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On the high seas

In 2008, the Pliezhausen team took on a very special project: they had won a contract from the shipping company AIDA Cruises. The company wanted two bars on the new cruise liner AIDAluna to be fitted out with roller shutters. "I remember the project very well," says Michael Wackenhut, who oversees the company's business management activities. "Our competitors had previously supplied AIDA Cruises with roller shutter systems. The system did not run very well, however, and, in the end, it gave up the ghost completely. Every evening, staff had to clear the bar shelves. It took forever for them to pack the glasses and drinks away in boxes. Although familiar with the technical issues, we were initially faced with quite a massive challenge, because such a system was new for us, too. The bars were constructed in a semi-circular or circular design and, owing to the large dimensions, we had to take quite a few things into account when planning and installing the roller shutters."

The roller shutters offer protection outside serving hours. They had to be fitted from the ceiling down to the counter and open electrically and horizontally. "Since the system was intended to be installed in the bar area, we first had to go and see for ourselves what the job involved," explains Damian Ozimek, head of production at RIEKO. "The system had to run without a hitch even when the surface was dirty from drinks that had been spilt, for example, or crumbs had fallen into the tracks." We initially carried out a number of development trials before finding a solution and setting up a prototype that ran uninterrupted for several weeks.

One special area of consideration was the stainless steel tracks. Because of the curved counter, these were lasered on directly to fit the corresponding angle and weren't bent in the usual way. The tracks were then connected in situ in individual three-metre lengths. In addition, because of the enormous length involved, we decided to fit each bar with two roller shutters which would open to the right and left from the middle. So, the roller shutters at the pool bar would be 1.33 m high and 10.50 m long. The roller shutters for the beach bar would be 1.39 m high and 6.30 m long. To ensure that the roller shutters opened and closed smoothly, we used a 100 Nm motor. Gears fitted to the shutter enable it to roll up and down laterally from the bar. On account of the salty sea air, the roller shutters were made of 21s aluminium profiles and powder coated in RAL. This makes the chance of any corrosion occurring very unlikely. The customer also asked for viewed windows to be set in the profiles to give a nicer overall appearance.

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