Noticeable differences in packaged gas market offerings

“We strive to build win-win partnerships with our customers”
Entrepreneurs & Professionals
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21 April 2018

At first sight, there seems to be little point in comparing the packaged gas offerings of different suppliers with each other. The products seem almost identical, leaving only pricing as a differentiator. In practice, however, there is much more to it than that…

A packaged gas product consists of two main components: the content (the gas) and the packaging. The quality of each of these components must meet expectations, and there are also a number of service aspects that can make a difference.

Gas

In the case of widely-used gases, such as oxygen, nitrogen, argon or helium, any differences in quality are mainly due to the purity of the gases. Depending on the application, this can be an important factor. “Air Liquide supplies only high-quality gases with a high degree of purity. In addition, we also have an extensive custom-to-order service, where unique gas mixtures are tailored to the customer’s needs,” explains Arnaud Crosnier, Head of IPG Operation at Air Liquide UK. “And these can be quite complex. We have a customer in the petrochemical sector for which we produce a gas mixture that contains no fewer than thirteen components.”

Packaging

Gas cylinders are available in a wide variety of sizes, and the larger ones can also be bundled together, further increasing capacity. “In this respect, it’s important to take into account the gas pressure. In our case, this pressure has risen in recent years from 150 bar to 300 bar. This means the same quantity of gas can now be stored at a much smaller volume than before or the gas cylinders need to be changed less frequently. And since customers pay a transport fee per cylinder, the costs can be significantly reduced.”

Safety and ease of use

In addition to the cylinder itself, the valve, the valve guard cap and the pressure regulator are also important. “We’ve succeeded in integrating these three items into one element. This has greatly increased safety and has also improved ease of use. This is partly because the cylinder can now be connected much more easily and can be moved in a more ergonomic way. It has also been made much easier to adjust the gas flow exactly as desired.

Extra services

“Packaged gas isn’t just about the products; the service aspect is also important. If necessary, they can even take care of the complete packaged gas management of our customers, where we guarantee that sufficient gas reserves are always available. In addition, we also organise safety training courses and supply a wide range of materials that are used in various markets in combination with packaged gas. We also provide gas detection materials to prevent anoxia. In short, we strive to build win-win partnerships with our customers, offering help in optimising their production process wherever possible.”

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