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Assembly Tooling

Tools to lift, tools to suspend, tools to transport, tools to assemble, tools to adjust ... over 100 custom devices are planned for the assembly phases of the ITER machine.


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heaviest lift
tallest tool
bridge crane capacity
Here are some of the largest tools that will be used during machine assembly:

Two sets of bridge cranes installed at a height of 46 metres are the major lift and transport tools for delivering components from the Assembly Hall to the Tokamak Pit. The heavy-duty set (two 750-tonne cranes) can work together to lift loads of 1,500 tonnes—or the approximate weight of four jetliners. The system is complemented by two smaller 50-tonne auxiliary cranes. Procured by Europe, operational.

ITER bridge cranes

Sector sub-assembly tools

Standing six storeys high in the Assembly Hall, the 800-tonne tools suspend the vacuum vessel sectors while carefully positioning and installing—via the rotary motion of the "wings"—thermal shield panels and two toroidal field coils. Actuators will permit the components to be positioned with the highest degree of accuracy (1.5 mm for the toroidal field coils) and adjusted to six degrees of freedom (up and down, side-to-side, forward and backward, swivel, tilt, and pivot). The completed "sector sub-assembly" to be transported to the Tokamak Pit weighs 1,200 tonnes. The operation must be carried out nine times (for nine vacuum vessel sectors). Procured by Korea, operational.

The "upending frame" is used to raise two types of large components—vacuum vessel sectors (440 tonnes) and toroidal field coils (360 tonnes)—from their horizontal delivery configuration to vertical for subsequent installation on the sector sub-assembly tools. The "tilt" operation is carried out in coordination with the overhead cranes. Procured by Korea, operational.

Upending tool

In-pit assembly tool

Formed from a central column and nine radial beams, this tool is installed inside of the Tokamak Pit to support, align and stabilize vacuum vessel sub-assemblies as they are joined and welded. With the central column anchored to the Tokamak Building basemat and the radial beams supported between the column and the concrete bioshield, the in-pit assembly tool is designed to support a nominal weight of 5,400 tonnes. Procured by Korea, operational.

Purpose-built transportation and lifting tools have been designed for the installation of each cryostat section (base, lower cylinder, upper cylinder, top lid). Once installed, the sections are brought into alignment with the Tokamak global coordinate system through hydraulic jacks. (Procured by the ITER Organization, operational for the base and lower cylinder in 2020)

Cryostat installation and alignment tools

Toroidal field coil alignment tool

The in-pit installation tool for toroidal field coil pairs moves the D-shaped superconducting coils a few millimetres along three axes and ensures their precise positioning inside of the Tokamak pit to within 1/10th of a millimetre. It also performs the final adjustment of the Tokamak's nine sectors. (Procured by the ITER Organization, operational in 2021

This group of tools includes, for each coil: a transportation frame, purpose-built survey tools, lifting adapters to interface with lifting beams, and installation tools and adjustable supports. Procured by Korea; first tools operational.

Poloidal field coil assembly tools

Central solenoid tools

Assembly of the six central solenoid modules into an 18-metre-tall stack (including support structures) requires a dedicated space in the ITER Assembly Hall and specialized tooling including an assembly platform designed to support 1,300 tonnes and a module lifting fixture. Procured by the US, operational in 2021.