Bowling Machines 101

Machines 101

At AMF venues across the country there are over 15,000 pins being set, knocked down and even replaced on lanes every week. Every time you step into a venue we make sure that our pin setting machines get your pins back into line in every frame so you can spend more time throwing banter or celebrating with your friends and family! But did you ever think and wonder how those amazing machines get your pins back into place?

Well we’ve got an inside exclusive just in time for National Safety Month to fill you in on how two of our pin setting machines work. Let’s dive into the details around our classic Qubica AMF Pinsetters and our TMS Qubica Pinspotter “Stringpins”.

The Classic Pinspotter

Across the majority of our venues we feature some classic machinery, with some even dating all the way back to the 70s! These pin setting machines known as Qubica or AMF pinspotters come in a few different shapes and sizes but the operations are all pretty similar.

These pinsetters operate in a pretty simple but intricate way. From the second your lane kicks into life the pinspotters jump into gear and start things rolling in the following order:

You and your friends bowl down your first ball and knock down a few pins, the machine kicks into operation; first it spots and picks up any standing pins, then a “sweep” clears the decks and any standing pins are replaced, ready for your second go. 

Meanwhile the machine begins sorting out the pins from your ball, sliding them down a moving carpet that then sends your ball back up the lane to the ball return, whilst the pins spin round back into line and up a circular conveyor belt back into order, ready to be dropped back into line. It happens all over again and all 10 pins are set back into place, at the end of your lane, all the while you’re doing a celebratory jig, without a second thought!

The New Pins on the Block

Even though we do love our classic machines, we feel that every dog has it’s day and that’s why we are slowly starting to roll out the brand new Qubica TMS Pinspotters, also known as Stringpins! Now you may be thinking these things sound like something out of a puppet show, but these literal pins on strings not only help create a safer environment for our Technicians operating behind the lanes because there is less heavy machinery involved, they also require less maintenance due to the compact simplified components. A special rapid de-tangling sequence identifies fallen and standing pins and ensures your pins never end up tangled! All this adds up to a better system, up to 10 times more reliable, which also makes it better for our guests. We call that a win-win!

So why not book in at your nearest AMF venue and lock in some bowling and experience either of our machine and let us know if you can tell the difference.