• How a Bowling Alley Works
  • How a Bowling Alley Works - 2

How a Bowling Alley Works

First the player rolls the ball down the lane. Toward the end of the lane it breaks an infrared sensor which initiates the pinsetter control unit. Whoa! it looks like our computer has crashed. We’ll have her back up and run into no time. Okay it looks like we’re back online.

After the ball breaks the infrared sensor it finishes by knocking down a number of pins. The sweep is lowered to protect the pin setter from any late-arriving balls. A scanner camera snaps a photo to see which pins are standing and which are knocked over. This information is sent to the automatic scoring system. The photo also lets the pin Center know which pins it will need to pick up. The sweep pushes any remaining pins into the ball pit and the standing pins are replaced onto the deck and ready for the next round.

A conveyor belt in the ball pit moves the pins under a divider. The ball however is too large to fit under the divider and therefore rolls into a hole and out of the ball pit. Another conveyor belt accelerates the ball up a ramp and is returned to the player using gravity by way of a track system under the alley. While the ball is being returned, the pins fall into a pen elevator wheel and are brought up to another conveyor belt that transports them to the pin distributor. Once all the pins have been loaded into the distributor and the player has rolled the second ball, the pins are dropped into the pin table which lowers down at the start of the next player’s round.