OFFICIAL COMPANY NAME: Vekoma Ride Manufacturing
PRESIDENT: Roger Houben
LOCATION: Vlodrop, The Netherlands
VEKOMA OFFICIAL COMPANY INFORMATION
From Vekoma's Official Site
The company was founded in 1926 as "Veldkoning", or King of the Fields, by Hendrik Op het Veld in Vlodrop, The Netherlands. Hendrik, a farmer's son & blacksmith, developed his business to include the manufacture of harrows, ploughs and sowing machines. He developed a vast technical expertise in small steel structures while using "modern" techniques in material selection and processing.
In 1948, the trading of equipment was added to the business core, and the company name changed into "Eerste Nederlands Staalploeg en Pompenfabriek", or First Dutch Steelplough and Pumps Factory. At the start of a decline in the agriculture industry in early 1950s, the company used its technical expertise to turn its focus to the fabrication and construction of larger steel structures for the mining industry. With this change, Hendrik's successor, his son Gerard, changed the company's name to "Machinefabriek Vekoma", an abbreviation of "Veld Koning Machinefabriek".
In 1957, Jac Houben, a master in steel and civil constructions, came to Vekoma. Together, Gerard and Jac saw the mining industry diminishing and, in 1961, they followed their customer DSM, Dutch State Mines, into the petrochemical industry. The Vekoma product range now included the design and manufacture of such items as industrial heaters and furnaces, with a healthy export business throughout Europe and America.
With the business focus on the petrochemical industry, the design, manufacture and installation of piping systems became a core activity, and the company flourished as never before. Jac and Gerard's son, Henk, became partners and Vekoma first entered the amusement industry in 1967 with the construction of its first Giant Wheel. But, always on the alert, Vekoma spotted a new opportunity: Roller Coasters. From 1977, the core business gradually moved into this new industry sector and in 1983 Vekoma shifted its focus completely. Vekoma's experience in the design, manufacture and installation of steel structures proved to be a very solid base for this new market.
In 1987, Jac took over the reigns of Vekoma and pushed forward in the pursuit of making Vekoma a worldwide name in the design, manufacture and installation of high quality roller coasters and amusement rides. One year later, Jac's son Roger joined the company, continuing the family tradition set in the 1920s. And since 1996, Roger has lead the company's quest to become the foremost integrated ride and theming company in the amusement industry.
Vekoma Rides Manufacturing is a market leader in the global amusement industry in the design and manufacture of roller coasters, family rides, water rides and people mover systems. Boasting a wide product range, Vekoma is responsible for such all-time favorites as the Boomerang, Invertigo, Suspended Looping Coaster and Junior Coaster. Plus, Vekoma's recently introduced innovations, the LSM (Linear Synchronous Motor) coaster and Flying Dutchman, are shaping the roller coaster industry of the future by setting new standards for quality and innovation.
The company currently employs approximately 150 people worldwide in R&D, design, engineering, marketing & sales, project management and manufacturing. Production facilities are located in The Netherlands in Vlodrop and Kessel, as well as in China. Subcontractors are located throughout Europe, the United States and Asia.
Vekoma's corporate and marketing strategies focus on maintaining Vekoma's position as a leading innovator and supplier to the world's amusement industry through its diverse product range, engineering and project management, and after-sales service.
A Thrilling Future
Vekoma's history and present prove that it has successfully expanded its market share through the development of its standard rides, in addition to leading creative and technological innovation for entertainment venues and amusement parks throughout the world. And, that's just what the company has in its agenda to continue in the future.
Two much anticipated rides will debut in the upcoming months. Vekoma's Tilt Coaster will take riders to the very edge when an entire section of track tilts from the horizontal to the vertical, leaving riders suspended in mid-air before a plummeting straight down toward the ground. And, the Hammerhead Stall will allow riders of all ages to experience the thrill of acrobatic stunt flying first hand.
Several more projects are on the horizon, as well. Plans are currently underway to extend the coaster range & technologies of recently introduced innovations, the Flying Dutchman and LSM. The ever-popular Boomerang is getting a facelift with a family of rides featuring vertical towers in the works. The MadHouse will see an increased range of content and theming. And, finally, a suspended coaster system is in development to provide a new sensation for younger guests based on the proven thrill of Vekoma's Junior Coaster.
In addition, Vekoma Rides Manufacturing will continue to focus on making rides smoother in order to accommodate three integral markets: families, the senior population and younger guests. By doing this, a resulting increase in demographics and ridership will allow guests of all ages to enjoy a wide range of Vekoma's thrill rides and attractions.
And, as always, Vekoma Rides Manufacturing will continue to emphasize the experience through innovative rides and creative theming so that guests will take home a memory which goes beyond the ride statistics.
Vekoma Tubular Spine Steel Track
Vekoma's tubular spine track is track used for most of Vekoma's non-inverted coasters. The track, which is also used by Arrow Dynamics, has the wheels on the inside, which means for a rougher ride than the average person whould want. Six Flags over Georgia's mega-looper, Ninja, uses this type of track.
Vekoma Inverted Tubular Spine Steel Track
Vekoma's inverted tubular track is for most Vekoma inverted coasters. The wheels, like their non-inverted track, are in the inside. Newer and faster Vekoma inverters that use this track have been smoother, but some can be extremely rough. Six Flags over Georgia's inverted super-boomerang, Deja Vu, uses this type of track.
RIDES BUILT AT SIX FLAGS OVER GEORGIA
NINJA-- Six Flags over Georgia's first Vekoma roller coaster came in 1992. Unlike most coasters nowadays, Ninja was removed from another park and brought to Six Flags over Georgia. Ninja was first built in 1989, and is considered by many to be one of the roughest Vekoma sit-down coasters in the world.
DEJA VU-- Vekoma's second coaster to come to Six Flags over Georgia was the super-boomerang, Deja Vu. Due to bad engineering, Vekoma (along with the other two Deja Vu's they built at same time) had many problems with the ride, taking nearly a year for it to operate properly. Still, though, the ride has constant problems, and the ride capacity is horrible. Still, it is one of the best Vekoma rides built to this day.