sheets of craft paper impregnated with thermosetting resins. The resultant panel is then subjected to the combined action of pressure (9MPa) and heat (150°C – 302°F) in special presses in which the resins polycondense. Also available are glow lanes and a range of Switch masking units in a number of different themes.
The Switch Scorer features a purpose built, commercial computer designed platform.
High-resolution animations and graphics can be viewed on 32″ LCD monitors customised for Switch or an optional 42″ LCD monitor.
Switch 2 Software
Bowling centre operators will greatly appreciate the Switch scoring software, with its refined, high -tech ‘operator main screen’. To operate the system, each operator must ‘check in’. There are two ways to do this, either by a very fast swipe of the operator’s magnetic card or entry of a personal password. The card gives each operator associated to their photo a number of security levels – set by the owner or manager – at which they are allowed to operate. The system generates ‘user groups’, placing operators with similar security levels into groups, such as manager, assistant, cashier and mechanic. All custom preferences can be easily added, modified and saved with the Switch preference screen.
The Switch bowler’s archive means that In just a few seconds, bowling centres can capture photos and complete bowlers’ details. The system automatically recognises bowlers each time they bowl and logs all their activities; money spent, games bowled, scores and averages. The Switch bowler’s archive provides the highest degree of detail, even storing splits left and picked up and whether spares are closed or not.
The system also offers a wide range of payment methods, such as pay per game, per hour, post-pay or pre-pay mode. The numerous rate possibilities, whether or not they are discounted, are all easily configured. This is tied-in with the unique bowler’s archive, since every bowler entered in the archive is automatically detected by the system. The system will also allocate a pre-defined rate to the bowler. Also included is a loyalty programme, defined by the number of games bowled. The Switch system automatically keeps track of all activity which can be used by the centre as a marketing tool.