March 1, 2023 – Bowling Industry Magazine

Joel Forbes, Sr. Product Manager for QubicaAMF, points out how string pin machines beat inflation and how centers that have installed string machines are experiencing significantly lower operating costs while simultaneously stimulating growth.



Consumers and businesses are all feeling the pressure of inflation gouging their pocketbooks. This is especially true for bowling center operators, who are seeing profits erode due to soaring costs.

As you would expect, savvy operators are looking for any opportunity to conquer these challenges. Proprietors are learning firsthand how to adjust their operations to overcome these challenges.

Centers that have installed string machines are experiencing significantly lower operating costs while concurrently stimulating revenue growth.

From 2021 to 2022, 40 states have experienced energy cost increases by at least 5%, with half of those seeing cost increases of over 10%. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that we’ll have to endure at least two more years of higher-than-normal energy cost inflation. Given that older free-fall pinsetters use eight to ten times more electricity than string machines, the savings by converting from free-fall to string are significant.

The most significant advantage of installing string machines is that any staff member can operate the machines via their mobile phone by downloading an app. Additionally, due to fewer stoppages, mechanics can be repurposed to other areas of the business, thus reducing labor costs.


“While many of our customers have seen their labor costs reduced by an average of nearly 70%, one EDGE String owner, Woodlawn Bowl Family Fun Center in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, reported operational cost savings of 95%!”


In addition, bowling centers can reduce maintenance and parts costs by switching to string machines. Instead of allocating an entire storage room filled from floor to ceiling with pinspotter replacement parts, the spare parts needed for a string pin machine will fit neatly in a small location like a designated tool bench. Because string machines require significantly fewer parts than their free-fall counterpart, there is significantly less downtime due to mechanical problems.

Additionally, as the pins are attached to a durable string, there are no “dead wood” issues, lengthy lane closures, or pins missing from the rack upon setting. This phenomenon has led to more lineage and happier bowlers. Happier bowlers and reliable machine performance make your staff’s lives easier. Rather than spending all their time dealing with machine breakdowns, service delays, and appeasing unhappy customers, staff can focus on increasing sales and providing the optimal bowling experience.

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QubicaAMF is the largest and most innovative bowling equipment provider in the world with 600 employees worldwide. We build and modernize more bowling entertainment centers than any other company in the industry and have an installed base of more than 10,000 centers in 90 countries. The company has a sales and distribution network with worldwide reach and maintains the largest R&D team for electro-mechanical products, software, electronics, and entertainment systems in the industry.

QubicaAMF has over 100 years of experience and can provide the perfect combination of bowling equipment, products, and services for new or existing bowling entertainment centers, FECs, Cinemas, or any other facility in the hospitality, retail, or restaurant industry. Our ongoing mission is Making Bowling Amazing. We are convinced that bowling has so much more potential to attract and entertain even more people. With our products, we will help our customers fully unleash that potential.

The company has U.S. headquarters in Richmond, Virginia and European headquarters in Bologna, Italy.