CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is using an automatic hook from Barcelona, Spain-based manufacturer Elebia to lift and lower a 750kg concrete beam used for radiation tests at the Franco-Swiss site.
At CERN, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. They use the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter?the fundamental particles.
The 2.5t capacity e2 automatic hook works beneath a 25t capacity overhead crane with a 10t capacity hoist, which combine to lower the beam that contains samples for irradiation (a process by which an object is exposed to radiation) at the shielding benchmark facility.
The hook met unique requirements to operate in a hole 400mm by 400mm and access a lifting point 1.6m beneath the surface before lowering the concrete beam to a total depth of 4m, where irradiation takes place. Upon completion of the tests the beam and samples are removed for inspection.
Michael Lazzaroni, superintendent (or technical manager) of the East Hall experiment area at CERN, said: "The lifting point was too deep to access by personnel so we needed a solution that not only addressed that but also operated reliably by remote control even though the hook is inside a concrete bunker required to conduct the tests safely."
Lazzaroni explained that the Elebia hook has reduced to only 30 minutes what was taking up to two hours using an alternative method.