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Of Interest

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Designing modular tools for in-vessel assembly

In order to carry out the installation of the ITER in-vessel components—such as the diagnostic looms, in-vessel coils, blanket shield blocks and first-wall panels—the ITER Organization will require a set of specifically engineered tools.

These tools will have to operate in limited space, respect challenging cleanliness specifications that restrict the type of lubricant or paint that can be used, and be capable of holding and positioning loads of around 5 tonnes with high accuracy. They will also have to be conceived in a modular fashion, to be assembled or dis-assembled as needed in the staging area.

CNIM will design and manufacture a Trial, Test and Training Facility that demonstrates that the tooling can achieve the required in-vessel assembly tasks. Although not built from the same materials as ITER, it will perfectly reproduce the ''space envelope'' within which the in-vessel assembly tools will have to operate. (Click to view larger version...)
CNIM will design and manufacture a Trial, Test and Training Facility that demonstrates that the tooling can achieve the required in-vessel assembly tasks. Although not built from the same materials as ITER, it will perfectly reproduce the ''space envelope'' within which the in-vessel assembly tools will have to operate.
In December 2015, the ITER Organization signed a contract with CNIM Industrial Systems (Toulon, France) for the engineering design, manufacture and testing of the mechanical handling equipment as well as the platform-type staging required for access within the vessel. Contract scope also includes a trial and test facility that will serve to qualify the tools and to train future operators. 

On the basis of the ITER conceptual design and technical specifications, CNIM will propose solutions and develop the detailed design of all tools. 

See the gallery below for a description for some of the principal in-vessel assembly tools.

Staging for personnel access

Five levels of staging will be required to inside of the vacuum vessel to give technicians safe, fast and easy access to all areas of the vacuum vessel interior to perform the installation tasks. The system must be sturdy, yet flexible enough to allow assembly and dis-assembly according to the movement of the in-vessel cranes and other handling tools. The staging will also incorporate a lighting system. The modular design allows the staging to be re-configured into any combinations of levels in different parts of the vacuum vessel and will allow many different types of work to proceed in parallel. The staging will be used at the very beginning of the assembly process to install some components in the vacuum vessel sectors when they are at sub-assembly stage even before they are lifted to the pit.

10 May 2016

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