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A success story: LHC cable production at ALSTOM-MSA

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4 Author(s)
Mocaer, P. ; Magnetics & Supercond., ALSTOM, Belfort, France ; Grunblatt, G. ; Verwaerde, C. ; Kohler, C.

ITER ,when constructed ,will be the equipment using the largest amount of superconductor strands ever built (Nb3Sn and NbTi). ALSTOM-MSA Magnets and Superconductors SA, "ALSTOM-MSA" received in 1998 the largest orders to date for the delivery of superconducting strands and cables (3100 km of cables for dipole and quadrupole magnets and various strands) for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) being built at CERN Geneva. These orders to ALSTOM-MSA correspond to more than 600 metric tons of superconducting strands, an amount to be compared to around 600 metric tons of Nb3Sn strands and 250 metric tons of NbTi strands necessary for ITER. Starting from small and short R&D programs in the early nineties, ALSTOM-MSA has reached its industrial targets and has, as of September 2004, delivered around 74% of the whole orders with products meeting high quality standards. Production is going on at contractual delivery rate and with satisfactory financial results to finish deliveries around end 2005, taking into account additional orders from CERN received mid 2004. We will explain how we have succeeded to transform a "cottage industry" (40 people in 1997) to a "world class" production activity (170 people in 2004). Main industrial problems now solved such as investments and industrial set up and ramp up to reach plateau production as well as more technical problems closely linked to industrial ones such as multifilament wire breaks , strand magnetization, coating process (0.15 μm controlled) and others, will be addressed and the various methods used to solve such problems will be reviewed.

Published in:

Applied Superconductivity, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 2 )