The main issue of the press conference was the high temperature reaction furnace for the annealing of superconducting coils for CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, developed and designed by CARBOLITE GERO.
Various representatives from the local and scientific press, local politicians as well as the most important suppliers involved in this project participated in the press conference. The official part comprised three presentations. The first presentation was held by Roland Geiger, Managing Director of Carbolite Gero. Mr. Geiger gave a brief overview of the history of the company which is located since more than 30 years in Neuhausen, near Stuttgart, Southern Germany. Today Carbolite Gero is part of the Scientific division of the Verder Group. Carbolite Gero has always been a reliable partner for scientific customized heat treatment products which was again impressively confirmed with the development of the high temperature reaction furnace for CERN.
The second presentation was given by Dr. Friedrich Lackner, CERN, who offered an introduction and in-depth look into the world of research at CERN, explaining for which kind of research this reaction furnace is needed. The aim of his project is to produce new superconducting magnets for use in the large hadron collider (LH-LHC). The particles have to be bent as well as precisely focused before they collide. The evaluation of the collision event allows the scientists to discover the conditions which were present at the time of the big bang. Based on this knowledge, the origin of the world can be explained.
The last presentation by Dr. Timm Ohnweiler, Head of project management at Carbolite Gero, described the design and construction process of the complete system. Beginning with the first ideas and concepts leading up to the final plant, the challenges and their solutions were described briefly. Only by using the combined experience of the complete Carbolite Gero team, including suppliers, was it possible to realize this extremely challenging project with an overall volume of 1.450.000 EUR within a time line of only 53 weeks. The total length of the plant is more than 30 meters. The usable hot space is more than 12 meters long. The magnets can be annealed after an evacuation step at room temperature up to 900°C with highest possible temperature uniformity.
The plant will be in full operation at CERN site by middle of 2016.