Technical transportation of critical laboratory equipment ¦ Relay

Technical Transportation of MSCs for the Francis Crick Institute, London

Project Outline

The delivery and installation of 87 bespoke Microbiological Safety Cabinets (MSCs) to various laboratories at the new Francis Crick Institute in London’s busy King’s Cross area required careful logistics planning and skilled management.

Handling medical and laboratory equipment is a core Relay specialist transport services activity and we were appointed to carry out this major project by a leading laboratory equipment supplier.

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The £650 Million Francis Crick Institute was opened by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by the Duke of York, on 9th November 2016. In a news story published by the Institute, the international importance of this new facility was emphasised. “The Crick is the biggest biomedical research institute under one roof in Europe and is investigating the fundamental biology underlying human health and disease.”

The MSCs are vital to the work of the laboratories, which made this technical transportation project extremely important. Each unit essentially filters the air within the lab, drawing air in and around the MSC in such a manner that the user is not contaminated by potentially harmful samples being analysed. The MSCs also guarantee that only clean air passes over the sample, ensuring that every test is carried out in a sterile environment.

Delivery and installation

Relay Project Manager Dave Walker explained that the units initially arrived at our Iver depot, where they were looked after by our technical warehousing staff and serial numbered for delivery to their destination the next day.

Each serial number corresponded to an equivalent number on the site floor plans, so Relay’s specialist transport services crews had full control of exactly where the MSCs should be located.
The units arrived securely protected as specialist freight on our 12-tonne or 18-tonne air-ride suspension trucks.

The MSCs were then to their allocated positions using a range of our specialised handling equipment.

As a final stage of this specialist transport services project, the units were placed on stands built by our skilled engineers, the whole process from start to finish taking about 20 minutes per unit.

Delivery and Installation 

Project Status

Project Status

The successful technical transportation of MSCs to the Francis Crick Institute has been part of an ongoing project, where Relay’s delivery and installation crews have cooperated closely at every stage with the customer. This has included the installation and final testing of all the laboratory cabinets.

Commenting on Relay’s contribution to the project, Laura Jones, Business Manager for our customer, said: Relay have been instrumental in the delivery of these large, heavy and delicate pieces of equipment. The back-office teams have been understanding in the inevitable changes associated with a large project of this nature, offering us the support and flexibility we require in order to deliver on the USP’s of our own young and dynamic business. 

“Overall I can say that I enjoy my time on site with the Relay crews although the days are often long and sometimes tricky and if you can say you enjoy yourself then you have certainly picked the right supplier!”