LHC technical data goes mobile

The Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS), which has been in use at CERN for many years, has recently been enhanced with an innovative new feature for managing and exploiting existing information regarding the LHC: a system to read the barcodes on the LHC components and easily obtain data and information on the many thousands of items of equipment that make up the accelerator. The feature will eventually be made available for any other scientific instrumentation located at CERN.


Example of a magnet's barcode

Systems like CERN's CMMS, which is based on an Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system from Infor, are today standard practice in organizations managing large volumes of information about their facilities. However, the way in which CERN has adapted its system is rather unique: the CMMS not only manages the manufacturing, installation, maintenance and disposal of the components of CERN’s infrastructure but now has the potential to provide equipment information interactively in the field, by means of a hand-held device.

Such a device can be used to scan a barcode sticker glued to the surface of each and every dipole and quadrupole of the LHC. Information regarding the magnet is then displayed on the mobile device’s graphical interface, developed by CERN. “In the case of the LHC magnets”, explains Pedro Martel, CMMS manager, “a user equipped with this tool can scan the magnet's barcode and instantly access all the data on it collected throughout its lifecycle, as well as create a work order for repairs or any required maintenance.”

Developments were prioritized to create a graphical user interface consistent with that of the EAM system, with which CERN users were already familiar. “For the sake of coherence, we tried to make the graphical interface as similar as possible to the native interface of the Infor EAM but adapt it to a mobile device with a limited screen size” explains Pedro.

It was with uses such as this in mind that barcodes were glued to the magnets when they were manufactured. Barcodes can be found throughout the CERN infrastructure, and the new EAM mobile device interface is being proposed for other technical and scientific services that can benefit from it. “We have proposed the new feature for services such as cooling and ventilation, cryogenics, surface cleaning inspections, electrical transformer inspections and radiation protection”, explains Pedro. “Access to all relevant technical data about any registered item of equipment is now possible from anywhere at CERN, including the LHC tunnel where Wi-Fi is not available, thanks to the common mobile telephone technology used.”

The Infor EAM system and its innovative counterparts have proven extremely valuable. When malfunctions occur, situational information and insight into similar past incidents save more than just headaches and money; they help to make immediate and efficient repairs possible.


CERN’s Engineering and Equipment Data Management System (EDMS) comprises the CMMS and a PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) system, enabling the transfer of protected information and knowledge between successive generations of engineers and scientists at CERN. A PLM system collects all the data regarding an object’s design along with its documentation (technical specifications, test procedures, non-conformities, drawings, etc.). CERN's PLM system has been merged with the CMMS system to create a seamless platform where all engineering data about CERN’s infrastructure and scientific equipment are available to other systems and users.
The EDMS is a service available to any CERN unit and experiment approved by the CERN Scientific Policy Committee.




by Jordan Juras