Case Study – Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Case Study – Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Movetech UK helps Advance Science Lab

Movetech UK has helped improve the efficiency of a world-leading research facility by providing new equipment that makes maintenance less disruptive to their work.


The ISIS Synchrotron particle accelerator at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire has 34 tonne magnets which have to be moved in and out of use.

The sheer weight makes the magnets difficult to transport, and there was no room for a crane between the maintenance area and the particle accelerator. Ten dipole magnets are in use at any one time, with an eleventh on standby and a team of four people were needed to move each one.


Movetech UK installed an airfilm transporter so these heavy magnets can be replaced by just one person. This ‘Hovair’ transporter consists of four 40″ high-pressure air bearings, to develop the lift and create ultra-low friction. This allows large, heavy loads to be moved easily.

With two pairs of internal air-powered drive units and a remote control unit, the solo operator now has complete control of the transporter and can manoeuvre the magnet out of the maintenance position and through the very tight opening into the synchrotron.

This equipment is also was smaller than the previous transporter, so more space was freed up in the laboratory.