We've just delivered the biggest and heaviest air cargo container it has ever created. This week, the RZA was handed over to ASML, a world leader in lithography equipment for chip manufacturing, concluding what has been a marathon of a project.
Over the last few years, we’ve been collaborating with ASML to develop a Unit Load Device that can carry the equivalent weight of three London double-decker buses and still fit in the main deck of a B747F. The reason for creating such an exceptional container? So that ASML can transport their latest high-tech, chip-making machine halfway around the world to its customers.
This machine is not only an incredible piece of equipment but also an incredible size. In fact, its dimensions are so big that the only way to deliver it is in parts. That’s why we created three containers in total for ASML. Last year we delivered the first two: the RZY and the AKP. The third and final container – the RZA – is now on its way.
Unique challenges require unique solutions
The impressive size and weight of the RZA make this container unique in the truest sense of the word. It’s more than 7 meters long, more than 3 meters wide, and it contains 650 meters of extrusion and about 30,000 parts.
The project tested to the limit the knowledge of even our engineering experts, the details of which you can read about in this article. But size and weight weren’t the only challenges facing the team. This sensitive machine has to be kept at an exact temperature during transportation – without the use of an air-conditioning unit. Difficult enough when the container is in the hold of a plane, but when it’s on the road or simply waiting for the next stage of its long journey, that’s another matter entirely.
We overcame the problem in two ways. First, we made the RZA extremely well insulated, ensuring absolutely minimal temperature shifts. Second, we put the AKP to work. This little fellow can both heat and cool its travelling companions, the RZA and the RZY, to maintain a constant temperature, even if the outside temperature falls to -25°C or rises to 45°C.
Is it a plane, is it a truck, is it a forklift?
To bring it all home, these customised ULDs aren’t just a perfect fit for aircraft. They fit every mode of transport needed to get the cargo to its final destination, so they can be put on a truck, lifted and relocated by forklift, and even moved by dolly wheels.
The entire project has been a test of endurance and expertise for all involved. But, with the help of our customer ASML since day one, we have now passed the finish line on the first container of its kind. And we’re ready to celebrate!
If you have unusual or unique transportation needs, maybe we can help. Our customised containers are designed to transport heavy, odd-sized or high-value products. Check out our product portfolio for specialised transport. We could be the answer you’re looking for.