Mammoth magnet moves in
December 9, 2008 · Updated 11:46 AM
What’s the best way to move a 37,000-pound magnet?
Very slowly and carefully.
Which is exactly what a crew tasked with pulling a new magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) machine into Advanced Medical Imaging’s new facility in South Kitsap was doing Tuesday morning.
First a large section of wall and windows were removed from the machine’s new home, then, once the magnet and the rest of the machine’s parts arrived by truck, a large crane was waiting to hoist it into place.
The process was expected to take most of the day, and by noon the pace had slowed to a halt as the movers struggled to put boards and wheels underneath the magnet that could support its significant heft.
Once set up inside, the machine will be only the second of its kind in Western Washington, said Susan Phillips, marketing manager for AMI, noting that the first was installed in Tacoma earlier this year.
“This will be the only one on the Kitsap Peninsula,” said Kurt Newcomer, AMI administrator, adding that “the technology has only been available since May.”
Technically, Newcomer said the machine is a high-field, open MRI which has a magnet “five times more powerful‚” than their current equipment.
“That makes all the difference in the world‚” when it comes to creating high-quality images of body structures, he said.
And to make sure the machine can concentrate on and read only the RF signals it uses to create the images, Newcomer said the room is lined with copper inside the walls to keep interference out.
AMI’s new facilities are designed for outpatient care and will be open right next-door to Harrison Medical Center’s new, 24-hour urgent care facility set to open next month. Newcomer said the MRI machine will be ready for its first patient in mid-January.