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Microcarts to shorten the lines

When the two student kitchens in D Building were closed in connection with the reconstruction, the lines for the microwave ovens in Key Building became unendurably long. But now there’s a solution: a mobile microcart.

Bild: Student redo för att äta sin lunch. When Tobias Lindberg at the Department of Facilities Management (LFE in Swedish) saw the long lunch lines for the student kitchens in Key Building, he understood that criticism wouldn’t be far off. Something more – besides informing the students about other student kitchens – had to be done. The student kitchens in other buildings – the Department of Thematic Studies, for example – had greater capacity than had previously been used, but the students still chose the kitchen in Key Building for its proximity to their study locations and the library.
“I contacted Carl Wilhelmsson, the head of M-verkstan, and asked him to sketch a mobile solution based on an idea that popped into my head,” Mr Lindberg tells us.

Mr Lindberg’s proposal gained support in the campus group where he and other representatives from the Property Division meet with the central student working environment representatives; together with Mr Wilhelmsson, Patrick Sandberg at LOTS and Lars Jaktfalk at PLW Electrical Engineering, they drew up a budget and requirement specifications in order to realize the idea concerning a mobile heating spot for food that students brought with them. M-verkstan built the cart over April, LiU Printing helped with the colour scheme, and LOTS armed it with microwave ovens in early May.

Bild: Studenter i kö vid mikrovågsvagnenThe mobile microwave oven cart, in the version that will now be used in Key Building, is armed with 18 microwave ovens, nine to a side. Each day, for a few hours around lunch time, it will be rolled out into the foyer of Key Building to shorten waiting times for hungry students.
“We hope to have it on site on Monday of this week,” says Mr Lindberg, “after a test run on Friday.” The idea is that the cart will be on-site from 11:15 AM to 1:15 PM on weekdays; afterwards there is both room and space to make use of the regular student kitchens.

Microwave ovens require a great amount of power, especially when so many are being used simultaneously. It is therefore difficult to simply install more ovens in existing kitchens or place ovens just anywhere without using new electricity. In order to run a parallel, the cabling for the microwave cart is the same size as one of our charging stations at A Building, where we currently charge the LiU cars.

“I don’t see the cart as a temporary solution, but as a supplement. Instead of building new student kitchens everywhere, we can now obtain better logistics, in a flexible way, concerning the need to heat up food at the places students want to eat. The condition for this, of course, is that it not result in other problems (unpleasant cooking smells, for example), in putting fire safety at risk, or in difficulties with the power supply,” Mr Lindberg says.

What do you think of the microwave cart solution?
The Properties Division would really like your feedback about what you think. Mail your viewpoints to lokalerLE@liu.se and give us your opinion!



Page manager: elisabet.wahrby@liu.se
Last updated: 2016-05-26