Nitrogen is a versatile gas, used in critical processes across hundreds of industries and applications around the world, and in the past, if a process required Nitrogen, usually it meant being tied to a cryogenic gas supplier for long periods and at high costs.
Now more and more commonly accepted, is the practice of generating Nitrogen on site, bringing with it the freedom of non reliance on a gas supplier and freedom from the large operating costs associated with gas traditional forms of gas supply. More and more companies are discovering the benefits of on site Nitrogen generation and finding out that their application is suitable, and that they too can enjoy the cost savings and convenience it offers.
Only in recent times in Australia did the concept of on site Nitrogen generation become more widely known and accepted as companies realised the benefits on site gas generation could offer. However in their home market of the USA, On Site Gas Systems Inc have been making inroads for the past twenty years to amass a list of Nitrogen generator customers that include the likes of Kraft Foods, Proctor and Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, as well as, a list of thousands of other clients operating across a multitude of industries. All these customers over the years enjoy the benefits on site gas generation can offer and allow themselves a real competitive advantage.
So if the process requires Nitrogen, what are the benefits of generating own Nitrogen gas on site? Simply stated, on site gas generation offers considerable financial savings, safety, reliability and convenience when compared with traditional forms of gas supply.
Systems are fully automated and work in response to demand in the downstream distribution system, so with an on site gas generator, users will never have to worry about gas again. The generator will deliver the pressure, purity and flow required, at a fraction of the cost of cryogenically produced gas, and all totally automatically.
Despite the proven benefits and time tested technology, in Australia, on site gas generation has surprisingly still remained a relatively new and untried concept to many. In part through lack of availability of good, reliable systems at a reasonable price, lack of education and partly because of what cryogenic gas users have been led to believe; on site generation is not right for the application, flows are too small or too large, or with too much fluctuation, and the classic story of purity.
When asked what On Site Gas Systems Australia has to say about that, they simply have one answer, ask their customers, anywhere in the world that have a similar application to yours and see what they have to say about the company and the gas generators.
So to shed a little more light onto a subject that is quickly becoming hotter and hotter by the day, the basics on offer for someone that currently uses Nitrogen in their process is this.
There is not need to be a large user to benefit from an on site gas generator
If a gas user consumes as little as one cylinder a week, then they too can benefit from an on site generator. Flows from On Site Gas Systems range of Nitrogen generators start as low as 1 L per minute with units delivering over 2100m3/hr (from a single unit).
Purity can be achieved with an on site generator
Nitrogen purities are available range from 95% through to 99.9995% with every grade in between. Systems come with an integrated optional purity analyser for constant product monitoring complete with alarms and remote monitoring functionality.
Can a system be afforded with current operating or capital budgets
When it comes to cost, the easiest way to cover this is by saying that several customers can pay off the unit with the same amount they are currently paying for cryogenic gas, so it then becomes a question of payback time. On Site Gas Systems Australia say that on average across Australia and in the USA, a typical payback period is around 12 to 24 months, after which time the customer will be see substantial ongoing savings, up to 90% in many cases.
Is this too good to be true? No, and the good news is that almost any gas user can benefit from an On Site Gas generator. And the sort that are, include customers involved in food and beverage processing and packaging including modified atmosphere packaging, oil, gas and mining customers, hospitals, wine makers and bottlers, applications involving tank headspace inerting, and laser cutting within the steel industry, electronics manufacturing, tyre inflation, brazing and the list goes on. The long and short is that if one uses Nitrogen, it is worth investigating what on site gas generation will do for the business.
Some other specific applications that On Site Gas Systems have pioneered over in the USA are systems specifically designed and engineered for super high volume gas users such as in enhanced oil recovery and coal mine fire fighting. Both systems are portable, high flow Nitrogen generation systems that have added a new level to cost savings and convenience.
So the verdict on gas generation seems to be that no matter what the application, flow, purity, pressure, there is an On Site Gas Systems Nitrogen generator that is right the application. The critical Nitrogen requirements should not be let to drain the operating budget, rather simply make it a small capital expenditure and win over the long term.