Pico Play’s fabrication facility is in demand across the globe
Versions of this article appear in Blooloop
Skilled team at Malaysian facility delivers projects to Legoland, Universal and more
Pico Play, a global leader in the planning, design, development and construction of world-class themed attractions and entertainment, is working with SplashMania, Asia’s largest rainforest-themed water park, to create an engaging new themed environment.
The striking centrepiece of the park, located in the Gamuda Cove commercial and entertainment precinct in Malaysia’s Southern Klang Valley, will be a huge rock mountain, topped with a 45-metre ship.
This monolith is an innovative artificial rock structure, fabricated by Pico Play using a highly specialised glass-reinforced concrete (GRC) technique. At the company’s fabrication facility in Johor, Malaysia, its skilled workers and craftspeople are currently planning, designing and creating this lifelike rock structure, ready for the park’s grand opening later this year.
Pico Play’s Johor fabrication facility
Pico Play’s Malaysia, Australia and Singapore-based teams are responsible for SplashMania’s overall theming, including its slide towers, drawcard attractions, buildings and pavilions.
Johor Fabrication Facility Team
The Johor fabrication facility is conveniently situated for Gamuda Cove and this, combined with Pico Play’s talented local team, means that the company is able seamlessly to bring both SplashMania’s overarching vision and its individual components to life. Here, it has a team of 40 qualified welders, professional artists, sculptors and designers, who are supported by project managers, quality control officers and production supervisors.
“One of the niche areas our Johor facility excels in is GRC, particularly as it applies to creating artificial rock environments,” says Pico Play’s director, Darren McLean. “We make the rocks out of a thin layer of glass-reinforced concrete so it looks like a real rock, the only difference is it’s much lighter.”
Company’s skills are in demand
As well as the SplashMania project, the team at the Johor facility are working on a number of projects around the world, with the company’s prefabrication services being increasingly in demand since the facility opened in 2019. Initially, it was created while Pico Play was working on a redevelopment project for Singapore Zoo’s Mandai Wildlife Reserve, but the potential to export prefabricated pieces across the world soon became clear.
Splashmania Water Park
The team’s work can be seen at Legoland Korea Resort, which will open later this year, and at Aquatar water park in Doha, Qatar, Universal Studios Beijing; and VinWonders amusement park in Vietnam.
“Our ability to operate and deliver on time throughout 2020 and the first half of 2021 – when COVID impacted manufacturing in most other countries – allowed us to demonstrate not just our skills and craft but the overall benefits of prefabrication,” says McLean.
“As a result, we had more enquiries from overseas projects looking for alternatives to fabricating on-site or in countries that did not have prefabrication facilities. This enables Pico Play to offer a seamless and comprehensive end-to-end service, from design documentation and business planning, through to modelling and model-making, though to fabrication, then through to operational planning.”
The benefits of prefabrication
There are many benefits to prefabrication, which is the assembling components at a manufacturing site and then transporting these to the construction site. From the client’s point of view, this process saves costs and allows for more flexibility, as well as speeding up construction and causing less disruption on site. Plus, it is a more environmentally-friendly process.
S.E.A Aquarium Singapore
“I think, above all else, quality control is the greatest benefit of prefabrication,” says McLean. “If you tried to make the same thing on a construction site, you’d be at the mercy of delivery times, restricted by space and hampered by weather conditions and the constant comings and goings of workers and contractors – it’s an infinitely more difficult process.”
The Johor facility also has custom steel fabrication capabilities and can use Fibre-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) to produce fibreglass sculptures and characters. In addition, it can use 5-Axis CNC milling to reproduce digital models in 3D. There are two adjacent factory units with a central access point, allowing for efficient workflow.
Teamwork is key
Inside the facility, teamwork is the key to delivering quality products to the company’s global clients, according to factory production manager Wan Kamal Nazrin:
Working with statue
“We always brief all our workers before we commence any job so everyone knows what we’re working on, our targets and delivery time. Every worker is important in our facility and by applying that motto to our daily work, we inspire everyone to realise that their contribution to the company is bigger than they think.”
Building on this success, Pico Play is looking to expand its offerings and capacity in 2022 and beyond.
Last year, the company announced that it had partnered with Mildura Regional Development to work on the Light/State immersive light installation.
Top image: Splashmania water theme part at Gamuda Cove