Customer story: The biggest Willard Suction table in the world for Fælleskonserveringen

When the team at Willard were asked if we could build the largest heated suction table we’d ever produced, we jumped at the chance as we always like a good challenge. Here we present the challenges and rewards of designing and installing such a project.

The request came from an existing customer of ours, Fælleskonserveringen, ‘The Joint Conservation Association of Danish Museums’ an institution, which undertakes the preservation of works of art. Bbased at Kronborg Castle at Helsingor Denmark, the Castle is a breathtakingly beautiful and famous for its association with Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

The request was to be a total design, build and install project, which included transportation of the equipment, as well as, installation and commissioning.

The table took approximately 7 months to complete and due to its size of over 3 metres  x  4 metres, it gradually became more and more difficult to manoeuvre the assembled table.  From the very beginning of production we had been concerned with transporting the table from our workshops to Denmark and more importantly ensuring that it would be possible to fit the table into the conservation studio located within the Castle grounds.

With the table still in component form, before final assembly, our technicians flew to Denmark and visited the Conservation Studios at Kronborg Castle, to assess the proposed route through the Castle.  This made it possible to make any fine adjustments during the assembly of the table, to accommodate the method of transportation and final installation within the conservation studio.

With this achieved and with the table nearing completion, we set about arranging the transportation of the finished equipment. Due to its enormous size, it was not going to be possible to transport the table flat or for that matter vertically! As with all Willard suction tables, the smooth and flat condition of finished work surface is of paramount importance. After some consideration and with several computer generated models, we decided to build a purpose made cradle, which would enable us to hold the table top section securely, but at an angle of 45 degrees, this provided just enough space for the table top to fit inside a dedicated canvas covered articulated trailer, which was hired for the duration of the delivery process, along with a very skilled fork lift operator and truck driver.

The day of dispatch went like clockwork thanks to our team of technicians who had everything calculated down to the last nut & bolt.  The first job of the day was the removal of the doors to our workshops in order to create sufficient space.  The table top was fitted with a protective impact resistant cover and was winched up to the required angle to ensure a smooth exit from our workshop and into the loading area, where it was to be fitted onto the purpose made cradle for transportation.  The table was then loaded and fitted onto the truck with only inches to spare, once all components were loaded and secured onto the truck, the journey to Denmark commenced.