CERN technician Didier Lombard developed a compact new pipe-cutting tool for the Large Hadron Collider, with potential applications in the gas and petrol industry. The tool was developed for inspection and repairs of awkwardly located pipes in tight spaces, and possibly surrounded by radioactive components.
Lombard came up with the idea for the Compact Universal Orbital Cutter: an industry-ready tool that can be harnessed to almost any pipe. The revolving compact design enables it to operate in spaces that are otherwise too confined for most cutting machines. The tool answers industrial piping needs in other fields with environmental hazards, such as oil and gas piping, some heat exchangers and piping in nuclear plants. Lombard, who has been a technicain at CERN for over twenty years, built a propotype himself. He then applied for the CERN Knowledge Transfer Fund to develop the concept into an industry-ready device, complying with European standards.