High Technology Project ITER
ITER– the international fusion energy project went through construction since 2007. It is the world’s largest fusion facility to produce a significant 500 MW for about seven minutes. A high-tech cooperation consisting of seven project partners: China, Europe, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the US, bringing together half of the world’s population and 80% of the global GDP. ITER was under construction in Cadrache, in the south of France. Kersten Europe supplied a total of 10,670 bent stainless steel profiles with different lengths and in various radii, for the radial plates (10x13m). Some of the stainless steel profiles have up to 4 segments with differing radii.
Kersten Europe dedicated a production hall with special climatic conditions and clean-room requirements for this large-scale project. The project is high challenging technologically. The production hall has been equipped with a machining centre: a table of 4,200 mm long for mechanical processing with tight tolerances, a CNC bending machine with a pressure of 25 t, and two marble measuring tables with plate thicknesses of 20 cm and 50 cm.
In order to meet the high demands of the international customers Fusion for Energy (F4E), the EU’s organisation managing Europe’s contribution to ITER, CNIM of France and SIMIC of Italy, a comprehensive Project Management System was implemented. Kersten Europe GmbH, F4E, SIMIC and CNIM managed and supervised the project from the very beginning.
The inspection of incoming-goods served as the first pillar for the high quality standard placed on the product. Kersten Europe bent the profiles in radii of 1,800 mm to 10,000 mm.
The mechanical processing is carried out using a CNC machining centre, with a tolerance of just 0.1 mm. The profiles have been marked, drilled, measured, chemically cleaned and the surface has been finished. Kersten Europe carried out a variety of quality tests. The Ferroxyl Test, Bresle Test, Roughness Test and an additional Flatness Test.
Each of the 10,670 profiles had its own measurement protocol, each with 30 different measuring points. Kersten Europe packed the profiles carefully. The profiles are wrapped in airtight foil, packed securely for transport and dispatched in wooden transport boxes, specially designed for this project.
Work started in 2013 and was finished very successfully in 2016.
With this contribution, Kersten Europe clearly testifies its pioneering role, yet again, in the field of bending technology and additional processing services.