Inside the LabDelivering and installing 87 bespoke Microbiological Safety Cabinets (MSCs) to various laboratories at the new Francis Crick Institute in London’s busy King’s Cross area requires skilful planning and management. Handling medical and laboratory equipment is a core Relay activity and we were excited to be tasked with this major project by our clients Envair Laboratory Equipment.


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. 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 tests are carried out in a sterile environment.


At time of writing, delivery and installation of the MSCs is still
taking place. Relay Project Manager Dave Walker explains that
the units initially arrive at Iver where they are looked after
by our technical warehousing staff and serial numbered for
delivery to their destination the next day. 


Each serial number corresponds to an equivalent number on the site floor plans, so we have full control of exactly where the MSCs should be located. The units arrive securely protected on our 12-tonne or 18-tonne air-ride suspension trucks and are transported to their allocated positions using a range of our specialised handling equipment.


“The MSCs are placed on stands built by our skilled engineers, the whole process from start to finish taking about 20 minutes per unit. It’s intensive and rewarding work which our crews perform really well.”


Relay’s delivery and installation crews cooperated closely with Laura Jones, Business Strategy and Operations Manager for Envair Laboratory Equipment, during the installation and final testing of all the laboratory cabinets.


Commenting on Relay’s contribution to the project, Laura 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 Envair Laboratory Equipment 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!”