The location: CERN is the European Organization for Nuclear Research, the world’s largest particle physics center (and known for being the birthplace of the WorldWideWeb), located at Geneva/Switzerland. A narrow circumference, almost 17 miles long and 328 ft. underneath the surface, is used for accelerating particles. It is due to switch on in 2007. It is used to search for new particles.
At CERN the current flagship project is building a particle accelerator, called LHC (Large Hadron Collider). This accelerator will probe deeper into matter than ever before. If the new experiments will succeed, scientists can prove the existence of new particles (Higgs boson in particular and supersymmetric particles). This will change the view of the Universe.
The LHC operates at temperatures 300 degrees below room temperature, even colder than outer space. So superconductivity (the ability of certain materials to conduct electricity without resistance or energy loss) can be used to achieve stronger magnetic fields than ever before. For this special designed magnets are used.
The challenge: Each magnet as used is about 20 ft. long, 6.5 ft. high and 4 ft. wide. Each of them weighs 71,000 lbs. and has a value of more than 600,000 US $. A special GKS transport system was needed to enter the underground tunnel. Due to the narrow tunnel a maximum width of 4 ft. was allowed. The system should work continuously for 9 hours per day and should be able to be remote-operated by a single person.
The solution: In order to bring the magnets at different positions into the tunnel, we developed a special system, based on our standard PTS unit (Power Transport System), but as small as possible.
The 8 wheels have a diameter of 12 inch and consist of a steel core with PU lining. They are driven by wheel hub motors with planetary gear drives, integrated into the wheels. A separate hydraulic unit ensures the oil supply. An oil-air-cooler guarantees the smooth non-stop operation for 9 hours a day. The electric motor has 11 kW. The PTS unit can load up to a maximum of 77,000 lbs. A single person operates the transport system via remote control.
GKS Lifting and Moving Solutions LLC : A remote-controlled PTS dolly unit for a nuclear research center